|Campaign for bog-standard services targets MPs
hoping to take their seats
Published on 15-Apr-2005 URL: http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=9771
As the general election gets underway and candidates fight to defend
their seats, an urgent campaign has begun to ensure the public can
The British Toilet Association (BTA)
has launched its campaign for more and better public toilet provision
throughout the UK and is appealing to all candidates to consider the
impact of poor toilet provision on constituency voting patterns.
increasing number of cost-cutting public convenience closures and the
outgoing Government's unwillingness to make public toilets a statutory
public service, both residents and visitors are feeling increasingly
isolated when it comes to satisfying their daily toileting needs away
from home," said BTA Director Richard Chisnell.
The BTA feel this is more than just a flush-in-the-pan
issue and says it could
cause a big splash when choosing who to vote for. It claims
Shepway District Council, which includes Michael Howard's constituency
of Folkestone, swung to the Tories after the Lib Dem Council closed all
of its public toilets in response to last year's Council Tax capping
At present, UK
local authorities are under no legal obligation to provide any public
toilets - only at their discretion. Similarly, cafes, shops, pubs
and restaurants are not required to provide customer toilets. The same
rule applies to transport operators, meaning there are very few
conveniences on the London Underground.
Already, says Chisnell, the strain is beginning to
show: "Market forces seem to be the preferred regulator, but, with
a shrinking local authority discretionary public toilet service and
continued reluctance on the part of many commercial loo providers to
allow public use of their toilets, Britain's reputation as a nice place
to visit is under some significant self-inflicted threat."
The BTA is
urging everyone to vote for candidates who would support a statutory
obligation on all public service providers to provide a properly
regulated public toilet service, with
minimum standards of provision for all users.
It hopes this will help Britain move away from being
seen no-go area and enhance our reputation for extremely high
By David Hopkins
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