Public Toilets and Body Piercings

Feb 28, 2017 | Articles, Assembly Business, Assembly Issues | 0 comments

Plenary Tuesday 28 February 2017


Spoken Contribution -18:10:26

Thank you, Deputy Presiding Officer, and thanks to the Minister and the various committees for bringing the Bill forward to the current stage. I was going to talk about obesity, but I feel several other people have spoken on that so I don’t want to labour that point.

I think the public toilets issue is a moot point, not just for people with medical conditions but people in general. I was interested in Julie Morgan’s observations, because there was a pub in her constituency, the New Inn in Birchgrove, which I used to frequent, and occasionally people would go in who weren’t using the pub and they were directed to the toilets. I seem to recall the landlady telling me that they were part of a scheme, which may be similar to the sort of scheme that David Melding was talking about. Unfortunately, the pub then closed for refurbishment and that landlady is no longer there. It would be interesting, nevertheless, to find out what kind of scheme they were running and whether that could be more widely applicable.

The only other point I would like to make is to echo and amplify what Angela said about the issue of piercing and the age of consent that we should have for body piercing. Angela compared it to female genital mutilation, with the possibility of someone of 16 or 17 being involved in a coercive relationship, which was interesting. I hadn’t thought of that before, but I had previously thought that, in some cases, it may be a manifestation of self-harming among the young. I do agree with the desire expressed by several people that perhaps you could look at raising the age limit to 18. I think that is important on that point. Thanks very much.