Loonacy: sun-lovers left without public toilet


SUN worshippers flocking to a city beach are being caught short after council jobsworths refused to open the toilets.

Thousands of people have descended on Portobello beach, Edinburgh, as temperatures hit an amazing 22 degrees centigrade.

But the local council have decided nearby public toilets have to remain shut because they are not scheduled to open until next month at the earliest.

Businesses in the area are now furious that they are being flooded by desperate sunseekers who have been locked out of public loos.

Businesses near Portobello beach are complaining over the public toilet Pic: Lee Kindness


Frances Bailie, who runs the Fun Park Kiosk on the promenade, said: “The last two days have seen thousands of people coming down to enjoy the sunshine, and, because the public toilets are closed, a lot of them have been coming in here asking to use the toilets.

“It is the number of people we cannot cope with, and our toilet broke so I had to spend most of the day telling people they couldn’t use it.

“The council refuse to see the sense in opening up these toilets on days like this.

“We are paying for this in the cost of water rates, not to mention the cost of soap, toilet roll abnd damage. It’s just completely out of order.”

Amanda Caygill, who owns the Espy bar by the beach, said the council should do more to make the area welcoming.

She said: “It is a double-edged sword, because the sunshine at this tinme of year brings thousands of people, which is great for business, but it also causes real problems because of the lack of public toilets.

“You get people who come out to drink in the sunshine, and when they have had a bit too much and there’s nowhere to relieve themselves they will just go anywhere.

“We call the council every time this happens asking them to open up the public toilets but they just don’t want to know.”

The public toilets are scheduled to open in April or May and only stay open until September, regardless of weather conditions or events.

Portobello councillor Maureen Child backed her call, saying: “These are supposed to be a public convenience  but it is quite inconvenient when they are shut.”

A council spokeswoman said the toilets were only open when there was the highest demand.

She said: “We are in the process of reviewing public convenience provision across Edinburgh, including opening times, with the intention of reporting on the way forward and we will seek the views of local communities as part of this review.”