§ Mrs. Ray Michie
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many places currently exist in Scotland for secure accommodation for children; how many there were in each year since 1988; how many children are waiting for secure accommodation to become available; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Galbraith
There are currently 86 secure places for children in Scotland, proportionately twice the number of secure places available in England and Wales. We therefore have no plans to increase significantly the number of places. Information on the number of secure places has been collected since 1991 and is noted in the table.
Year Number 1991 84 1992 84 1993 84 1994 84 1995 88 1996 88 1997 86 1998 86
Details of the number of children waiting for a secure place are not held centrally, but peaks and troughs of demand arising from the combined needs of Courts and Children's Hearings mean that from time to time there will be situations where a secure place may not be available. A National Planning Group was set up in June last year to advise on the planning, management and development of secure accommodation and its alternatives. A report on its work to date is expected in the next few months.