The Provision of Public Toilets

The Provision of Public Toilets

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Public toilets matter to everybody, regardless of their age, class, ethnic origin, gender, mental ability or physical ability, and they are even more important to certain sections of society, including older people, disabled people, women, families with young children and tourists. While the Public Health Act 1936 gives local authorities a power to provide public toilets, it imposes no duty to do so, and this lack of compulsion, together with a perception of nuisance associated with them, has arguably resulted in a steady decline in the provision of public toilets in recent years. This decline needs to be addressed. The Committee supports the Government's Strategic Guide on the provision of public toilets, qImproving Public Access to Better Quality Toiletsq (2008), which highlighted existing powers at the disposal of local authorities that can be used to improve public access to toilets. Some local authorities have developed strategies for the provision of clean, safe, accessible toilets, including partnerships with local businesses (such as pubs, cafes and shops) that make their own toilets available to non-customers. Other local authorities are less committed, which has led to great disparities between different towns and regions. Some local authorities may have used the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 as an excuse to close public toilets, rather than bring them up to the standards required by the Act. This report seeks to consider the evidence and to produce simple and practical recommendations to improve this important social amenity. The 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, for their own area.For 25p, visitors can text aquot;toiletaquot; from their mobile phone to 80097 and will receive information about their nearest public toilet and opening hours. ... This example also highlights the problem of each local authority having its own ways of dealing with public toilets: the ... 28 Text message (personal research) 02/07/2008.

Title:The Provision of Public Toilets
Author: House of Commons Communities and Local G
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2008-10-22

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