EVERY town in Carmarthenshire needs a Changing Places toilet for people with profound disabilities, the council’s executive board member for social care and health has said.
Councillor Jane Tremlett proposed that disability toilets in every town should be assessed to see if they can be adapted or extended.
Changing Places toilets, like the one at Pembrey Country Park, are larger and better equipped than disability toilets. They have a hoist, bench, and space for two carers.
Speaking at an executive board meeting, Cllr Tremlett cited adult social care priorities in Carmarthenshire about providing more dementia-friendly services and opportunities for vulnerable to get out and socialise.
“All towns in Carmarthenshire need a Changing Places facility,” she said.
Director of environment Ruth Mullen suggested council officers could consider this proposal as part of a toilet study group, which will report regularly to the cross-party environmental and public protection scrutiny committee.
Cllr Tremlett agreed with this suggestion but also said it was a shame that a consultation on toilets had run online only and for less than two months.
There were 507 responses to the needs assessment survey with 88% of respondents saying they worried about whether they could locate a public toilet while out and about.
Just over half (59%) said they would be happy to pay a small charge to use one.
There is no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide public toilets but they must publish a strategy to mitigate impacts where there has been a loss of toilet provision. This could involve encouraging private businesses to provide public facilities.
Carmarthenshire Council oversees the running of 19 public toilets while a further 21 are operated by town and community councils.
The closure of one of two toilet blocks at Burry Port harbour in the spring caused an outcry among some residents and visitors but council chiefs have promised to consider a petition calling for its reinstatement fairly.