With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I wish to present a petition on behalf of the Disabled Drivers Association in my constituency, as one part of the effort on the National Mobility Petition. The prayer on the petition reads:
To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.
Whereby the statement by the Secretary of State for Social Services on 23rd July 1976 on mobility policy for the disabled causes your humble petitioners great concern in that it removes the assurance of continued independent mobility from those severely disabled persons now driving invalid tricycles, and condemns many new applicants for mobility assistance to be housebound as a result of the inadequate level of the mobility allowance, your humble petitioners pray that your honourable House call upon the Secretary of State for Social Services to promote policies and proposed such necessary legislation as will:
(a) Immediately guarantee a right of continued independent mobility to current invalid tricycle drivers when the supply of tricycles is exhausted, in order to allay their great anxiety for the future; (b) Restore immediately the option of a suitably adapted car or an invalid tricycle to new applicants for mobility assistance under the powers granted to the Secretary of State for Social Services by Section 33 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968; (c) Actively promote projects to design and produce specialised vehicles which will enable an increasing number of severely disabled people to enjoy independent mobility;
and yourselves enact the legislation.
And further, your humble petitioners pray that your honourable House take all necessary steps to promote a total policy of mobility which will ensure that a choice is available to severely disabled between a mobility allowance set at a level which will enable the purchase and maintenance of appliances that they need, the issue of a specialised vehicle or the issue of a suitably adapted car; which policy should be implemented with all possible urgency.
I understand that it is not appropriate to make a speech on these occasions. I will therefore simply say that I am very happy to be able, as one sign of my support for these efforts, to present this petition to the House.And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.
To lie upon the Table.