HC Deb 02 July 1997 vol 297 cc161-2W
Mr. Öpik

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the level of disabled access to polling stations in Wales in the last General Election; and if he will ensure that failures to provide adequate access are remedied before their next use. [6086]

Mr. George Howarth

Information on the accessibility of polling stations in use in Wales for the General Election is not available centrally. County and County Borough Councils in Wales are statutorily required to designate as polling places for parliamentary elections, so far as is reasonable and practicable, only places which are accessible to the disabled. Acting returning officers may apply to the Home Office for grants towards the cost of providing temporary ramps, where it is not possible for them to use a building for the purpose of a polling place at a parliamentary election which affords easy access for the disabled. Grants are also available for specially adapted polling screens for use by the disabled.

The same provisions will apply at the forthcoming referendum to be held in Wales. In this instance, grants will be available from the Welsh Office towards the cost of temporary ramps.

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