- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Campaigners fighting to save Wales’ public toilet network have taken their fight to the Welsh Assembly.
The Welsh Senate for Older People’s ‘P is for People’ campaign is calling on the Welsh Government and local authorities to work together to keep public toilets open.
Activists from the mid and west Wales region, including Newport residents Ken and Gaynor Davies, who are members of a Pembrokeshire group for people aged 50 plus and activists from the Tregaron area, were among more than 100 older people who rallied on the steps of the Senedd on Wednesday (16 November) before meeting local Assembly Member Joyce Watson to urge her to support the campaign.
Welsh Senate for Older People representative Phyllis Preece said: “We want our campaign to send a clear message that the public toilet network around Wales must be saved.
“Public toilets are a lifeline, especially for older people, pregnant women and parents with young children, yet they seem to be disappearing at a rate of knots from our communities.
“Unless there is action from the Welsh Government to make it law that local authorities must provide public toilets, we worry that public toilets will become a thing of the past.”
Joyce Watson said: “The ‘P is for People’ campaign demonstrates the strength of feeling that there is about keeping public toilets open.
“It cannot be acceptable that an older person, or parents with young children, might be apprehensive about leaving the house to go into town because there are no public toilets where they live.”
There is currently no statutory duty on local authorities to provide public toilets in Wales and the Welsh Senate of Older People thinks this is wrong and needs to be addressed.
Mrs Watson is a member of the Assembly’s Petitions Committee that recently received a petition, signed by 430 people, calling for an investigation into the impact of public toilet closures in Wales and urging the Welsh Government to issue guidance to local authorities to ensure adequate public toilet provision.
The British Toilet Association estimates that the UK’s public toilets have declined by over 40% in the last decade.
For more information about the campaign, please contact Iwan Rhys Roberts, Communications Officer – Age Cymru, on 029 2043 1562, 07739 894 923, [email protected]
For more information about Joyce Watson’s work contact her office on 02920 898972 or on www.joycewatson.co.uk.