Public toilet access important for public health, says AM

Speaking in the Senedd, the Labour AM for the Vale of Clwyd, Ann Jones raised the importance of the availability of public toilets in communities and has asked the Health Minister to bear it in mind when developing proposals for the upcoming Public Health Bill.

Ms Jones said: “The provision of public toilets is important for people’s health, dignity and quality of people’s lives. This is especially true for women and older people.

“While local authorities are under significant financial pressures, public toilets are a necessity for people across Wales and it is important that we ensure that these vital services remain open and ready for use.

“In 2011, I was pleased to support the P is for People, which raised that older people could feel like prisoners in their own home if they knew that they could not access public toilets. The campaign said that public toilets were a lifeline and I support that view”.

In response, the Health Minister, Mark Drakeford confirmed that the Welsh Labour Government would bring forward proposals to make sure that there is adequate provision of public toilets in Wales.

The Government is currently consulting on the proposed Bill. The consultation will end on 24 June 2014 and is seeking opinions on:

• The introduction of a National tobacco retailers’ register
• Restricting use of electronic cigarettes in enclosed public places
• Smoke-free open spaces and new regulations for internet sales of tobacco
• Introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol