People power has persuaded Western Isles Council to reverse a funding cut and reinstate a £1,473 annual grant to operate Vatersay Hall public toilets.
The island’s community centre committee subsidised the facility to keep it open round the clock, 365 days a year, after the grant stopped in 2013. The local authority told people to use the ferry waiting room toilets miles across the causeway at Castlebay pier on Barra.
But restrictions in opening times meant that the ferry conveniences were used mainly by boat passengers and, “after a lengthy negotiation period”, the contract with CalMac has ended. Tourists supported efforts by Councillor Donald Manford and MSP Alasdair Allan to reinstate the funding.
The council said it received a “significant number of requests” over the issue.
Judy Rapoport, of the hall committee, said: “Vatersay is always busy with walkers, cyclists, campers and families enjoying the glorious beaches.
“For many, it is the starting point for the journey through the islands from south to north, and this year has been busier than ever with the publicity and sign posting of the Hebridean Way walking trail.”