I have continued my support for the ‘Changing Places’ campaign. This campaign is calling on the UK Government to make urgent changes to building and planning regulations to ensure that toilet facilities are suitable for adults with disabilities in public places. This would mean the installation of adult changing benches, hoists and enough space for two carers. These toilet facilities would then be known as ‘Changing Places’.
Currently, British Standards 8300/2018 says that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes, such as:
a) major transport termini or interchanges, e.g. large railway stations and airports
b) motorway services
c) sport and leisure facilities, including large hotels
d) cultural centres, such as museums, concert halls and art galleries and faith centres;
e) stadia and large auditoria
f) large commercial retail premises and shopping centres;
g) key buildings within town centres, e.g. town halls, civic centres and main public libraries
h) educational establishments
i) health facilities, such as hospitals, health centres and community practices.
j) other visitor attractions, such as theme parks, monitored beaches and parks.
This campaign is calling for ‘Changing Places’ to be installed in public places as mentioned in the British Standards and that they must be included in plans before planning permission can be granted.
It is important that this campaign is welcomed by the UK Government. We must make sure that are public buildings are fit for purpose and that means ensuring that everyone has easy access to them. That is why the UK Government should adopt the ‘Changing Places’ recommendations to ensure that everyone can use facilities unhindered.
I have spoken to people who have faced the grueling task of accessing poorly designed toilet facilities and they all note how it is undermining their ability to live independent lives. The change we are calling for will only require a small adjustment to current standards but would have a big impact.
Working with other MPs to secure this is vital and that is why I was proud to support my colleague Nic Dakin MP in this endeavour.