The Campaign for Public Infrastructure Q1 2023 Impact Report
The CFPI’s Impact Strategy committed to regular reporting of activity. This marks the first of such reviews, produced for campaigners, supporters, and partners.
Q1 of 2023 focused on the launch of the CFPI’s flagship campaign, seeking investment in public toilets.
We approached key government and political stakeholders to brief them on the campaign. We held successful meetings and are developing relationships with an influential APPG to hold a Parliamentary event in Q2.
These interactions developed our messaging, and we are grateful to the support provided by many.
Disability and public toilets
Particular gratitude must be expressed for the generosity of the disability charity sector. Insufficient public toilet provision across the UK has a profound impact on the accessibility of public space for members of the disabled community. Organisations and individuals throughout the sector have come forward to tell their stories, providing essential narratives and insights.
On February 4th, the CFPI welcomed the allocation of a further £7m to Changing Places Toilets, investing in 120 new accessible toilets suitable for severely disabled individuals and their carers. This brings the funding awarded by the scheme to £30m.
To tell your story, please get in touch.
Toilets in transport networks
In January, the London Assembly Labour Group rejected an amendment to divert £20m from Transport for London (TfL) reserves into building new free toilets across stations.
The CFPI respects that TFL is not in a position of significant financial comfort. However, with London Underground passenger numbers between 60 to 80% of pre-pandemic levels, we believe this represented an opportunity to invest in promoting the network to those who might otherwise be dissuaded. A quick trip on the tube is not as easy for many.
Following this vote the CFPI has opened dialogues with stakeholders within the London Assembly, Mayor of London’s Office, and Transport for London, to identify why the amendment was rejected and how we might work together to deliver a more accessible transport network.
In March, a Backbench Business Debate on Decarbonising Rural Transport in the House of Commons provided an unconventional route to promoting our message. To increase usage of public transport and improve services for those unable or unwilling to drive in rural areas, it is essential that spaces are accessible, providing respite for those in need.
Toilets in the media
Public toilets have gained significant coverage in regional and local news sources in 2023. Our campaigners have found opportunities to raise the issue of limited provision in their area, and our team continue to support efforts to champion civic infrastructure. The CFPI Press Team have provided comment to many stories.
The CFPI recognises that public toilets have struggled in national media. As we approach the 2023 Local Elections in May, we are exploring with partners how this can be addressed. We have outlined in great detail the scale of this issue, but this does not communicate the human impact of declining toilet provision. We must tell those stories.
The CFPI Network
Our 2022 Impact Strategy established Point 2: Networking, as essential to the sustainable operation of the CFPI. This strategy relaunched the Public Infrastructure Network, with the CFPI as Secretariat, coordinating charities and influencer organisation efforts to revive civic and community spaces.
In February 2023, the Public Infrastructure Network convened its first strategic review meeting, identifying the campaigning priorities of members as they approach the 2023 Local Elections. To request the minutes and write up, contact us here.
The CFPI team plans for Q2 2023 to be a significant one in our mission for better communities through civic infrastructure. The CFPI and Public Infrastructure Network will be working to ensure that the Local Elections prompt an essential dialogue about the future of our public space.
These are likely the final local authority elections before a General Election and represents an opportunity to build a campaigning infrastructure and record of delivery before that pivotal moment.
But to do all that we hope, we need your support. Join our activist community and become a campaigner today.
Our campaigners take action on public infrastructure online for just a few minutes each month.
We will email you brief, easy activities, including signing petitions to fund public toilets and emailing your local politicians to invest in community space.
You’ll complete these at a time to suit you.
We’ll need your voice, your unique perspective, your understanding of your area.