Yet more pandering to foreigners...
Middle Eastern-style 'squat' toilets are to be fitted in a shopping centre after bosses attended a cultural awareness course.
WCs at Rochdale's Exchange shopping centre will include two Nile pans alongside traditional western toilets when they reopen following a refurbishment.
The pans differ from western toilets as the user is able to squat over them, rather than sitting. They are preferred by some members of the Asian community for cultural reasons and were installed to give staff and customers the option of using them.
The decision to install pans in the ladies and gents toilets came about after centre management attended a cultural training course with community activist Ghulam Rasul Shahzad. The retired Rochdale Council training officer runs courses for the police and other organisations about cultural understanding and community cohesion.
Mr Shahzad took the centre manager Lorenzo O'Reilly and his team on a tour around Central Mosque, including a look at its toilets, as part of the course.
He said: 'The management at the centre were very committed to improving the service they offered to the community and were very responsive. We always work together to understand each other from both sides and find a balance. That is the beauty of Rochdale. That is why I am proud to be a Rochdalian.'
A spokeswoman for the centre said: 'We regularly receive cultural awareness training from Ghulam and when we were planning the toilets this was something that cropped up.'
The toilets will open next Monday.
Nile Pan toilets can be bought from a limited number of UK plumbing retailers, priced about £200.
Rochdale hit the headlines during this year's General Election campaign when pensioner Gillian Duffy was dismissed by Gordon Brown as a 'bigoted woman' when she voiced concern about immigration.
Government research last year showed more than a quarter of primary school pupils in Rochdale spoke English as a foreign language - and named one school, Heybrook Primary, where every single one of the 453 pupils spoke English as a second language.
The town's council recently produced a special 'Black and Minority Ethnic' housing strategy for the town 'in recognition of the increasing ethnic diversity in Rochdale' and the minorities' 'level of housing need'.
In the aftermath of the 2001 Oldham race riots, Rochdale was placed on an 'at risk' list by the Home Office whichwas monitoring possible spread of such violence.