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Community Centres Aged People)

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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7.

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the rapidly growing demand among aged people for recreation and social facilities such as community centres; and whether he will introduce legislation to grant powers to local authorities to provide such amenities.

In view of the existing powers of local authorities, including those recently conferred by the National Assistance Act, I do not think further legislation on the lines suggested by my hon. Friend is necessary.

Is the Minister aware that local authorities have power to farm out this work of establishing social centers, but that they have not the power to establish and control the centers themselves? Will he, in the new Bill, confer powers upon local authorities to do this work rather than to farm it out?

I think my hon. Friend will find that the powers conferred upon local authorities are fairly wide, but if the local authorities find any difficulty. I wish he would let me know.

Are they wide enough to establish these centers for the old age pensioners who are now demanding them in all the cities?

I would like to see what is the precise proposal before I can say whether it comes within the Statute.