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Lancaster and Morecambe emergency toilet plan would help those who "fear being caught short"

The Just Can't Wait card is held by around 170,000 people nationally

People who suffer from bladder and bowel conditions may soon be able to use toilets in public buildings across Lancaster and Morecambe if they urgently need to go.

Councillors are looking to back the 'Just Can't Wait' toilet card scheme which gives people access to toilets not normally open to the general public.

Around 170,000 people - who suffer from illnesses and conditions which mean they may need the toilet urgently - already carry the 'Just Can't Wait' card scheme across the country.

It was set up by Bladder and Bowel UK and is recognised and supported by many retail and service organisations nationwide.

A group of Labour councillors, led by Councillor Jean Parr (pictured below), are calling for Lancaster City Council to support the scheme.

They want the council to become a partner for the 'Just Can't Wait Card' scheme so that all council public buildings, such as Morecambe and Lancaster town halls and The Storey in Lancaster, are accessible for those carrying this card.

"Many people across the district suffer from illnesses/conditions which can be debilitating, ranging from incontinence to stoma surgery," says a council report.

"These conditions can lead to them needing the emergency use of toilet facilities urgently.

"The Bladder & Bowel community have established the 'Just Can't Wait Toilet Scheme' which enables people to carry a card and enables businesses and organisations to allow emergency access to toilet facilities.

"People have told the Bladder and Bowel Community that they are trapped in their own homes due to the lack of public toilets and the fear of being caught short.

"There are over 14 million people in the UK living with a bladder condition and 6.4 million with a bowel condition with thousands suffering across Lancashire desperately in need of emergency access to toilet facilities."

The report also says: "Most of the council’s buildings open to the public already have toilet facilities available to the public when the building is open.

"Therefore, there are no known issues with allowing this to continue and ensuring holders of the 'Just Can’t Wait' card can access these facilities. "There are some practical considerations for access to The Platform via the Visitor Information Centre so access will be dependent on staff availability. It isn’t clear what is involved in becoming a partner of the 'Just Can’t Wait' scheme other than allowing access to facilities.

"Any other requirements and costs would need to be considered."

As part of Councillor Parr's recommendation, the council chief executive Mark Davies is also being asked to write to local town and parish councils, as well as city council suppliers and business partners across the district, to encourage them to join the scheme.

The recommendation will go before a vote of Lancaster city councillors at the next meeting of full council, to be held on Wednesday November 9 at 6pm at Morecambe Town Hall.

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