Public Conveniences

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2014 Water, Environment & Transport Service Group
6 February 2014

This Conference notes that in two years more than £10m has been cut from public spending on public conveniences in Britain, these cuts are posing potential risks to public health. In 2011/12 councils across England spent 13% less on maintaining and repairing public conveniences compared to the 2010/2011 financial year. Some councils are now spending more than £250,000 less on public conveniences and the biggest cuts are in London and the North West. Government cuts to council budgets have led to many closing facilities leaving many areas without public toilets.

These cuts to public conveniences are adversely affecting many workers, including transport workers, who spend their working day on the road. For these workers finding a toilet while on the move is a daily problem. The idea that these workers can just go into a shop or restaurant and ask to use the toilet is just not on. Some places are helpful – particularly to those workers in uniform, but many a time these workers are met with a sign saying ‘customers only’.

Conference calls on the Water, Environment and Transport Service Group Executive to work with the National Health and Safety Unit, NEC and (via the NEC) other trade unions with a view to calling for free, convenient and safe access to public conveniences for those that are mobile workers.