Public Toilets

Deputy Prime Minister written question – answered on 8th June 2005.

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Photo of John Hemming John Hemming Liberal Democrat, Birmingham, Yardley

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many public toilets there were on a given date in each year between 1990 and 2004, broken down by Government Office Region.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

The provision and maintenance of toilets in public places is at the discretion of local authorities who have, under section 87 of the Public Health Act 1936, a power to provide public conveniences, but no duty to do so. For this reason, the information requested is not held centrally. The information in the following table has however been obtained from commercial and industrial property data held by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Number of public conveniences: Government Office Regions, 2000–2004(4)—Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) analysis of provisional Valuation Office Agency data
Government Office Region 2000 2002 2003 2004
North East 286 280 276 260
North West 565 538 519 509
Yorkshire and the Humber 567 536 520 496
East Midlands 439 418 411 399
West Midlands 437 428 416 408
East of England 578 574 561 560
London 500 474 451 419
South East 871 846 808 788
South West 1,099 1,063 1,034 1,014
England 5,342 5,157 4,996 4,853
Wales 745 725 705 686
England and Wales 6,087 5,882 5,701 5,539

(4) Data as at 1 October 2000, and 1 April for 2002, 2003 and 2004.

The table gives the number of public conveniences as at 1 October 2000 and 1 April for 2002, 2003 and 2004. No data prior to 2000 and for 2001 are currently available. The statistics are provisional pending the release of revised VOA commercial and industrial property data on 30 June 2005.

Totals given in the table show conveniences that are open to the public. They will include stand alone conveniences, and also those located in (for example) car parks and shopping malls.

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John Hemming MP
Posted on 9 Jun 2005 11:27 am (Report this annotation)

Not much good if you are an elderly gent with a prostate problem.

(or indeed a pregnant woman)

The interesting thing about this is that there is a national trend. There is, therefore, something driving this change.