Public toilets matter to everybody, regardless of their age, class, ethnic origin, gender, mental ability or physical ability. They are even more important to certain sections of our society, including older people, disabled people, women, families with young children and tourists. The first public toilets were introduced in 1852 and some of the finest surviving architectural examples date from this Victorian heyday. However, while the Public Health Act 1936 gives local authorities a power to provide public toilets, it imposes no duty to do so, and this lack of compulsion, together with a perception of nuisance associated with them, has arguably resulted in a steady decline in the provision of public toilets in recent years.
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