The British Toilet Association (BTA) has made national and international news with Managing Director Raymond Martin being interviewed by over 50 sources from the UK and World news media about all aspects of public toilet provision and cleaning.
It started when Martin was quoted in an article by The Sunday Times on May 24, about the future of public conveniences following the Coronavirus pandemic.
He stated that the BTA had been continuously giving advice and guidance to councils and companies about keeping public conveniences safe during the pandemic, with the continued need for the safety and health of all users. It was even predicted that it could well lead to a transformation in future provision, he told the newspaper.
Martin told the paper that a range of new measures may need to be instigated around urinals and washbasins to enforce social distancing and thereby reduce the risk of Coronavirus transmission between users, perhaps leading to many public toilets featuring individual cubicles and being upgraded to non-gender specific units.
He also alluded to other measures that might be designed or installed to stop the spread of the disease, ranging from foot-operated or electronic flushes, self-closing seats and integral sanitising systems are being discussed by their members and could be considered.
Martin told the Sunday Times that publicly accessible toilets had always played a vital role in our nation’s health and well-being, social inclusion, equality and, as was very evident recently, a desperate need for public decency and dignity.
The BTA is continuing to encourage the Government to urgently recognise the importance of, and seriously focus and invest in, helping local councils to revolutionise the nation’s toilets and washrooms as an urgent matter of ‘public health’ and to fight not only this current virus – but potentially any future threat of contamination.
Martin was quoted as saying: “It’s going to require a structured approach and careful planning to improve and sustain these essential facilities and the BTA is ready and willing to support a Government strategy.
“If we want to get our local economies re-established and flourishing, fully support our increasing visitor and tourist numbers and allow everyone to safely visit our villages, towns, cities, parks and beaches, then the Government has to step in, bring back life and stability to this country. We believe firmly that publicly accessible toilets are a vital building block of that vision.”
The story prompted huge interest and public support, with Martin being quoted extensively in UK media outlets such as The Daily Mail, The Star, the Scottish Sun and the Mirror and by news providers as far afield as Australia. He also received a deluge of requests by media to give interviews, leading to appearances on BBC One Breakfast Show, C5’s Jeremy Vine Show and national radio, among others, as well as requests for advice from public toilet operators around the country.
The BTA is a member of the British Cleaning Council. The council’s Chairman, Paul Thrupp, said: “Well done to Raymond and the BTA. They have done a fantastic job of putting public toilet provision on the national agenda and raising the profile of the work done by the cleaning sector generally.”