HC Deb 27 July 1979 vol 971 cc697-8W
Mr. Mikardo

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) when he intends to publish the response of relevant local authorities to his decision to terminate circular 21/73, "Community Services for Alcoholics", in April 1980;

  1. (2) when he intends to announce the results of his Department's review of circular 21/73, "Community Services for Alcoholics", and to publish his plans for further financial assistance to voluntary organisations to establish hostels for alcoholics;
  2. (3) what response he has received from the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Ealing, Southwark, Kensington and Chelsea, Wandsworth and Croy- 698 don to his decision to terminate circular 21/73, "Community services for Alcoholics", in April 1980;
  3. (4) when he intends to meet voluntary organisations to discuss his Department's policies on services for homeless alcoholics to honour the commitment made in the House on 9 February.

Sir George Young

In 1973 circular 21/73, "Community Services for Alcoholics", introduced the Department's grant scheme for hostels for alcoholics on the understanding that it would, after five years, subject to review, be wound up or tapered off, and thereafter it would be to local authorities that voluntary bodies would look for any financial support.

The 1974–79 Administration extended the scheme for two years, as announced in circular LASS L(78)33 of 22 November 1978, so that it would terminate on 31 March 1980. The outcome of the review of the scheme will be announced when the consultations now under way are completed. Meanwhile, inquiries about the intentions of individual local authorities concerned should be addressed to those authorities.

The Government entered into no commitment on 9 February 1979. But we are studying the report of the advisory committee on alcoholism on the pattern and range of services for problem drinkers, and the comments which have been made on this, and are also awaiting the publication of the report of the working party on community services for alcoholics set up by the Federation of Alcoholic Rehabilitation Establishments—FARE.