§ Mr. Wilshire
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will set up an investigation into the adequacy of current child minding regulations and the competence of Surrey county council's social services department following the verdict in the case of Thomas Harrison v. Surrey county council and Mrs. Christine Walton; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Bowis
The events in this case took place in 1989, and the Children Act 1989, which came into force in420W October 1991, contains updated and effective provisions which enable local authorities to regulate childminders, so that children are protected from harm. I understand that Surrey county council has now reorganised its registration service, and has asked the area child protection committee to conduct a multi-agency review into all the circumstances surrounding the case to ensure that all the lessons have been learned. The Department's social services inspectorate is monitoring this.