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Public toilet consultation to begin

 
Created on 08/01/2019 @ 09:54
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

Spending a penny is becoming more difficult as public loos are being closed and for those that are open, it usually costs at least 20p.

Powys County Council (PCC) is holding a three-month consultation, starting on Monday, January 14, before finalising their Local Toilet Strategy.

The decision to start the consultation was approved by portfolio holder for Economy and Planning, Cllr Martin Weale, and portfolio holder for Highways, Recycling and Assets, Cllr Phyl Davies, under delegated powers.

In the autumn of 2018 an online survey on toilets was held which received 127 responses. A series of focus group meetings were also held in October and November. They felt that toilets needed to be promoted within town centres.

They also believed that “good quality publicly accessible toilets are important to the visitor economy in Powys”.

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

In recent years a total of 56 public conveniences have been transferred to other organisations. Although the Public Health Act, 1936, gives local authorities powers to provide toilets, the provision of public conveniences is not a statutory duty.

Powys County Council says that giving the toilets away to other organisations was to save money and The British Toilet Association (BTA) estimates that 40% of the UK’s toilets have closed in the last 10 years.

The draft strategy is an expectation from the Welsh Government Public Health Wales Act which came into force on May 2018. It expects each county council in Wales to prepare and publish a local toilets strategy.

Local authorities in Wales are responsible for:

·      Assessing the need for toilet provision for their communities

·      Plan to meet those needs

·      Produce a local toilets strategy

·      Review the strategy, update and publicise revisions

It is expected that The Welsh Government will collect all the information and produce a digital map and app so that people can find out where the nearest public toilets are at the touch of a button.

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

It needs to be approved by the council and then is expected to come into force by June 2019.

To take part in the consultation, visit www.powys.gov.uk/haveyoursay, or you could email consultation@powys.gov.uk.

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