'Morons' slammed for vandalising Kingussie public toilets just days after refurbishment
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The trashing of Kingussie’s public toilets again by “morons” just days after they were repaired at a cost of thousands of pounds has been described as “beyond belief”.
The £5000 work following the previous attack at the Highland Council- operated facilities at Ardvonie car park had just been completed in time for the start of the tourism season in spring.
Now the conveniences have been shut down for the foreseeable future.
Highland Council convener and local member Bill Lobban visited the public toilets on Tuesday to see at first hand the damage caused by the vandals.
He said: “Anyone who knows the morons who did this must contact the police who are now investigating – this is not a bit of fun its criminal damage.
“This disgraceful act of vandalism is simply beyond belief.
“In these challenging financial times, getting the money together not just keep these toilets open, but also to refurbish them is extremely difficult to say the least.
“This means that the toilets will be closed until further notice, and the public will have to pick up the bill for the repairs.
“Let’s all understand this – it is not Highland Council who pays, in the end it’s us via our taxes.”
Councillor Lobban added: “It’s difficult to comprehend the mentality of those who did this. Let’s hope they get caught and suffer an appropriate punishment.”
The vandals struck just before the weekend and police investigations are continuing.
Highland Council’s local amenities manager Debbie Sutton, said: “The locks have been broken into and the magnets have been ripped off the door.
“The toilets have been completely trashed, with wet toilet roll all over the walls, windows and other surfaces.
“In addition, toilet roll has been forced down all the toilet bowls and then flushed in order to cause flooding.”
She added: “The showers, which were only opened on January 13, have been vandalised. The ladies shower door has been smashed and there is glass everywhere.”
“We are so disappointed as the building was looking fantastic after its deep clean following the new shower installation.”
As has occurred at other sites where ongoing vandalism is an issue, the instruction to close the building indefinitely was issued immediately with the facilities now completely unfit for use.
She said: “We will attempt to re-open in a few weeks’ time and see if the same level of abuse occurs. We are unable to carry on repairing the issues until we are satisfied that the daily threat of vandalism is reduced.”
Beyond the £5000 already spent, the council was unable to say exactly what the repairs will cost this time.
But Ms Sutton said: “It will be into the thousands, with the damage to our locks, the shower door and deep clean then required.”
The timing of the return will also depend on getting the component parts.
Kingussie Community Council chairman Ruaridh Ormiston said: “It is very sad that this has happened to our local public toilets especially in view of the fact that the council had just invested a happened to our local public toilets especially in view of the fact that the council had just invested a considerable sum preparing them for the influx of spring visitors.
“This kind of thing just should not happen in small communities like ours.”
Local Highland councillor Pippa Hadley said: “Upsetting is not the word, hearing the newly revamped – after previous vandalism – public toilets have been vandalised again.
“This wasn’t idle mischief but real damage.
“If anyone is aware of anything please let us know. If they are reluctant to approach the police ,then I am quite happy to listen and pass information on.
“We want Kingussie to be a place that feels safe, and these incidents are impactful on the wider community, not just those who use the public conveniences.”
The toilets had to be closed on Christmas Eve due to flooding caused by toilet rolls forced down the conveniences to block them. The sinks had also been packed with paper and taps left running to cause flood damage.
The week before that heaters in the both WCs had been kicked off the walls.
A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed: “A report was made to police around 4.30pm on Monday that the public toilets in Kingussie had been vandalised. Inquiries into the incident are continuing.”
Police can be contacted via 101 quoting reference number 2351 of Monday, 24 January, 2022.