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Stamford Town Council U-turns on plans for a Changing Places accessible toilet in the town

Funding of £40,000 to create an accessible toilet facility in the town centre has been turned down by a council.

Stamford Town Council has U-turned on plans to create a Changing Places toilet in the Cattle Market car park.

Changing Places toilets are designed specifically for those who cannot use a standard accessible toilet, allowing more space for medical equipment and up to two carers.

Changing Places facilities have more space and features for people with disabilities
Changing Places facilities have more space and features for people with disabilities

Stamford Town Council had agreed to put £20,000 towards the cost, with the £40,000 remainder coming from the government’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities fund.

But after the council felt information they were given on the cost wasn’t clear, the plans for the toilets were debated again at a full council meeting on Tuesday (October 24).

Coun Robin Morrison presented the proposal to the council questioning whether the facility is needed and if the council should spend the money.

Coun Amanda Wheeler expressed her unhappiness that the council was made to feel it would be ‘embarrassing not to contribute’ and that by not approving the plans meant they ‘didn’t care about people with disabilities’.

Along with Coun Shaun Ford, Coun Wheeler visited Stamford Day Centre to see the accessible toilets which have showers, moveable hoists and bidets.

It was suggested instead the council should signpost people to the day centre facility, which currently is used by a ‘handful of people’.

“It is not to say we aren’t supportive of disabled people in Stamford,” said Coun Ford.

“Let's use the facilities we have rather than creating others which won’t be used.”

Among those wanting the toilet plans to go ahead was Coun Harrish Bisnauthsing who argued “it would be a benefit to Stamford and disabled people who visit our town” and should be located in the centre for tourists on buses.

Four people supported continuing with the Changing Places toilet with 10 voting against and one abstaining.

The government’s share of the funding will be withdrawn if it isn’t spent by March 2024.

A spokesperson from South Kesteven District Council: “Following the decision by Stamford Town Council, we will now consider the best way forward from here.”

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