Improved Legislation and more funding needed

Improved Legislation and more funding needed

23 July 2021 The British Toilet Association has called for improved legislation and more government funding to address the current “appalling” lack of public toilet provision. Public toilets are in “crisis” and rapidly vanishing, More »

Public Toilets told to reopen but still no help or funding from Westminster

Public Toilets told to reopen but still no help or funding from Westminster

From a story by Dan Bloom Mirror Online Political Editor in June 2020 Local government minister Simon Clarke and environment minister Rebecca Pow wrote to council chiefs today urging them to reopen loos. Public More »

UK guidelines have been updated and adopted into an international standard

UK guidelines have been updated and adopted into an international standard

In response to the pandemic, BSI worked quickly with a wide range of experts to produce a set of generic safe working recommendations.  These guidelines help organizations adjust the way they work More »

BTA receives welcome recognition with another major UK Award

BTA receives welcome recognition with another major UK Award

The Special 2020 Edition BSI Standards Awards were created to recognize the individuals and organizations that have made great contributions to standards/standards guidance or have used a voluntary standard(s) in new/unprecedented ways More »

Coronavirus (Covid-19)     BTA GUIDELINES

Coronavirus (Covid-19) BTA GUIDELINES

The BTA has been continuing to work throughout the pandemic to offer advice and guidance to all our members as well as providers and suppliers; on the importance of publicly accessible toilets. Each day we More »

 

Improved Legislation and more funding needed

23 July 2021

The British Toilet Association has called for improved legislation and more government funding to address the current “appalling” lack of public toilet provision.

Public toilets are in “crisis” and rapidly vanishing, the body said, with many of those that remain displaying totally unacceptable levels of cleanliness and hygiene and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse.

Many public toilets have been locked down since the start of the pandemic due to a lack of cleaning, funding or any government guidance on how to get them fit for purpose, The British Toilet Association (BTA) said.

The public was being forced to go to the toilet in streets, beaches, open spaces and beauty spots, causing street fouling figures to escalate, aggravating the risk of COVID-19 transmission and leaving the local authorities to foot considerable clean-up costs, it added.

“Anyone suffering with an accessibility issue or those caring for someone who has limited mobility or a medical condition is socially excluded and potentially deemed prisoners in their own homes.”

–Raymond Martin
Managing Director, BTA

No Legal Requirement for Local Authorities to Provide Public Toilets

With no legal requirement in place to force local authorities to provide or run public toilets then, the BTA believes the majority of councils across the UK do not allocate sufficient resources or funds to the provision of public toilets.

It is calling for the government to make sanitation and hygiene a major priority and support local authorities to stop the closures, open new facilities and establish a new set of standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

The BTA has been lobbying for action since the pandemic began, asking questions of Ministers and the PM, writing to Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and has taken part in a Zoom meeting with Lord Stephen Greenhalgh, the Minister for Building Safety and Communities and other Members of the House of Lords but without an adequate response.

It is currently preparing to write again to Lord Greenhalgh and also to the new Health Secretary, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid.

The BTA is a not-for-profit organisation that campaigns for the highest possible standards of hygiene and provision in all “away from home” toilet facilities across the UK. It understands that over a third of the population need to visit a toilet on an urgent basis, often at very short notice.

BTA Managing Director Raymond Martin said: “We are appalled at the total lack of funding over many years and extremely concerned at the closures and unprecedented low levels of public toilet facilities before, during and going into the future. This is now a crisis.

“Across our beautiful country, that was once the envy of the world because of its sanitation systems and hygiene controls, those responsible have allowed us to fall so far from the standards our forefathers achieved.

“Then along comes one of the deadliest pathogens for many generations and unbelievably our ministers and their government colleagues cannot see the need or make available any primary funding to tackle and fight this continuing threat to our nation’s daily existence.

“From the very first announcement of the arrival of COVID-19 the government has been repeatedly telling everyone to “wash your hands” but how much money has it allocated, spent or even committed to increasing sanitation and hygiene during a pandemic?  The answer is nothing.

“Hand washing materials cost money, hot water costs money, cleaning materials and staff cost have to be factored in, as well as the return to an acceptable level of provision.

“The lack of public toilet provision leaves families with young children, business travellers, drivers delivering our daily essentials across the country, staycationers, day-trippers those on longer holiday breaks, older persons wanting to visit family and many more people wondering when they might find relief.

