MOVES are under way to reopen some public toilets on Cumbrae following complaints from residents and tourists.

The Cumbrae Community Development Company, which deals with the running of the facilities, says it is working with North Ayrshire Council to get them back in action 'as soon as possible'.

With travel restrictions eased and ferry capacity increasing, residents are fearful of a public health hazard developing should the loos not operating again soon.

Jan Wilkie, CCDC business manager, said: “We are working with North Ayrshire Council to allow us to open three of our public toilet blocks in the near future.

“You will appreciate that there are guidelines which we have to follow but I can promise you that both CCDC, supported by NAC, are working tirelessly to achieve this as soon as is physically possible.

“CCDC as an organisation, are always looking for support to help us in relation to the very large costs incurred with the cleaning and maintaining of our community facilities on Cumbrae.

“We are currently running what has proven to be a very successful Calor Gas Funding Campaign and apply for suitable funding when we can.

“In addition to this, we are very appreciative of the support which we receive from locals, island organisations and donations made by the general public via our collection tins etc.”

Locals, including Kenny Sutherland, are worried that a lack of toilet facilities will discourage visitors to the island when it needs tourism most.

He said: “Now we’ve encouraging more visitors, the lack of toilet facilities is not encouraging visitors to the island.

“The ones at West Bay and the ferry slip don’t need refurbished, I can’t understand why they can’t use those two toilets.

“Basically put some hand sanitiser in and we’ve all had it drummed into us about how to stay safe. People will use common sense.

“The shops and cafes don’t want a stream of people coming in and out using their facilities, especially if they pay water rates.

“I’m paying the same council tax as people in Largs, they have public toilets open now, why don’t we?”

One second homeowner, who did not wish to be named, says North Ayrshire Council should be providing these services on the island.

They said: “I think it just adds to the incredible way in which the council are treating their people. It goes back to the fact there is no discounts to tax although they are not paying for public service. I actually don’t know how they are getting away with it.

“I think the locals need to focus on the elected members and how they are failing the smaller economies and people in more remote areas.

“Millport will be generating a lot of income from second homeowners although it's more than likely being used on the mainland to support poorer areas.

“It feels like the council have lost the plot and it's a joke, the CCDC should be there to bolster services not to provide them.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “The public toilets on Cumbrae are operated by community groups.

“We are currently working with our partners on the island to explore what support we can offer to ensure the toilets can be operated safely in these difficult times.”