HC Deb 17 October 1994 vol 248 cc19-20
29. Mr. Harry Greenway

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has for further charters; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Hunt

Forty charters have already been published and more are planned.

Mr. Greenway

Will my right hon. Friend say what my constituent, Mrs. Joshi of Manor road, Ealing, who is severely disabled, can do? More than a year ago, she applied for a disabled parking space outside her home in order to have any mobility at all, but she has failed to receive an answer from the bone idle Labour Ealing council.

Mr. Hunt

I agree that it is common courtesy to respond. Whatever the answer might be, it is very important that all those who are involved in public service should respond to individual cases. I have no information about the case that my hon. Friend mentions, but I hope that his highlighting of the case here will lead to prompt action. However, my hon. Friend should not have to resort to doing that. I hope that he will be able successfully to urge his local authority to pay more attention to people.

Mr. Winnick

Is there to be a special chartermark for a former member of the Cabinet who joins a privatised company which was directly involved with the Department of which that former Cabinet Minister was the head? If we are really concerned about the integrity of public life and if we want to end the sleaze which dominates this country today, would not it be a good example if Cabinet Ministers made it clear that they would not join any such company for five years?

Mr. Hunt

The right hon. Member for Chesterfield (Mr. Benn) produced an unofficial publication, but the present Prime Minister was the first Prime Minister to publish a guidance for Ministers. That is now in the public domain; the standards are available for all to see. I wish that Opposition Members would desist from throwing around unfounded allegations. Our standards of British public service and of our life of service as Ministers and as civil servants are the highest to be found anywhere in the world. One has to go abroad to recognise that. Why do not Opposition Members do so?