HC Deb 07 April 1965 vol 710 cc478-9
30. Mrs. Cullen

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps have been taken since 1963 to improve the provision of residential accommodation for severely-handicapped children in the Glasgow area.

Mr. Ross

Improvements have been made to the accommodation in a grant-aided residential school used by Glasgow children with severe physical handicap. Plans have been approved for the extension of two similar schools in Lanarkshire. Glasgow Corporation has opened a day centre for mentally-handicapped pre-school children. But more still needs to be done.

Mrs. Cullen

Does my right hon. Friend know that in 1963 we had 120 such beds, and that we were promised a further 120 by 1965, but that these have not been forthcoming? I hope that in the interests of these unfortunate children and their parents he will see that something is done very quickly.

Mr. Ross

I can assure my hon. Friend that I recall the Question she put down in 1963, and I recollect also the Answer she then got. I, too, am concerned that everything possible should be done to meet the target given to her at that time, and I promise her that I will lend my personal interest to the efforts that are being made in this direction.

The Earl of Dalkeith

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he has any definite estimate of the amount of accommodation required in Glasgow—and, indeed, in the whole of Scotland—and whether the figures suggest that there is an increasing demand for accommodation for children who are unfortunately handicapped in this way?

Mr. Ross

Yes, Sir. I can assure the noble Lord that we have just started an inquiry into the whole position in Scotland, and I hope that I will later be able to give further information to those hon. Gentlemen and hon. Ladies who are showing a continuing interest in this problem.