§ 8. Mr. Woodall
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what recent action has been taken to ensure the fuller implementation of section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act.
§ 11. Mr. Ioan Evans
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what recent steps he has taken to improve the implementation of section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Rossi
Local authorities are aware of their duties under sections 1 and 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, and implementation is a matter' for them.
§ Mr. Woodall
Will the Minister make it clear, as has the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, that keeping disabled people on waiting lists for a long time is illegal? Will the hon. Gentleman give a categoric assurance about the advice that he is giving to local authorities on this important matter?
§ Mr. Evans
Is the Minister aware that full identification of the disabled is a prerequisite to ensuring that help is given to those who most need it? Will the hon. Gentleman make it clear that section 1 of the Act relates not to sample surveys but to the full and individual identification of the disabled in every locality?
§ Mr. Wigley
Will the Minister confirm that it is no excuse for local authorities to plead poverty so as not to undertake their statutory responsibilities under the Act?
§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
Is my hon. Friend aware of the exhibition in the Upper Waiting Hall entitled "Communications for the Aged and Disabled"? Will he encourage local authorities to visit the exhibition within the next few days, because it would not only help local authorities to save money but ensure that the aged and infirm were able to lead a more meaningful life?
§ Mr. Ashley
The implementation of the Act will reduce discrimination against disabled people. Has the Minister received a letter from Peter Large, who was chairman of the committee that produced a report advocating legislation against discrimination, in which he accuses the Minister of grossly misleading the House of Commons in a recent debate? If so, what was his response, and will he place a copy of it in the Library?
§ Mr. Terry Davis
Will the Minister reconsider the answer that he gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemsworth (Mr. Woodall)? Is there not some evidence of a trend among local authorities to institute waiting lists for people who have applied for help under the Act? How many local authorities are now operating waiting lists and how many people are on them? Will the hon. Gentleman use the default powers if he receives evidence of local authorities operating waiting lists as a dodge to avoid the responsibility that has been placed upon them by an Act of Parliament?
§ Mr. Rossi
One specific allegation was referred to me, the matter was looked into, and I understand that the problem has been resolved. I deplore the maintaining of waiting lists for those whose need has been recognised and where the local authority should be discharging its obligation to the community. As I said, under the Act my responsibility is to individual families. That is the legal advice that I have been given.