Left to right: John McGeachy Age UK London, Monica Tulloch, More Loos for Merton Campaigner and Julie Johns More Loos for Merton Campaigner
A group of Merton residents are calling on the council to radically improve public toilet provision in the borough and have launched a More Loos for Merton campaign.
The campaigners are preparing a letter to be handed to the Council ahead of a Cabinet meeting later this month in which they will discuss how to respond to recommendations outlined in a Merton Council scrutiny panel report by Merton Park Councillor Stephen Mercer, which was critical of current provision in the borough.
Since forming at the end of last year and working with Age UK London who run the London Loos campaign, the group has conducted its own toilets audit. This has shown that while there are many customer toilets in cafés and shops, there are very few facilities that the public are able to access freely.
The More Loos for Merton group say that improving provision is about tackling social isolation, supporting the local economy, and making Merton more welcoming and inclusive for people of all ages, both residents and visitors.
The campaign is calling for several improvements including an upgrade to the borough’s Community Toilet Scheme (CTS) and better access to toilets in council-run public buildings.
While Merton did have a very small CTS several years ago, the campaigners say this has declined.
More Loos for Merton is asking the council to regenerate the scheme, adding more cafés, shops, and other premises with toilet facilities.
The group are also asking the council to call on Transport for London to open a toilet at Morden Underground station and are supporting a petition on this issue. Of the 28 terminus stations across the London Underground network, Morden is one of just three that doesn’t have a toilet either at the station or immediately adjacent to the station.
The report for the scrutiny panel included the findings that:
More Loos for Merton campaigner, Julie Johns, who has visited over 30 local toilets across the borough says: “We are really pleased that Merton Council has acknowledged the importance of reviewing the availability of toilets in the borough. The findings and recommendations in the scrutiny report endorse the views of More Loos for Merton and we are encouraged by the positive response so far.”
“Going forward, we hope the Cabinet will support and implement the recommendations fully and without delay as the current situation locally is dire. We do recognize this is a London-wide problem and it would be great to see other boroughs and the Mayor of London playing their part in giving this issue greater priority.”
Among the recommendations were:
September 11, 2023
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