§ Mr. Russell Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he plans to approve the decision by Dumfries and Galloway Council to externalise all of its residential homes for the elderly. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
If the Secretary of State receives a request to approve the decision, careful consideration will be given to all relevant factors. However, as I indicated to my hon. Friend when we met in August, local authorities are best placed to determine what services are required to respond to the needs and circumstances of their areas.