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1.      Introduction/Background

2.      Brief History of Public Toilet Provision in Stirling Council and a
        Summary of the Main Issues with the Existing Provision

3.      Standard of Public Toilet Provision we should Aspire To

4.      Stirling Council Comfort Partnership Scheme for Provision of Public
        Toilets (CPS)

5.      How are CPS Partners Assessed & Selected?

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1.    Introduction/Background

This report provides an overview of how the provision of public toilets within
Stirling Council can be improved through the implementation of a Comfort
Partnership Scheme (CPS).

Other local authorities such as Perth and Kinross Council, Fife Council,
Highland Council and many others in England run similar schemes. This is a
way of providing a service using a Public/Private Partnership scheme and the
Council believe this would provide an excellent example of using an
innovative approach to Public Toilet provision.

Good quality public toilets are something that the Council values – not just in
terms of public health and sanitation, but because they help to create inclusive
and welcoming places that encourage visitors to return. It is a fact that when
elderly, disabled or parents with young children plan where they visit, one of
the factors they consider is the provision of suitable clean, safe toilet facilities
which suits their needs.

The provision of public toilets is however not a statutory function of local
authorities and the Council acknowledges that while it is an important service
for visitors and residents alike that in the current financial situation it is unlikely
that we can sustain or improve our current direct provision of public
conveniences in all locations. In view of the above, the Council would like to
implement a scheme which protects and delivers the service ie toilet facilities,
but is an alternative and more sustainable solution than direct provision.

There is no formal definition of what constitutes a public toilet. The traditional
Council facility is a stand-alone building containing a ladies and a gents facility
but it is accepted this is only one form of provision. Other public bodies such
as Scottish National Heritage and the Forestry Commission provide toilets on
sites they manage, as do supermarkets and visitor attractions. Such toilets
may be restricted to customers only but often the exact position is unclear.

The Council therefore wishes to ensure that adequate public toilet provision is
in place across the Stirling Council area and is looking to work in partnership
with a variety of suppliers to provide public toilet facilities, which are
sustainable, pleasant and fit for purpose through the adoption of the Comfort
Partnership Scheme (CPS).

2.    Brief History of Public Toilet Provision in Stirling Council and a
      Summary of the Main Issues with the Existing Provision

On formation in 1996 Stirling Council inherited a range of public toilets. Almost
all of these were stand-alone units.

The standard of facility and level of service provided varied greatly. Some
toilets were situated in elderly buildings, others were of newer construction.

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Opening and closing times also varied greatly.

The responsibility for the management of Public Toilets has recently
transferred to Assets Property and Facilities Management, with the FM
Service providing the cleaning and facilities management of the premises and
Strategic Asset Management providing the asset management and budgetary

The majority of the public toilets are unattended public toilets, opened and
closed by FM staff. The Council is also considering extending opening hours
of these facilities by entering into key holding arrangements with communities.

Due to limited resources there has not been any significant capital and
revenue programme designed to bring the toilets up to a standard considered
suitable for the 21st century and this is unlikely to alter in the foreseeable
future – indeed budgets may be under further pressure as the details of public
sector efficiencies emerge.

The use of automated toilets has been considered and disregarded, as they
have built in obsolescence and high installation and running costs, in excess
of existing operating costs.

In summary the main issues for the Council with the existing public toilet
provision of 28 toilets are as follows:-

     The provision of public toilets, although not a statutory function, is an
      important service to the public, which within current budgets is

     Public expectation of what could and should be provided has altered and
      our current provision is not considered to be fit for 21st Century usage.

     Local authorities are no longer seen as the sole provider of public
      conveniences - there are other publicly available facilities at many
      locations, which duplicate Council provision.

     The current public toilet portfolio of aging buildings is increasingly difficult
      to maintain to a standard acceptable to the public and the distribution is
      not always matched to need or areas of demand.

     Low usage at a number of facilities may not reflect a public need but
      more the state or position of the existing facilities.

     There are significant variations in the standards of buildings, facilities
      and directional signage.

     Costs for repairs and anti vandalism measures are rising and is an issue
      particularly in unattended toilets.

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     Some little used or expensive to maintain toilets are not a good use of
      public money.

     The Council should and could endeavour to provide better facilities, not
      necessarily as a direct provider, but through its role as enabler
      co-ordinate to ensure provision.

