The Bathroom Manufacturers Association (BMA) chaired a roundtable discussion on the provision of public toilets and what needs to change across the UK. With the public making more use of the great outdoors during the pandemic, focus on public spaces and amenities has never been greater, but at the same time, the pressures on council budgets continue to mount, and more than 700 public toilets have been closed across the country in the last decade. They have been seen as an expensive provision, which local authorities are not legally required to have, leaving them vulnerable to cuts.
The panel comprised: Richard Braid, MD of Cistermiser & Keraflo; Tom Riley, co-founder of Lockdown Loo; Karen Hoe, development manager for Changing Places; Ian Tomlinson, commercial director at Closomat; Raymond Martin, MD of The British Toilet Association Ltd; and Tony Rheinburg, marketing manager at Armitage Shanks. It was chaired by BMA chief executive, Tom Reynolds, pictured.
Richard Braid said: “Public toilets have a real impact on our local communities and our local economies. We know, even prior to coronavirus, the high street was under huge pressure. If public washrooms aren’t open that is a real restrictor for people.”
Tom Reynolds, said: “This is a health and wellbeing issue and coronavirus has shone a light on something that has been problematic for years. The panel reached a consensus, we all aspire to have a consistent approach nationally, making the provision of public toilets compulsory.
“At the moment there is a lack of consistency. The panel discussed how some public toilets have no disabled access or baby changing provision, and some areas are black spots with no toilets at all. This requires government action, we need ownership over what has become a bit of a national embarrassment.”
The panel discussion is being shared in a series of video clips on social media to raise the profile of the issue and call for a consistent national approach.
To watch the first in the series, click below: