HC Deb 09 July 2002 vol 388 cc890-2W
Jeremy Corbyn

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister for each London borough for the latest available date, how many families were in bed-and-breakfast accommodation under homelessness provisions; and what the average cost was to the housing benefit budget for each family. [68616]

Mr. McNulty

Latest available information, in respect of all homeless households as reported by London boroughs, is as follows:

people with a learning disability whose elderly parents are no longer able to care for them; and if he will make a statement; [66305]

(3) what steps are being taken to ensure that all local authorities are developing a comprehensive support programme for people with a learning disability; and if he will make a statement. [66304]

Jacqui Smith

I have been asked to reply.

The Government's strategy for improving services for people with learning disabilities and their families is set out in the White Paper "Valuing People: A New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21' Century" (Cm 5086), published in March 2001. Implementation guidance HSC 2001/016: LAC(2001)23 was issued to local authorities on 31 August 2001. Copies are available in the Library.

Our strategy sets out a range of targets and objectives to support and improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families. Key to the implementation of these changes are learning disability partnership boards now established in each local authority area. All partnership boards have prepared local joint investment plans to improve services for this vulnerable group of people. Partnership boards are being supported in the delivery of the White Paper objectives by a director of implementation and a valuing people support team with members based in each of the nine social services regions. There is also the learning disability task force which will monitor implementation and report progress to Ministers who in turn will report to Parliament.

"Valuing People" recognises the concern about the position of people with learning disabilities living with older carers. They and their families must be able to plan for the future in good time. Promoting supported living for this group of people is one of the priorities for both the revenue and capital elements of the £42 million learning disability development fund announced in the White Paper. The fund has been distributed to the new learning disability partnership boards from April 2002 to support the implementation of "Valuing People". The needs of elderly carers and the development of supported living approaches for people with learning disabilities living with older carers are also identified as priorities in the implementation guidance, which was sent to all local authority chief executives, social services directors and directors of housing.

Partnership boards, working with local housing authorities, people with learning disabilities, carers and service providers; are required to develop local housing strategies by winter 2002–03. Joint guidance will be issued shortly by the Department of Health and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to help partnership boards develop their local housing strategies. The valuing people support team will also provide specialist support and advice to help this process. An important element in the development of each strategy will be the assessment of both current and future need which will include identifying people with learning disabilities and their carers who need support now and in the future. The joint guidance will restate the priority that should be given to people with learning disabilities living with older carers. Local housing authorities also have a responsibility to produce a housing strategy which sets out plans addressing the range of housing needs in their area. This includes all groups with special needs where the strategy must link into provision of associated support services.

Both the local government association and the association of directors of social services are represented on the new learning disability task force. A key function of the task force is to oversee implementation of "Valuing People". the director of implementation also met recently with the local government association to discuss housing issues.