3.      Minimum Standard of Public Toilet Provision for the 21st Century

The Council believes that a range of public toilet facilities should be
considered that take cognisance of demand and alternative provision within
the location. A minimum standard for all public toilets, both directly operated
or delivered through a CPS, has been devised and if possible the following
features should be incorporated:

       Baby Changing facilities – either in a shared common location or in
        both male and female toilets;

       Energy conservation measures – including automatic taps/flushes and

       In unattended locations, stainless steel fitments, subject to appropriate
        regular electrical earth-bonding testing; ceramic furniture in staffed

       Time-activated locks on unattended facilities, to maximise operating
        hours without requiring additional staff time;

       Plugs which cannot be detached – or a reduced water temperature to
        remove the need for plugs at all;

       Hooks for bags/coats in each cubicle;

       Disabled provision to allow as much room as possible (subject to the
        optimum space standards of BS8300), utilising colour contrast
        throughout and with easy-use levers on taps and doors and, ideally, a
        pull-down shelf;

       Adequate provision of both sanitary and general waste bins;

       The standardisation, as far as is possible, of all furniture and fittings.
        This would make maintenance easier, possibly cheaper, and minimise
        the closure of facilities for repair works.

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4.        Stirling Council - Comfort Partnership Scheme for Provision of
          Public Toilets (CPS)

Where the Council considers that it needs to augment or replace existing
public toilet provision it is looking to enter into Comfort Partnership Schemes
with local businesses, which it is hoped will ensure that local service delivery
in terms of public toilet provision is sustained into the future.

What is a CPS? This involves a formal agreement (see Appendix C) between
the Council and a partner who was already providing toilets for the use of its
patrons. The agreement extends the use of these facilities for wider public
usage and allows for the public conveniences to be signed as publicly
available. In recompense, the partner is entitled to a small payment to
augment extra cleaning, etc and the facility will benefit from direct promotion
of the business/facility by the Council.

This scheme is intended to supplement or replace existing poor facilities,
without the need to consider new build. It is accepted that the CPS may not be
appropriate for high demand locations where more traditional, direct provision
of public conveniences will continue to be provided directly be the Council.

Existing Council premises, where technically possible, will also be encouraged
to sign up to this scheme. To date all Council Services have been supportive
of the concept and work is progressing on re-branding a number of premises
over the coming months as CPS locations.

The payment to each partner would be dependent on a number of issues
including what toilet facilities they provide, opening times and demand for
toilets. Appendix A – Information to Potential Partners provides the detail of
the scheme in a Question/Answer format.

Under the Stirling CPS, the Council will pay for appropriate signage. This is
likely to take the following format:-

          CPS Premises Signage – the Council will pay for a sign to be located
           on the premises which highlights that it is a CPS location;

          CPS Directional Signage – all existing public toilet signage within a
           village/town will be replaced or augmented to directionally sign the
           CPS location; and

          CPS Advance Signage – at the entrance to towns/villages a CPS
           advance sign will advise that a CPS operates in the village and name
           the CPS partner.

Appendix B highlights the various types of signs.

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5.      How are CPS Partners Assessed & Selected?

The Council has reviewed its current toilet facilities and is targeting a number
of locations where it would like to enter into a CPS. These have been
identified as :-

Balfron, Buchanan Street*
Balmaha, Car Park
Blanefield, Glasgow Road
Buchlyvie, Lay-by
Callander, South Church Street**
Crianlarich, A82/85 Junction
Doune, Moray Park
Drymen, Stirling Road
Dunblane, Bridgend and Chimes
Killearn, Station Road
Killin, near Falloch Bridge
Killin, Station Road*
Kippen, Fore Road
Lochearnhead, Car Park
Strathyre, Car Park
Thornhill, Orchard Mills Road
Tyndrum, A82

*       CPS solution would require to meet the needs of bus commuters.
**      Possibly part of wider solution re St Kessog’s.

The number of CPS partners in any given location will be based on the size of
the settlement, the number of other existing public toilet facilities and the
usage figures on the Council’s existing facilities. In general the Council is
looking for one CPS partner and in some exceptional circumstances two.

Where there is high public toilet demand, the Council may augment direct
supply of public toilet facilities with a CPS.

The Council intends to publicise the roll out of the CPS in a variety of ways
including advertising the scheme via the press, consultation with Community
Councils and Business Associations, and through visiting businesses directly
to encourage potential partners to come forward.

Any applications received will be assessed using the CPS scoring matrix
which will be used to make decisions on whether it is suitable for premises to
be admitted to the CPS or to decide where there are competing applications in
a particular locale.

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The matrix is based on a scoring/ranking system using the following criteria:-

    Accessibility of Premises/Facility

    Visibility of Premises

    Anticipated Footfall & Opening Hours

    Appearance of Facilities – cleanliness, attractiveness, etc

    Facilities Offered - number of cubicles, baby changing, etc

The CPS partner fee will vary depending on the partner’s facilities (as per the
above matrix) and the Council’s assessment of potential usage but it is
envisaged that the fee rate will range from £500 - £2000 per annum per

CPS partners will be selected for a minimum of three years.

