Labour has welcomed Government funding for York to improve accessible toilets in the city, under its national ‘Changing Places’ Fund.
City of York Council bid for national funding following a Labour council motion last July on improving accessibility to York city centre. The motion called for ‘sufficient provision of fully accessible toilets, baby-changing facilities and changing places, that are open at appropriate times’.
Cllr Rachel Melly proposed the inclusive access motion. She said:
“This is definitely one piece of good news resulting from last year’s council motion on making the city centre more accessible, with York receiving almost £250k for six changing places facilities.
“It’s vitally important that this funding is committed as soon as possible to improve the experience of disabled people and their families living in or visiting York. Changing places toilets currently exist at the railway station, the central library and next to the market, as well as in other parts of the city, but this funding will make a significant improvement to York’s offer for disabled people.
“Disabled people, their families and their carers have campaigned for this funding for some time, explaining how the existence of changing places toilets to a great extent dictates where they can, and where they cannot go.”
The council’s Main Opposition Labour Group Leader, Cllr Pete Kilbane added:
“Of course this will be great news for many, but not for those whose disability means they’ve been locked out of visiting the city centre by the council’s discriminatory blue badge holder access ban. For those people, unfortunately they will see this funding decision and think about how much easier and enjoyable their lives would have been were they able to visit York city centre”.
Disability representative groups are considering taking legal action against the Lib Dem-Green council’s blue badge holder access ban, a decision which a council officer report acknowledged would prevent some people from being able to independently access the city centre.