ETS 14.3.23
ETS 14.3.23

At this afternoon’s meeting of the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, Labour Councillors are bringing forward proposals to put public health front and centre of the political agenda, from public toilets to food standards.

Having successfully working with residents to lobby the Green administration to u-turn on plans to close more public toilets, then securing funds at Budget Council to invest in public toilet refurbishments, Labour are now calling for further scrutiny and monitoring of progress on public toilets, to ensure the capital funding is spent and toilets re-open swiftly.

Public toilets are crucial for public health, equalities, tourism and local businesses, and since the Green administration has lost credibility on this issue, Labour’s amendment this afternoon keeps their feet to the fire and ensures there is democratic oversight of the re-opening of public toilets.

Elsewhere, Labour are introducing plans to review the system of monitoring food standards to keep the public safe. Labour Councillors want to ensure that there is more scrutiny around food hygiene, substitution, labelling and allergies to drive up standards and public health. Labour want to see the food controls system be more robust, with real enforcement paired with regular inspections.

Labour’s joint spokesperson on environment issues, Cllr Nancy Platts said:

“It’s crucial this council focuses on public health. We know that every pound invested into public health saves more in the long-run for our NHS. Whether that’s ensuring people can use clean, safe public toilets, or can trust the food they are consuming is up to standard.

“Keeping our toilets open helps people enjoy our open spaces for walking, running, cycling and all kinds of outdoor fitness. That’s important because Covid hasn’t gone away and we want everyone to stay as fit and well as possible.

“Public health is an area often overlooked, but the pandemic has shown us the cost of not prioritising it.

“I hope the other political parties will support our common sense proposals to keep residents safe and drive up public health standards in the city.”

Labour’s joint spokesperson on environment issues, Cllr Gary Wilkinson said:

“Sadly, the Greens cannot be trusted on public toilets – so we want to ensure there is greater democratic oversight on their progress in re-opening them.

“The thousands of residents who signed petitions in the run-up to budget council shows how much public interest there is in the council ensuring there are clean, safe public toilets open for residents and visitors, so we must keep the pressure up on the administration to deliver.

“We also want to ensure food standards are at the highest possible levels in our city, in the interests of public health. The last thing you want is to eat something questionable and then not have a public toilet open!”

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