Councillor urinated in street after closing public toilets

Jackie Burns recently oversaw the closure of a number of public toilets. Picture: John Devlin
Jackie Burns recently oversaw the closure of a number of public toilets. Picture: John Devlin
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A council chief involved in axing public toilets has been left “embarrassed” after he was caught urinating in the street by police.

South Lanarkshire Council’s deputy leader Jackie Burns was spotted in the act in Hamilton town centre and was issued a £40 fixed penalty notice by police.

And the incident, which happened on Saturday, came just months after the Labour councillor oversaw the closure of public toilets in his council area.

Cllr Burns has since apologised and said he had been “embarassed” his actions near the Hamilton Palace nightclub.

He said: “I was in a taxi rank at the Bottom Cross in Hamilton and needed the toilet.

“I went down a lane to relieve myself and was approached by police who gave me a £40 fine which I have duly paid.

“I am embarrassed by the incident and have apologised.”

In May, Burns told angry residents of his Larkhall ward that the Scottish Government’s spending cuts were to blame for toilet closures which he blamed on its financial resettlement.

He previously said: “Unfortunately, as part of the Scottish Government’s financial settlement, South Lanarkshire Council has had to cut £22 million from its budget, which has resulted in all public conveniences in the council closing.”

Mr Burns represents Larkhall and sits on a range of committees including social work, planning and education resources.

John Wilson, an MSP for Central Scotland, said he was disappointed by the councillor’s behaviour.

He said: “I am disappointed by this behaviour. He should consider his position as deputy leader.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “A 51-year-old man was issued with a fixed penalty ticket in relation to a minor act of anti-social behaviour within Hamilton town centre on Saturday 7 November.”

The local authority refused to comment.