Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1021
Ordered: that Counsel and Parties be called in.
1021. CHAIRMAN: Mr Berryman?
The Petition of the London Borough of
1022. MS LIEVEN: I think, my Lord, that
Mr Reed has one or two clearing-up points from yesterday to deal
with before we call Mr Berryman.
1023. CHAIRMAN: Certainly.
1024. MR REED: Thank you, my Lord. We
have endeavoured overnight to answer two particular questions
that you raised yesterday concerning the Disability Living Allowance
issue, the first as to who can actually make an application and
gain the benefit of a mobility allowance and the second relating
to the numbers of people who would benefit from the lower-rate
mobility component in the relevant wards relating to Manor Park
and Maryland. We have produced a set of documents to talk the
Committee through what we have found out, but I am afraid we only
have an overhead projection for the moment, in which case I will
talk through what will come up on to the screen.
1025. The first point is that there is no standard
definition of disability. We have endeavoured to give some context
for why it is that we used the mobility component and it is this:
that, because of the approach taken in respect of planning transport,
what is generally done as a proxy for understanding the number
of disabled people is that one uses that mobility component. That
essentially was the purpose behind using, in this case, the higher
rate of mobility allowance.
1026. CHAIRMAN: Presumably that is an
overestimate for people who would not be able to go up or down
1027. MR REED: That is right. I was going
to deal with it later on, but, if I can just be clear, the reason
that we ourselves put that information forward was in order that
the Committee could understand the relative levels of disability
within those various wards in comparison to London generally,
although at the time we gave the figures for the UK and another
area, namely Forest Gate, which itself is going to have an upgraded
station, so we were using it simply as a comparator, of course
knowing or now appreciating that the Living Allowance element
will cover a wider number of people than those who would benefit
from step-free access.
1028. CHAIRMAN: That is very helpful,
thank you very much.
1029. MR REED: My Lords, if we can then
turn to the next slide which deals with who it is that can obtain
a Disability Living Allowance, we have set out a summary of the
The relevant sections of the Act and the statutory instruments
are somewhat complicated and what we have done is use the information
produced by the Department of Work and Pensions' Information Directorate
in order to explain in more simple terms those who can benefit
from Disability Living Allowance.
1030. If I run through each of the smaller bullet
points: firstly, you are unable or virtually unable to work, or
you have no feet or legs; or you are assessed to be both 100 per
cent disabled because of loss of eyesight and not less than 80
per cent disabled because of deafness and you need someone with
you when you are out of doors; or you are severely mentally impaired
with severe behavioural problems and qualify for the highest rate
of care component; or the effort of walking could threaten your
life or seriously affect your health; or you need guidance and/or
supervision from another person when walking out of doors in unfamiliar
places. Those, in short, are the criteria and of course, as you
rightly point out, my Lord, it incorporates people who would not
necessarily require step-free access.
1031. We then give some information on the higher
and lower rate of the mobility component of the allowance.
The lower rate is referable to whether you need guidance or supervision
out of doors and the higher rate is then if you have any of the
other more severe walking difficulties and, when you receive the
hard copies, you will note that the last of those bullet points
is the one that leads to the lower-rate Disability Allowance.
1032. CHAIRMAN: I think we would quite
like copies of those in due course.
1033. MR REED: We will make sure that
that is done for your Lordships. The next is simply a list of
the main disabling conditions that could lead to the conclusion
that you should be entitled to the allowance.
Again this information comes from the Department of Work and Pensions
and I will not read them all out, but your Lordships will notice
that there are a good many of them that lead to the need for step-free
1034. If we can turn on then to the next slide,
all that is pointed out on this slide, and I deal with the second
of the bullet points, is that the way in which we used it was
as an indicator, that is to say, the mobility allowance figures,
of the comparability between various areas and we of course acknowledge,
as we have done in the first bullet point, that one cannot use
that statistic to predict the absolute level of demand for step-free
1035. Turning to the next slide, in response
to the question, I think, from Lord Brooke in respect of the figures
for the lower-rate mobility component.
We have endeavoured to get that information and your Lordships
can see that, firstly, the second column identifies the higher-rate
mobility component and shows that as the total number and then
as a percentage of the relevant population in the wards and in
the borough as a comparison and then in London as a whole. Your
Lordships will remember that Mr West yesterday gave information
on the position in respect of the UK at 0.9 per cent, so, when
your Lordships get the hard copy of this sheet, you can note that
for your Lordships' information. What we do not have, however,
are the actual figures on the UK, that is to say, the figures
that make up the percentage of the populations. The third column
deals with the lower-rate mobility component and again indicates
what that is as a percentage of the population. My Lords, I do
not have the UK figure, but what we do have is the London figure
and I think it was Lord Brooke who indicated that he wanted to
have a like-for-like comparison and that it should be narrower
than the UK. In fact I think it was Lord Young, but, in any event,
we have provided the London figure as opposed to the UK figure.
1036. That deals with the information that we
have been able to obtain to explain the nature of the figures
that were included in Mr West's presentation. We are also endeavouring
to get the actual boundaries of the various wards that make up
Maryland and Manor Park. When we have that plan, we will certainly
provide that to your Lordships straightaway. My Lords, that is
all I have at the present time.
1037. CHAIRMAN: Nevertheless, it is extremely
helpful and thank you very much. Now, Ms Lieven?
1038. MS LIEVEN: My Lord, can I proceed
to call Mr Berryman. While Mr Berryman is taking his seat, following
on from the questions that were asked yesterday, we have sought
to prepare a note on the figures that we have used for people
who are likely to benefit from PRM accessible works and our approach
to the matter. Somebody has obviously done a lot of work on that
overnight and the note is being printed at the moment, so what
I would suggest doing is that I will come back to that at the
end of Mr Berryman's evidence and I hope that by that stage the
note will have arrived and Mr Berryman and I will be able to take
your Lordships through it.
1039. CHAIRMAN: You do it in whichever
order is convenient.
1 Committee: Ref: A4, Mobility Component of Disability
Living Allowance (SCN-20080227-001) Back
Committee: Ref: A4, Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance
Committee: Ref: A4, Higher and Lower Rate Mobility Component
of DLA (SCN-20080227-003) Back
Committee: Ref: A4, Main Disabling Conditions (SCN-20080227-004) Back
Committee: Ref: A4, Use of the Mobility Component Statistic(SCN-20080227-005) Back
Committee: Ref: A4, Mobility Component shows Wards have similar