HC Deb 29 June 1967 vol 749 cc739-40
49. Mr. Ellis

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he takes to ensure the safety of public citizens in respect of fairground equipment.

Miss Bacon

Apart from any provisions in local Acts, local authorities have power under Section 75 of the Public Health Act, 1961, to make bye-laws for securing the safety of the public at fairgrounds. Model byelaws compiled by the Home Office are available for use by local authorities. From his experience as confirming authority my right hon. Friend has no reason to suppose that the powers, or the enforcement arrangements made by local authorities, are inadequate.

Mr. Ellis

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that there is a gap in legislation regarding the adequate inspection of fairground equipment? Is there not need for further legislation on this matter? Might this not be made the responsibility of the Ministry of Labour, since it has an inspectorate already at hand which could do the job?

Miss Bacon

As I explained in my Answer to Question No. 48, enforcement is the responsibility of the local authorities. I gather my hon. Friend is now asking that it should be the responsibility of a Government Department. That is a new idea. Up to now the enforcement by local authorities has worked quite well.

Mr. Hogg

Since some of the equipment is peripatetic, is there not a case for standardisation throughout the country?

Miss Bacon

As I have explained, we have model byelaws for the use of local authorities and the Showmen's Guild has itself since 1966 issued certificates to various equipment in fairgrounds. But if there is any gap, I am ready to consider it. This was a very sad accident but I am pleased that there are so few such accidents.