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Public Lavatories: Disabled

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to encourage (a) local authorities and (b) commercial operators in charge of public places to install Changing Places toilets. (243200)

In March 2008 the Department published a Strategic Guide on Improving Access to Better Quality Toilets, which set out the range of powers and approaches that local authorities and their partners can use to improve public access to toilets for all people. This drew attention to the Changing Places campaign, and the importance of providing suitably equipped toilets for people with profound and multiple disabilities, and their carers.

CLG officials also contribute to the work of the British Standards Institute and have been involved in current work on updating British Standard BS8300 “Design of Buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people—Code of practice” to provide detailed technical guidance on the design of Changing Places facilities. The revised document is expected to be published in spring 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to implement the recommendations in the Communities and Local Government Committee’s Twelfth report of Session 2007-08, HC 636, on provision of public toilets that (a) local authorities make appropriate provision for disabled public toilets, taking the British Standard relating to the provision of disabled public toilets as their primary guideline and (b) her Department impose a duty on each local authority to develop a strategy on the provision of public toilets in their areas, including consultation with local communities and reviewed annually. (243205)

These issues will be covered in the Department’s formal response to the Committee’s report, which we aim to submit by 12 January 2009.