Councillors Pressing for Wick Public Toilets to be Opened

Highland Council officials are coming under pressure to bring the Whitechapel Road toilets back into service – or, if that will take too long, to open up the Camps car park conveniences as a temporary measure.


“Regardless of tourists, it’s not acceptable that Wick as a town of 7500 people does not have an accessible public convenience,” Councillor Raymond Bremner told this week’s meeting of the Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council.

The Whitechapel Road toilets were closed early in 2020 after being targeted in a series of acts of vandalism. Councillor Bremner, who represents Wick and East Caithness on Highland Council, wants them to be renovated and reopened but is proposing the Camps toilets as an alternative in the meantime.

The issue was raised at Monday’s online meeting by community council chairperson Joanna Coghill.

She said: “This weekend in particular I saw lots of campervans and lots of tourists on the go. Some cafés are open but there are no public toilets, even for locals to go down the town.

“I can’t understand why the Camps toilets aren’t reopened. With the sheer volume of strangers that I saw in the town at the weekend, I’m just thinking ‘oh my God, we’re going to be like what we were last year’.

“Keiss has already had it hard with wild camping. This North Coast 500 has hit us wham-bam – there has not been any easy ride into it.

“We went to John O’Groats [on Sunday] and the car park was full. They are here, and I think it is going to be like this now until the end of summer.

“So I am really concerned about the lack of public toilets for people coming up here and for locals.”

Councillor Bremner said afterwards that he and Councillor Nicola Sinclair had met with Debbie Sutton, amenity services manager at Highland Council, to underline the need to get the Whitechapel Road toilets back into use.

“A number of action points were agreed,” he said. “I have agreed to enquire if the public toilets at the Camps area can be reopened as a temporary measure.

“I know there is a comfort scheme in the town at the Norseman Hotel, which is welcome, but I feel it doesn’t meet the expectations of our community. I stated at Highland Council’s recent tourism committee that it is ridiculous that a town the size of Wick with over 7000 inhabitants doesn’t have a public convenience.

“We have been looking at options but we need to realise that with the impact of increased tourism there needs to be some urgency in resolving this situation.”