Petition calling for more public toilets to be considered

A petitioner said that no-one should be subjected to seeing public urination.

Petition calling for more public toilets to be considered iStock

A petition calling for more public toilets in Glasgow will go before councillors after amassing more than 1300 signatures.

It urges the council to take action to ensure city residents can access toilets and requests “innovative solutions” if funding isn’t available.

Patricia Fort set up the petition — titled Glasgow’s parks and public spaces need public toilets  — and will address a council committee next week.

She said: “No one should be subjected to the indignity of urinating in public and no one should be subjected to seeing public urination as they look out of their home or enjoy our city.”

The committee will decide whether to take action on the petition’s demands.

Fort continued: “Standing against a residential wall or crouching behind a car is undignified and not the sort of behaviour one expects in a civilised society.

“While there might be no legal requirement for Glasgow City Council to provide public toilets, just as the council provides rubbish bins, it has a moral obligation to provide toilets for our human waste and to ensure the health of citizens and the public and environmental health of our city.”

She added: “Our enjoyment of the outdoors is spoiled if there are no public conveniences.”

The petition calls on the council to work with public bodies, such as ScotRail, and community groups to determine opening hours and locations of public toilets.

It asks for “innovative solutions” such as temporary portaloos and for community cafes, pubs, museums and libraries to allow the public to use their facilities. Toilets should be “clearly advertised”, the petition adds.

In a report to councillors, George Gillespie, the council’s executive director of neighbourhoods, regeneration and sustainability, said that although providing toilets isn’t a “statutory requirement”, there is a “public need” for clean facilities at “strategic” locations.

He added a “significant financial commitment” would be needed to have toilets in every park, with over 90 in the city, and there is no budget currently available.

There are currently 20 public toilets in the city, with 12 locations managed by culture and leisure body Glasgow Life.

Four locations, within parks, are managed by the council and four are run by private supplier Healthmatic Ltd at a cost of 20p per use. The privately-run facilities are at Stevenson Street, Collins Street, St Vincent Place and Pollokshaws Road.

The council will review the level of provision when the current private contract with Healthmatic ends in 2024.

There is a map of public toilets on the council website but GIllespie admitted “more could be done to communicate this information” and committed to “improved advertising and signage”.

Council bosses did consider temporary toilets in parks during the pandemic, when most public toilets were closed, but decided against introducing them due to “the management and upkeep required”.

By local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands.

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