Only yesterday we wrote about the new BBC article “Disabled access: Premier League clubs may face sanctions over lack of improvement” and the changes that were beginning to happen on that front. Today we are delighted to report #ChangingPlaces discussed in House of Commons yesterday evening, highlighting many important issues and discussing how the Changing Places campaign can move forward.
Speaking to many members of the house of commons, Jonathan Reynolds MP (Stalybridge and Hyde, Labour (Co-op) brought forward the subject “Community toilet facilities for people with disabilities” and outlined the importance of these facilities.
To begin Jonathan Reynolds MP introduced Mr Brian Dean of Stalybridge who suffers from Parkinsons. Mr Dean experienced what thousands of people in the disabled community are experiencing daily – a lack of accessible public facilities. This experiance forced Mr Dean to soil himself in a similar situation to the Paralympian Anne Wafula-Strike, as reported by the BBC recently.
Reynolds continues to describe how if wheelchair access has been assured in every shop, entertainment and public use building, then why cannot accessible toilets become a part of everyday business too.
Joined in the discussion by many other MP’s voicing their constituents concerns, the discussion clearly was found to be a heartfelt issue with many pushing to request #ChangingPlaces to become a part of building regulations.
The Minister of State for Housing and Planning and Minister for London, Gavin Barwell MP, then proceeded to speak of the on-going struggle with accessibility and began with his disappointment that “the fact that we need to debate the availability of accessible toilets for disabled people is an indictment of our society. Being confident thats one’s toilets needs can be met is something most of us take for granted in life and disabled people should have equal confidence that this will be the case for them when they leave the house.”
Gavin Barwell MP continues to outline how they have “the government recognises that the best approach to meeting needs therefore needs to change in response. That’s why we have commissioned research to check that the current requirements in part m in the building regulations remain fit for purpose and that research will look in particular at the design and provision of accessible toilets. The research will report later this year and will then help to inform decisions that I and my fellow ministers take about whether the building regulations need to be changed”.
What decisions the future hold, we remain to see, but, the fact that Ministers and MP’s are talking about the need for Changing Places shows that the campaign is going in the right direction. We can only hope the research shows how life-changing these facilities can be to the disabled community.
To watch the full debate, please click here.
To find out more about Changing Places, please click here.
To contact us and discuss your up-coming Changing Places project, please click here.