HC Deb 05 December 1985 vol 88 cc421-2
18. Mr. Hannam

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to issue the Cinemas (Safety) Regulations 1985 and accompanying guidance; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Giles Shaw

Having listened carefully to the central bodies representing the disabled, with which we shall he holding further discussions, we hope to reach a mutually acceptable agreement soon on what might be included in the non-statutory guidance which will accompany the regulations. We shall not propose restrictions on the admission to cinemas either of unaccompanied blind persons or guide dogs. The only restriction contemplated for wheelchair users is that wheelchairs must not be placed where they might obstruct exit routes.

Mr. Hannam

I warmly welcome my hon. Friend's announcement on behalf of organisations representing the disabled, which were extremely concerned at the original proposals in the guidance notes. Will he give every possible assistance to ensure that cinema managers carry out the wishes laid down in the guidance notes, so that the disabled can be given as much access as possible to cinemas?

Mr. Shaw

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his welcome of this development. I note what he has to say about cinema management. However, I must remind him—I am sure that he is aware of this—that the management is responsible ultimately for the safety of its patrons. It decides whom it will admit, within the conditions of its licence.