COUNCIL chiefs are to consider plans to get users of Helensburgh Pier toilet to spend a bit more than a penny.

A report for today’s (Thursday) environment, development and infrastructure committee meeting recommends introducing charges at high footfall facilities in Argyll and Bute, including the pier.

This would be in principle, with a further report on coin-operated entry systems due in the New Year.

It also suggests that low footfall conveniences, including at Rhu, should be promoted for community ownership pending a review.

The report, by executive director of development and infrastructure Pippa Milne, said: “Applying a charge for access to public conveniences (PCs) is an established principle across Scotland – over 50 per cent of Scottish local authorities apply some level of charge for access to their public conveniences.

“What is clear is that applying charges at high footfall PCs is an effective means of generating income to contribute towards the overall running costs of those facilities.

“It is proposed that the principle of charging at the PCs identified as in high use be accepted, with officers to scope in detail the best options for cash collection at these sites.”

The report also states that medium footfall facilities could be subject to use of an ‘honesty box’ for users to make donations. None of these are in Helensburgh and Lomond.

In relation to low footfall conveniences, it adds: “The evidence to date would suggest that the footfall at these sites is limited to such an extent that even the installation of honesty boxes may not be cost effective.

“It is proposed that these low footfall PCs be actively promoted for potential community ownership, with that active promotion extending for the period of one year, in advance of a further review.

“It is further proposed that the active promotion for community ownership be extended to include those PCs which are currently closed/mothballed, and those subject to third party management arrangements.”

The report also highlights previous proposals to close over 30 public toilets across Argyll and Bute, which were flushed down the pan in February amid the 2018/19 budget planning process.