§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received concerning discrimination against people with disabilities from Mr. Jack Watson of Hillingdon, Middlesex: what reply he has sent; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Newton
Mr. Watson wrote to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 22 October 1985 alleging that the BBC was contravening certain sections of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970, the Disabled Persons Act 1981, and the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, and asking that the Secretary of State for Social Services exercise his default powers under section 36 of the National Assistance Act 1948. Mr. Watson's letter was acknowledged on behalf of the Secretary of State on 7 November 1985.
On the information contained in Mr. Watson's letter, it does not appear that my right hon. Friend has the powers, in relation to the issues raised, which Mr. Watson asked that he should exercise. A further reply has now been sent to Mr. Watson explaining this, together with an apology for the delay in writing to him again. The reply also indicates that, if Mr. Watson wishes to pursue the matter and will provide further details of his complaint, consideration will be given to whether there is any action which could appropriately be taken.