Farron leads demand for better public toilets

by Stephen Tall on July 17, 2009

Now, here’s a challenge – write an entire article about public lavatories without recourse to toilet humour. Here goes, courtesy of the BBC write-up

Local authorities should have a “statutory duty” to provide public toilets, the government has been urged. Some 26 MPs have signed a House of Commons motion arguing that the closure of public lavatories in recent years has been damaging. … The MPs, led by the Lib Dem environment spokesman Tim Farron, are backing a campaign by the British Toilets Association (BTA) for better facilities.

Mr Farron said the fact councils were not compelled to provide toilets meant many areas – particularly in the countryside – faced a chronic lack of amenities. “It’s an issue for everybody – we all need to use the loo,” he said. “But in rural areas, where there are often large elderly populations and there aren’t any public toilets from one mile to the next, it’s particularly acute.”

Here’s the text of Tim’s EDM 176 (which seems to date from November 2006, albeit it’s on;y just being reported):

That this House believes that the provision of public lavatories is a vital public service and notes with regret the closure of public lavatories over recent years, including a quarter of those in South Lakeland; recognises that these closures have a particular impact on older and disabled people and those with young families; also notes the recent National Consumer Council survey of 2,000 adults, which branded the UK’s public lavatories a ‘national disgrace’; and calls upon the Government to make the provision of public lavatories a statutory duty for local authorities and to provide the necessary resources to enable them to do so.

Okay, phew, got to the end of the article with not even a single allusion to ‘going down the pan’, ‘papering over the cracks’, or ‘at our conveniece’. Truly I have matured from boy to man.