I refer to the letter concerning the state of the Bayswell Road toilets (Courier, July 8).

Sadly, the writer is not the only person who has raised concerns in Dunbar. There are similar issues in other holiday towns like North Berwick.

Dunbar once won awards for its toilets. Tourists wrote to your publication to say how impressed they were by the facilities. The permanent toilet attendants took a pride in their loos.

Sadly, that is no longer the case. East Lothian made budget cuts and the permanent attendants were let go.

Instead, East Lothian Council (ELC) insisted it could provide an effective service with the use of peripatetic toilet staff. This was met with scepticism by communities.

At the peak of Covid, toilets were closed completely, leading to public excrement at popular tourist spots.

There has been some opening up. However, towns like Dunbar, which want to attract tourists, have minimal facilities.

The Shore Road toilets near the beach were closing at 6pm, leading to human waste issues in the area. After concerns were raised in the community, closing time is now 8pm, although the ELC website does not give that information.

Even more concerning is that only the disabled toilet cubicle is open at the Bayswell Road toilets, which is the only public toilet facility in the town centre. It still closes at 6pm. When it is open, there are long queues.

I have been unable to glean how often they are cleaned during the day but it is certainly not enough to keep on top of things, leading to the state of the facility as described by your correspondent.

Clean toilets are a public health matter.

Dunbar has seen a 'Toiletgate' before when a previous Labour administration placed two Superloos in Victoria Street. The cycle took so long to complete that coach trips of tourists could spend their visit to Dunbar in the toilet queue. Those toilets were eventually removed.

We now find that those with health needs who need access to the disabled toilet are having to queue along with everyone else. Some local residents have been able to dash home but it is not so easy for tourists.

I have asked ELC when toilet facilities will fully open again. I have been told by ELC officers that there are staff sickness issues and also vacancies for the peripatetic toilet attendants – both permanent and relief staff.

It is said that visitors should sanitise their hands when accessing the toilet but the bigger issue is the time gap between cleaning visits and the reduced availability of what is meant to be a designated disability facility

ELC want to promote local tourism, but it is sad that many visitors like those coming to see the widely promoted European Stone Stacking Championships should find that much of their visit was spent in a queue for the loo.

ELC cabinet need to consider their spending priorities. My husband is an academic who has produced internationally known textbooks on outdoor recreation. A number one must is clean and accessible toilet facilities for locals and visitors alike.

So come on ELC, take action to reduce the queues at the loos. Otherwise, the message from visitors will be – lovely coastline and scenery but avoid the toilets unless you are desperate.

Jacquie Bell