Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Moray shoppers furious at plans to charge for toilet use

St Giles Centre, High Street, Elgin. Picture by Gordon Lennox
St Giles Centre, High Street, Elgin. Picture by Gordon Lennox

A Moray retail centre has sparked outrage among shoppers by introducing proposals to charge for the use of its toilets.

Elgin’s St Giles Centre has announced that a “nominal charge” will soon be imposed to use its facilities.

Management have claimed that funds accumulated by the fee will be used to maintain a “high standard of cleanliness and repair”.

But furious customers have vowed to boycott the building if the plan comes to fruition.

Fears have also been raised that the charge could signal a further decline in town centre trade, which has already been tumbling for a number of years.

St Giles Centre management declined to comment on the row, but posted a notice online justifying the decision.

It read: “This will be a nominal charge that will go towards maintaining the high standard of cleanliness and repair that our customers have come to expect.”

However, that argument cut no ice with many irate shoppers, who flooded the St Giles Centre’s social media pages with complaints after hearing the news.

Angry Facebook user, Lena Barksby, suggested shoppers “vote with their feet” and boycott the centre in protest.

Amanda McLennan asked: “How can you expect elderly, disabled, pregnant people and kids to pay to pee?”

And Yvonne Docherty described the move as “another nail in the coffin of Elgin High Street”.

Elgin City North councillor, Patsy Gowans, said she understood that the charge would be “an annoyance” for residents.

But she added: “I think it’s more important the conveniences are kept clean than they are free.

“As long as the charge is 20p or something like that, then I don’t think it’s a big problem.”

And Elgin City South member, John Divers, downplayed fears the charge could dent the popularity of the town centre.

He said: “I understand people might have issues with this, but if the money is used to improve the toilets, then that can help welcome tourists.”

Elgin’s Business Improvement District (Bid) group has taken measures to ensure that tourists remain in the heart of the town.

The organisation has launched a “comfort scheme”, whereby visitors can use the lavatory in certain central establishments without feeling obliged to make a purchase.

The Drouthy Cobbler bar and restaurant, the Toscana pizzeria and Starbucks coffee shop have all signed up to the programme.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal News team

More from the Press and Journal