A hundred years ago no-one thought it necessary to write into a council constitution that they had a responsibility to provide public toilets.

In today's parlance, it was a no brainer.  Who would think for a moment that anyone on a council - elected or otherwise - would have to wonder whether their 'subjects' would NOT need to go for a pee or whatever? It's up there among basic human needs, since Adam and Eve went into the bushes.

But fast forward to the super sophisticated 21st century and it appears to have gone out of fashion...with those who inhabit council offices which, presumably, don't have the requirement for toileting.

Question to North Ayrshire Council: "Excuse me, could you open the toilets in Largs, please?"

Reply: "No."


Council bureaucrat, with straight face: "Because we don't have a statutory obligation to provide toilets."

Look no further than Inverclyde Council, based in Greenock, which is among the more understanding of local authorities that keep the toilets open. Apparently, some of us human beings get caught short from time to time when walking the streets or promenades.

Community Councillor Jamie Black put senior SNP councillor Alan Hill on the spot - or was it the pan? - by asking if a proper "impact assessment" had been carried out over closing the local toilets.

Alan, who is on the ruling council cabinet, said that they had decided a few years ago to close toilets, but admitted that it was "bizarre" that there was no statutory obligation to do so.

I couldn't see if his face was deadpan, pardon the pun, when he added: "The council isn't running toilets."

Elected councillor Tom Marshall pointed out that only Mr Hill's Largs Community Development Trust and the new Cairney's Quay group (Broomfields) had been consulted so far about the future of the toilets, which, he said, did not reflect the idea of a community consultation.

Independent councillor Ian Murdoch said that toilets were the top of his list, and, believe me, he has a very long list. 

Jamie Black asked why NAC were proposing to open a site for motor homes, presumably with toilets, when were they not spending on toilets in the town. 

In reply Councillor Hill spoke those immortal words: "Personally, I think we need toilets." 

Funnily enough, I was thinking the same thing.

The council want some local civic-minded organisation to take over the toilets as they did in Millport. Next year, will they suggest that in order to save them money, we should all cart our rubbish bins to the refuse coup ourselves?

Let's be blunt here. Council bureaucrats, headed by chief executive Craig Hatton, may have robust human recycling systems (what's that? They've got their own toilets? I see), but don't give us the "no statutory obligation" guff.

It's a statutory excuse to save money. It's a statutory cop-out. It's a statutory loophole that should, if you'll pardon the expression, be dumped.

Anyone fancy running and cleaning the toilets? I thought so.

Thought for the Week: Helping one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person.

Council chief Craig Hatton and his cabal of technocrats must be rubbing their hands at the amount of money coming into the coffers, courtesy of their new traffic wardens.

Have you ever heard of a council worker (with the exception of carers) being paid for Saturday night duties? Well, the new wardens were parading the streets of Largs on Saturday evening, searching for prey.

Then they were back again on Sunday morning, issuing parking fines to motorists who were parked for an hour outside the town's churches.

That's it. Hit them hard when they're down on their knees.

By the time you read this, a thousand parking fines will have been issued in North Ayrshire since the wardens landed in the streets two months ago, and at £60 a pop, the council have hit the jackpot.

The money goes into the NAC general funds, so we should expect them to start repairing potholes, shouldn't we?

Councillor Tom Marshall told the community council that the wardens like coming to Largs because "it's more civilised and they don't get as much hassle"!

Personally, I've been complimented on my parking.  I came out to see a note on my windscreen saying 'Parking Fine'.