Agenda item


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David Ousby, Assistant Director Programme & Project Delivery provided the Committee with a presentation regarding Adult Changing Places in King’s Lynn.  A copy of the presentation is attached to the minutes.


He advised that the following locations for Changing Places had been identified in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk:


·        King’s Lynn Multi Use Community Hub

·        Hunstanton bus station / library

·        Downham Market (location to be confirmed).


He added that the current proposal was to install a Changing Place Toilet at St James Pool in King’s Lynn using funding from DLUHC.  It would be a modular building which could be accessed 24/7 with remote access controlled by the Council. The start on site would be by the end of March 2024 and operational by the end of June 2024.


The Chair thanked the Assistant Director for the presentation and invited questions from the Committee.


The Chair referred to an event held in Parliament relatively recently which invited people with disabilities to talk about their lived experiences, who were told that there was a changing places toilet there but when they arrived it was out of order.


Councillor Jones explained that he had been advised from someone who worked with people with disabilities, that the bed needed to be on wheels rather than fixed to a wall would be better.


He also raised the issue of the location of the Changing Places and whether it might be open to vandalism.


The Assistant Director added that the access to the Changing Places would be via an intercom and also CCTV was in operation in that area.  Also within the location were people within the pool and nearby car park so if people did need assistance there were people nearby.


He advised that the modular unit was resilient and had a technical design life of 10 years but were as strong as portacabin buildings.  He added that it was right to have a debate about the location and could be moved to another location in the future.


Councillor Bone welcomed the provision of the Changing Places modular unit and asked whether one could be provided at The Walks to link in with the provision of the accessible play equipment and whether they could be provided for events such as Festival Too? The Assistant Director advised that this would need to be included within the capital budget and further consideration given to the issue.


The Chair took the opportunity to update the Committee on the provision of the accessible play equipment at the Walks.  She advised that she had attended an event launch ‘Everyone has the right to play’.  This had brought up some issues which needed consideration, so she wished to ensure that the play equipment was right and integrated with the existing equipment.  She also wished to include a Changing Places toilet.  She confirmed that she had informed the Youth Advisory Board and would keep them updated.


Councillor Colwell stated that he was really encouraged to hear the conversations that had taken place around the Walks and play areas.  He added that when looking at the slides, he was disappointed that West Norfolk only had one changing places toilet in Tesco’s at Gaywood, which was a commercial business.  He made reference to the numbers that other areas had.  He explained that by providing the changing places toilet would not only benefit residents but also tourism.  It would give parents and carers the confidence to come to West Norfolk for day trips and holidays knowing there were these facilities in place.  He added that he would like the Committee to help identify areas where a changing places toilet was needed to be action ready for when the next tranche of funding was available.


He questioned the siting of the changing places toilet as it would be quite near to the Multi-user hub, which had been listed as a location.  He was encouraged to hear that it would be accessible 24 hours a day.  He also informed the Committee that Sandringham Estate would be opening a changing places toilet ready for Easter.


The Chair outlined the reasons why Lynnsport and St James were not suitable for Changing Places toilets at the moment and added that tourism needed to be encouraged and Changing Places would support that.  At the Pride Event, a Changing Places toilet had been provided.


Councillor Kemp asked how many Changing Places toilets the Borough should have?  The Assistant Director advised that DLUHC had indicated that the Council would be eligible for funding for up to 3 Changing Places toilets and that there was their assessment of how many they felt were required.  As Councillor Colwell pointed out, the Borough was a tourist area so there were lots of visitors and it was good to hear the one was being provided at Sandringham, which was one of the sites identified by Stakeholders, together with a site at The Walks.   There would be one at the Multi-User Hub, and one also in the Hunstanton Bus Station and library complex and also one in St George’s Guildhall.  The challenge was to provide one in Downham Market.


Councillor Mrs Wilkinson added that people with disabilities had been disadvantaged for so long and going forward facilities needed to be improved.


Councillor Heneghan welcomed the proposal and the signal that was being sent out that King’s Lynn was inclusive.  She queried the use of materials.


The Assistant Director outlined the materials that would be used.  He added that the materials would be resilient.  There was a technical design life of 10 years, but the materials would probably last for around 25 years, but the equipment would need to be changed during that time.   The Changing Places toilets would need more cleaning and during consultation with the Operational Team that was factored into the choice of location.  By putting it next to the swimming pool which had a hoist that needed to be tested regularly, this could be done at the Changing Places toilet at the same time.


Following a question from Councillor Sayers, the Assistant Director advised that the Changing Places toilets would be heated and be a warm and inviting space. 


The Assistant Director also confirmed that the full £40,000 allocated to the Council was being used.


The Chair thanked the Assistant Director for the informative presentation and asked the Committee to feed back any suggestions for locations to him.


Councillor Colwell suggested that one place could be next to the toilets at Burnham Market.

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