Residents in Cornwall will soon benefit from six new Changing Places toilets that will be installed following a successful bid for Government funding.
Cornwall Council submitted the funding bid after receiving proposals from several Town and Parish Councils, with input from residents and their carers who use these facilities.
A Changing Places toilet is a larger, more accessible toilet for disabled people and their carers whose needs are not met by standard accessible toilets. Nearly £236,000 has been awarded by the Government for new facilities in Falmouth, Redruth, Seaton, St Ives, Truro and Wadebridge.
Cllr Carol Mould, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “I am delighted that this funding has been secured for Cornwall. Once in place, these new facilities will provide much improved access for disabled residents. This fits with our aim for people to live in vibrant, safe, supportive communities.
“I would particularly like to thank the user and carer representatives who sat on our evaluation panel, and everyone who responded to our consultation. I’d also like to congratulate the six Town and Parish councils who will share the funding and say thank you to all the other organisations who submitted expressions of interest for our consideration.”
The Council will be working with Town and Parish councils and with users and carers on the implementation of the new facilities.
Mayor of Truro, Cllr Steven Webb said: “When you are severely disabled, as I am myself, it is important to have a facility that you can use with carers to treat any problems, as well as having specialist toilet provisions. I am paralysed from the neck down and these Changing Places toilets enable me and people in similar situations to be able to visit towns with confidence that there is access to these types of facilities.
“I am really excited that Truro will benefit from this facility, right in the heart of the city where it is needed most.”
Rachel George from Redruth who is a Changing Places campaigner and parent of a user, said: “For too long many parts of Cornwall have been impossible to visit for those who rely on Changing Places toilets. These new facilities will make new experiences possible for disabled people and their families. Most people take access to toilets for granted, but for 1 in 260 people, it is something that is frequently denied.
“I am very thankful that Cornwall Council has been keen to learn about the need, and keen to make things better. The team worked hard to get the views of users, and they assessed the applications from businesses and organisations in a fair and well considered manner to best match those needs. I hope more businesses and organisations will prioritise these facilities in the future. There will be further government funding opportunities, and organisations which start planning them now will be in a better position when they arise.”
The council will also be working closely with Muscular Dystrophy UK, the government’s Changing Places delivery partner, to make sure all the facilities meet the high specification required to be a Changing places facility so that they meet the needs of users and carers.