HC Deb 11 March 1997 vol 292 c131W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of polling stations require remedial work to facilitate access for disabled people; and if he will make a statement. [19229]

Mr. Sackville

It is the responsibility of district and London borough councils under section 18 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, as amended by schedule 4 of the Representation of the People Act 1985, to designate as polling places, so far as is reasonable and practicable, only places which are accessible to the disabled. Councils are not required to account to this Department for their progress in meeting this responsibility and no details are available centrally. However, acting returning officers are regularly encouraged to 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 which would otherwise afford easy access for the disabled. £175,400 has been provided in grant aid for these purposes since the last general election.