HC Deb 08 December 1971 vol 827 cc334-5W
Dr. Trafford

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what changes are to be made in the organisation of central advisory bodies for the social services in the light of the Seebohm Report and the Local Authority Social Services Act, 1970.

Sir K. Joseph

The Government have decided, after consultations with the interests concerned, to set up an advisory body for England and Wales to be known as the Personal Social Services Council. This will replace the Advisory Committee on the Health and Welfare of Handicapped Persons and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I propose to appoint the chairman and members of the new council to be our Advisory Council on Child Care.

As the council's field will be a wide one it will need to operate extensively by means of committees, on which it is envisaged that the many interests concerned will have opportunities to be represented. The council itself will be a managing body, comprising a chairman and 28 members, who will be appointed by Ministers as follows: 4 each on the nomination of the Association of Municipal Corporations and the County Councils Association, 2 each on the nomination of the British Association of Social Workers and the Association of Directors of Social Services, 1 each on the nomination of the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work and the Central Health Services Council—on which there will be the reciprocal membership of a social worker and of a representative of the Personal Social Services Council—5 after consultation with voluntary social services organisations, 3 after consultation with organisations representing social workers, 3 after consultation with education, training and research interests, 1 after consultation with the medical profession and 2 at Ministers' discretion.

The Advisory Council for Probation and After-Care, the Central Housing Advisory Committee, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of the Disabled and the Scottish Advisory Council on Social Work will be invited to appoint observers.

It is hoped to bring the Council into being early in 1972. It will be financed by central Government until 1st April, 1973, and thereafter jointly by central Government and the local authorities.