HC Deb 02 May 1967 vol 746 cc51-3W
Lieutenant-Commander Maydon

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what amounts have been paid from public funds in each of the last seven financial years to assist children's homes run by voluntary organisations under the provisions of the Children Act, 1948; how these figures compare with Exchequer grants to local authority homes for the same purpose; and what are the numbers of children cared for in each case in each of those years.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

The following Exchequer grants for the improvement of premises or equipment of voluntary children's homes in England and Wales were made under Section 46(1) of the Children Act, 1948:

Year Total grants Number of homes affected Number of children in the homes affected
1959–60 27,460 21 608
1960–61 45,860 19 360
1961–62 39,847 14 396
1962–63 39,895 10 353
1963–64 49,994 14 420
1964–65 50,000 15 431
1965–66 22,253 14 289

On 31st March, 1966, the number of voluntary homes registered under Section 29 of the Act was 491, accommodating 13,040 children.

Payments from local authority funds for the maintenance of children in the care of local authorities accommodated in voluntary homes under Section 13(1)(b) of the Act were as follows:

Year Payments by local authorities to voluntary homes Average number of children in local authority care accommodated in voluntary homes
1959–60 847,893 4,218
1960–61 823,949 4,002
1961–62 860,986 3,946
1962–63 916,821 3,988
1963–64 1,060,853 4,178
1964–65 1,146,604 4,423
1965–66 1,616,156 5,253

During the period 1959–66, the provision of children's homes by local authorities under Section 15(1) of the Act of 1948 was one of a number of functions, expenditure on which was specified as "relevant expenditure" for the purpose of the Exchequer grants ("general grants") provided under Section 1(1) of the Local Government Act, 1958. Under Section 1(3) of that Act, however, these grants were payable in aid of the revenues of the recipient authority generally, and were not apportioned to specific services. The number of children accommodated in local authority homes was about 19,500 throughout the period.