Public toilets set to be exempt from business rates

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The Welsh Government has agreed that a UK Parliament Bill to make public toilets exempt from business rates should be extended to cover Wales (pdf).

At the moment, public toilets are subject to business rates like any other commercial building and this is believed to have played a part in their gradual closure or transfer down to town and community councils.

The Senedd passed the Public Health Act 2017 which places a duty on councils to prepare local public toilet strategies, though there’s no legal requirement on councils to provide public toilets themselves.

In September 2019, campaigners called for public toilets to be considered an essential piece of public infrastructure.

The Bill will be applied retrospectively from 1st April 2020 and the Welsh Government estimates it’ll save £450,000 in business rates in Wales.

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