HC Deb 23 June 1977 vol 933 cc1720-1
3. Mr. Bradford

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will consider financial assistance for the introduction of a disabled persons' telephone bureau which would be structured on similar lines to that which is currently operating in Manchester.

The Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Ray Carter)

I understand that the telephone information service for the disabled in Manchester is operated by a small number of volunteers who are themselves disabled and who provide the service from their own homes. So far there has been no demand for a similar scheme in Northern Ireland, but if any disabled persons or organisations representing them wish to have such a scheme introduced their views will be considered sympathetically.

Mr. Bradford

I am grateful to the Under-Secretary of State for his reply. Will he accept that a number of people involved in the voluntary social services are anxious to introduce such a scheme, and that the introduction of this scheme would cost hundreds rather than thousands of pounds? Will he be prepared to meet a number of interested people in order to discuss this matter further in the immediate future?

Mr. Carter

My noble Friend the Minister of State is responsible for this matter, and in speaking for him I know that he would be only too pleased to meet people who might come forward with any scheme. It does not involve a great deal of money and we are quite prepared to talk about it.