Disabled Persons (Vehicles)

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 7th February 1978.

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Photo of Mr John Evans Mr John Evans , Newton 12:00 am, 7th February 1978

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many disabled drivers' tricycles are off the road awaiting repair in the North West Region of England.

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

About 140 in the areas covered by Manchester and Liverpool artificial limb and appliance centres. Apart from three instances which pose special problems, no client is without a vehicle as a consequence. This is because stocks of replacement vehicles are held for issue in such cases.

Photo of Mr John Evans Mr John Evans , Newton

Will my hon. Friend inform the House whether the service in the North-West is improving or deteriorating? Will he also tell the House how the North-West compares with other regions? Does he recognise that when vehicles are off the road considerable problems are caused to disabled people?

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

I shall be in touch with my hon. Friend about the detailed comparisons that he has requested. I stress that the problem is one of spare parts, not spare vehicles. Of the 140 disabled drivers whose vehicles are off the road, 137 have alternative vehicles. I shall keep in mind what my hon. Friend said.

Photo of Mrs Lynda Chalker Mrs Lynda Chalker , Wallasey

Will the Minister consult his colleagues in the Department of Employment to find out whether it is possible to make use of their scheme when vehicle spare parts are not available for trikes so that those who have trikes awaiting repair are not prevented from going to work?

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

I am in close contact with my ministerial colleagues in the Department of Employment. The matter raised by the hon. Lady is one that I shall have in mind in further consultations.

Photo of Mr Lewis Carter-Jones Mr Lewis Carter-Jones , Eccles

Is my hon. Friend aware that a large number of voluntary organisations in the North-West are not happy about the figures that have been given? I know that he will look at this matter most carefully. Is he further aware that voluntary organisations in the North-West disagree with the Department about the figures issued for the North-West?

Photo of Mr Alf Morris Mr Alf Morris , Manchester Wythenshawe

The figures that I have given are those officially available to me. I am prepared to contact my hon. Friend and to go through with him any differences that there may be regarding the statistics.