THE group campaigning for a Changing Places toilet in Llanelli recently had a very constructive meeting with Carmarthenshire County Council’s Director of Community Services, Jake Morgan.
Changing Places toilets, which are spacious disabled toilets equipped with a hoist and changing bench, are vital for many people with complex disabilities or health conditions. Nia Griffith MP is working with a group of activists to campaign for more of these toilets locally.
Claire Melville, Chair of the campaign group, explained, “We are very pleased to hear from Jake Morgan that there is good support from the County Council for installing Changing Places toilets.
“Mr Morgan also told us that there has been considerable progress in finding a suitable place for the toilets – ideally we need a site that can have long opening hours and be protected against vandalism. This meeting was a positive step, but there is still details to work out and budgeting to be done.”
Mr Morgan said, “It was a very positive meeting, standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability and we all agreed how important it was to make sure we can offer provision for people who often need extra equipment, space and the help of others to allow them to use a toilet safely and comfortably.
“The next step is to identify funding and find a suitable location for the Changing Places toilet within the town centre.”
Nia Griffith MP added, “In the campaign group, we have people who have direct experience of needing Changing Places toilets and have a lot to contribute.
“It was great to hear one of the local campaigners Josh Rosenthal speak about his experience at this year’s Llanelli Pride. He made a powerful case for why these fully accessible toilets are vital for ensuring everyone can access places and activities that so many of us take for granted.
“So we also very much welcome the invitation from Mr Jake Morgan to work together to develop a comprehensive strategy plan for more widespread provision of these facilities in the County.”
The council’s disability ambassador Cllr Jane Tremlett commented, “The majority of people who use public toilets do not give it a second thought, but for some disabled people it is a real issue and often they will not take part in activities because standard accessible toilets do not meet their needs – or the needs of their carers and families. This is totally unacceptable.
“I am delighted that the council has agreed to look at Changing Places toilet provision in the county, starting in Llanelli. We recently installed a fully equipped Changing Places changing and shower room at Pembrey Country Park along with a number of cycles for all abilities. This is a huge step in the right direction.”