The Government have announced a fund for local authorities to increase the number of toilets which provide decent support for those who cannot use standard accessible toilets, and their carers. The fund of £30 million will be one that requires local authorities to take the initiative and ‘opt in’.
Currently there are only 6 toilets within Swindon that meet Changing Places standards, one of these is situated within the closed Oasis, suggesting our town will be down to 5 toilets once the pandemic comes to an end and we are able to re-enter public life. Changing places toilets are ‘larger accessible toilets, with equipment such as hoists, curtains and space for carers’ and over 250,000 people throughout the UK require these toilets as a minimum to comfortably exist beyond the confines of their homes.
Councillor Stan Pajak is calling on the council to opt in as soon as possible and begin the bid for some of the government’s £30million fund, speaking on this he says: “I was previously involved in a bid to increase the number of toilets in Swindon that were up to a high enough standard to be placed upon a council toilet map available to residents and visitors alike – this resulted in a working party which ultimately didn’t achieve it’s aims. I hope, now the government have given us the option to finally take key actions that will improve peoples lives the council will take the initiative and opt into the fund. There is always support for more public toilets and if we can create those that are more user friendly to people with mobility difficulties then that’s fantastic.”