“COVID is transmitted in human excrement and urine so forcing the public to use our open spaces to go to the toilet can only be a recipe for continued or increased transmission and incubation of this most deadly pathogen and any future variants.”

Accessibility Issues

“Anyone suffering with an accessibility issue or those caring for someone who has limited mobility or a medical condition is socially excluded and potentially deemed prisoners in their own homes.

“Footfall in shops and many high streets continues to remain low as the lack of decent toilet facilities is driving shoppers away to out of town superstores, leaving the villages and town shops with diminishing revenues and the constant threat of closure.

“The BTA has spent the last eighteen months primarily firefighting the lack of publicly accessible toilets across the UK but with very limited success without the support of this government.

“It’s time that this government made sanitation and hygiene a major priority and supported the local authorities to stop the closures of public toilets, restore standards and tackle this pandemic in our public buildings and spaces.”

Picture: a picture of a toilet

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 23 July 2021

Public Toilets told to reopen but still no help or funding from Westminster

From a story by Dan Bloom Mirror Online Political Editor in June 2020

Local government minister Simon Clarke and environment minister Rebecca Pow wrote to council chiefs today urging them to reopen loos.

Public toilets told to reopen as outdoor wees pose ‘harm to public health’ Ministers have written to council chiefs in England to end the lockdown practice of people ‘relieving themselves in public. People are being urged to spend their hard earned pounds to boost the local economy – but many can’t even spend a penny. The government has demanded public toilets reopen after warning the number of people relieving themselves outdoors poses a “harm to public health”.

Ministers jointly wrote to town halls in England today calling on them to reopen any loos that are still shuttered to stop the spread of Covid-19. Toilets in parks and other public places were closed from March to prevent transmission of the virus. But that has left many people in a tight spot as parks reopen to social groups of up to six people – but many toilets do not.

They said: “Councils should consider the harm to public health and the local environment caused by people relieving themselves in public.” The ministers warned the situation has got worse as the weather heats up. Many sufferers with bowel conditions have told of avoiding trips outdoors altogether due to anxiety about where to find a toilet.

They added:”Public hygiene is of the upmost importance, especially during the CORONAVIRUS pandemic, and enabling residents to access toilets safely is vital. Handwashing is an extremely important activity to help prevent the continued spread of the virus.

“Enabling residents to access toilets safely is vital.

Handwashing is important” Closed toilets may also impact disproportionately on certain groups who for health reasons rely on access to public toilets to be able to leave their homes.They can also make life difficult for young families and people who work outside. If you have toilets that are still shut, then we strongly urge you to refer to advice on measures that can be taken to open toilets in a safe way.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) said:
“Councils have been taking individual local decisions about public toilets they control based on a risk assessment basis, if they can provide adequate cleaning staff and schedules and, of course, whether the governments social distancing measures can be maintained.”

QUESTION: How can a Minister ask an Authority to put its precious time and resources into something that neither he nor his own government see any advantage in supporting or funding. Without PRIMARY legislation and the appropriate budget to encourage proper clean and hygienic publicly accessible toilets then these appear to be, SADLY, just hollow words.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

To All our Members, Partners, Friends and Colleagues we send you our Warmest Wishes for a successful and Peaceful year ahead.

“I truely believe if we all work together we can make 2021 a year of renewed hope. So we look forward to working closely with many organisations and individuals to raise the standards of all away from home toilets across the UK & Ireland”

Raymond Boyd Martin
Managing Director

FELLOW of the Royal Society for Public Health

Personally, along with my colleagues in the BTA we pay tribute to one of this organisations founding members; as we congratulate Sue Cunningham on becoming a Fellow of the RSPH this year. Sue has been an ardent campaigner for woman’s rights and decent public provision for over 20 years and this fellowship must reflect and recognise her continuous fight for the maintaining of exemplorary stanards

“In May 2019, the Royal Society for Public Health published a comprehensive report revealing the dire state of our publicly available conveniences and the consequent impact on community health.

I have always admired the work carried out by the RSPH, and their dedication to the promotion and protection of collective human health and wellbeing.

As an Honorary Member of the BTA, I am delighted to have been elected Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, which entitles me to benefit from all the sources of information which they make available to their members. I feel sure this will enable me, with renewed vigour, to continue campaigning for improvements in the provision of well-designed, well-maintained, and hygienic public toilets”

Susan Cunningham FRSPH      18th  December 2020
Hon Member of the BTA

The winners have been announced for the very first Technology & Marketing Awards, specifically for the cleaning, hygiene and facilities management sectors.