Lesley Malkin/Ian Anderson
Strategic Asset Management

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                                                                             Appendix A



Stirling Council intends to launch a Comfort Partnership Scheme, which with
the co-operation of local businesses, will enable members of the public to
access toilet facilities. A similar scheme is already successful in neighbouring

The scheme will provide a service that complements existing council facilities.
The businesses, who wish to participate, will receive payment throughout the
year that will be graded to reflect availability, compliance with health and
safety, standards, accessibility and the hours of opening of their facilities.

Businesses will benefit from a potential increase in custom through increased
footfall to their premises and the additional benefit of publicity, via Stirling
Council as the provider of Comfort Partnership facilities.


       Will create an administrative system for registering businesses and
        processing payments (normally quarterly).

       Carry out periodic inspections of participating businesses making sure
        that they meet Stirling Council’s criteria.

       Display external signage directing the public to participating

       Update our website on locations of participating businesses.

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Stirling Council Comfort Partnership Scheme for the Provision of Public

The scheme offers toilet facilities within private businesses.

       How do I join the scheme and become a partner?
       What is involved in the assessment?
       What happens once the partnership is set up?
       What do I get from the partnership?
       How long must I enter into the partnership for?
       What do I get for taking part in the scheme?
       What do I have to do to stay in the scheme?
       Who pays for any extra running costs?
       I run a licensed premises. Will letting children in to use my facility
        affect this?
       How many people can I expect to use my facilities?
       Am I expected to let trouble makers in to use my toilets?
       How will the scheme affect my insurance?
       How to get out of the partnership?

Q       How do I join the scheme and become a partner?

Either fill out the e-form to apply to the scheme or telephone the contact
number in the main details.

Q       What is involved in the assessment?

We assess your premises for:

       type of facilities available
       standard of facilities
       opening hours
       disabled access provision

Q       What happens once the partnership is set up?

A minute of agreement is signed by you and us to formally set up the
partnership. Signage is then organised and an official start date agreed. We
will arrange to inspect your premises routinely and offer advice.

Q       What do I get from the partnership?

You get

       confirmed income at several stages throughout the year
       potentially more customers
       good publicity – your business will be promoted through the scheme

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Q       How long must I enter into the partnership for?

Three years is what we’re aiming for, but this is negotiable.

Q       What do I get for taking part in the scheme?

We assess your premises and a financial offer is made. The offer will typically
be between £500 and £2000 per year depending on the standard of facilities

Q       What do I have to do to stay in the scheme?

You have to:

       keep your toilets available and clean;
       display signage in relation to the scheme.

Q       Who pays for any extra running costs?

You do, with the money we give you

Q       I run and licensed premises. Will letting children in to use my
        Facility affect this?

No. Children can enter the bar areas to get to your toilets, as long as they
don’t stay.

Q       How many people can I expect to use my facilities?

It is impossible to say although the more participants in the scheme, as well
as readily available public conveniences, the demand would be widespread.

Q       Am I expected to let trouble makers in to use my toilets?

Although your toilets should be made publicly available, you are entitled to
expect the same standard of behaviour as you would from any other

Q       How will the scheme affect my insurance

We strongly recommend that you advise your insurers that you are entering
the scheme. The advice we have from the insurance industry is that there is
no reason why you should be prevented from entering the scheme. If your
insurance company do want to increase your premium, we are happy to
discuss this with you.

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Q       How to get out of the partnership?

Although you may sign up to the partnership for three years, you can withdraw
at any time by giving two months written notice.

For more information contact

Ian Anderson
Strategic Asset Management
Assets, Property and Facilities Management

Telephone: 01786 442890

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                                                                             Appendix B

                               Advance Signage

                                 Any Place

                                 Any Town

                    Comfort Partnership
                      Scheme Partner

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                               Premises Signage

                                 Any Place

                                 Any Town

                    Comfort Partnership
                      Scheme Partner

 You are welcome to come in and use
   our toilet facilities free of charge,
 during normal opening hours, whether
       or not you are a customer.

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                                                                              Appendix C

                           Comfort Partnership Scheme
                                      (DRAFT ONLY)

                                                          MINUTE OF AGREEMENT


                                                        THE      STIRLING     COUNCIL,
                                                        constituted under the Local
                                                        Government etc (Scotland) Act
                                                        1994 and having its principal
                                                        office at Viewforth, Stirling
                                                        (hereinafter referred to as "the


                                                        (hereinafter referred to as “the
                                                        Service Provider”)

CONSIDERING THAT the Service Provider has agreed to make the Facility at
the Building available to members of the public, FURTHER CONSIDERING
that the Council has agreed to pay the Annual Payment to the Service
Provider for doing so THEREFORE the parties have agreed and do agree as

1.    Definitions

      “the Annual Sum” means the sum of                                  POUNDS (£     )

      “the Building” means [jnsert address of property]

      “the Toilets” means the toilet facilities consisting of [complete details of
      facilities available eg male cubicle, female cubicle, baby changing area,
      toilets accessible by disabled] located within the Building.

