In July 2017, the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 received Royal Assent, bringing together a range of practical actions for improving and protecting health. Part 8 of the Act includes Provision of Toilets and introduces new responsibilities for Local Authorities to provide local toilet strategies.
To deliver a strategic approach to the provision of toilets across Wales, the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 requires Local Authorities to assess local needs and facilities, and to publish a local toilets strategy for its area.
The duty to prepare a local toilets strategy does not require councils to provide and maintain public toilets directly, nor are they required provide additional dedicated facilities. They must however take a strategic view on how facilities can be provided and accessed, taking account of such things as location, accessibility, facilities, frequency of use and quality of existing sites, as well as determining whether additional or fewer sites are required by their local population. The legislation published by Welsh Government has no funding for additional provisions attached to it.
Since 2012 Flintshire County Council has undertaken two separate reviews of toilet provision across the County. These reviews highlighted that isolated facilities regularly attract antisocial behaviour, which puts people off using them. As a result Flintshire adopted a more enabling approach by promoting the use of existing toilets in Council buildings such as libraries and Connects Centres, which people feel more confident and comfortable using.
This Strategy sets out to develop on the work previously been undertaken in rationalising the provision and quality of the Local Toilet being offered by the Council, and to assess the need of the local communities, along with the facilities being offer. The Strategy set out an action plan for the next two years, at which time the strategy will need to be reviewed, and also identify some areas that are for future consideration.