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Expenditure

Volume 932: debated on Thursday 26 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which of the recommendations made by the Expenditure Committee in the Eleventh Report published in July 1975 and which fall within his responsibility, have now been implemented.

The Government's response to the Expenditure Committee's recommendations was given in the White Paper (Cmnd. 6494) published in May 1976. Of the major proposals in the White Paper which fell within the responsibility of my Department, a number have been implemented and consultations are continuing on others. Remands of 14-year-old girls to prison have ended and we intend to begin consultations with local authority associations later in the year on the next step. Powers have been taken in the Children Act 1975 to make direct grants to local authorities who provide additional secure accommodation. A circular has been issued to local authorities to encourage the development of intermediate treatment. Standing inter-departmental machinery has been established to monitor the working of the Act and co-ordinate the research programmes of the Departments concerned.Consultations, in some of which I myself have taken part, are proceeding with the Magistrates' Association and local authority associations on a number of subjects including the encouragement of national and local consultative arrangements and the problems of serious and persistent juvenile offenders.