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Toilet strategy report identified no public baby changing facilities

 
Created on 15/04/2019 @ 16:33
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There are no public baby changing facilities in Newtown and not enough publicly accessible toilets in Powys when an extra 4.6 million visitors to the county are taken into consideration.

The observation comes from a study and consultation into the provision of loos throughout the county.

The Local Toilet Strategy three month consultation held by Powys County Council comes to an end on 22 April.

Part 8 of the Public Health Wales Act,  which came into force in May 2018  expects each county council in Wales to prepare and publish a local toilets strategy for its area.

The Economy, Residents, Communities and Governance Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday will listen to a report by Dr Greg Thomas, Events/Civil Contingencies project officer on the Toilets Strategy.

Dr Thomas criticises how toilet need is calculated by pointing out that Powys attracts 4.6 million visitors a year especially during the summer months.

Dr Thomas said: “The relevant population in an area when calculating toilet need should include commuters, tourists, visitors, as well as residents, however this data as a whole is unavailable for Powys.”

On the research the study has found, Dr Thomas, added: “There are publicly accessible toilet facilities available throughout the county, with at least one facility in each of the main towns.

“Taking the BTA (British Toilet Association) recommendations there is a sufficient number of standard accessible toilets available within each locality of Powys.”

“Although towns are well catered for, a clear gap in publicly accessible toilet provision, can be seen in more rural areas, and along the vast road network in Powys.”

Dr Thomas said that the research found:  “A lack of baby changing facilities in Powys with no such facilities being found in the Welshpool, Montgomery, Newtown, Hay and Talgarth, Llanidloes or Machynlleth.

“Furthermore, in Llanfair Caereinion and Ystradgynlais, baby changing facilities are only available within female toilets.”

Dr Thomas added: “Users don’t mind paying should the facility be well maintained, however due to people often not carrying the correct change, it has been suggested that a donation box might be a more suitable way of collecting payment.”

Dr Thomas concludes by adding: “It is evident that provision of publicly accessible toilets is a significant concern for both residents and visitors for Powys.”

PCC currently owns and maintains only two public conveniences in the whole county. These are at the Brecon and Ystradgynlais Transport Interchanges.

In recent years a total of 56 public conveniences have been transferred to other organisations.

The strategy needs to come in to force in June 2019 and the data will be given to Welsh Government who to be put online.

Feedback from 127 people who have taken part in the consultation so far is:

78 per-cent of respondents hadn’t paid to use a public toilet.
22 per-cent were charged
54 per-cent of people found it difficult to find a toilet when visiting another town
72 per-cent feel more commercial outlets should offer customer toilets
81  per-cent would use a mobile app to find a toilet
Categories: Leisure Social care Environmental health

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

 

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