Top Public Conveniences in the Highlands
The Highland Council has been singled out for praise by the Westminster Local Government Committee because of the high quality of its 135 public toilets. At a time when other Councils are closing facilities across the UK, the Council recognises the importance of providing well-maintained and welcoming toilets, especially when it comes to encouraging tourism . It is setting aside £300,000 a year for refurbishment and replacement of facilities.
The Council won 7 national categories at last years UK Loo of the Year Awards and its in-house Education, Culture and Sport Service scooped the UK In-house Cleaning trophy. They were also awarded the Champions League Standard of Excellence Certificate.
A further 124 entries from The Highland Council, submitted as a combined entry between TEC Services and the Education, Culture and Sport Service, received star ratings including a record 30 toilets winning the top accolade of 5 stars and a further 51 winning 4 stars. Each entry was assessed using a strict judging criteria which included signage, décor and maintenance, cleanliness, fixtures and fittings, accessible facilities and overall management and customer care made during an unannounced visit by an authorised Loo Of The Year Awards Inspector.
The public conveniences are strategically located throughout the Highlands. The magority of them are unattended with free admission, but several are fitted to a very high standard, with an attendant and a charge for admission.
In March the Council spent £140k on refurbishing the public toilets in the centre of Portee for visitors and locals. Designed by the Council’s Housing and Property Services, the toilets have under-floor heating, new fittings and energy efficiency instalments, including light and tap sensors to save on electricity and water costs.
This financial year Golspie public toilets will be re-furbished and four other projects in Fort Augustus, Ullapool, Invergordon and Thurso are prioritied from 2009/10 onwards.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee, said: “We recognise that a clean and well-maintained environment is one of the major attractions for the Highlands and that our toilets assist directly in the quality of life in our communities whether in work, school, play or for tourists visiting the Highlands. I am delighted that we have been heralded as a good example nationally All credit must go to our dedicated and hard working members of staff who take pride in ensuring toilets are clean and welcoming. Credit must also go to the council itself for making funding available to upkeep the toilets to such a high standard.”