Wee Gallery at the Heritage Point
The Heritage Point is situated in the main beach car park and accommodates the public toilets. As it is the only public facility in East Haven the charity has developed it to become a centre for information provision and also a small art gallery.
East Haven residents clean and manage the public toilets in a partnership with Angus Council. The need for clean toilet facilities to enable people to access the outdoors has never been greater. It is a basic necessity for everybody no matter what age or ability.
East Haven is a rural area with no other facilities so residents take great pride in the Wee Gallery at the Heritage Point.
Some of you may have seen the Wee Gallery featured on BBCs Landward. You can catch up on Episode 21 via this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m994
There is no electricity supply to the Heritage Point and therefore no lighting or hot water. The pipes are very vulnerable and freeze easily. As a result the toilets have to close over the winter months.
Closed 15th Nov 21
Twinned with a latrine in Pakistan
Clean and welcoming
The 'Wee Gallery' Artists
Member of the British Toilet Association
Public Toilets Managed by a Community
The idea of working in partnership with Angus Council to clean and maintain the public toilets in East Haven arose in late 2014/15 when the Council, faced with severe budget cuts had to consider the closure of public toilets across Angus. Residents were concerned that the toilets in our rural community might be closed at a time when the village was experiencing a significant increase in visitors. After considerable discussion and debate, East Haven Together embarked on a consultation exercise by way of letter to every household. The response from residents was mixed and varied. A few people expressed apprehension at the idea of a partnership but with the exception of one household everybody agreed that we should do whatever we could to keep the toilets open.
Other comments from residents were as follows:
Public toilets are an essential service and we all need them
The provision of public toilets should be integral to planning and tourism.
The provision of an accessible toilet network is a public health issue and there should be a national strategy to support it.
We need to support other national strategies that encourage outdoor pursuits aimed at improving health and well-being.
If the toilets are closed we will see a big increase in wild toileting.
We can't have a national cycle route pass through the village and no toilet facility.
The public toilets are the window on our community. A community that cares about its public toilets sends out a strong message about the type of community it is.
The survival of our public toilets will impact on people's quality of life.
As a result of the consultation, volunteers stepped forward and the toilets were deep cleaned and painted before being decorated with flowers and paintings.
The massive increase in people accessing the outdoors as a result of the pandemic in 2020 has brought the issue of public toilet provision into sharp focus. A decade of austerity has seen the network of public toilets across the UK decimated as Local Authorities cut services they do not have a legal duty to provide.
In countries such as New Zealand, free public toilets are available across towns, cities, rural settlements and even roadside viewing points. Given that the country is a similar size to the UK, it sets an example of what can be achieved to support health and well-being, tourism and local economies.
Maybe now is the time for the Scottish Government to reconsider the importance of public toilets in modern Scottish Society. Let’s be more like New Zealand and make it a legal duty to provide them and not just a discretionary power. Let's see a network of clean, well managed public toilets right across the country and encourage people to enjoy and respect our beautiful landscape and the wider environment.
We are very proud of our community and the 'Wee Gallery at the Heritage Point'.
Great People - Great Place