The Commons Education Select Committee yesterday warned the Government that self-regulation of such centres was inadequate. Plans for compulsory checks of children's activity centres were announced earlier this year. They will have to be registered, individually licensed, and subject to inspection and complaints procedures.
"Cowboy" operators who employ unqualified staff and fail to take proper safety precautions could be closed down under the measures contained in a Private Member's Bill expected to become law by May.
Four teenagers from Plymouth, Devon, died in Lyme Bay in March 1993 while taking part in a canoe expedition organised by a "challenge centre", whose managing director was later jailed for manslaughter.