HC Deb 26 October 1967 vol 751 c1871
27. Mr. Brooks

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will give the details, including the dates, of the consultations which took place between his Department and the Cheshire County Council regarding the decision by the Council to close Marfords Remand Home, Bromborough, last July.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

The county council did not consult the Home Office before deciding to close the home. But they informed the Department of their decision a week before it was effected.

Mr. Brooks

I thank my right hon. Friend for that information, but as he is aware of the widespread concern in my constituency over the secrecy which has surrounded the affair, will he agree to set up an official Home Office inquiry so that the evidence of the superintendent and his staff can be assessed objectively?

Mr. Jenkins

No, Sir. I think that this is a matter exclusively within the concern of the county council, which is, after all, a democratically locally elected body. I do not think that it would be proper to intervene, even if I were to observe in passing that it appears to be easier for a county council to close a home with very much less exhaustive inquiry than it is for a Home Secretary to withdraw a certificate of approval.

Mr. Brooks

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I give notice that I will raise the matter again at the eariiest opportunity.

Forward to