Barbara Keeley MP


Changing Places Campaign

I understand the concerns, which have been raised, that standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability. People with profound learning disabilities, as well as people with physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, often need extra facilities such as hoists and changing benches to allow them to use toilets safely and comfortably. The Changing Places campaign estimates that nearly a quarter of a million severely disabled people do not have access to public toilet facilities that meet their needs.

I recognise that accessible toilets are vital to ensuring that disabled people can participate fully in public life. I acknowledge the important work of Changing Places who have helped install over 850 accessible toilets across the UK.

The previous Labour Government announced in 2009 that it would review relevant building regulations concerning the use of and access to public buildings and that the provision of changing facilities for disabled people would be reconsidered. Subsequently the guidance on accessibility and facilities in buildings was amended in 2013 to include a reference to Changing Places toilets.

It is encouraging that there are now registered Changing Places toilets at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United with talks ongoing with other clubs. I also welcome the announcement from the Chief Executive of the Premier League that the clubs are in the process of wide scale change that will make their stadiums more accessible to disabled people.

In a debate in Parliament last year, the Conservative Government was pressed to consider amending regulations to make Changing Places toilets mandatory in large public buildings. In September 2016, the Government stated that they have no current plans to amend existing legislative requirements.

However they have committed to keep guidance on toilet provision under review and I will follow progress on this closely.

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