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Assessment Centres

Volume 885: debated on Thursday 30 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is now in a position to make a statement further to her answer to the hon. Member for Stockport, North on 18th November (columns 334–335), on the provision of assessment centre places in the North-West of England, and to provide a clear statistical picture of the need for such facilities.

In preparing the regional plan for the accomodation of children in care the regional planning committee

female and children, who have settled in the London borough of Newham for the longest stated period of time.

At the 1971 Census of Population the numbers of United Kingdom residents present in the London borough of Newham who had not been born in the United Kingdom were as follows:what was the total number of contributors to the National Insurance Fund in the last convenient year; what were the numbers of primary class 1 contributors and class 2 contributors, respectively; what were the amounts contributed by primary class 1, secondary class 2 and class 3 contributors, respectively, and what were the equivalent figures for each of the above five years ago.

The information is as follows:for the North-West estimated that a maximum of 1,130 places would be needed in observation and assessment centres in the period up to 31st March 1975. On 1st April 1973 there were 772 such places available, and to meet the deficit the committee proposed that a further 454 places should be provided including 30–40 in secure accomodation.Thirty more places came into use last year, making a total of 802 now available. I regret that in my reply to my hon. Friend's Question on 18th November last—[Vol. 881, c.

334–335]—this figure was wrongly shown as 1,002.

The capital programme for 1974–75 included three assessment centre projects providing 79 places, plus eight places for non-residential assessment. For the 1975–76 programme, local authorities have submitted schemes that will provide some 150 more places, of which 19 will be secure. Authorities will shorty be informed which of these projects are provisionally approved.

When all these schemes are completed there will be some 1,030 residential places in observation and assessment centres in the area. The remaining places will be provided as resources permit if experience shows that they will be needed.