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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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It all started with an article a reader of KBzine's sister publication, Cleanzine, sent me... A scientist appeared to suggest that we should leave the toilet lid up when flushing, to avoid the need for others to touch it. I couldn't believe what I was reading! With traces of Covid-19 having been found in the faeces of deceased people, I would have expected a scientist to be sharing that the force created by flushing will cause potentially virus-carrying droplets to settle all over the bathroom. You should always shut the lid!

It led me to muse over when our public toilets might open again and how we're going to keep them safe for everyone to use. Chatting to the British Toilet Association's Ray Martin, I learnt that he's campaigning for important changes to be made to public toilet provision to promote confidence and prevent the spread of Coronavirus. These will be costly but I agree something needs to be done urgently, since safe, hygienic public toilets are a basic human right.

A response to my Leader arrived from renowned toilet expert Susan Cunningham, who served with me on the inaugural Council of the BTA more than 20 years ago. Susan had been emailed by a senior Minister, who revealed that Government advice for us to 'stay local' wasn't just down to the potential for us to encounter Coronavirus, but also because our public toilets largely remain closed thanks to the current required level of cleaning and the difficulty of ensuring social distancing!

Further support comes today from the Bathroom Manufacturers Association, which has welcomed a letter from Ministers to local councils, calling for more public toilets to be opened. Its chief executive Tom Reynolds, said: "It's time for Local and National Government to consider investing in provision. Councils should consider the harm to public health and the local environment caused by people relieving themselves in public. Authorities should also consider the equality implications of those with particular health needs who need to use the toilet more often. In both cases, this is not to condone or tolerate irresponsible and illegal behaviour, but councils have a key role in helping prevent such problems. It's beneficial to public health to ensure proper access to toilets. Any other course of action could prevent people from going back to town centres or leisure venues, creating a brake on the national recovery."

And of course, fewer people in our town centres, has a detrimental impact on our industry and the economy in general, don't you think?


Jan Hobbs



30th June 2020

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