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The BBC has taken some stick over recent years with accusations that it’s lost its impartiality. I’m forgiving it for the time-being as it’s just given some good coverage to the plight of our nation’s WCs.
In an article headed up: ‘How to survive without public toilets’, it draws attention to the fact that at least 1,782 public toilets have closed in the last decade, with some councils now offering no public facilities whatsoever. It brought in the British Toilet Association’s Raymond Martin, to comment.
One of the issues Ray and his colleagues (and indeed all of us) face is that councils don't have to provide public toilets. Under the 1976 Local Government Act, those in England and Wales can simply install them in places of entertainment and other ‘relevant places’.
That’s all very well if we’re in a ‘relevant place’ when we need the loo, but what if we’re not?
The 1986 Public Order Act means we could be prosecuted if ‘going outdoors’ is likely to "cause harassment, alarm or distress" to others. Urinating where you will not be seen, in a shop doorway, say, or behind bushes, is covered by local bylaws. Newcastle, which has no council-run public toilets whatsoever, has a bylaw, stating: "No person shall urinate or defecate in any public place." The maximum penalty is a £500 fine.
Where does that leave the people of Newcastle – apart from ‘at home’? And what about tourists and other visitors?
Some people will pop into a shop, pub or café – which Ray agrees can be embarrassing. Some will sneak in while others will ask first; but private businesses are not legally bound to provide free toilets for non-customers.
Some councils promote the Community Toilet Scheme, where businesses offering toilet facilities to non-customers display stickers in their windows. "Some businesses realise that having a toilet gets more people in, increasing footfall and takings,” offers Ray. That’s all very well if users leave the washroom clean…
The Great British Public Toilet Map shows where people can use the loo across the UK and Ireland and there are moves in Wales to compel councils to create a strategy ensuring public toilet provision across the area. "It's something that we could do with across the UK," says Ray. "Having decent public toilets is good for public health, business and the prevention of disease.
It’s also civilised. Having nowhere to go, is not!
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This Week's News
Mitie has this week announced the launch of a new drone service. The technology facilitates improved property surveying, efficient thermal mapping and the inspection of high-rise buildings - previously unreachable. The drone inspection service offers unrivalled benefits in terms of quality of the inspection, cost reduction and instant reporting; it was trialled by Mitie's pest control business.
The drone's hi-resolution 4K camera boosts the accuracy of each survey giving facilities and property managers a more detailed inspection service. With the ability to reach 400ft, previously inaccessible places are reachable from the ground and without the need for specialist equipment.
Urging people to take a closer look at their personal hygiene disposal habits, the Ontario Clean Water Agency and the Clean Water Foundation - together with the Regional Municipality of York, Town of Mississippi Mills, Niagara Region, City of Barrie and Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury - have teamed up to launch the I Don't Flush 2016 public awareness campaign on personal hygiene products.
The campaign includes Public Service Announcements that urge the public not to flush personal hygiene products - even when labelled 'flushable'.
From 21 - 23 June 2016, cleaning and facilities management professionals will flock to ExCeL London to discover new solutions, network and share knowledge and innovation at the cutting edge of the FM industry.
The cleaning industry will be out in force, showcasing its products and services.
The service and maintenance side of the cleaning machine sector is set for a significant shake-up with the launch of a new offer from one of the biggest names in the industry. Already established as one of the most respected suppliers of pedestrian and ride-on cleaning machines, Hako has restructured its approach to long-term maintenance.
Key to the new offering is the inclusion of non-Hako equipment in a new range of contract options that have been designed to help customers extend the operating life of their machines, reduce downtime and minimise the risk of unexpected breakdowns and associated repair costs.
Ample room for bigger stands meant New Zealand's leading players in the cleaning and hygiene sector could showcase a complete selection of goods including sweepers and scrubbers, a wall full of washroom dispensers, window squeegee demonstrations, backpack vacuums being modelled and an automated floor cleaning robot making its way up and down the aisle.
The new facility has been designed to meet a growing demand for powdered detergent across the UK, and will initially handle 400,000 kilos of product per year, aiming to exceed the one million kilo mark by 2020.
When it's cold and raining you can guarantee mothers everywhere are arguing with their children over why they need to wear a coat to protect them from the elements. However, this good advice can do more than just protect against ill health, it's something that can be carried across into corrosive protection in industrial settings.
Peter Crossen, vice president of the Maintenance & Partsmaster Innovation Platform at NCH Europe, explains how the right coating makes all the difference.
Kyrgyzstan's foreign ministry has summoned a Kazakh diplomat for talks after Kazakhstan's culture and sports minister said he felt sorry for Kyrgyz migrant labourers having to clean public toilets in Russia, reports Reuters.
The Kyrgyz foreign ministry said in a statement last week that Arystanbek Mukhamediuly's comments were insulting and "had provoked negative reaction from the Kyrgyz public and were not in line with the allied spirit of Kyrgyz-Kazakh relations."
Derby Crown Court heard how 39-year-old Matthew Lambert was refuelling his road sweeper at the yard of Leedale.
Chemicals and a gas-operated pressure washer that created dangerous levels of carbon monoxide led to the hospitalisation of five men who were cleaning a restaurant in Florida, USA, on Monday.
Emergency crews who attended Bartow's Catfish Country Restaurant found what was described as 'a dangerous situation' and Polk County Fire Rescue Spokesperson Kevin Watler told WFLA News Channel 8: "Chemicals and a gas-operated pressure washer were used inside the structure to clean. We noticed a strong odour of exhaust at the doorway. Crews found levels to be more than 500 parts per million. Anything over 50 parts per million is considered to be hazardous. This could have been much worse."
A new research report which claims that the global airline industry has created a race to the bottom which is putting airport workers, airport safety, and the quality of services for passengers under pressure, has inspired SEIU union members from all over the world to take part in the first-ever Global Day of Action at airports across the globe.
Although he admits "there is probably a limit to the number of people who want to sit and listen to the endless, often un-scriptable, stories we domestics have," I for one could listen all day.
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Recent UK News
Dear CSSA Members and Industry Colleagues,
We have been advised of the following by Philippa Rouse, Head of Illegal Migration, Identity Security & Enforcement from the Home Office's Immigration & Border Policy Directorate (IBPD): The Immigration Bill 2015, which had been introduced in Parliament in September 2015, has now received Royal Assent and will be known as the Immigration Act 2016.
Monthind will take over responsibility for all Atkins Gregory staff, contracts and its headquarters in Cambridge, while the business will continue to trade as Atkins Gregory.
The granting of this Royal Warrant reflects Buckingham Palace's commitment to sustainable initiatives, including the use of ecological cleaning products.
Price Bailey's Offices in Old Broad Street was the venue for the CSSA's first board meeting since relaunching in February.
Members were invited to reconstitute the board of directors and executive management bodies, which has resulted in the CSSA now having one of the most experienced boards in the cleaning industry. Former BCC chairman and CEO of Principle Cleaning, Doug Cooke, returns as chairman, Bob Vincent, chairman of LCC Support Services, will be vice-chairman, and Mike Rutherford, Alba Victoria Cleaning & Support Services, is treasurer.
The British Institute of Facilities Management wants to know if (and how) your organisation engages with the sustainability agenda. Are you aware of which teams take the lead; how the facilities management division contributes; and what metrics are used to report on the impact of sustainable business strategies?
Events & Exhibitions
ISSA North America
Loo of the Year Awards
Future of Surfactants Summit
Budapest Cleaning Show