Monmouthshire County Council has issued a statement regarding the topic of gender neutral public toilets.
The council’s LGBTQ+ champion, Cllr Ian Chandler recently called for the authority to start thinking about how it could have facilities that are accessible to people of all gender identities.
But this has wrongly led some to believe that this would mean the removal of existing male/female facilities.
At the council’s Place Scrutiny meeting last week, there was discussion regarding how best to ensure that public toilet provision meets the needs of the whole population, including parents with young children, people who need assistance, people with medical conditions, disabled people, and trans and non-binary people was discussed.
The majority of public toilets in Monmouthshire are of the traditional type, with separate male and female designated areas containing basins and toilet cubicles and urinals in the male toilets. The council has confirmed that there are no plans to change the gender designation or signage of toilet blocks of this type, most of which are provided by or in partnership with town and community councils.
However, where a refurbishment or new provision creates an opportunity to do so, the council would consider providing self-contained facilities with a toilet, basin and any other facilities such as baby changing, sanitary bins etc, and these may be gender neutral. This type of provision better meets the needs of parents with young children and people who need assistance and provides greater dignity and privacy for a wider range of users. This type of self-contained, gender-neutral toilet has been part of the refurbishment of the Borough Theatre and Library amongst other public buildings.