Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stairlift waiting lists debate in the commons?

Labour MP Keith Vaz asked the following question in the House of Commons recently.

Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) (Lab): May we have a debate next week on the guidelines for the provision of stairlifts for elderly people by local authorities? My constituent Vera Cheshire is 78 years of age. She has a colostomy bag, an artificial leg and has lost the use of one of her arms. She has been waiting for 18 months for a stairlift from Liberal-led Leicester city council. Does my right hon. Friend agree that when local authorities fail to discharge their duties, especially to the vulnerable in society, it is important that Ministers intervene and that, at the very least, we should debate such important matters?

Mr. Hoon: As ever, my hon. Friend makes his point, and he does so with considerable force. It is outrageous that anyone should have to wait so long for assistance from their local authority. I am sure that the Liberal Democrat leadership in the House of Commons will look at that as a matter of some urgency.