Posted: Wed 12th Jul 2023

Flushed with ideas: Senior Councillors to discuss Flintshire’s ‘Local Toilet Strategy’

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jul 12th, 2023

Improved facilities for baby changing and for those with disabilities will be discussed when senior councillors review Flintshire’s Local Toilet Strategy and action plan at a meeting next week.

Under legislation, local authorities are required to take a ‘strategic approach’ to providing toilet facilities. They must assess local needs and evaluate both the frequency of use and the quality of existing sites.

The legislation neither compels councils to directly provide and maintain public toilets, nor requires additional dedicated facilities.

It does, however, necessitate a comprehensive view of how these facilities can be provided and accessed but there is no allocation of funding for additional provisions.

Since 2012, Flintshire County Council has conducted two separate reviews of toilet provision across the county.

These reviews revealed that isolated facilities regularly attract antisocial behaviour, which discourages use. In response, the council closed most standalone public toilets across the county.

Instead, the council has adopted a more ‘enabling approach’, promoting the use of existing toilets in Council buildings, such as libraries and Connects Centres. These locations inspire more confidence and comfort in their users.

Flintshire’s revised Local Toilet Strategy, shaped by public input, centres on enhancing the quality of facilities over the next 4-5 years. This includes improving facilities for baby changing and for individuals with disabilities.

The strategy also aims to increase public toilet availability and improve access for all.

Exploration of funding alternatives, private sector partnerships, and the potential use of toilets in other Council-owned buildings is also part of the strategy.

Councillor Dave Hughes, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Regional Transport Strategy, discussed the upcoming 12-week formal consultation on the revised Local Toilet Strategy.

“I would like to extend thanks to those who recently completed a questionnaire on the current facilities in Holywell, Mold, and Talacre,” he expressed.

“The feedback received has provided us with a valuable insight into the issues experienced by residents and visitors to Flintshire.”

Cabinet Members will review Flintshire’s Local Toilet Strategy and action plan at a meeting on Tuesday, 18 July.

Following the Cabinet’s approval, the draft Local Toilet Strategy will be subjected to a statutory 12-week consultation period.

This will give Flintshire’s residents an opportunity to contribute to the proposed changes.

Pictured above – Connah’s Quay public toilets which were removed in 2014 due to issues involving drug users.

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