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Community councillor raises stink over estimates for Highland town's public loos' revamp


By Caroline McMorran

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Local authority estimates ranging from £88,000 to £135,000 to renovate Dornoch’s “smelly” public toilets have been greeted with incredulity by a community councillor.

Jerry Bishop, who has experience of construction work, labelled such an expenditure as “fantasy land”.

The dilapidated state of the public toilets do not give a good impression of Dornoch, according to community councillors.
The dilapidated state of the public toilets do not give a good impression of Dornoch, according to community councillors.

He is keen to see a local contractor appointed to replace flooring and fittings and paint walls at the public conveniences with a budget of up to £35,000 - hopefully from Dornoch Common Good Fund.

But Highland Council owns the toilets and officials say its procurement process and Highland-wide specifications and standards must be adhered to, including installing CCTV.

Nearly £1000 has been spent already on the ‘desk top exercise’ to come up with the estimates. But no capital funding is available for the improvements.

An hour-long discussion over the way forward took place at a Dornoch Area Community Council Zoom meeting last week, attended by ward manager Phil Tomalin and amenities manager Debbie Sutton.

The need for the work to be undertaken was stressed

Mr Bishop, who serves as treasurer, said: “These toilets are a continual source of complaint by people in Dornoch to the community council. It has been a cause of concern for a long time.

“The floors are a mess, the walls are a mess and they have a malodour. They need painted and new fittings and that is what we thought £30,000 would cover.”

Newly co-opted councillor Genevieve Duhigg said: “This has got to get done. It (the toilets) is the first impression of the town for many visitors and it is a real problem.”

Officials agreed to see if the estimates could be reduced. Talks are to continue at a future meeting.


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