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Concerns raised over suitable toilets in north Norfolk, after mother forced to change disabled daughter on parish church floor

PUBLISHED: 09:35 13 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:17 13 August 2017

Emma Spagnola at the back of the new toilet, which will be in Cromer for the carnival. Picture: David Bale

Emma Spagnola at the back of the new toilet, which will be in Cromer for the carnival. Picture: David Bale

Archant

Concerns have been raised over the lack of suitable toilets in North Norfolk, which relies on tourism to survive.

Campaigners and sponsors at the new toilet. which will be in Cromer for the carnival. Picture: David BaleCampaigners and sponsors at the new toilet. which will be in Cromer for the carnival. Picture: David Bale

There were plans to build new ones in Cromer including a specially adapted disabled toilet as part of the planned car park development in North Lodge, but councillors objected to that. Campaigners want North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to rethink those plans.

The problems were highlighted on national TV by a woman who said she was forced to change her disabled daughter on the parish church floor in Cromer, because of a lack of suitable places.

Emma Spagnola, who started a social media campaign for a Changing Places toilet, said: “The woman was on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC2. She said she was recently on holiday in Cromer with her very physically disabled daughter.

“While she enjoyed the lifeboat day, it was marred by her daughter having got soaked through and having nowhere dignified to change her. She ended up having to change her on the parish church floor. This makes me so ashamed.

“I am embarrassed that this family didn’t get the respect and dignity that they deserved in my home town. Something needs to be done.”

Working with Cromer town councillor Jane Davis, and various sponsors, she arranged for a new Changing Places toilet to be placed at the Runton Road car park for the duration of the Cromer Carnival. It will be open from 9am to 9pm until Friday night. It will also return for the New Year’s Day fireworks event.

Linda Everitt, from the Cromer Carnival committee, said: “We need more of these facilities. We need a Changing Places toilet, as you cannot change a child on a toilet floor.”

More than 250,000 people, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people, cannot use standard accessible toilets.

They need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted. Changing Places toilets have more space and the right equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench and a hoist.

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