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Accessible toilet plans to help men dispose of sanitary products

Toilet facilities at Cannock Chase Council’s headquarters are being changed to enable men to dispose of sanitary products with dignity and privacy.


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Councillor Charlie Frew, who is stepping down from the authority next month, called for sanitary bins to be installed in male toilets to aid men with medical needs, such as those affected by prostate cancer.

Councillor Frew said that one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and as many as 69% of those treated with surgery may experience urinary incontinence as a result.

He added that one in 25 men aged over 40 will experience some form of urinary leakage every year, while one in 20 men aged over 60 will experience bowel incontinence in the UK.

His motion, put forward at last month’s full council meeting, also asked the authority to back Prostate Cancer UK’s Boys need Bins campaign and encourage other providers of public and workplace toilets in the district to make sanitary bins available in male facilities to dispose of waste such as incontinence pads.

It was referred to cabinet for further consideration due to potential financial implications.

At this month’s full council meeting (April 17) members received an update from cabinet member Sue Thornley.

Accessible toilet facilities will be available to use for those requiring a medical waste bin to dispose of sanitary products, regardless of their gender.

She said: “Following the recommendation from cabinet we did go and look at the men’s toilets, but the stalls are too small to place any bins.

"We did look at putting them outside in the handwash area, but people would lose their dignity and have to leave the stall to come out to a bin to dispose of medical waste.

“We are going to convert the disabled toilets into accessible toilets.

"There are five of these in the building and we feel this will deal with the space issue and give privacy.”

Councillor Frew thanked Councillor Thornley for the response.

He said: “I understand you are constrained by the geographies of the building and I appreciate the work that has gone into this.

“The other thought that I have had is when we are looking at other council assets and buildings, such as Hawks Green Depot. Are we looking at other council buildings?”

Council leader Tony Johnson responded that the authority did intend to consider measures for its other buildings, as well as speaking to Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, which runs leisure facilities on behalf of the council.

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