HC Deb 19 June 1972 vol 839 cc7-8
9. Mr. Coleman

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will draw to the attention of local authorities in Wales the international symbol indicating special facilities for the disabled which is sponsored by the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

We did so in a circular to local authorities issued in February of this year.

Mr. Coleman

I am grateful for that answer. Would the hon. Gentleman agree that it is desirable that this symbol should be used extensively in both public and private buildings so that hardship to the disabled can be avoided? Would he not further agree that the use of these symbols in public buildings would be a good example to others?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I am happy to agree with the hon. Gentleman and am glad also to say that the Welsh Office has received no complaints that local authorities are failing to make progress in implementing the Act, within the limits of their resources.

Mr. Fred Evans

Will the hon. Gentleman accept that it would be far more to the point not only to accept my hon. Friend's suggestion but to bring pressure on the Government to ensure that Part I of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act is activated, because it is much more important that the facilities should be there before notification takes place? Would he not further accept that there is in Wales a body which is responsible for this, the Wales Council for the Welfare of Disabled People, at the inaugural meeting of which he was present, at Llandrindod Wells? Would he agree that this body could have much more power given to it in its early growth if Part I of the Act were activated?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I note what the hon. Gentleman says about the Act and I well remember the meeting to which he referred, at which I took the chair at Llandrindod. His hon. Friend's Question relates to the international symbol indicating special facilities for the disabled, and that was the point I was answering.