I’m writing this as the Chairman of Turriff and District Community Council.
It is now less than a week until the end of the ‘season’ when the public toilets at The Haughs close for what could be the last time.
The decision made by Aberdeenshire Council in January this year to close the public toilets was given a stay of execution after the huge amount of public outcry. If the council had had their way the toilets would not have been opened this year at all. Part of the agreement to have the toilets temporarily reopened was to allow us to gather evidence on the usage and public desire to keep them open.
Over the past months Turriff and District Community Council have worked to try and get the support of the community and gather evidence to support what we believe is the public opinion that the toilets should be kept open. Going back to the council and just saying ‘we want to keep the toilets open‘ isn’t an option, we need to provide evidence and a solid case to support this.
Earlier this year Turriff and District Community Council created a survey to help gather evidence to support what we thought was the public opinion that the toilets must be kept open. So far only 66 people have completed the survey. If you think that the toilets should be kept open, please take two minutes to complete the very short survey about your usage of the Haughs and how this would be impacted if there were no toilet facilities. Completing the survey will help us to build our case to have the toilets open again from April next year. It is especially important that groups, such as pre school groups, walking groups and youth groups etc. complete this survey as well.
The lack of toilet facilities could also have an impact on any events that use the Haughs, as organisers may have to pay to hire in portable toilets, which could make events unsustainable.
The decision to close the toilets flies in the face of the current Aberdeenshire Council supported project to look at redeveloping the Haughs with the view to increase its usage, but this doesn’t appear to have any bearing on getting the decision overturned.
If you would like to keep the toilets at the Haughs open in the future then you need to help us build an evidence based case to present to Aberdeenshire Council. If we are unable to convince the council to reverse their decision then we will have no toilet facilities unless the community were able to form some group to run and look after the toilets themselves.
The future of the public toilets at the Haughs is in your hands.