Organised by LaCerta, the awards were free to enter and were a chance for marketing & PR professionals, leaders, CEO’s or anyone working on exciting campaigns to showcase and share their success. A long line-up of high-profile judges from top companies, including Universal Pictures, Samsung, England Rugby and Nespresso helped select the winners after considering factors like overall strategy, communication and creativity

Influencer / Impact Award – Susan Cunningham – for her Public In-Conveniences guide and her exceptional contribution to improving toilet provision in the UK

***DOUBLE CONGRATULATIONS !***

UK guidelines have been updated and adopted into an international standard

In response to the pandemic, BSI worked quickly with a wide range of experts to produce a set of generic safe working recommendations. 

These guidelines help organizations adjust the way they work during the pandemic to protect workers and the people they come into contact with.

International interest in what we’d produced has now led to the latest version forming the basis of an international standard. PD ISO/PAS 45005:2020 Occupational health and safety management — General guidelines for safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic supplies practical recommendations to organizations and workers on how to manage the risks. 

The standard: 

  • Provides a single source of internationally agreed good practice and accurate advice based on current knowledge and lessons learned
  • Provides practical examples and help with developing a rapid response plan
  • Is suitable for organizations resuming operations, those that have been operational throughout the pandemic, and those that are starting operations

If you’re responsible for protecting workers during the pandemic, either as a business owner, manager, worker, or in an advisory capacity, please download a free copy of PD ISO/PAS 45005:2020 now.

Download the document

For all general enquiries call +44 345 086 9001
or visit the BSI Group website
Our mailing address is:
BSI Standards
389 Chiswick High Road London,
W4 4AL United Kingdom

BTA receives welcome recognition with another major UK Award

The Special 2020 Edition BSI Standards Awards were created to recognize the individuals and organizations that have made great contributions to standards/standards guidance or have used a voluntary standard(s) in new/unprecedented ways specifically to support the UK’s response to the pandemic

NOMINATION:

British Toilet Association – Standards User Award
The pandemic was in danger of causing an unwanted increase in open defecation and urination because of the closure of many public toilets. The BTA developed guidance that contributed to the BSI guide on COVID 19 measures and responded to numerous calls from the media to provide solutions. Local authorities from all over the UK requested guidance on how their public toilets could be adapted to provide safe amenities that would help any residents who could not travel far without such facilities, and any visitors that needed toilets.

The BTA responded to this deluge of requests for help with calmness, consideration and authority, despite being a small organization with few staff. Without the input from the BTA many tourist centres and beauty spots would have been either completely closed or made unhygienic and unattractive by the actions of people who needed to “go” and had no suitable facilities. The BTA’s input to the BSI Flex 45005 Safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic – General guidelines for organizations was timely and helpful. The material will also be used in the upcoming revisions of BS 6465 Sanitary installations: Part 1 Code of practice for the design of sanitary facilities and scales of provision of sanitary and associated appliances and Part 4 Code of practice for the provision of public toilets, and may also contribute to a future ISO standard.

The BTA has consistently provided good input to the development of the BS 6465 suite of standards for over 20 years and has used British Standards to build its award schemes and guides. Its relationships with manufacturers, local authorities, user groups and researchers have helped it to provide well-grounded advice and comments during the development of various British Standards,; including on the provision of access for disabled people.

Standards User Award Winner

for supporting government and local authorities with advice and guidance about standards to ensure public toilets could remain open and safe for all users during the pandemic.

A digital LINK is being created and will be placed here shortly to allow all our members to view the actual Awards cerempny that was held VIRTUALLY this year due to Covid restrictions

LEGIONAIRES DISEASE

Managing legionella in hot and cold water systems

The official APPROVED CODE of PRACTICE from the HSE is ACOP L8 and can be found at:
https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l8.htm

What is legionella?

Legionella bacteria is commonly found in water. The bacteria multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia, contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing viable Legionella bacteria. Such droplets can be created, for example, by: hot and cold water outlets; atomisers; wet air conditioning plant; and  whirlpool or hydrotherapy baths.

Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease, but the elderly, smokers, alcoholics and those with cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory or kidney disease are at more risk.
HSE’s Legionnaires’ disease page provides information on managing the risks

What you need to do

Health and social care providers should carry out a full risk assessment of their hot and cold water systems and ensure adequate measures are in place to control the risks.

