A high-profile clergyman has welcomed a new business toilet initiative across Harborough – after he proposed it in the first place.
The Rev John Morley put his brainwave to the district council’s Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Phil Knowles last year.
The council is now urging pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops and other businesses to back Harborough Community Toilet Scheme.
Mr Morley, president of Harborough Royal British Legion, said: “I’m delighted this project is finally going ahead.
“It’s crucial that people of all ages, as well as disabled people, are able to pop into our shops and businesses to use the loo – without having to spend a penny!
“It’s great that this is free – and the more outlets that sign up to it across our district the better.”
The retired RAF Wing Commander said he was inspired after doing voluntary work with his wife at a museum in Kendal, Cumbria.
“They operate a similar blueprint up there and it works well.
“So I mentioned it to Cllr Knowles and he suggested it to the council,” said Mr Morley, the RBL’s former county chaplain.
“Unfortunately, public toilets are being closed all the time so it’s vital people have access to other free and clean loos while out and about.”
Cllr Knowles said: “I’d like to salute the Rev Morley because he came to me with this superb plan originally.
“He said we could try it in South Leicestershire and so I presented his idea to the council.”
Community toilets scheme cllr jonathan bateman and market manager sairah butt
Some 10 businesses in Harborough and Lutterworth have already swung behind the project.
They have been given a blue sticker to display in their shop window.
Participants will also be listed on the council’s website in a bid to persuade more customers to visit them.
Cllr Jonathan Bateman, the authority’s environmental services lead, said: “This is a positive scheme to encourage shoppers to spend more time in the town, and in local shops and cafes, by giving them the opportunity to use more facilities.”
Businesses can sign up to the scheme by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Full details are available on the council website at www.harborough.gov.uk/community-toilet-scheme
Pictured: Cllr Jonathan Bateman and Market Manager Sairah Butt signing businesses up at the Harborough Indoor Market