Future of the beach toilets is unclear

Vandalism at the toilets on the beach front at Stonehaven was so bad last year that the Community COuncil had to close them a month early as the writing on the walls was so bad they “wouldn’t want families seeing it.”

The vandalism reached a point that it was happening every day to the toilet block which the Community Council took over the running of from Aberdeenshire Council. As well as graffiti on the walls in black marker pen, the person or persons responsible had been taking power tools into the toilets and drilling holes in the walls. On one occasion a step ladder was used to steal the lights from the free public facility. Whilst the incidents have been reported to the police, it was explained that there is very little the police can do unless those responsible are caught in the act. Members of the Community Council were told that a police officer could be standing outside the cubicle whilst someone vandalises the inside yet nothing could be done as they did not see the vandalism take place.

At Stonehaven and District Community Council’s meeting this week it was discussed whether the Council would continue to run the toilets and whether they could take on such “determined” vandals. Some Community Councillors felt they should try to continue to keep them open despite the fact that it cost over double the estimated £500 to keep them running last year. However other members of the Council felt it was not their responsibility to run the toilets and that they should be handed back to Aberdeenshire Council or put through asset transfer. However it was explained that the local authority would simply shut the toilets. Community Councillor David Fleming felt that they should come up with a way to keep the toilets open saying they should “not give in to the vandals.” A number of options including a security camera were discussed and will be further explored at the next meeting.