Using temperature control

The primary method used to control the risk from Legionella is water temperature control.
Water services should be operated at temperatures that prevent Legionella growth:

  • Hot water storage cylinders (calorifiers) should store water at 60°C or higher
  • Hot water should be distributed at 50°C or higher (thermostatic mixer valves need to be fitted as close as possible to outlets, where a scald risk is identified).
  • Cold water should be stored and distributed below 20°C.

A competent person should routinely check, inspect and clean the system, in accordance with the risk assessment.

You must identify ‘sentinel’ outlets (furthest and closest to each tank or cylinder) for monthly checking of the distribution temperatures. You should also check the hot water storage cylinder temperatures every month and cold water tank temperatures at least every six months.

Stagnant water favours Legionella growth. To reduce the risk you should remove dead legs/dead ends in pipe-work, flush out infrequently used outlets (including showerheads and taps) at least weekly and clean and de-scale shower heads and hoses at least quarterly. Cold-water storage tanks should be cleaned periodically and water should be drained from hot water cylinders to check for debris or signs of corrosion.

Design systems to minimise Legionella growth, by:

  • keeping pipe work as short and direct as possible;
  • adequately insulating pipes and tanks;
  • using materials that do not encourage the growth of Legionella;
  • preventing contamination, eg by fitting tanks with lids and insect screens.

Additional controls

Water samples should be analysed for Legionella periodically to demonstrate that bacteria counts are acceptable. The frequency should be determined by level of risk, in accordance with the risk assessment.

Other control methods

Other methods to control Legionella include copper and silver ionisation and biocide treatments (eg chlorine dioxide). To ensure that they remain effective their application will need suitable assessment as part of the overall water treatment programme including proper installation, maintenance and monitoring.

Further information

T I N K L E

The TOILET INNOVATION and NEW KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE has just been launched today and over the coming days and months we will see the opportunities for individuals and groups to gain comprehensive knowledge of the changes affecting our industry. Changes that effect our everyday lives when we need to find a bathroom quickly and how the suppliers and providers are coping with the long term effects of CoronaVirus (Covid-19) when it comes to keeping our bathrooms and washrooms safe and hygienic.

COMING SOON

There are three elements to the Toilets Innovation and New Knowledge Exchange: 

Icon showing books

RESOURCES

Helping you to find existing knowledge through our filtered resource bank of guidance, standards, regulation, toolkits, websites and research from UK organisations and beyond.

Icon of interconnected nodes

NETWORK

For visitors who seek expert or peer-to-peer advice, here you can find a range of experts across many aspects of toilets who are available to contact.

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FORUM

The forum is open to all, to ask and answer questions, seek solutions, debate ideas, share new resources, support campaigns and enable research. Join in!

TINKLE is managed by the Public Toilets Research Unit (PTRU) at the Royal College of Art, in partnership with the Toilet Consortium and the British Toilet Association

The PTRU is part of The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. The PTRU undertakes inclusive and people-centred design research to improve toilet provision for all. 

World Toilet Day 19th November 2020

WORLD TOILET DAY 2020: SUSTAINABLE SANITATION AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is getting worse.

Flood, drought and rising sea levels are threatening sanitation systems – from toilets to septic tanks to treatment plants.

Everyone must have sustainable sanitation that can withstand climate change and keep communities healthy and functioning.

Sustainable sanitation systems also reuse waste to safely boost agriculture and reduce and capture emissions for greener energy.

World Toilet Day is a United Nations Observance that celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

“The BTA fully supports the work of the World Toilet Orhanisation and its partners. It is our goal to fight for our Human Rights in all aspects of toilet provision and strive to raise the stanards of hygien and cleanliness in all “away from home” facilities throughout the United Kingdom and across the world”

Raymond Martin
Managing Director for and on behalf of the British Toilet Association Ltd

Response from Minister Luke Hall

The BTA sent a number of letters to Government and individual ministers in the past several weeks/months offering advice, guidance and our full support for the fight against this CoronaVirus pandemic.
Below is the response from the MHCLG

The BTA will contiue to work with all parties and government departments to encourage some form of direct action by this and future administartions to find a lasting solution to the ever increasing rationalisation of Publicly Accessible Toilets across the UK and Ireland.

With this NEW threat comes new opportunities for manufacturers and suppliers to develop goods and services to take our hygiene levels to a new level.

Human beings – of every age and ability – need to constantly use the toilet, sometimes several times a day, and we need the certainty that when we move from place to place that we can find a clean, hygienic well provisioned publicly accessible toilet within easy reach.