“Comfort scheme” set to continue as BCBC publishes draft public toilet strategy

Under a law passed by the Senedd in 2017 – the Public Health Act – all councils in Wales need to publish a draft public toilet strategy by May 31st 2019. At this week’s BCBC Cabinet meeting, councillors will discuss Bridgend’s draft strategy (pdf).

While a number of BCBC-maintained public toilets in Bridgend county have either closed, been demolished (in the case of public urinals) or been transferred to town & community councils under the Community Asset Transfer programme, the report says “this doesn’t mean there are no available toilets” in the county.

Under the council’s “comfort scheme,” businesses make their toilets available to the public and are awarded up to £500 a year in grants to maintain them. The amount of money they get depends on the quality of the facilities, which are given a score of between 0-50 based on indicators such as: disabled access, baby changing facilities, overall cleanliness and upkeep (soap, toilet paper etc.), opening hours and location.

Businesses scoring less than 30 don’t receive anything, while to receive the full £500 grant a business has to score at least 45 points.

The strategy lists 28 locations where toilets are made available to the public, though very few of them are private businesses – most are leisure centres and swimming pools run by Halo and Awen.

22 sites offer baby changing facilities. However, only 12 have disabled toilets and only two locations offer gender-segregated disabled toilets – the Civic Offices in Bridgend and Bryngarw Park. Also, only six locations offer adult changing places facilities.

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