UK toilet politics: Indian-style commodes scrapped

Last Updated: Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 17:24

London: A major shopping centre in Greater
Manchester has pulled the flush on plans to install
Indian-style commodes in view of public backlash against the
move to cater to the preferences of people with origins in the
Indian sub-continent.

Manchester has a significant minority of Asian
origin. The Manchester airport and Royal Mail have installed
Indian-style commodes, but the Rochdale Exchange Shopping
Centre has decided against providing the facility to its
customers.

Managers of the centre had planned to install the
Indian-style commodes along with western ones in its newly
refurbished toilet blocks after undergoing cultural awareness
training.

The plan, however provoked protest across Britain.

The commodes, which have already been installed,
will be scrapped and When the refurbished toilets open, they
will not be available for use, reports from Manchester said.

The shopping centre is visited by nearly 140,000
people every week, including Asians.

The Rochdale Council had been against the idea, but
was not consulted when the plans were put into operation.

The council reportedly put pressure on the centre`s
parent company, DB Estates, to rethink the idea.

Council Leader Irene Davidson appealed for the
decision to be overturned, and said if the council had been
consulted, it would have been against the installation of the
pans.

The refurbishment of the toilets was paid for by the
shopping centre.

Responding to the latest development, deputy council
leader Ashley Dearnley said: "I`m really pleased that the
shopping centre have realised that this was the wrong thing to
do in every respect, both for the town and race relations."

Davidson said: "I have had one threatening and one
extremely rude letter about these and I would like an apology
from the Exchange because they have yet to say publicly that
they were responsible.

"The toilets are there but they will not be used, and
their future is short. I am absolutely shocked at how the
council has been treated".

She added: "Rochdale is blessed with a diverse and
friendly population. We get on well and respect one another.
Doing things like this is divisive and does not help our
borough."

Councillor Farooq Ahmed called the toilets `an
embarrassment to Rochdale` which had stirred up racial
tension.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 17:24

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