§ Mrs. Chalker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what plans he has to encourage the implementation of Section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970;
(2) how many authorities have carried out Section 1 surveys for the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and, of these, how many have used Job Creation Scheme projects to do so.
§ Mr. Alfred Morris
Surveys to help authorities carry out their duties under Section 1 have been undertaken in all parts of England since the passing of the Act. A number of authorities and voluntary and other bodies have made use of the Job Creation Programme to carry out surveys; and I have asked the Manpower Services Commission, which is responsible for the scheme, if they can provide the hon. Lady with the latest available details.
Through formal surveys and by less formal means, local authorities have been able to increase the numbers on their registers from about 405,000 when the Act was passed to about 854,000 on 31st March, 1976. They have difficult priority choices to make, but I strongly believe that it is even more necessary during a period of economic constraint for them to identify the handicapped in their areas 244W so as to ensure that limited resources are directed to those most in need. For this reason, my Department takes every opportunity in its contacts with local authorities to inquire about progress in implementing the Section and to encourage them to continue the process of identification. I shall be raising the matter again at a meeting with Directors of Social Services in the North of England which is to be held shortly.