Declares the Petitioners serious concerns about the HMRCs Workforce Change proposals which will close twenty-five offices, including Hove, and lead to a reduction in staff by 2300 across the South-East. The Petitioners further declare that the proposed changes in the HMRC are aimed at generating financial savings and do not take into account the quality of service delivery and the adverse impact both on staff and on customers.
Declares that looped operating cords on window blinds are dangerous, particularly to young children, as the tragic death of Menstrie toddler Muireann McLaughlin
in February 2008 and similar tragic deaths of children in the UK demonstrates. The Government should take all necessary actions to prevent further unnecessary deaths in the future.
The Government is aware of the dangers looped cords in blinds and curtain products present for small children. Since 2004, DTI/BERR officials have been working with BSI to bring about important changes to the European standard on internal blinds. These changes, which we expect to see ratified later this year, will see the introduction of stronger warning requirements as well as a requirement for these products to be either supplied with suitable accessories to keep cords out of the reach of children or alternatively to include in the product design a mechanism that will achieve the same effect.
In addition, we are driving forward discussion within the General Product Safety Directive Committee on what more can be done to improve blinds safety in Europe. Banning looped cords as the Petition requests is not practical. There are many different types and design of internal blind (e.g. horizontal blinds, cellular shades, roller shades, Roman shades, vertical blinds etc) and with some the use of internal and/or external looped cords is critical to their functioning (e.g. the external loop on roller blinds). However, with many designs this is not the case and we will continue to encourage the current trend away from use of external looped controls where these are not necessary.