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Mendip pledges support to Changing Places campaign

Mendip District Council has agreed to support a national campaign which aims to see new public toilet facilities introduced across the country for people with acute physical and learning disabilities.

At a meeting of Full Council last month, there was unanimous cross party support for a motion calling on the council to support the Changing Places campaign.

The motion, which was jointly submitted by coun cillors Adam Boyden and Philip Ham, follows calls from parents and community groups in Mendip for Changing Places facilities to be created.

The motion said, “The council resolves to support the Changing Places campaign to make Mendip a more accessible district. With Council’s endorsement, we require the Equalities Group to fully investigate the feasibility of providing Changing Places facilities within the district. This investigation should include:

• An assessment of demand

• Consultation with the public and other key partners and stakeholders

• The capital and revenue implications for both the Council and any other public, private or voluntary sector partners

• An assessment of the most appropriate means of provision (noting that may not be the same for each facility).

“The Equalities Group are asked to report back to the next meeting of Council in May 2017 with their findings.”

Cllr Philip Ham, Portfolio Holder for Transformation and Chair of the Equalities Group, said, “I was delighted that this motion received unanimous, cross-party support.

“It is only right that people with profound learning and physical disabilities have access to the public toilet facilities they need, enabling them to get out and enjoy the day to day activities so many of us take for granted.

“This is about dignity and this was made clear to my fellow councillors and I by those attending the meeting, many of whom were parents to disabled children or who had disabilities themselves.

“Council has placed this task firmly with the Equalities Group, which I chair, to take forward and to report back to Annual Council in May.

“This is not just about money, but about influencing other partners to work with us to provide a level of dignity for a group of people who are already tackling major challenges in their lives.”

For more information about the Changing Places campaign, go to: www.changing-places.org