Checks on clubs to stay

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The Independent Online
The Government is set to abandon a plan to lift checks on children's clubs and holiday play schemes, denounced as a "pervert's charter".

Ministers have postponed a decision until after Lord Cullen's inquiry into the Dunblane shootings, carried out by Thomas Hamilton, who was able to set up several sports clubs for boys despite attempts by various authorities to stop him.

Before the shootings, the Government had invited views on plans to remove the requirement for registration and inspection of supervised activities for children under eight years old, and to relax registration requirements for holiday play schemes.

The plans arose from the Deregulation Initiative led by Michael Heseltine, the Deputy Prime Minister.

Department of Health sources said some providers of children's activities had complained that the procedures were "burdensome", but that others had condemned the plans as a "pervert's charter".

John Bowis, the health minister, said yesterday: "I have decided not to take any decision on this until the Cullen inquiry has reported."