Wales politics

Councils expected to make more public toilets available

Toilet cubicles Image copyright Thinkstock

Every local council in Wales should begin efforts to make more public toilets available, Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has said.

More than a 100 public loos have closed in recent years, according to BBC Wales research.

Mr Gething said a lack of public toilets can discourage some people from visiting parts of the community.

Under the Public Health (Wales) Act councils have 12 months to access local needs and put a strategy in place.

This includes considering the needs of people with disabilities and to provide changing facilities for babies.

Local authorities are being encouraged to consider ways of ensuring toilets in public buildings are used by more of the public and talking to private businesses about making their loos available.

Mr Gething said: "While we would all benefit from greater public access to toilet facilities, there are certain groups for whom a lack of public toilets can cause distress, eventually discouraging them from visiting parts of the community.

"I understand the pressures on local authority services, but as well as isolating members of the community, poor provision can impact on tourism, the economy and use of public amenities.

"Through long-term planning and creative thinking we can improve people's experiences when they are out and about in their communities."

Ministers said councils would receive statutory guidance on the matter in the coming weeks.

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