HC Deb 03 July 1984 vol 63 cc135-6
5. Dr. Mawhinney

asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will visit the Westcombe industrial unit for the disabled in Peterborough.

Mr. Alan Clark

As my hon. Friend will know, I intend to visit the unit on Tuesday 24 July.

Dr. Mawhinney

Is my hon. Friend aware that he will be most welcome in Peterborough? Is he further aware that the Westcombe unit and its associated sheltered workshops are among the best in the country and that we hope that as a result of his visit he will be able to disseminate information to other workshops for the benefit of the disabled?

Mr. Clark

I look forward to being able to corroborate the favourable comments of my hon. Friend. Westcombe industries are playing a constructive part in the employment of the disabled, because a high proportion of the work force is in sheltered industrial groups, which give better value to the taxpayer and, we believe, give a greater degree of fulfilment and self-esteem to the disabled people so placed.

Mr. Pavitt

Will the Minister, when looking at the whole question of industrial development and sheltered workshops, consider changing the law in regard to blind people? Is he aware that the only disabled who cannot move in and out of sheltered employment are the blind? Paraplegics can. Is this not an injustice to the blind?

Mr. Clark

I think I heard you say under your breath, Mr. Speaker, that the general question of the blind was not really germane to the main question. When in Peterborough, I shall look at the position as it relates to Westcombe industrial estates.