A Portadown councillor has welcomed the “positive news” Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has received from the Finance Minister, with regards to changing places toilets.
In a letter to the council, the Minister for Finance, Conor Murphy MLA, said he was “very sympathetic” to the dignity issues that arise as a result of the “limited provision of changing places toilets”.
The Minister explained that he has has tasked his Department’s Building Standards Branch to take forward the incorporation of requirements for changing places toilets (CPT) into local building regulations as soon as possible.
Reflecting on the letter, Councillor Julie Flaherty said no-one would be surprised she wished to comment on this issue.
“I am glad to see relatively positive news. It is clear this is coming and I am delighted to see the change coming.
“I just want to say a word of thanks for the letter and express my relief that we are finally getting there.”
Cllr Flaherty then joked: “Hopefully that is the last letter I will be asking you to write, Lord Mayor, about toilets.”
The Finance Minister’s letter to the local authority’s Chief Executive, Roger Wilson set out how he intends to bring about the requirement for larger public buildings to have CPTs.
“Both England and Scotland have made provisions for CPTs by amending their technical guidance, rather than through amending regulations,” reads the Finance Minister’s letter.
“Their requirements in guidance are very similar in terms of the types of buildings to which CPT provision will apply.
“The requirements are triggered when certain criteria, based on building floor area and person capacity are exceeded and therefore apply to larger public buildings.
“It is proposed that a provision for CPTs here would be introduced by amending the Technical Guidance for Part R of the local building regulations – ‘Access and use of Buildings’, mirroring the above approach.”