Local businesses will be offered cash in return for opening up their toilets for public use.
As previously reported in the Advertiser, Midlothian Council has announced that all council-run toilets are to close.
The move will save £117,000 per annum and help the council bridge a £5.4 million budget shortfall, but a public backlash is already underway.
In a revealing statement made at a meeting of Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Community Council, Councillor Ian Baxter (Green) told members: “Toilet provision is not being removed - the service will be provided by someone else. Whoever is providing it will be getting a financial contribution and so this will help to keep pubs open. Must pubs nowadays are family friendly. They are closing at a phenomenal rate and this will be helping local businesses.
“People who criticise these cuts have not come up with an alternative. How many school teachers and learning assistants should we sack in order to pay for this? How many social workers? We are facing a £5 million deficit and we have to find that money somewhere?”
Moments earlier, community councillor Louie Milliken had asked: “How can you condone taking children into pub toilets when not so long ago the Advertiser ran a story that Midlothian has one of the highest rates of drug substances found in pub and club toilets?”
Read full story in the January 24 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.