A COUNCIL toilet cleaner has warned 30p charging won't work - as 'everyone' is already buying disabled RADAR keys for free entry.

The claim was made by a local authority worker this week in light of Scottish Borders Council agreeing to bring in charges for 27 of its 41 public toilets.

Bosses at Newtown St Boswells estimate the automated charging scheme will raise over £200,000 each year to help balance budgets and also fund improvements to the facilities.

But this week the public convenience employee cast doubt over the calculations.

Speaking at this week's Selkirk Community Council, he said: "Nobody has thought this through or looked at the bigger picture.

"You can go on ebay and buy a disability key which gets you into all disability toilets for nothing.

"People are already doing it as the disabled toilets are usually better than the normal ones.

"Nobody has thought this through."

Despite opposition to the introduction of the 30p charge members of Scottish Borders Council voted the proposals through last week.

The employee added: "This isn't fair on people who work on the streets like binmen, postmen and street sweepers."

Three conveniences in Peebles - Kingsmeadows, Eastgate car park and School Brae - and the Hall Street toilets in Innerleithen will all have charging barriers fitted.

Also included in the plans are three conveniences in Galashiels, three in Hawick, two toilets in both Kelso and Jedburgh, and facilities at St Mary's Loch in the Yarrow Valley.

Scottish Borders Council officials confirmed that the free Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR) scheme will continue after the implementation of 30p charging.

The keys, which are sold by Disability Rights UK as well as local authorities, allow for 24-hour independent access to public conveniences.

But traders at online auction site, ebay, are flogging the devices for less than £2 without any proof of disability.

A spokesman for Scottish Borders Council said: "Anyone with a disability who requires a RADAR key to access public toilets should contact Scottish Borders Council’s Customer Services or visit the Disability Rights UK website.

"Both require proof of eligibility in order to receive a key.

"If RADAR keys being bought from other sources becomes a problem in the Scottish Borders once charging is brought in, there is an option to introduce an alternative card system."