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Ruling boost for disabled toilets campaign in Northern Ireland

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Claire Sugden MLA welcomed the move

Claire Sugden MLA welcomed the move

Claire Sugden MLA welcomed the move

The campaign to improve public toilets for disabled people has received a boost after the Finance Minister gave a commitment to address the problem.

Conor Murphy has told a leading disability rights campaigner that he plans to change legislation which would ensure more buildings in Northern Ireland have fully equipped disabled toilets.

Christine McClements has been campaigning for a number of years for Changing Places toilets in more official buildings.

Changing Places toilets are a vital facility as they are specialist toilets for people who are not able to access normal toilets,

They have hoists and a large changing bench for adults which not only improve the safety of people using them, but they also ensure the dignity of users as they do not have to lie on the floor of public toilets. This is particularly important during the pandemic.

Mrs McClement's 12-year-old daughter, Lilia, is disabled due to a rare genetic disorder and the family is restricted on where they can go as a result of the current toilet provisions. She said: "Where there is no Changing Places toilet available within a premises, I have no other option other than to take my precious daughter out of her wheelchair to lay her down on unhygienic public toilet floors.

"My daughter deserves to be treated as a person of equal value, dignity and worth."

East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has welcomed the commitment and urged Mr Murphy to act swiftly to address the situation.

"The Finance Minister has recently given private assurances to Mrs McClements that building regulations will be changed to make changing places toilets mandatory in certain types of larger new-builds and renovations," she said.

Belfast Telegraph