§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his estimate of the number of wheelchair users who do not venture out of doors because they are prevented by the design of their house and the access to and from it.
§ Mr. Armstrong
There is all too little evidence on which to base such an estimate and I should welcome information and views from those able to supply relevant material. My present advice is that there are probably very few wheelchair users who do not venture out of doors solely by reason of the design of their house and the access to and from it. Where they do not, it may well be because of other factors, such as the availability of private transport, having a friend or relative who can push the 223W wheelchair, being able to sit in a wheelchair without discomfort when out of doors and not being worried about incontinence.
As a follow up to the statement made by my hon. Friend the Minister for Housing and Construction on 4th February the Department has prepared a paper, "Wheelchair Housing", giving guidance aimed at avoiding the kind of obstacles which my hon. Friend is concerned about. It is hoped to circulate the paper to local authorities and other interested bodies as soon as possible.