HC Deb 28 April 1976 vol 910 cc108-9W
Mr. George Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make a statement about the action he has now taken to deal with the problem of homeless young people in London.

Mr. Ennals

The Government intend to make public the outcome of the deliberations of a working group on the problems of homeless young people and in particular those who come to London from the provinces, on which Government Departments, local authorities and voluntary bodies are represented. Its work is now nearly complete.

In the meantime, the Government have provided funds enabling a voluntary organisation to prepare and distribute widely over 50,000 copies of a leaflet warning young people of the problems facing them if they come to London without proper preparation in time for it to be available for boys and girls who left school at Easter. Proposals for information services at Euston and Victoria Coach Station have been drafted by a group of voluntary organisations and they have been invited to apply to the Voluntary Services Unit of the Home Office for a grant.

The Government expect the working group also to give its views on how far recent housing legislation and the Government's housing policies are making it easier for young people to find accommodation and what more can be done by collaboration between interested statutory and voluntary organisations to increase the amount of suitable accommodation for them, especially in London, and to improve safeguards for hostel residents.