§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) how many 100 per cent. identification surveys of handicapped people in local authority areas in the United Kingdom have been carried out since January 1977 or are being carried out currently; what is their source of funding; and which agency is responsible for their conduct;
(2) whether it is his policy to encourage community involvement in all aspects of disablement survey and identification work:
(3) what contact his Department has with agencies actively involved in the implementation of section 1(1) of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970; and what financial assistance such organisations receive from his department;
(4) what plans he has to ensure the continued ability of voluntary agencies assisting with the implementation of section 1(1) of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 to provide adequate technical and administrative services for their project work.
§ Mr. Prentice
I am informed that the voluntary organisation OUTSET has completed 100 per cent. surveys in Harlow and the central region of Scotland and is currently carrying out surveys in Northern Ireland and the London borough of Barnet. Except in Northern Ireland, where the survey was funded completely by the Manpower Services Commission, funds have been provided mainly by the Commission under its programme to provide temporary employment with some additional funding from individual local authorities and, in the case of Harlow, community service volunteers.
The Department is at present paying a grant of £7,500 per annum to OUTSET towards its administrative overheads and I understand that the director intends shortly to approach me about future assistance. Meanwhile, the Department maintains contact with OUTSET and is 486W available to offer guidance when necessary. While I am very glad that he services of OUTSET or any other comparable organisation concerned with identification of disabled people should be utilised by any local authority that wishes to do so, I could not in the present circumstances invite authorities to make use of these services. I have to leave it to the individual authority to decide how it implements section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act and the extent to which it involves community interests.
§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he intends to pursue the full implementation of section 1(1) of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970.
§ Mr. Prentice
My right hon. Friend has urged local authorities to protect the most vulnerable people in the community, but it must be a matter for each authority to decide how to proceed with the implementation of this section.