Author: Age Cymru
Published on 02 August 2011 01:00 PM
Responding to reports that Carmarthenshire County Council is offering town and community councils incentives to take over some of the county’s public toilets, Age Cymru’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Graeme Francis says:
“Public toilets are a lifeline for older people, giving them dignity and the independence to live their lives to the full - yet they are often first in line when local authorities seek to make cutbacks.
“Age Cymru understands that the move towards trying to relinquish responsibility for providing public toilets in Carmarthenshire from the County Council to town and community councils is part of a cost-cutting exercise, which is driven by the current economic climate.
“While we do sympathise with the council as it tries to cope with challenging financial conditions, we do feel that this is a clear example of public toilets as a discretionary service being marginalised.
“Town and community councils often have extremely small budgets and we are concerned that once the initial grant money is exhausted this policy could eventually lead to the closure of more public toilets across Carmarthenshire.
“Age Cymru feels strongly the long term survival of Wales’ network of public toilets must be secured and that the buck has to stop somewhere - this is why we are supporting the Welsh Senate of Older People’s P is for People campaign for a statutory duty to be placed on local authorities to provide clean and accessible public toilets where they are needed.
“The Welsh Government and local authorities must continue to work together to protect public toilets for the benefit of communities across Wales.”