HC Deb 25 July 1979 vol 971 cc304-5W
Mr. Cook

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many direct pay ments for gas and electricity charges in respect of claimants in Scotland were made in each quarter from 1 January 1976; and what was the average payment in each quarter.

Mrs. Chalker

The available informa tion is given below. The figures for aver age payments include the amount deducted against arrears—currently 80p a week.

in England and Wales. A total of 54 long-term and 116 short-term places are under construction and a further eight long-term and 49 short-term places are planned.

In addition, the Department has provided and administers two youth treat ment centres. These are designed to meet the needs of the most severely disturbed and disruptive young people. Twelve of the 32 places at St. Charles' youth treatment centre, Brentwood, are secure and a further 12 secure places are planned. Glenthorne youth treatment centre, Birmingham, when fully in operation, will provide 54 secure places; 20 are currently occupied.

I am aware of the difficulty experienced in some areas in recruiting qualified staff for existing units and recruitment problems are also causing delays in opening new units. The Department will be ask- ing regional planning committees and individual local authorities to take staffing matters into account when planning new units.

Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of the necessity of first-rate staff to avoid the risk that secure units could cause further damage to already disturbed youngsters, what steps he will take to prevent any unit being opened without a full complement of fully qualified staff.

Sir George Young

My right hon. Friend will continue to take into account the staffing situation in secure units when he approves new units for use in accordance with the provisions of the Community Homes Regulations 1972.