Council chiefs were questioned on the lack of public toilets open in North Ayrshire with no facilities currently available in Irvine or Kilwinning.

We reported back in September how Irvine’s only public toilets in the town centre will remain shut after Irvine’s Portal swimming pools reopened.

Coastwatch volunteers previously announced the beach public toilets would have to remain closed ahead of upgrades – with only three in Largs, two in Saltcoats and one in Ardrossan being currently being run by the council.

Cllr Donald L Reid questioned how many were still open at last week’s Full Council meeting [Wednesday, November 12] with the administration stating no proposals had been made to reverse previous cuts.

He said: “The lack of public toilets in North Ayrshire is not a trivial issue. Many older people, pregnant women, those with various health issues and children find it difficult to enjoy our many excellent public amenities in North Ayrshire because public toilets are not readily available.

“During the current COVID-19 issue, many folk can no longer risk going out because of a lack of public toilets whilst some cafes and stores have temporarily closed their toilets to the public during the covid-19 emergency.

“I believe public toilets are a key public health issue and should once again be a priority for this council. What plans are in place by NAC to look again at policy on the provision of public toilets and how many public toilets are currently open to the public in North Ayrshire and where are they located?”

Cllr Jim Montgomerie said: “The current provision of public toilets was a 2016/17 budget decision. In subsequent budgets the council’s position has become more challenging with further cuts imposed on us.

“No member has proposed additional investment to increase the number of council operated public conveniences in the budgets since.”