A Labour councillor who oversaw the closure of his town's public toilets has been left "very embarrassed" after being caught peeing in the street.
Jackie Burns, who sits on South Lanarkshire council in Scotland, was caught by police urinating in Hamilton on Saturday after "a very enjoyable evening" and was slapped with a £40 fine.
"It's very embarrassing," he said. "I was in a taxi rank at the bottom cross after being at a function. It had been a very enjoyable evening. I got caught short and went down a lane at the bottom cross to relieve myself. I was noticed by the police and given a £40 fine."
The incident is particularly embarrassing for Burns, the deputy leader of South Lanarkshire council, as he was the councillor who announced the closure of local public toilets in May, blaming Scottish government cuts.
The councillor said at the time: "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."
An SNP councillor in South Lanarkshire said he enjoyed the "irony" of the incident, and said it proves the local area might need a few more public toilets.
"It's a very embarrassing situation, especially for someone in Jackie's position," said Peter Craig. "The community council have been trying to keep the public toilets open, especially for anyone with disabilities. This just goes to show that it's not only an embarrassing issue, but that we're in need of public toilets.
"I'm sure the community council will have a lot to say on the irony of this as Jackie has been fighting with them over the toilets as he says we don't need them – obviously there's not enough."
Jamie Ross is a Scotland reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Edinburgh.
Contact Jamie Ross at email@example.com.
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