Residents demand better access for people with disabilities and young families in Flintshire’s loo review
Hundreds of residents have responded to a council consultation on public toilets in Flintshire, with calls to make them more accessible to people with disabilities and young families.
In putting together its public toilet strategy for 2023-2027, earlier this year Flintshire Council canvassed the opinions of residents ahead of drafting the updated plan for its facilities.
It will look to raise the condition and standard of council toilets across the county over the next four to five years and will consult further before putting together an action plan to address some of the issues.
The authority runs three public toilet facilities across the county which are located at the bus station in Mold, off the High Street in Holywell and at Station Road in Talacre.
Due to tight finances, Flintshire is looking at making toilets in other council owned buildings available for public use and to work with the private sector to help promote their facilities.
A report on the draft strategy to the council’s cabinet highlighted that while in demand, public toilets can also become a magnet for anti-social behaviour such as drug taking and vandalism, causing significant damage.
The report highlights concerns and feedback in the responses outlined below:
The majority of respondents were not aware of the facilities in Holywell and Talacre.
A significant number of responses said that the locations were poorly advertised / signed on site.
A proportion of responses indicated that they did not feel safe when using the facilities.
A large majority said that the facilities were inadequate for people with disabilities.
Most of respondents said that there were inadequate changing facilities for babies and young children.
Significant support was received for the introduction of environmentally friendly features.
Last year repairs and maintenance due to damage caused by flooding and vandalism saw the council spend an extra £23,000 on top of the £89,000 it sets aside for public toilets in its annual budget.
There will now be a 12-week consultation before an action plan is put together.
Speaking at the cabinet meeting, chief officer for Streetscene Katie Wilby fed back the results of the consultation to councillors.
“We had 687 responses”, she said.
“As expected, some of the responses were what we anticipated. They viewed that some of the facilities weren’t conveniently located in the town centres, they’re not open at appropriate times.
“The majority of respondents weren’t aware of the facilities so obviously we need to do something around how we raise awareness of those facilities, and not knowing how to find them.
“The other main comment that came back was not enough free to use facilities across the county as well, so that’s something for us to address.
“And the adequacy for those with disabilities, babies and little children was raised as an issue as well.”
The council also had feedback about cleanliness and that some of the locations of the toilets didn’t feel safe to use as well, while the introduction of environmentally friendly features has support.
The cabinet acknowledged the results from the questionnaire and supported the proposed action plan.
When put to a vote, cabinet members also supported the draft revision of the local toilet strategy and action plan ahead of launching the 12-week consultation.
A list of other public toilets not run by the council is included in the draft strategy. These are;
Clwyd Riding Centre, Llanfynydd (Changing Place Facilities)
Buckley Town Centre Public Toilets
Cilcain, Village Community Centre
Caerwys, Drovers Lane
Connah’s Quay, Fron Road
Buckley Leisure Centre
Flint Leisure Centre
Mold Leisure Centre
Deeside Leisure Centre
Connah’s Quay Library
Shell Garage, A55
Daniel Owen Centre, Mold
Broughton Shopping Park
Flint Train Station
Queensferry, Daleside Garden Centre
Holywell Leisure Centre (Changing Place Facilities)
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).