HC Deb 20 October 1972 vol 843 cc724-6

Lords Amendment: No. 24, in page 32, line 36, at end insert: (2) A probation and after-care committee ('the principal committee') may, with the approval of the Secretary of State, delegate all or any of their functions to a sub-committee consisting of members of the principal committee and such other persons (if any) as may be co-opted to be members of the subcommittee; but so that the number of co-opted members of the sub-committee shall not exceed the number of its members who are members of the principal committee.

Mr. Carlisle

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

I understand that with it we are to take the following Lords Amendments No. 41, in page 41, leave out lines 14 to 19.

No. 51, in page 44, line 49, column 3, after "onwards" insert "paragraph 3(4)".

No. 55, in page 45, line 46, column 3, after "3" insert "paragraph 19(4) and".

The purpose of the Amendment is to enable a probation and after-care committee to delegate in certain circumstances and with the approval of the Secretary of State some of its functions to a sub-committee. The reason for the Amendment is related to the reorganisation of local government. The Government have decided to retain the broad pattern of local organisation in the probation service in committees of magistrates and they have also decided to establish a probation area for each new county created by the Local Government Bill.

It was represented to us that in the metropolitan areas the probation committee should be connected to the district rather than the county, but as the county is to be the paying authority, it is felt right that the metropolitan county should be the area of the probation and aftercare committee.

However, it is accepted that some of these areas would include large numbers and it may be appropriate and would meet the fears connected with having the county rather than the district as the probation committee area if there were the power to delegate the powers of the committee to sub-area committees. The proposal is that, where appropriate, the metropolitan counties could be divided into two or more sub-areas each of which would be under the supervision of a sub-area officer, whose office would be located in that sub-area, which would comprise one or more local government metropolitan districts. There would be, for each sub-area, a sub-area committee of magistrates to whom the senior probation officer in the sub-area would be responsible.

This proposal retains the wish of the Government to retain a connection between the counties and the probation areas as the counties are to be the paying authorities, while where necessary giving the opportunity to split the size of the probation service where the area is felt to be too great for there to be that contact between the officer and the committee that has always been a part of the probation service.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords Amendment agreed to.

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