Fall in number of public toilets caused by SNP underfunding - Lib Dems

Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats showed there were 355 public facilities in 2022, compared with 521 in 2007.

Fall in number of public toilets caused by SNP underfunding – Lib Dems PA Media

Liberal Democrats have called for a “substantial programme” of work to provide more public toilets in Scotland as figures showed a drop in numbers.

Details provided by 19 of the country’s 32 councils showed there were 355 public toilets in 2022, compared with 521 when the SNP came to power in 2007 – a drop of more than 31%.

Three council areas – Clackmannanshire, East Dunbartonshire and South Lanarkshire – had no public toilets last year.

The details, obtained using a freedom of information request, showed a 94% decrease in the Falkirk Council area from 17 in 2007 to just one.

Liberal Democrat communities spokesman Willie Rennie said the figures “show the cost to communities of a decade and a half of SNP underfunding”.

He added: “Toilets are not just about public convenience; for some the lack of accessible bathrooms can prevent them enjoying public spaces, while in other areas it has become an invitation to public urination.

“That’s a sad state of affairs for our country to be in but it is an inevitable consequence of the decisions that successive SNP administrations have taken.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats want to see a substantial programme of capital works to provide more public toilets, alongside better car parking, electric charging points and waste disposal points.

“Beyond that there needs to finally be a commitment from the Scottish Government not to treat local authorities as simply subservient bodies which can live off the scraps of the budget.

“Councils need long-term funding deals and the power to invest in their communities.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government recognises the challenge which local councils face in delivering services and maintaining facilities.

“The entire country is having to make difficult choices, including government and local authorities, but we have managed to find an extra £570m for councils for 2023-24 on top of last year’s budget allocations.

“The Scottish Government is building flexibility and autonomy into how budgets can be spent; it is up to local authorities to decide how to best allocate their budgets to meet local priorities.”

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