Archive for the ‘Disability Discrimination Act’ Tag

No Where To Go

The centre of our local town is being modernised, the bulldozers have demolished the raised beds and ripped up the paving slabs. In the corner of the market square were some public toilets which were closed many years ago as they were not accessible for disabled people. This meant the able bodied and disabled have to walk more than 500 yards to the nearest loos not quite the thing you want to do when you need to go. I’m all for non-discrimination but helping the minority should not involve disadvantaging the majority. From all I can gather the refurbishment of the square will not see the reintroduction of the loos.

The Victorians were into toilets in a big way; they understood the needs of the public and provided hundreds of facilities in towns and cities across the country. However, since the 1960s local authorities have closed public conveniences at an increasing rate. The problem has become so great that the Communities and Local Government Committee issued a detailed report in October 2008 recommending a whole range of actions for the Government and Local Authorities to ensure the situation improved. Unfortunately many of the more important recommendations have been rejected. It seems the need to pee has not been recognised by the Government.

Fortunately one recommendation that has received Government support is that ‘No local authority should use the Disability Discrimination Act as an excuse to close down public toilets for general use’. Let’s hope our Local Authority heeds the Governments recommendation and reopens the facilities, I’m not sure I can hold on much longer.

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