§ Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what future help he intends to provide for the mentally handicapped in the North Down and Ards area.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
The Department of Health and Social Services is funding a 25-place extension to Ravara adult training centre, Bangor. The scheme is expected to be completed in the summer of 1986. In addition, a statutory residential home providing three places for mentally handicapped adults is expected to open later this year.
It is too early to say anything about the practical consequences in terms of service provision for North Down and Ards of the decision to transfer responsibility for the education of mentally handicapped children to the Department of Education and the Education and Library Boards.
Funds are being made available by the Department of Environment to Nih Housing Association Limited to provide, in conjunction with MENCAP, a 12-place hostel at Princetown road, Bangor, which is due to be completed shortly. Proposals from the association for an extension to its existing scheme at Bloomfield road, Bangor, which is managed jointly with the CROFT community, are currently under consideration.