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Farron calls for a fair deal on public toilets

July 7, 2009 12:00 AM

MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron today launched a national campaign to ensure that cash-strapped councils in rural areas are not forced to reduce the number of public toilets they provide.

Councils are not provided with any funding to run public lavatories and so all costs have to be met by the council tax payer. Large authorities like South Lakeland have dozens of public toilets, whereas compact urban areas like Barrow will only have a handful to pay for. As large numbers of tourists prepare to visit South Lakeland for their summer holidays, it is important that help is provided to run public toilets.

Mr Farron has expressed his concern that closures will have a particular impact on older and disabled people as well as those with young families. Tim has tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons welcoming the British Toilet Association's campaign for better public toilets and has called on the government to make the provision of public lavatories a legal and funded responsibility for local authorities.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The decline in the number of public toilets in rural areas is the result of the government passing the buck. Groups such as the elderly, those with young children, and people with disabilities are particularly badly hit.

"The government needs to act to address this and should provide local authorities with the necessary resources to protect this vital service so that they can provide better public toilet facilities in South Lakeland."