§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will make available resources for the purchase of(a) static and (b) portable ramps to improve access to polling stations;
(2) what resources he made available in the last financial year for (a) static and (b) portable ramps to improve access to polling stations.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
Finance is available from the consolidated fund to meet 50 per cent. of the cost of providing temporary ramps for polling stations to assist access by disabled voters. As elections are held only infrequently in comparison with the other uses made of buildings designated as polling stations, there is no justification for central Government to meet the full cost of providing either permanent ramps or the full cost of temporary ramps from election funds.
The Secretary of State assumed responsibility for financing parliamentary elections in Scotland on 22 August 1991. No applications for support towards the cost of providing ramps at polling stations were made by 232W Scottish returning officers in the remainder of that financial year; one such application has been made, successfully, in the current financial year.