HC Deb 03 August 1971 vol 822 cc1314-5
6. Mr. Blaker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the Children's Regional Planning Committee for the North-West will be paying special attention to the deteriorating position regarding remand home vacancies for girls and boys in the region; and when he expects to receive the committee's proposals for improving this situation.

Mr. Alison

The regional planning committee consists of representatives of local authorities, with which the responsibility for the provision of remand facilities rests. The committee is required to include provision for such facilities in the regional plan it is at present preparing, and will be reviewing its needs accordingly. Its plan is due to be submitted to my right hon. Friend by the end of the year.

Mr. Blaker

While the position regarding vacancies for both boys and girls remains unsatisfactory, is my hon. Friend aware that the difficulties of the non-providing authorities in the North-West in securing vacancies for boys have got much worse since the beginning of this year, when part of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1969, came into effect? Will he undertake to consider the report urgently with the Home Office when it is received?

Mr. Alison

My hon. Friend will know that half the advantage of these new regional plans is that they will, we hope, show up local shortages where they exist. If we felt that the plans put forward were not adequate, my right hon. Friend would send them back for further consideration.