“Disgusting” public toilets in a Fife tourism hotspot have been branded a potential breeding ground for covid-19.
Visitors caught short on day trips to the East Neuk claim they have been left without toilet paper, soap or hand towels at the Fife Council-run block at Anstruther harbour.
Many have reported issues, including overflowing bins and a general lack of cleanliness in the busy village facilities.
Community leaders said they were appalled and embarrassed by the state of the toilets and questioned the impression day trippers and holiday-makers would be left with .
They have urged the local authority to take immediate action to make them safe and hygienic.
Fife Council has insisted it applies a virus-protection product weekly as well as cleaning the toilets three times a day, but Daryl Wilson, secretary of The Royal Burgh of Kilrenny, Anstruther and Cellardyke Community Council, said members had received several complaints.
“Our community has been inundated with tourists from all over the UK and many have taken to social media to vent their disgust at the public conveniences on offer,” she said.
“We have been visiting the toilets on a regular basis and monitoring the situation and were appalled to witness the lack of cleanliness, hygiene and sheer lack of guidance re covid-19.
“The level of scum and dirt in the ladies toilets has not happened overnight and is quite frankly disgusting.”
Daryl said Scottish Government covid-19 guidance required routine checks, enhanced cleaning and signage.
“The enhanced cleaning which should be taking place is evidently not,” she said.
“People are following advice and coming here for a staycation and we’re hugely embarrassed this is the level of hygiene they are being offered.
“I really fear with the number of visitors using these toilets from all over, if one had the virus then it would be a breeding ground for sure.”
The community council has complained to Fife Council with the backing of councillors Linda Holt and Bill Porteous.
Independent councillor Ms Holt said: “The council has been appallingly slow in dealing with this.
“The place is a public health hazard.”
Mr Porteous, Liberal Democrat councillor, added: “In normal times unclean public toilets are unacceptable but in the middle of a pandemic it is extraordinary.”
Fife Council’s senior facilities manager Tariq Ditta said: “Our normal routine of cleaning and preparing these toilets were not carried out on Friday due to staffing issues and I’d like to apologise for that.
“I can assure you that they were cleaned on Saturday.
“The cleaning routine of our public toilets consists of the application of a product which is applied weekly and gives seven-day protection against the virus.
“In addition to this, we clean with a powerful disinfectant at least three times a day -before opening, midday clean and before locking up.
“We are committed to providing a good service and we will continue to do planned inspection, cleaning and monitoring and will adjust our services to ensure the health and safety of users.”