Council Scoops Top Award

Once again The Highland Council has scooped top ratings for its toilets at the annual Loo of The Year Awards winning 7 national categories and the top award for Scotland as well as a record number of 5 stars for facilities across the Highlands.

Forty of the Highland staff responsible for looking after the award winning toilets attended the award ceremony held earlier today in Pitlochry.  A surprise announcement during the event was that the team of staff looking after toilets in Highland schools had won the top Scottish Award and will now go on to represent Scotland at the UK Awards in Birmingham on 8 December.

The national category winners were:

• Nursery (Inverlochy Nursery)
• Primary Education (Ullapool Primary School)
• Secondary Education (Invergordon Academy)
• Day Centres (Beachview Lodge, Brora)
• Commercial & Public Offices (Highland Council Headquarters in Inverness) 
• Non-Attended PublicToilets (Invergary Public Toilets)
• Beaches (East Beach, Nairn)

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.

Councillor Drew Millar, Vice Chairman of Education, Culture and Sport congratulated staff on their success.  He said: "Today has been a great success for the whole Highlands, especially for the teams of staff who look after our primary and secondary schools. This year’s results give us a stronger base to work on further improving our standards in the coming years.”

The Council’s Depute Chairman of TEC Services with responsibility for Direct Services and Community Works, Councillor Roy MacIntyre travelled to Pitlochry with members of staff for the national awards ceremony. He said: "Our toilets assist directly in the quality of life in our communities whether in work, school, play or for tourists visiting our facilities. I am delighted that we have done so well.  All credit must go to our dedicated and hard working members of staff and the staff of the contractors we use in Lochaber and Ross and Cromarty. Credit must also go to the council itself for making funding available to upkeep the toilets to such a high standard and I would like to congratulate all the staff on this great achievement."

The Awards are sponsored by washroom suppliers Cannon Hygiene, SCA Hygiene Products, Technical Concepts, Unger UK and Armitage Shanks. Further support comes from the four UK national tourism bodies – Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Wales Tourist Board and Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Awards Director, Richard Chisnell said: "The Highland Council has been entering an increasing number of locations each year, covering public toilets, schools, offices and day centres and is committed to high standards throughout the Council area.  All of the individual entries from Highland were of a very high standard, especially those entered by the school teams and so it was a unanimous decision of the judges to award the Council the top award for Scotland.  I wish them well in the UK finals which will be held next week in Birmingham.”

5 Star Facilities in the Highlands are:  

28 Nov 2006