One in twenty public toilets closed or transferred to the community by UK councils since 2010 were in North Ayrshire.

A survey undertaken by the BBC shows that North Ayrshire’s public toilet provision fell from 45 in 2010 to just nine in 2018 - a drop of 80 per cent.

This is around five per cent of the 673 that councils stopped maintaining across the UK.

In 2017 a compromise was reached with the council, with a number of public toilets, previously mooted for closure, transferred to third parties.

Of the remaining nine council-run toilets, five are in Largs, two are in Saltcoats, with one in both Ardrossan and Kilwinning

Irvine, Stevenston, Dalry, Beith and Kilbirnie have no council-maintained facilities.

While the drop is the highest in Scotland and one of the highest in the UK, it must be noted that North Ayrshire Council had one of the highest levels of public toilet provision in the country.

This is supported by the figures for neighbouring local authorities.

Inverclyde Council is the one of the few to have added public facilities, from six to seven, since 2010.

East and South Ayrshire Councils maintain the same number of facilities as in 2010 (four and 13 respectively).

Earlier this year SAC’s plan to close some toilets was met by major opposition and the proposal was dropped.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “It is regrettable that a number of public toilets are now closed but, like all local authorities, we are having to balance reducing resources with increasing demand for our services. 

"We have had to find £82m of savings since 2010/11 which means that difficult decisions have had to be made.

“In light of these reducing resources, a decision was taken by the Council to close a number of automated public conveniences and public toilets. 

"The closure of some public toilets was phased to allow Council Officers time to work with communities to develop proposals to transfer ownership and operation of these facilities to communities that wished to maintain provision.

“We are delighted that a number of public toilets have successfully remained in operation as a result of transfer to local communities.”