asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what study his Department has made of the Rossendale scheme for helping handicapped people to decorate their homes; and if he will make a statement.
I was very glad to make a recent visit to Rossendale at the invitation of my hon. Friend and of its local branch of the Disabled Income Group (DIG). I was able to study the excellent work which has been done for elderly and disabled people with the help of the job creation programme. I pay warm tribute to Mr. Harold Smith and his colleagues in the Rossendale branch of DIG, to the Manpower Services Commission, to local officials of my own Department and to my hon. Friend, for their efforts in improving the quality of life for disabled people in Rossendale by arranging for their homes to be redecorated. It was very clear to me, when I saw the results of the scheme, that it has brought much happiness to many hard-pressed people who have to spend much more time in their own homes than do non-disabled people. I am sure that the scheme could be studied with benefit by groups in other localities who might wish to follow the lead given by Rossendale.