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Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976

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20 Provision of sanitary appliances at places of entertainment.E+W

(1)A local authority (other than a county council [F1in England] and the Greater London Council) may, by a notice served on an owner or occupier of a relevant place in the area of the authority, require him—

(a)to provide, before the expiration of a period specified in the notice and in such positions at the place as are so specified, sanitary appliances of such kinds and numbers as are so specified;

(b)to maintain and keep clean the appliances to the reasonable satisfaction of the authority;

(c)to provide and maintain a proper supply of such things for use in connection with the appliances as are so specified (which may be or include cold water or hot water or both); and

(d)to make the appliances and things available for use by members of the public resorting to the place and, if the notice so requires, to make them so available free of charge.

(2)A notice in pursuance of this section may require the provision of sanitary appliances on such occasions as are specified in the notice but if it does so it shall not also require the provision of sanitary appliances as respects which occasions are not so specified.

(3)A notice in pursuance of this section—

(a)shall not require the provision, in connection with any building for which fixed sanitary appliances could be required by virtue of building regulations in force when the notice is served if the building were to be newly constructed then, of fixed sanitary appliances which are of a different kind from, or which as respects a particular kind are more numerous than, those which could be required as aforesaid;

(b)shall not require the provision of movable sanitary appliances at a betting office;

(c)shall, unless it is an occasional notice, specify as the period before the expiration of which sanitary appliances are to be provided in pursuance of the notice a period equal to or longer than that during which the recipient of the notice may appeal against it in pursuance of the following section.

(4)It is hereby declared that a notice in pursuance of this section in respect of a relevant place may—

(a)be served on an owner or occupier of the place notwithstanding that he is for the time being required to comply with a previous notice served on him in pursuance of this section in respect of the place;

(b)require the provision at the place of appliances already provided there.

(5)A person authorised in writing in that behalf by a local authority (other than a county council [F1in England]and the Greater London Council) may at any reasonable time, upon producing if so required evidence that he is so authorised, enter any relevant place for the purpose of determining whether the authority should serve a notice in pursuance of this section in respect of the place or of ascertaining whether the requirements of such a notice served on a person who is an owner or occupier of the place are being complied with; and a person who wilfully obstructs another person acting in the exercise of powers conferred on the other person by this subsection shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding [F2level 3 on the standard scale].

(6)Subject to subsections (7) and (8) of this section, a person who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with a notice in respect of a relevant place which was served on him in pursuance of this section when he was an owner or occupier of the place shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £400 or, on conviction on indictment, to a fine; and if after the conviction of a person of such an offence the failure in question continues he shall, as respects each day on which it continues, be guilty of a further offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £50 or, on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(7)In proceedings for an offence under the preceding subsection of failing to comply with a notice it shall be a defence to prove that at the time of the failure the person on whom the notice was served was neither an owner nor an occupier of the relevant place in question and that he did not cease to be an owner or occupier of it by reason of anything done or omitted by him or any other person with a view to avoiding compliance with the notice.

(8)In proceedings for an offence under subsection (6) of this section which is alleged to have been committed on a particular day it shall be a defence to prove that on that day the relevant place in question was closed to members of the public or was used neither as a betting office nor for any of the purposes mentioned in paragraph (a) of the definition of relevant place in the following subsection; and in proceedings for an offence under subsection (6) of this section of failing to comply with an occasional notice it shall be a defence to prove—

(a)that the alleged offence is in respect of a requirement of the notice which is unreasonable; or

(b)that it would have been fairer to serve the notice on a person, other than the defendant,—

(i)who was an owner or occupier of the relevant place in question when the notice was served on the defendant, and

(ii)whose name and address were furnished by the defendant, to the local authority which served the notice, before the expiration of the period specified in the notice in pursuance of subsection (1)(a) of this section.

(9)In this section and the following section—

  • betting office” means a place for which a betting office licence within the meaning of the M1Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 is in force;

  • occasional notice” means a notice in pursuance of this section requiring the provision of sanitary appliances on occasions specified in the notice;

  • sanitary appliances” means water closets, other closets, urinals and wash basins;

  • relevant place” means any of the following places—

(a)a place which is normally used or is proposed to be normally used for any of the following purposes, namely—

(i)the holding of any entertainment, exhibition or sporting event to which members of the public are admitted either as spectators or otherwise,

(ii)the sale of food or drink to members of the public for consumption at the place;

(b)a place which is used on some occasion or occasions or is proposed to be used on some occasion or occasions for any of the purposes aforesaid; and

(c)a betting office.

(10)Without prejudice to the operation of section 38(1) of the M2Interpretation Act 1889, in section 6(1) of the M3Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (which provides that a person required to provide sanitary conveniences by a notice under section 89 of the M4Public Health Act 1936 shall in complying with the notice have regard to the needs of disabled persons) for the words “section 89 of the M5Public Health Act 1936” there shall be substituted the words “section 20 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976”.

[F3(11)A notice under this section shall draw the attention of the person on whom it is served—

(a)to sections 6(1) and 7 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and

(b)to the Code of Practice for Access for the Disabled to Buildings.

(12)In subsection (11) of this section “the Code of Practice for Access for the Disabled to Buildings” means, subject to subsection (13) of this section, the British Standards Institution code of practice referred to as BS 5810: 1979.

(13)Section 28 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 (power to define certain expressions for the purposes of provisions of that Act) shall have effect as if any reference in it to a provision of that Act included a reference to this section.]

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F1Words in s. 20(1)(5) inserted (7.1.1997) by S.I. 1996/3071, art. 2, Sch.

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