Call for councils to provide more public toilets

PUBLISHED: 15:44 22 October 2008 | UPDATED: 22:30 15 June 2010

Local authorities should no longer carry on at their own convenience when it comes to the provision of public toilets – that the view of a new report, which calls on councils to reverse the decline of loos.

Local Authorities should no longer carry on at their own convenience when it

comes to the provision of public toilets - that the view of a new report, which calls on councils to reverse the decline of loos.

The Community and Local Government Select Committee report says public toilets have been reduced by as much as 40 per cent in the last eight years.

The committee recommends that councils develop a public toilet strategy

for their area, in consultation with the local community, to ensure that more

toilets are available to the public.

Although many of the British toilet Association's local authority members provide clean, hygienic and safe toilets, many have failed to provide adequate facilities and have closed public toilets leaving the public with

'nowhere to go'.

Dr. Phyllis Starkey MP, chairman of the committee, said: "Our over-riding recommendation is that the Government imposes a duty on local authorities to develop a public toilet strategy, which should involve

consultation with the local community. This will go a long way towards achieving the right of people who live in and visit this country to have accessible and clean public toilets, wherever they live, work or visit."

The British Toilet Association has been campaigning for better 'away from home

toilets' throughout the UK since 1999 and contributed to the Government's Strategic Guide -

Improving Public Access to Better Quality Toilets published on March 6.

It also gave written and oral evidence to the DCLG Select Committee which

published this new report.

Although falling short of the British Toilet Association's demands for the Government to place an

obligation on local authorities to provide adequate public toilet facilities, this report offers hope to all who need to use public toilets in England - males and females, families with babies and

young children and those with physical or mental disabilities who need accessible toilets with all of the facilities that they require..

The report also recommends that local authorities use their many existing powers

to ensure that more public toilets are available, either by using planning,

licensing and leasing powers, by running public toilets themselves, or by paying

local businesses, such as shops, cafes and pubs, to provide public access to

their loos.


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