Councillor Julie Flaherty
Plans by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to invest in a mobile changing places toilet have been welcomed by members of Council’s leisure and community services committee.
A report on the matter was presented to the committee on Monday, November 8. It informed members that in preparation for a potential second tranche of finance for an access and inclusion capital project programme, Council is ready to submit an application for a mobile changing places facility.
Changing place facilities are designed so that they are completely accessible and provide sufficient space and equipment for people who are not able to use the toilet independently.
Projects funded through the access and inclusion capital project programme are limited to a maximum cost of £30,000 and must be completed by March 31, 2022.
Council would be required to contribute 10 per cent of the total cost of the project to a maximum of £3,000 which the report explained could be covered from existing health and recreation department budgets.
The report also explained Council would be required to transport, maintain and store the mobile facility with an attendant required at each event to clean the facility.
Councillor Julie Flaherty said she was “delighted” to see officers bring this report forward.
“I am so pleased this is being taken forward in this way,” said Cllr Flaherty.
“This is so important, accessible toilets are an absolute necessity. It is a nice thing to do but it is an necessity for so many people living with a disability.
“They deserve the exact same access to everything we do in Council whether it is an event, a function or a sporting event and this will make such a difference.
“I will propose this 100 times over thank-you so much.”
The proposal was seconded by Councillor Margaret Tinsley who said she was “delighted” to do so and asked Council’s sport development manager, Gillian Dewart if there was a time line for the opening of this tranche of funding and a second tranche of funding of funding.
Ms Dewart explained there was no time line but “based on previous year’s experience” the funding, if there is another tranche, should be announced before Christmas.
“Fingers crossed that it comes out soon and we will hopefully be ready to go when the application process opens.”