§ Mr. David Howell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will now reconsider her Department's decision not to approve the building of more residential homes for the mentally handicapped in Surrey; whether she will give particular attention to plans in this respect for the Guildford area; and whether she will make a statement.
§ Dr. Owen
I very much regret that as a result of the financial cuts made by the previous Government in December last year it will not be possible to provide this year loan sanction for any of the residential homes for mentally handicapped people included in the county council's programme. My right hon. Friend has already announced that this Government intend to do everything possible to restore the target figures for local authority loan sanctions envisaged in the White Paper "Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped". She will of course give careful consideration to the county council's future programme in the Guildford area and elsewhere and hopes to be able to approve loan sanction for two residential homes in Surrey during the next financial year.