In recognition of World Toilet Day on Friday 19th November, Sheffield Liberal Democrats have begun a campaign calling for more toilets with better disability access to be put into the city centre, claiming that free public conveniences have become nearly impossible to find in Sheffield in recent years.
Most of the toilets in the city centre have been closed and those that remain are spread out, not very well known or behind a "paywall" in shops and cafes.
Cllr Martin Smith said; “When closing our previous public toilets Labour left it to private business to provide, but especially with John Lewis and Debenhams having shut, there are just not that many left, with the Sheffield BIDs ‘LAVs’ list of freely available toilets having shrunk from 7 to 2 locations.”
The availability of public conveniences is a very important issue, especially for those who are disabled, are elderly or have young children. Many people need to know that there will be a toilet close by at short notice. The city centre's recovery from the pandemic is crucial - we need it to be a vibrant, comfortable place to visit and shop and public conveniences are crucial to this.
Cllr Martin Smith added; “As we come out of the pandemic, we need to do everything we can to encourage people to come back to the city centre to shop.”
Sheffield Lib Dem Leader Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed said; “As the City Council is planning works to develop parts of the City Centre, all we are asking is that free and accessible public toilets are a core tenet of these plans to ensure the area is more accessible and welcoming for all.”