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As I mentioned last week, John and I attended the Loo of the Year Awards on Friday. And as always happens when the subject is anything to do with the humble loo (or not so humble in many cases, as we learned during the awards themselves!) there was a real buzz about the place and my comment to John during the accompanying mini exhibition of Awards sponsors, was: “Why can’t all exhibitions be like this?” I’ll bet in terms of good leads, the exhibitors are congratulating themselves on their decision to become involved and sponsor such a worthwhile cause!
As usual, we heard about numerous local council loo closures and real concerns from people about where we’ll all ‘go’ if the closures aren’t stopped soon, but we also heard many success stories. I wonder how, if some councils are able to provide so many award-winning facilities, others can’t seem to shut theirs down quickly enough! With the move to Internet shopping gaining real momentum, councils must do more to attract shoppers to their town centres and sightseers to their places of interest and beauty spots, or lose the accompanying income from parking, entry fees and business/shop rates and rents. Don’t they realise that without decent, accessible loos, people will go elsewhere, leaving their local streets and town centres to become ghost towns?
One presentation that got our table talking was by two mothers speaking on behalf of Changing Places, who have, between them, three disabled children who need special changing facilities if they are to enjoy any type of life outside. They talked about the hardships they face and their relief when they’re able to avail themselves of a properly equipped washroom. Those on our table agreed that a shopping centre with such facilities would draw crowds from neighbouring boroughs. The facilities might be costly to install but just imagine the income from the extra footfall!
Of course the Awards aren’t all about local authority loos but about away from home facilities everywhere. For a full list of winners and photo’s of some of the winning facilities, visit: www.loo.co.uk/externals/downloads/LOY_2014
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11th December 2014