The petition reads:
To the Honourable The Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. The
Humble Petition from we the undersigned sheweth:
That there is a great need for help with the rent and installation of the telephone for disabled and housebound people.
Wherefore your petitioners humbly pray that your Honourable House will pass legislation to ease the cost of the rental and installation of the telephone for disabled and housebound people.
And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, etc.
What is especially significant about this petition is that it was organised by a very remarkable, physically handicapped, housebound constituent of mine—a clergyman's widow who is 80 years of age, Mrs. Rhona Cooper of 59 Pasture Lane, Padgate, Warrington. Mrs. Cooper, operating from her armchair in her living room, collected no fewer than 7,008 signatures to a petition calling for financial assistance for the elderly, disabled and housebound with the installation and maintenance of a telephone.
She herself is living proof that a telephone is an essential link with the outside world and thousands of people without it suffer silence and loneliness. I trust that the Government will give serious consideration to this issue.