§ Mr. Oaten
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has to monitor the facilities made available for the disabled to vote in the local government elections in May; 
(2) what new guidelines he has issued to returning officers in relation to improving disabled access at polling stations. 259W
§ Mr. George Howarth
We are developing a voluntary national standard on access to polling stations for disabled voters and guidance will be issued on this in due course. The Society of Local Authority Chief Executive Officers is also reminding its members to pay particular attention to this matter at the May local elections in the light of recent recommendations by organisations such as SCOPE. We will not, however, be carrying out a specific monitoring exercise this year.