asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what building projects have been authorised for 1973–74, 1974–75 and 1975–76, respectively, for the detention of young people, remanded or sentenced, under the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act 1969, for those local authorities where at present the appropriate magistrates panels are having to commit young people to Risley Remand Centre, Warrington.
Persons aged 14 and under 17 who are charged with offences before courts in the whole of one children's regional planning area and in parts of three other planning areas may be committed to Risley Remand Centre on remand or to await trial only if they are certified by the court to be too unruly to be remanded instead to the care of a local authority. To avoid the need to send such young persons to remand centres, the general aim is to provide more secure accommodation at observation and assessment centres. There were changes in the programmes for 1973–74 and 1974–75 and accordingly it may be more helpful to state the present position, which is that in the four planning areas concerned there are 21 secure places at observation and assessment centres; regional plans provide for a further 41 places of which some are in the programme proposed for 1975–76. Local authorities will shortly be informed which of these have been provisionally approved.