§ Mr. Nigel Jones
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to make the provision of home accident prevention initiatives a mandatory function of local authorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. John M. Taylor
There are no plans to make home accident prevention initiatives a mandatory function of local authorities. Many local authorities already participate in home accident prevention, underpinned by the wide range of free home safety awareness literature provided by my Department's consumer safety unit. However, it is important that local authorities are free to balance this activity alongside other competing priorities.
There are no plans for specific funding for local authorities to provide home accident prevention initiatives. However, my Department makes a wide range of free home safety literature available to local authorities and provides a grant in aid to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, which is used to support four regional home safety officers who work closely with accident prevention staff in local authorities.
The number of home accident victims treated in accident and emergency units in the United Kingdom in 1994 is estimated at 2.9 million—according to one report of the home accident surveillance system, HASS, for 1994.
Estimates for earlier years—1977 onwards—are given in the appropriate HASS reports, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Prior to 1987, the estimates refer to England and Wales only.