HC Deb 31 July 1963 vol 682 cc88-9W
94. Mr. Prentice

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will make a further statement about his propoals for implementing the recommendations in the Report of the Working Party on Workshops for the Blind.

Mr. Hare

The recommendations in the Report are generally acceptable to the Government and to the local authorities and other interested organisations with whom my Department has been in consultation about the main issues raised.

Arrangements are being made to set up the central advisory corporation recommended by the Working Party and I hope shortly to make an announcement about the chairmanship. I intend, in consultation with the corporation, to carry out a review of the likely need for capital development in the workshops over the next ten years. In the light of this review I will make a further announcement about the sum which, subject to any overriding economic or financial considerations, I shall be prepared to make available for grant towards the cost of approved developments.

Discussions between the interested parties about the recommendation that a Joint Industrial Council for Workshops for the Blind should be established, covering the whole of Great Britain, are expected to take place in the near future. The first task of the Council would be to consider a new wages structure for introduction into the workshops, as proposed by the Working Party's report.

The remaining recommendations in the report will be the subject of further consultation with the organisations concerned over the next few months.