HC Deb 12 January 1987 vol 108 cc99-101W
Mr. Silvester

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list initiatives by his Department which have been of benefit specifically to the north-east, north-west and Yorkshire and Humberside regions since 1979.

Mr. Fowler

All these localities have benefited from the increases in expenditure on health, personal social services and social security since 1979.

The Government have protected and increased the real value of nearly all the major social security benefits and the Social Security Act 1986 will introduce major reforms designed to target help more effectively, simplifying the system and tackling the worst effects of the poverty and unemployment traps.

Many initiatives are being undertaken by local social security offices to increase public awareness of the many benefits on offer. These include a project based at Bradford to provide an interpreting and translating service for members of the Asian community and an advice surgery run by Manchester central ILO. Regional freephone services have been introduced and a special eight page benefit supplement was compiled for publication by the Liverpool Echo.

The relevant regional health authorities (Northern, Yorkshire, Mersey and North Western) have benefited from the Government's policy of giving higher increases in funding to those National Health Service regions which have historically received less than their fair share of resources. Gross revenue spending has risen from £1,212 million in 1978–79 to £2,688 million in 1985–86—a real terms increase of 17.6 per cent. compared with a real increase of 15.2 per cent. for England as a whole. Gross capital spending over the same period rose from £115.4 million to £243.3 million—an increase of 19.9 per cent. in real terms.

Since 1979, 64 health building schemes, each costing more than £1 million, have been completed. The schemes include the major developments at Queen Elizabeth and North Tyneside district general hospitals, a new district general hospital at Grimsby, the Countess of Chester nucleus development and phases 1 and 2 of Preston New hospital. The table following sets out the 64 schemes mentioned.

Centrally the Department has provided funds for 15 projects to enable mentally handicapped children to be moved from long stay hospitals. Over £1.5 million has been given to develop five special projects for the mentally ill. This includes £400,000 to develop local community psychiatric services in inner city Leeds. More than £1,600,000 has been given to develop services for the elderly mentally ill. Ten projects have been funded including the creation of a family support unit in South Tees (£403,000) and a daycare and night sitting service in Stockport (£282,000). Over £1 million has been spent on a "Homely Care" scheme for the elderly mentally ill in Liverpool.

Since 1983 more than £2 million has been spent on funding initiatives designed to improve primary health care in inner city areas and to train additional community nursing staff. Twenty two family practitioner committees have computerized their records as part of a national programme to improve services to patients and general efficiency.

Local authority expenditure on personal social services has risen from £335 million in 1978–79 to £709 million in 1984–85—a real terms increase of 19 per cent.

The Department has allocated £4.6 million over three years since 1983 to pump prime 38 projects designed for drug misusers. These include a community based project providing prevention and treatment services in Tyneside (£300,000) and an outpatient clinic in Liverpool (£541,000). An additional £1,391,000 has been given in 1986–87 to be spent specifically on the development of services for drug misusers.

The locality has benefited from the funding of national voluntary bodies under the general scheme of section 64 grants. Additional money has been made available to fund various projects under the initiative "Helping the Community to Care"—designed to encourage voluntary help in the community.

Nine of the 28 projects funded so far in the special "Care in the Community" initiative, designed to encourage the shift of patients from long stay hospitals to the community, are in the locality. A total of more than £4.5 million has been spent. The projects include a home care support scheme for 60 elderly people in Darlington, a project for 32 mentally handicapped people in Fielden and Stanstead View hospitals, one for 20 elderly mentally infirm people from Rainhill hospital and one for 40 mentally ill people in the Ormskirk and Winwick hospitals. A further £1.25 million is expected to be allocated to the locality in the future.

Over £1.75 million has been allocated to 36 projects under the "Under Fives" initiative designed to help families with young children, especially those in low income, socially isolated situations.

More than £5.25 million has been allocated to projects under the "Intermediate Treatment" initiative, designed to offer an alternative to custodial sentencing for young offenders, and in 1985–86 more than £130,000 was assigned to other projects by the Intermediate Treatment Fund committee from its central allocation.

Northern RHA
  • Fenham Blood Transfusion Service Centre
  • Furness (Barrow) DGH scheme 1 phase 1
  • Furness general scheme 1 phase 2
  • Hartlepool DGH scheme 2 phase 1
  • Hartlepool DGH scheme 3 phase 4
  • Jarrow community hospital
  • North Tyneside scheme 1 phase 1
  • Queen Elizabeth Gateshead scheme 3 phase 1
  • Queen Elizabeth Gateshead scheme 3 phase 2
  • Royal Victoria Infirmary scheme 1 phase 4
  • South Cleveland general scheme 1 phase 1
Number of schemes = 11Yorkshire RHA
  • Bradford Royal Infirmary nucleus wards and Theatres
  • Grimsby DGH phase 1
  • Leeds General Infirmary phase 1
  • Pontefract General Infirmary
  • Regional Blood Transfusion Centre seacroft phase
  • Regional Secure Unit Wakefield
  • Scarborough DGH phase 1 (nucleus)
  • Scunthorpe DGH phase 3a service centre
  • Staincliffe DGH energy centre
Number of schemes = 9Mersey RHA
  • Alder Hey new boiler house
  • Arrowe Park new DGH
  • Broadgreen—cardiology/cardio thoracic unit
  • Countess of Chester—nucleus (West Cheshire)
  • Halton DGH phase 2 (nucleus)
  • Halton hospital residential accommodation
  • Macclesfield development (nucleus)
  • Mossley Hill ESMI unit
  • Rainhill regional secure unit
  • Regional stores
  • Royal Liverpool phases 2 and 3
  • Southport Infirmary—new main block
  • St. Helens redevelopment phase 1 geriatric
Number of schemes = 13North Western RHA
  • Blackpool Victoria phase 4
  • Bolton DGH—boiler house
  • Bolton DGH ESMI and geriatric unit
  • Bolton DGH MIU
  • Burnley General Hospital phase 3
  • Fairfield boiler house
  • Fleetwood ESMI
  • Hope Hospital Salford phase 1
  • Leigh Infirmary 2nd MI unit
  • Leigh Infirmary HSDU substation and roadworks
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary—MIDU
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary ESMI unit
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary phase 1
  • Oldham DGH ESMI unit
  • Oldham DGH temporary accommodation
  • Park Hospital geriatric and rehabilitation
  • Preston new hospital phase 1
  • Preston new hospital phase 2
  • Prestwich Hospital adolescent secure unit

Great Britain, 1986–87
£'s (millions) Caseload (millions) Average Weekly Amount (£)
Rent rebate 2,410 3.75 12.40
Rent allowance 950 1.19 15.40
Rate rebate 1,640 7.12 4.40

All standard housing benefit recipients (around 3.5 million) will be affected by next April's uprating, and total housing benefit expenditure will be an estimated £68 million lower than would otherwise have been the case as a result of the announced measures.


Rent rebates represent rent assistance for public sector rents and rent allowances help for private sector rents. Most recipients of help with rents will also receive rate rebates.