D&G Public Convenience Review Set To Make £78k Saving

Members of the Council’s Communities Committee will meet on Tuesday 28 January and will receive a report on the progress being made with the review of Public Conveniences.

Councillors will be asked to approve a new cleaning model that is projected to save over £78,000 per year.

The savings, required from last year’s budget process, are being made under the provision of not closing any of the region’s 58 public toilets. Savings of £20,000 have already been achieved for 2019/20, so this saving of over £78k will be made in 2020/21.

Chairman of the Communities Committee, Councillor Andy Ferguson commented;
Although not a statutory service, our Council is absolutely aware of the importance of public toilets in the area. We carried out extensive consultation with our communities, and our staff and have proposed these savings with the feedback of this consultation at the forefront of our thoughts. The new cleaning provision will keep toilets open, whilst allowing us to make a budget saving that is absolutely required.”

The new cleaning model will see a region-wide approach, with toilets cleaned on a 3-day rota by ‘mobile cleaners’ for the bulk of our facilities. Toilets in some of our larger towns like Stranraer, Castle Douglas and Dumfries will still be partially manned and cleaned more often, as well as being opened and closed each day to prevent misuse and potential vandalism.

The new way of working will require a restructure of our current staffing model for cleaning public toilets. We have been engaging with our staff throughout the whole process and are continuing to keep staff up to date with developments, with the help of the Joint Trade Unions. Whilst this new approach will save £78,000, our Council is still keen to hear from communities across the region who may wish to take on the facility within their town or village.

Councillor John Martin, Vice-Chair of the Communities Committee explains;
We have successfully transferred public conveniences to communities before. Portpatrick Harbour Community Benefit Society took over the public toilet in Portpatrick in 2017. We offer up a small financial incentive to help community groups with cleaning products and so on to help them get the facility up and running. We would encourage communities to approach our Council if they wish to take on the running of a public toilet.”

Papers for the meeting, taking place in Dumfries on 28 January, will be live from Wednesday 22 January via https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=148&MId=5037

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