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Duchess Of Gloucester House, Isleworth

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 19 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the future of the Duchess of Gloucester House.

It has become increasingly evident in recent years that the Duchess of Gloucester House at Isleworth, a residential hostel for paraplegics, has not been providing the most satisfactory answer to their accommodation needs. The Government and the Manpower Services Commission have come to the conclusion that they can no longer justify this special provision. The Manpower Services Commission is conscious of its responsibilities for ensuring a smooth transition to alternative accommodation and there will be no sudden closure of the house. It will be phased out over a reasonable period of time. Meanwhile, no further applications for residence will be accepted. I have been assured by the Manpower Services Commission that the Employment Service Agency, working in close co-operation with local authorities and others concerned with services for disabled people, will ensure that each resident will be helped in every way possible to find suitable alternative accommodation. The emphasis throughout will be on meeting their needs on an individual basis and in full consultation with them.Assurances have been given to staff representatives that the interest of each member of staff will be carefully considered and safeguarded to the fullest possible extent.