LETTER: Making Parliament more accessible

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The Independent Online
From Ms Evelyn Ryle Sir: It was with great interest that I read Julian Critchley's open letter to Tony Newton (14 December) on the subject of accessibility for visitors with disabilities at the Palace of Westminster.

The concept of access to the Houses of Parliament is one of the areas open to consideration in "Design visions - Parliament in the 21st century". The competition was launched by the Design Council (in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal Society of Arts, the House of Commons Education Unit and the Thorn Lighting Group) on 21 November, at a special meeting of the All-Party Group on Design.

The competition invites students to explore how Parliament could be designed to work more efficiently, using either the existing location of the Houses of Parliament or a site of their choice. Entrants can select the scope of their submission to cover asmuch or as little as they like, in one or more design disciplines.

By organising this competition, the Design Council aims to raise awareness, understanding and interest in the value of design as a means of turning our aims for the future into working reality, whether in relation to Parliament, future products, or otheraspects of our lives. The consideration of access for all, without prejudice, must form an important element of this.

Yours faithfully, EVELYN RYLE Chief Executive Design Council London, SW1

19 December