A local business fears thousands of visitors are being lost to Girvan because of a lack of toilet facilities in the town.
In an email to South Ayrshire Council and local councillors, the local business said that the new toilets at the harbour ran out of toilet rolls and then two of the toilets were out of order at 4pm.
The email said: “Yesterday, Easter Sunday, the first busy day of the summer season, saw the first real test for the new unisex toilets at Girvan harbour.
“Although it was not a particularly busy day by 3.30pm there was no toilet paper left in any of the toilets. By 4pm two of the toilets were out of order (50% of the capacity) and still no toilet paper and this was before two coaches with 74 children arrived to spend time and money in our town. The new toilets are simply not up to the job.
“This is badly damaging the tourist industry in Girvan. It is still a bit early to estimate the number of tourist lost to the town but at a rough guess I would say 80% of the tour coaches that were stopping in the town are now passing straight through Girvan due to the lack of provision at the harbour (The hub of the Girvan tourist trade) at a time when trade should have increased by approx. 10% due to the Troon ferry closing.
“Please don’t patronize us my telling everyone there are other toilets in the town. This just will not do! No town can afford to lose thousands, yes thousands of potential customers every week never mind one the size of Girvan.
“I sometimes wonder if it is possible for SAC to do any more damage to Girvan but I hear talk of the boating lake not being filled next!
“Why not do the job properly and just weld gates across the A77 and stop everyone coming to Girvan?
On a more positive note I see work is progressing well at the new swimming pool. Mr. Burns noted that the contractors had wisely brought their own toilets which incidentally have more capacity then the harbour ones. Someone clearly knows what they are doing.”
David Burns, Head of Housing and Facilities, said: “There are three different public toilet facilities available to the public and visitors in Girvan, including the five modern toilets within the Girvan Harbour facility and we work to keep all three facilities clean and fully stocked as much as possible. We do appreciate that stock will run down when there is a lot of use and we know the harbour is a popular stop; however, we don’t have a means of measuring demand or have access to advance information about coach stops scheduled to visit the town.
“Unfortunately - on top of that - two of the Girvan Harbour toilets were unavailable over Easter weekend due to faulty coin mechanisms (which can occur at any time) and this increased the demand for the remaining toilets. All toilets are now fully operational and we will continue to monitor the situation to ensure access to quality toilet provision in Girvan.”
SNP Councillor Alec Oattes said: “At the present time in South Ayrshire, communities are being hit with charges for Gala Events and Utility charges for Community Halls, which will be damaging for many groups, charities and local good causes, this in essence is self defeating as this will impact on what the council is supposed to undertake, which is to strengthen, support and empower local communities.
“The official line is officers will engage with local Communities to find alternative funding, but I suspect this is smoke and mirrors and will be as much use as a chocolate tea pot.
“As a local elected member, I will always do my best to protect services in Girvan.”