2.    The Service Provider’s Obligations

      2.1 The Service Provider shall ensure that the Building is open and the
          Toilets are available to members of the public between the hours of
          [[   ] [ ] Monday to Saturday and [      ] and [   ] on Sunday].

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      2.2 The Service Provider shall ensure that the Toilets are maintained in
          a safe, clean and hygienic condition with clutter free access and
          are adequately provided with bins and sanitary bins, toilet rolls,
          soap and hand dryers and/or hand towels.

      2.3 The Service Provider shall ensure that adequate signage is
          provided within the Building and on the entrance doors to the
          Toilets to indicate the location of the Toilets.

      2.4 The Service Provider shall be responsible for ensuring that the
          Building and the Toilets comply with all applicable statutes and that
          all necessary consents for the use of the Toilets by the public have
          been obtained.

      2.5 The Service Provider shall be solely responsible for the repair and
          maintenance of the Building, both interior and exterior, and for the
          repair, maintenance and decoration of the Toilets.

      2.6 The Service Provider shall be solely responsible for payment of all
          rates, electricity and water and sewerage charges in connection
          with the Toilets.

      2.7 The Service Provider shall keep the Building, including the Toilets,
          insured against loss or damage by fire and such other risks,
          including insurance for accidental bodily injury or damage to the
          property of third parties (Public Liability Insurance) and Occupier’s
          Liability Insurance.

      2.8 The Service Provider shall indemnify and keep indemnified the
          Council from all liability in respect of any injury to, or the death of
          any person, damage of any property, heritable or moveable, any
          interdict or court action or otherwise, by reason of, or arising
          directly or indirectly out of the use of the Toilets by the public, or
          from any failure or omission by the Service Provider in the
          implementation and observance of the obligations contained in this
          Agreement and from all proceedings, costs, claims and demands,
          of whatever nature in respect of such liability or alleged liability.

      2.9 The Service Provider shall ensure that access is given to the
          Council to allow it to fulfil its inspection obligations under Clause

      2.10 The Service Provider shall give the Council the name and contact
           details (including a telephone number) of a person with whom the
           Council can liaise on any matters arising from this Agreement.

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3.    The Council’s Obligations

     3.1    The Council will pay the Annual Sum to the Service Provider by
            way of two equal instalments on the First days of [ ] and [        ].
            It is agreed that the Annual Payment shall cover the Council’s
            contribution towards the cost of making the Toilets available to
            members of the public including the costs of routine cleaning,
            ongoing maintenance of the Toilets, consumables used within the
            Toilets and any additional costs incurred by the Service Provider in
            terms of Clauses 2.5 and 2.6.

     3.2    The Council shall ensure that adequate direction signs are erected
            within the town or village where the Building is situated and shall
            provide a sign for the entrance to the Building. The signs shall
            indicate the location of the Building and the fact that the Toilets are
            available to the public.

     3.3    The Council shall carry out periodic inspections to ensure that the
            Toilets are being maintained and cleaned to a satisfactory standard
            and shall provide feedback to the Service Provider, if asked.

     3.4    The Council shall give the Service Provider the name of an officer
            who will liaise with the Service Provider on any matters arising from
            this agreement.

4.    Termination

      If the Service Provider breaches any of the obligations in this
      Agreement, the Council shall notify the Service Provider in writing,
      specifying the nature of the breach and a reasonable period within which
      the breach must be remedied. If the Service Provider does not remedy
      the breach within that period, the Council shall be entitled to terminate
      this Agreement immediately upon the expiry of the period without the
      need for any further notice.

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5.    Duration

      Subject to Clause 4 above, this Agreement shall subsist for a period of
      three years from the [     ] to [ ] unless earlier terminated by either
      party giving two months notice in writing to the other party.

Date:…………………………………..…                             Place:…………………………………

……………………………………………                                 ………………………………………
Signature of Witness                              Signed on behalf of Stirling Council

……………………………………………                                 Name:………..………………………
Full Name (including Middle Names)
of Witness


Address of Witness

Date:…………………………………….                            Place:……………………….…………

……………………………………….…                               …………………………………………
Signature of Witness                            Signed for and on behalf of Service

…………………………………………                                Name:……..……………………………
Full Name (including Middle Names)
of Witness


Address of Witness

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