Letter to the Editor:

The decision by both SNP and Labour administrations in North Ayrshire to close almost all of the area’s public toilets is incredible in its stupidity.

Nowhere is this more so than on Arran - a tourist island with huge increases in visitors thanks to reduced CalMac ferry fares.

Mainland residents can now enjoy an affordable day in Brodick but will find nowhere to relieve themselves in the village centre.

Councillors and officials tried to blackmail residents into running this neglected service themselves by deferring the decision for a year, but in very small communities this was never going to work and now most of the facilities are to go.

Visitors and shoppers in the area are now forced to ask to use toilets in shops and other premises - if open that is.... And all for an £80,000 saving!

Neither are the Tories blameless on this one: their Westminster austerity policies have stolen £73m from North Ayrshire since 2010 and Councillors who wrongly accept that this is part of the democratic process have had to choose what to cut from a reducing list of possibilities.

We believe that there was another choice and that was to fight austerity on all fronts and refuse to implement cuts - the effort by the current Labour administration to avoid cuts, though welcome, was too little too late and involved little more than a short-term balancing of the books.

We desperately need Councillors who will stand up effectively for public services - the renovation and reopening of our public toilets should be a priority.

Colin Turbett

Scottish Socialist Party Candidate Ward 5 - Ardrossan & Arran