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Toilet strategy consultation to begin next week

Created on 07/01/2019 @ 10:36
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A range of suggestions on improving access to public toilets in Newtown and throughout Powys are to be highlighted in a Local Toilet Strategy consultation.

Toilets in Powys County Council buildings, the use of private businesses toilets and other ideas are being published in the draft strategy to improve access to toilets in communities.

Last year the council held a consultation on public toilet provision that has led to the draft Local Toilet Strategy.

It will be opened to consultation on 14 January, ending on 14 April.

"After the consultation, Powys County Council will consider all the comments received and amend the strategy as appropriate.

"It will be approved by the Council and then implemented in June 2019. Data of existing toilet provision will be provided to Welsh Government," states the draft strategy.

The document highlights problems that the public have in accessing public toilets, as well as  setting out solutions.

Powys County Council only operates two public toilets, others are now run by local town and community councils, such as those in the Back Lane and Gravel car parks in Newtown that are run by the town council.

Issues raised in last year's consultation in the county highlighted lack of toilet paper, accessibility, and cleanliness as issues.

"The provision of public conveniences provides infrastructure necessary to facilitate the enjoyment of Powys by visitors; they can make a significant impact upon the comfort of individuals and families who visit public spaces in Powys and their perception of the county as a desirable place to visit," states the draft strategy.

"Wherever people live or visit, they expect to find good quality public toilets; and for some it is fundamental to their health and comfort.
Public toilets are also an important factor in delivering an open and inclusive environment, encouraging people to socialise, take exercise, and to be more physically active, as well as spend time in our town centres.

"Toilets for public use are an important issue for everybody when they are away from home. However, their provision is even more important for certain members of society, including older people, people with disabilities, people with particular medical needs, and families with young children.

"Poor toilet provision can mean some are reluctant to leave their homes, which can contribute to social isolation, inactivity, and people’s ability to maintain their own independence.

"The purpose of the Powys Local Toilet Strategy is to review and assess toilet provision across Powys, by place, and by type. As a result of undertaking a population assessment, stakeholder engagement, and involvement, this document identifies gaps in toilet provision in Powys, before developing a strategy with actions/steps to address any identified issues/gaps with provision.

It adds: "The aim of this strategy is to meet the needs of residents and visitors to Powys by reviewing and accounting for the number of publicly accessible toilets in Powys, and to facilitate the provision of clean, safe, accessible, and sustainable toilets for residents and visitors where the need for such facilities has been identified. Broadly the strategy seeks to achieve:

An identification of the provision of public toilets in Powys;

A consideration of the needs of the general population, and particular user groups for toilet facilities in Powys;

A unified holistic countywide approach for the provision of publicly accessible toilets implemented and supported corporately;

Provision of publicly accessible toilets within council owned/run buildings;

Develop a partnership approach with the private sector to ensure equity of publicly accessible toilets throughout the county;

Greater use of technology leading to an increased awareness of the location of publicly accessible toilets in Powys;

Set out the steps which Powys County Council proposes to take in order to meet the need for publicly accessible toilets in Powys."

Among the proposals within the stagey document are to open up county council office toilets to the public; improve awareness and signposting to public conveniences in the communities; encourage businesses to provide public toilet facilities; and develop commercial partnerships with businesses.

The stagey will be discussed at a meeting of the county council's Highways, Recycling and Assets Committee on Thursday.


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