Government consultation launched in England!
On Christmas Eve 2018 it was announced that the government would be consulting in 2019 about making Changing Places toilets a requirement for new, or majorly refurbished, large buildings used by the public in England.
We are delighted to say that the consultation officially launched on 12th May. The proposals have the potential to add Changing Places toilets to more than 150 new buildings per year across England, including shopping centres, supermarkets, cinemas, stadiums and arts venues.
You can take part in the consultation here. The deadline for responses is 11:45pm on 21 July 2019.
This is a really exciting moment for the campaign and a huge credit to years of dedicated work by Changing Places toilet campaigners who have tirelessly pushed for legislation change to increase the number of Changing Places toilets. Thank you to everyone who has made this consultation possible.
Speaking about the consultation, Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, said:
“Everyone should have the freedom to enjoy days out in dignity and comfort. For severely disabled people, this is made very difficult because there are not enough Changing Places toilets.
We’ve made some progress, but I’m determined to increase the number of these life-enhancing facilities, so people are given the dignity they deserve.
I’m pleased so many people will be helped by this major change.”
Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, said:
“People living with disabilities go to work, visit shops and enjoy days out with friends just like everyone else. But a lack of Changing Places toilets make these seemingly simple tasks a challenge. Too often, we hear stories of people not leaving their homes, having to be changed on dirty toilet floors or even having surgery because there are not enough facilities.
The government’s consultation on making Changing Places toilets mandatory in new, large public buildings is hugely encouraging. Along with our fantastic campaigners, we have long pushed for changes to legislation, and now we are one step closer to that being reality.
This is wonderful news for everyone who needs Changing Places toilets. We look forward to working with the government and campaigners in making society more inclusive.”
The government consultation will run for 10 weeks. It includes proposals around the required size and shape of Changing Places toilets, as well as the range of equipment that must be included.
It also proposes thresholds at which Changing Places toilets will be made mandatory in new or largely refurbished buildings of different types, such as overall floor space or attendance capacity.
This consultation would not be possible without years of dedicated support by campaigners who have consistently pushed for changes to Building Standards and regulations. Thank you from all of us at the Consortium for making this consultation possible. Now, we must work together to make sure these life-changing proposals become a reality so that more people are able to access Changing Places toilets when they need them.