Petition calls for public disabled toilet with a hoist in Yarmouth

The public toilets on Marine Parade near the Hollywood Cinema Photo: Steve Parsons

The public toilets on Marine Parade near the Hollywood Cinema Photo: Steve Parsons - Credit: ©EDP pics 2004

An e-petition has been launched to bring a fully accessible disabled toilet with hoist and changing table to Great Yarmouth.

Glenys Bright said the resort was effectively barring wheelchair users from spending any length of time out shopping or enjoying the night-time economy because of the gap in provision.

Since making public her disappointment that one wasn’t included in the Phoenix Pool rebuild the 60-year-old of Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, had been deluged with stories of disabled children changed on dirty floors and adults finding themselves in embarrassing situations.

She said Norfolk fared poorly on a map showing the position of toilets with hoists making it difficult for families to do “normal family things” or venture out for special events like the Maritime Festival or the Out There Festival.

The petition was set to go live yesterday, Thursday, on Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s website.

Mrs Bright, whose husband Keith has Multiple Sclerosis, said she had found out that units were available to hire and that it should at least be a short-term option which needed to be in place for next year’s seafront air show.

“It stops people going out,” she said. “Keith cannot go out for a meal in town. Norfolk is really behind and there is not even one at the James Paget Hospital. There is no bathroom with a hoist at the new hotels that have been built but others in the country do have them. It seems that we are so keen to get a bit of investment that we let some things slide.

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“We want people to stay longer and spend more money but we are missing a trick. Other seaside towns and other shopping centres have them.

“Most people do not understand people’s needs and I hope they never do but a lot of people do struggle and they are embarrassed by it.

“I feel quite strongly about it and more so when I realised how many children were affected.”

Mrs Bright added that attempting tricky lifts in ordinary toilets put both the carer and the disabled person at risk, and could be degrading.

The only such toilet in town is pool-side at the Marina Centre.

A spokesman for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it welcomed the petition as a way of expressing views.

Under the council’s constitution if a petition contains at least 450 signatures, a senior officer will give evidence at a public meeting of the relevant committee. If a petition contains more than 900 signatures it will be debated by the full council.