HC Deb 06 December 1967 vol 755 cc1439-40
31. Mr. Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures are now in force for assisting voluntary organisations to provide daytime training for those severely handicapped children for whom education authorities make no provision.

Mr. Millan

The councils of counties and large burghs in Scotland have power to assist voluntary organisations for this purpose. I understand that most of the 10 centres provided by voluntary bodies receive help from local authorities, mainly in the form of accommodation and equipment.

Mr. Lawson

Is my hon. Friend aware that substantial assistance might be given through the Health Service, for example? Is he aware that some local authorities are much more tardy than others and that his Department could do a great deal to stimulate those authorities into taking active steps to assist this invaluable work?

Mr. Millan

We do all we can to encourage authorities to make this kind of provision, but the ultimate responsibility rests with the authorities. If my hon. Friend has any particular local problem in mind, I should be glad to look at it.

Mr. Buchanan-Smith

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the particular difficulties of smaller local authorities, especially in rural areas? Will he do all he can to give special help to them and perhaps use his own influence to help with liaison with neighbouring larger authorities which have the facilities to help these children?

Mr. Millan

Some smaller authorities are very much better than larger authorities in this kind of provision.