RESIDENTS and shoppers in the Ribble Valley can now “spend a penny” in shops and restaurants thanks to a new Community Toilet Scheme.
Numerous shops and businesses across the rural borough will make their toilet facilities available to the public without the need to make a purchase. The facilities will be signposted and promoted, so they can be easily found or located.
The scheme was launched this week at Maxwell’s Café Bar, Clitheroe, by Ribble Valley Mayor Coun. Simon Hore and simultaneously at the Old Station Buildings in Longridge by Longridge Deputy Mayor Coun. Rose Adamson.
Community Toilet Schemes are particularly popular in London, where they enable pubs, restaurants and shops to work with local councils to make clean, safe and accessible toilets available to the public.
Launching the scheme in the Ribble Valley, Mayor Coun. Hore said: “By providing greater access to toilets, the Ribble Valley Community Toilet Scheme will promote community cohesion and rural sustainability.
“Older people, parents and people with health problems will be able to maintain a more active lifestyle and confidently enjoy the local environment. This is particularly important in a large rural borough such as Ribble valley, which has restricted access to services.”
Ian Lloyd, president of Clitheroe and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: Ribble Valley has some fantastic independent shops and retail centres, and this scheme will attract more visitors to the area in the knowledge they can spend a penny in first-rate facilities.”
Also keen to welcome the new scheme was Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, who said: “I do believe this is part of a wider community spirit that will mean that residents, shoppers and tourists alike can enjoy the delights of the Ribble Valley without having to worry about a lack of services.
“People often forget that rural areas such as the Ribble Valley tend to have fewer facilities for people to access and this scheme is a practical and community based project that will benefit everybody.”
More than 20 venues have signed up to the Ribble Valley Community Toilet Scheme, including supermarkets, cafés, pubs and libraries, but more participants are sought. If you would like to take part, contact Ribble Valley Borough Council’s head of engineering services, Terry Longden, on 01200 414523.