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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 14 October 2011 11:00 AM

Wales' network of public toilets could disappear for good unless the Welsh Government and local authorities take action to save them.

That’s the warning today from Age Cymru.

The charity is calling for a change in the law so that local authorities have to provide public toilets.  

Our Campaigns Co-ordinator Rhea Stevens says:

“With local authorities across the country facing ever-tightening budgets, public toilets seem to be in the firing line when the axe falls and savings have to be made.

“Recent reports that Anglesey and Powys county councils are closing public toilets to save money confirm that this is happening.

“While we sympathise with local authorities as they struggle to make their budgets go that bit further, the buck has to stop somewhere, or Wales’ public toilet network as we know it will disappear for good.

“This is why we’re Welsh Government must place a statutory duty on local authorities to provide clean and accessible public toilets where they are needed.”

Age Cymru’s report of the findings of an audit of communities across Wales carried out using the charity’s Community Calculator tool revealed:

• Across Wales, the average score given to public toilets was 3 out of 10 (poor).

• Across Wales, 54.9per cent of respondents gave their local toilets a rating of 3 out of 10 or below (poor).

• Key issues identified by the report included the lack of public toilet facilities, limited opening hours and overall accessibility problems, cleanliness and hygiene.

Rhea Stevens says:

“Public toilets are a lifeline for older people and they ensure people retain their dignity and confidence to participate in community life.

“Age Cymru feels strongly the long term survival of Wales’ network of public toilets must be secured - 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. 

She concludes:

“The Welsh Government and local authorities must continue to work together to protect public toilets for the benefit of communities across Wales.”

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444