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Public loos - 'A national embarrassment' claims BMA
With the public making more use of the great outdoors during the pandemic, focus on public spaces and amenities has never been greater. The Bathroom Manufacturers Association chaired a roundtable discussion recently on the provision of public toilets and what needs to change across the UK.
Panellist Richard Braid, managing director of Cistermiser & Keraflo, said: "Public toilets have a real impact on our local communities and our local economies.
"We know, even prior to Coronavirus, the High Street was under huge pressure. If public washrooms aren't open that is a real restrictor for people."
The panel discussion is being shared in a series of video clips on social media to raise the profile of the issue and call for a consistent national approach. The first video is being released this week, and seven more will follow each Wednesday throughout February and into March.
Says BMA chief executive, Tom Reynolds: "As the pressures on council budgets mount, more than 700 public toilets have been closed across the country in the last decade. They have been seen as an expensive provision which local authorities are not legally required to have, leaving them vulnerable to cuts.
"This is a health and wellbeing issue and Coronavirus has shone a light on something that has been problematic for years.
"The panel reached a consensus; we all aspire to have a consistent approach nationally, making the provision of public toilets compulsory.
"At the moment, there is a lack of consistency. The panel discussed how some public toilets have no disabled access or baby changing provision, and some areas are black spots with no toilets at all.
"This requires Government action, we need ownership over what has become a bit of a national embarrassment."
As well as Richard Braid, the panel comprised: Tom Riley, co-founder of Lockdown Loo, Karen Hoe, development manager for Changing Places, Ian Tomlinson, commercial director at Closomat, Raymond Martin, managing director of The British Toilet Association, and Tony Rheinburg, marketing manager at Armitage Shanks. It was chaired by BMA chief executive, Tom Reynolds, and organised in partnership with Brouha Marketing.
The first video is available at:
Subsequent videos will be posted on:
The BMA has over 50 full members that manufacture bathroom products and 20 additional affiliate members ranging from SMEs to large multinational corporations. Manufacturing around the globe, BMA members all have a UK entity. They directly employ over 10,000 workers in the UK, and support hundreds of thousands more jobs in the installation and retail sectors.
Bathroom manufacturing has a significant multiplier effect, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in the supply chain, retail and installer base. The collective sales of the BMA's membership have a retail value of £4 billion, covering an estimated 80% of the market by value. Bathroom manufacturers make a significant contribution to 'UK plc'.
28th January 2021