Potholes and Public Toilets

By bellmannews / April 23, 2023
the toilet block at the harbour

Topics contributing much of our councillors’ in-trays are up for discussion at Tuesday morning’s meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee – road repairs and public toilet provision.

First up is the Road Inspection Policy which is on the table for its five-yearly review.

According to the report, Aberdeenshire Council’s roads service, ”Delivers a road maintenance function that seeks to maintain its 3,467 miles (5,581 km) of carriageway and 913 miles (1,470 km) of footway in a serviceable and safe condition.”

It appears our local authority takes guidance from the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS – a collaboration of all 32 Scottish Authorities, Regional Transport
Partnerships, and industry experts seeking to ensure a consistent approach to roads maintenance across Scotland, including roads inspections and defect classifications.

One aspect of the report that may be of interest is a table detailing five categories of defect and the response times now indicated for their attention.

If you’d like to read more, then the full report and draft policy are available online. At Tuesday’s meeting, councillors are asked to consider, comment on, and/or make recommendations to Infrastructure Services Committee on the draft Road Inspection Policy.

The cost of spending a penny

Officers of Aberdeenshire Council have recommended a series of actions in public toilets across the Shire, including bringing their management under the head of service for property and facilities management. Area managers would still have input with Area Committees agreeing a Public Convenience Strategy for its area along with any Capital Investments within approved budgets.

According to the Public Convenience Strategy report: ”The current net revenue budget available to provide the service stands at £657,700 (2023/24), which covers cleaning costs, maintenance, utilities, rates,
comfort partners and payments to communities which have entered in to the Community Run Scheme.

”There is no capital budget available in 2023/24 to fund improvement projects, the 2024/25 budget is yet to be set.”

It appears this paper is an interim policy update, with a series of actions planned to inform a future policy review of the 70 toilets currently accessible in Aberdeenshire. These include:

Undertaking Condition Survey Programme;
Synergy with Levelling Up Fund Programme;
Investment Programme with the resultant Capital budget allocation;
Assess opportunities with publicly accessible Council Operational properties;
Identify/trial modern alternatives/technology which could support a more cost effective and efficient provision of public conveniences; and
An overview of where facilities (Council owned or otherwise) are available and where gaps may exist.

The committee report and interim strategy are available online (the final item on the agenda). Councillors are asked to consider the Interim Public Convenience Strategy; and provide comments to officers who will be reporting to Business Services Committee on 8th June 2023.

The Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee meets in Viewmount Chambers on Tuesday 25 April 2023 at 09:30AM. Members of the public are welcome to attend. A recording of the meeting will be made available online in due course.