A Toilet Manifesto for London

We all use toilets and need them more often as we get older. We rely on public and community toilets for health, wellbeing and going about our daily business. Yet, it is not always easy for older Londoners to find a toilet that is accessible and of an acceptable standard.

Positive Ageing in London and Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE) believe that adequate toilet provision is an essential feature of an age-friendly city. This is why we have developed a Toilet Manifesto for London. Click here for the full version.

The five-point Toilet Manifesto for London

In the London Plan (in accordance with World Health Organisation age-friendly principles) the Greater London Authority (GLA) should make explicit the need to provide and maintain free accessible public and community toilet facilities and support the obligations specified below:

  1. Community toilet provision is a public health responsibility which all London councils must acknowledge and engage with those protected under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).
  2. Boroughs should produce an annual toilet strategy to cover all community-based provision and identify a named lead officer to develop and monitor all aspects of provision.
  3. There should be coordinated provision of information about toilets in digital, hard copy and accessible formats – the GLA should research how older public use such information paying particular attention to minority views and experiences.
  4. The GLA should make the provision of community toilets a planning condition for all new developments of more than five hundred dwellings and audit the provision of public and community toilet in all London town centres.
  5. London’s older citizens and campaigners should monitor and scrutinise toilet provision where they live and identify neighborhoods in need of investment and improvement.

Audit of local toilet provision

A resident of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Jane Hopkins, undertook an audit of the local toilet provision with a small team of volunteers. She collated and analysed the findings and formulated a set of recommendations. You can read all about it in her report

Hopkins, J (2020) Dying to spend a penny – A survey of public conveniences within the Royal Borough of Greenwich (RBG)

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