Bingley Town Council is asking for feedback on its plans to install a Changing Places facility at Bingley Pool. Comments are needed back by 14th May 2018.

The Town Council is contacting those most likely to benefit from a Changing Places facility, a toilet for people with complex disabilities, and is also interested in the views of any other residents.

The aim would be to provide a Changing Places facility of around 8.75 sqm (exceeding the minimum space standard for a retrospective installation) including an adult sized changing bench and hoist.  The plan would involve converting one of the disabled changing rooms in a dry area at the swimming pool.  It has the go-head from Bradford Council which owns and runs the pool although any equipment and works, estimated by Bradford Council at £11,000, would have to be met by the Town Council.  An alternative would be to purchase a mobile Changing Places kit (for example https://www.migloo.co.uk/naked ) that could be used in the dry area changing room but moved as needed.

The call for a Changing Places facility has emerged from a consultation the Town Council carried out in December 2017 into plans to retain public toilet facilities in Bingley.  The public toilet block in the centre of the town in Jubilee Gardens has since been shut by Bradford Council at the end of March, although it has offered the Town Council the option of managing the site through a Community Asset Transfer (CAT), at long lease on a peppercorn rent.

The Town Council’s cost-effective solution is to reconfigure the toilet site so that it provides office accommodation for the Town Council along with two semi-automatic standard accessible toilets.  To fund the conversion, the Town Council will take out a government loan, repaying it over 20 years.  This plan received the support of the majority of residents who took part in the consultation in December and a precept to cover the works was set in January.

Campaigners for a Changing Places facility made a formal request for a reasonable adjustment to the plans to include a Changing Places facility.  The Town Council has considered the request, sought legal advice, and is currently formulating its response.

Taking into account the size of the building in question, the space requirements of both the council and two standard accessible toilets, the council’s resources, the not unlimited time in which to achieve a CAT and the possibility of a Changing Places facility at Bingley Pool (with longer opening hours, the availability of support staff and ongoing costs and any training met by Bradford Council), the Town Council has decided to pursue installing the facility at the pool.

Although Bradford Council has indicated it plans to shut Bingley Pool, there is no fixed date for closure and, in the meantime, the Friends of Bingley Pool are also pursuing and are optimistic about a Community Asset Transfer of the pool itself to retain the amenity.

Given the investment required and the resource implications, the Town Council would like to ascertain if the plan to install a Changing Places facility at Bingley Swimming Pool – either permanently or by using mobile equipment – has the support of those most likely to benefit from it.

Any requests for more information and feedback should be emailed to: enquiries@bingleytowncouncil.gov.uk