§ Mr. John Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to increase the level of financial support to secure units for young offenders in Merseyside.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The provision of secure accommodation for children in care, including those who are offenders or alleged offenders, is a matter for individual local authorities. We are always prepared to consider applications for grant aid to fund the capital provision of new secure units where the need for such provision has been identified. We are not aware of current plans to increase the stock of secure accommodation in Merseyside, although we understand local authorities within that region are reviewing the position.