THE council has declared it won't fund the upgrade of the Largs seafront toilets – insisting the money will need to come from the seafront car park fund.

Independent councillor Ian Murdoch asked local authority leader Joe Cullinane if his administration would reconsider how public toilets are funded and maintained due to the need for hygienic facilities post-pandemic.

But Cllr Cullinane says no member has put forward a proposal in the last five years that would stop the toilets being funded by the seafront car park.

He explained: “Under the previous administration, the annual budget meeting in 2016 considered a proposal to close all remaining public toilets.

“A separate amendment was put forward and accepted at the meeting to retain the public toilets in Largs through recurring funding from the Largs Car Park Fund for their upkeep and maintenance.

“Since the budget meeting of 2016, the financial position of Scottish Local Government has continued to be challenging with disproportionate cuts to core Council budgets.

“In light of this challenging financial climate, no Councillor has proposed to invest more general revenue funding in public toilets by cutting budgets in other areas of service provision.

“I can confirm that all available budgets for managing our public conveniences are fully committed and that additional staff resources have been deployed to provide more frequent cleaning.

“Options are currently being explored for the upgrade of the public conveniences in Largs, which will require the use of cash available from Largs car park fund.”

Cllr Murdoch insists that using local companies is the way to renovate the toilets and keep costs down without leaving a gaping hole in the car park cash pot.

He said: “In my previous questions to the council, we have discussed Community Wealth Building and investment in the seafront toilets.

“The price obtained during that process for the refurbishment was in excess of £120,000, although I have had a lot of local tradesmen say they will do it for much less.

“I think it should be a lot easier for local companies to get on the tendering list for jobs like these, and I do not think the car park should be funding this.

“Does the leader of the council think it’s appropriate that public toilets are run on Cumbrae by the community and in Largs by the car park fund?”

Cllr Cullinane is encouraging councillors to put forward fresh proposals as to how to fund the refurbishment as part of the next budget.

He added: “This is a position that we inherited in 2016 and it has never changed. A shift in policy would require additional funding and nobody has put forward any proposals.

“Given that the toilets are currently funded by the car park, the responsibility for its maintenance lies through that.

“If any member wants to change that then they will need to find the money in the budget and bring forward a proposal.”