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Volume 124: debated on Tuesday 8 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to encourage area health and social services boards to adopt uniform policies towards the provision of grant aid for pre-school playgroups.

[holding answer 3 December 1987]: In providing grant aid for pre-school playgroups health and social services boards operate within general guidelines issued by the Departmemt. However, boards are responsible for the planning, management and delivery of services within their respective areas and consequently must be free to determine needs and priorities in the light of local circumstances, including the competing needs of other client groups. Some disparity in the provision of grant aid is therefore inevitable.