Lewes secures funding for three new changing places toilets

A Lewes District councillor and Maria Caulfield MP have welcomed the funding bid secured for three new changing places toilets.

A Lewes District councillor and Maria Caulfield MP have welcomed the funding bid secured for three new changing places toilets.

The district council secured £155,000 from a winning bid to the government, which the council said it will use to create three new changing places toilets that provide more room than standard sized facilities.

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Councillor Johnny Denis, cabinet member for Communities and Customers, said: “This is terrific news for disabled people and their carers who live in or visit the district.

Councillor Johnny Denis, cabinet member for Communities and Customers

“We’ve made great strides in improving public conveniences in the district in recent times and the addition of these more accessible and well-equipped facilities is incredibly welcome.

“The lack of well maintained and accessible public toilets prevents many people from enjoying the days out that others take for granted, and I’m determined that Lewes District Council will continue to do everything possible to address that inequality."

A changing places toilet is a larger accessible toilet for people who cannot use standard disabled facilities, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers.

Lewes District already has a changing places toilet at Warwick House in Seaford and will now have up to three more in Lewes, Newhaven and Peacehaven.

Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: “Changing places toilets are essential for local people with disabilities and those who care for them. These toilets are larger and more accessible with aides such as hoists and adult size changing benches.

“I hope that this money can be used as quickly as possible to ensure that new changing places toilets can be installed in both Lewes District and Wealden District as quickly as possible, as the need is certainly there for them.”

Councillor Denis added:

“We agreed a council motion in 2021 to make the district as accessible as possible, mindful that current equalities legislation is not as comprehensive as it should be. There is much to do but we are making progress and the development of these new changing places toilets is another step in the right direction.

“I’d also like to thank the council officers who made this good news possible by drafting such an excellent bid and as a consequence ensuring the money will benefit people in Lewes district.”

It is estimated that there are currently only around 1,300 changing places toilets in England.

Councillor Denis added: “We agreed a council motion in 2021 to make the district as accessible as possible, mindful that current equalities legislation is not as comprehensive as it should be. There is much to do but we are making progress and the development of these new changing places toilets is another step in the right direction.

“I’d also like to thank the council officers who made this good news possible by drafting such an excellent bid and as a consequence ensuring the money will benefit people in Lewes district.”

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