HC Deb 13 February 1981 vol 998 cc435-6W
Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on progress so far in implementing the recommendations of the Silver Jubilee committee on improving access for disabled people; and if he will include in his statement the number of local authorities which now have access officers as recommended by the Silver Jubilee committee.

Mr. Rossi

Several of the report's recommendations were met by the establishment of the Committee on Restrictions Against Disabled People—CORAD—which is now well into its difficult tasks of continuing its predecessor's access campaign in England and, on behalf of the United Kingdom as a whole, of investigating the subject of discrimination against disabled people. I look forward to receiving CORAD's report by the end of the year. I am also glad to know that separate access committees have now been set up in the other home countries, as the Silver Jubilee committee suggested.

On the Silver Jubilee committee's recommendation concerning the access provisions of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, I understand that the Department of the Environment has been monitoring their effectiveness and is currently considering whether they should be strengthened, and the implications, including the costs, of doing so.

Local authorities received copies of the Silver Jubilee committee's report, but implementation of the recommendations directed at them is a matter for each authority to determine in the light of its resources. Whilst information on the number of authorities which have access officers is not collected centrally, I am aware that some authorities have appointed such officers or specifically encourage their planning officers to bear in mind the access needs of disabled people.