HC Deb 16 July 1987 vol 119 cc1266-7
5. Mr. Canavan

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any plans to review the operation of existing legislation regarding safety at sports grounds and other public places; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

Parts II, III and IV of the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987, which received Royal Assent on 15 May, amend the existing legislation for spectator safety at sports grounds and the licensing legislation for indoor premises. There are no plans for a further review.

Mr. Canavan

Is the Minister able to reply to the submissions that have been sent to the Home Office by myself and others about the need for a public safety information Bill in view of the considered opinion of various experienced people and organisations that tragedies such as the Bradford football fire and the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster might have been avoided if the public had a statutory right of access to information on matters of public safety or the lack of it?

Mr. Hogg

I have not yet seen the letter written by the hon. Gentleman. The Government are committed to improving safety standards, and the Act, to which I have already referred, greatly improves the standards of safety that the public are entitled to expect at sports grounds. Under that Act, local authorities have greatly increased powers to inspect and control. As the hon. Gentleman will know, a whole range of stands have now been brought within control, whereas previously they were not.

Mr. Marlow

Would not sports grounds and other public places be somewhat safer if the Government would consider introducing a modern version of the stocks and pillories for football hooligans and other types of vandals who make life hell in our inner cities?

Mr. Hogg

That is the sort of humorous suggestion that I have learnt to expect from my hon. Friend.