'Scottish Government has betrayed disabled people over toilets pledge' 

Jeremy Balfour said the SNP was yet to honour a plan to make funding available for an increase in the number of accessible public conveniences.

A Conservative MSP will accuse the SNP of “betraying” disabled people in a debate on funding for disabled toilets at Holyrood on Tuesday.

Jeremy Balfour’s members business debate will highlight the Scottish Government pledge to invest £10m in Changing Places toilets.

In September, social care Minister Maree Todd said she would open the fund for this by the beginning of 2025.

Balfour said the toilets, which provide facilities for people with complex disabilities, are essential for many people and called for funding to become available faster.

Balfour said: “The SNP’s failure to deliver on this key pledge represents an abject betrayal of Scotland’s disabled population.

“Ministers talk a good game but – unlike the UK Government – they are all talk and no action.

“Changing Places was a commitment in the SNP’s 2021 programme for government, to allow those with profound and complex disabilities to access public spaces and fully participate in society.

“Yet, more than two years on, and not a single penny of that money has been distributed – despite several projects in my own region of Lothian being ready and waiting for the money.”

He added: “We are talking about a relatively small amount of money here in the grand scheme of the Scottish budget.

“We know the SNP’s economic mismanagement has produced a huge black hole in Scotland’s finances, but those with disabilities should not be made to pay for their incompetence.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We remain committed to investing £10m in Changing Places toilets, allowing us to increase the number of these facilities across the country and support mobile Changing Places toilets to allow people easier access to events and outdoor venues.

“We will open the fund by the beginning of next year, in line with our commitment to do so over this parliamentary term.

“We are already seeing the benefit of our amended Scottish Building Regulations legislation requiring the provision of Changing Places toilets in larger new buildings, with new facilities opening regularly.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code