CAMPAIGNERS have warned that public toilets on Cumbrae could be closed for good if mindless yobs continue to damage the facilities.

The organisation which runs the loos, Cumbrae Community Development Company, says vandal attacks are becoming too frequent, with users also forcing entry instead of paying 40p to use the facilities.

Jan Wilkie, of CCDC, revealed that the toilets are now costing £25,000 per year to run - and has issued a warning that any further damage could put the future of the facilities in doubt.

She said: “Most of the damage is being done at the Croc Rock facilities, which have the greatest footfall.

“People are kicking the doors open rather than paying the 40p, and that is causing considerable damage.

“Thankfully, we have not had to replace any doors yet, but this has happened four or five times and we have had to, on occasion, replace the locking mechanism."

A local business on Cumbrae has now offered to purchase CCTV cameras in a bid to combat the vandals.

The toilet blocks on Cumbrae were taken over by CCDC in 2017 after North Ayrshire Council announced its intention to close them.

Pay machines have been installed at three of the sites in the last 12 months, and Jan is keen to remind people that the small fees are needed to keep the public conveniences open.

She explained: “This is not a money-making exercise, we are only asking for 40p to go towards the costs of maintenance and cleaning.

“We understand that people see it as another expense during a visit to the island, but there is an important reason for it.

“Cumbrae relies heavily on tourism, so the idea of having no toilets for visitors, walkers, cyclists, and holiday makers is unthinkable.

“They also provide a vital facility for our local community when residents are out and about as well.

“Without this financial income it will become untenable for CCDC to continue to operate these facilities in the future.”

Conservative councillor Todd Ferguson, who lives on the island, has slammed the vandals - and has called on them to stop the damage.

He said: “The public toilets are community-owned on Cumbrae and the constant vandalism is a disgrace.

“The only reason there are still toilets available is thanks to the dedication and commitment of local people.

“Yet, every so often, a bunch of mindless yobs decide that they’re going to vandalise them. This needs to stop."