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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 10:26 GMT
Traders pan public lavatory plan
Urinal
Traders have been asked to promote their toilet facilities
Traders in southern Scotland have turned up their noses at plans to boost public toilet provision by inviting people to use their lavatories.

Dumfries and Galloway Council suggested the change as it faces a 25% cut in its public conveniences budget.

It said it was a way of improving the service offered to both locals and visitors to the area.

However, traders said they felt it should remain a council duty - especially in larger towns.

More than 20 businesses who were approached in Castle Douglas said they were unhappy at the proposals.

Hotelier David Laing said it was a question of the numbers who might end up traipsing through his premises.

We do need to look at ways of improving the facilities we can make available to residents of the region and, indeed, to tourists who are the main users of the facilities
Council spokesman

"I don't mind the odd person popping in if it's an emergency," he said.

"The idea of a busload pulling up outside if I have got a sign saying toilets are available, I just don't agree with that at all."

Fellow businessman Neill Walker, who runs the Mad Hatter Cafe, said he could see the benefits - but only in smaller villages.

"If I had a small cafe in a village where there were not any toilet facilities I would be more than happy to take it on," he said.

"It would increase my trade and also help the area itself.

"I just feel that Castle Douglas is a main town in the area and it should have these facilities provided for it."

Dumfries and Galloway Council is facing a cut of 150,000 in its conveniences budget.

Appropriate places

A number of measures have already been taken to try to reduce costs.

A spokesman added that any use of private business toilets would only be in addition to council services - not to replace them.

"We do need to look at ways of improving the facilities we can make available to residents of the region and, indeed, to tourists who are the main users of the facilities," he said.

He said it was also a question of putting toilets in the most appropriate places.

"If we can get traders to provide facilities, in all probability they are going to be closer to where people are actually moving around the area," he said.



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