Scottish Labour MSP Paul O’Kane has urged the Scottish Government to invest in changing places toilets.
The Labour man has said the investment in more changing places toilets is “evidently essential”.
O’Kane – who is Chair of the Holyrood Cross Party Group on CPTs – had written to the Minister Maree Todd in June to request a “timeframe for the allocation of funding” for Changing Places Toilets.
In his letter O’Kane stressed that the “lack of clarity has caused immense frustration and disappointment among the affected groups and individuals”.
To officially mark Changing Places Awareness Day – which officially takes place on 19th July – O’Kane submitted a Parliamentary motion which stressed the importance of the day, the need for more awareness of CPTs and the urgent action from the Scottish Government.
O’Kane’s motion mentioned the efforts of Jill Clark, a changing places campaigner who O’Kane previously met with to raise awareness of the recently installed CPT at Waverley Station.
Commenting Paul O’Kane said:
“Having access to a toilet is something that the majority of people can take for granted but the reality is that here in Scotland there are many people with disabilities and that can mean that a regular toilet simply isn’t suitable for them”
“The lack of changing places toilets can put a considerable limit on a person’s plans whether that be long journeys or even day trips to cities”
“The SNP’s manifesto pledge became part of the Programme for Government…we need to know when that evidently essential investment will happen”
“I hope my motion will raise awareness of the great need for more of these toilets and I’ll ensure that the Scottish Government follow their words with action on this issue”
Motion Number: S6M-09995
Lodged By: Paul O’Kane
Date Lodged: 19/07/2023
Title: Changing Places Awareness Day 2023
That the Parliament understands that Changing Places Awareness Day 2023 took place on 19 July; further understands that the day was established as a way to raise awareness of the lack of appropriate toilet facilities for people with limited mobility and severe physical disabilities, and also to mark the progress that has been made by campaigners in increasing that provision and improving the quality of changing places toilets; notes that the Scottish Government made what it sees as a significant manifesto pledge to invest £10 million in changing places toilets, which subsequently became part of the Programme for Government; considers that it has now been two years since this pledge was made, and understands that there has been no announcement regarding the distribution of the promised funding or any details on the application process; believes that, without a more widespread effort to increase the provision of changing places, there will still be people with disabilities who are forced to change in inappropriate toilets and whose ability to travel far across the country will be severely limited; celebrates the efforts of changing places campaigners, such as Jill Clark, who, it believes, has worked incredibly hard to ensure that the provision of changing places toilets in Glasgow has increased in places such as shopping centres and train stations, and considers that access to a toilet suitable to a person’s own needs should be considered a very basic yet vital human right.