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Ex-Drug Users

Volume 201: debated on Tuesday 14 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what guidelines he has issued to the Benefits Agency regarding the priority to be given to rehabilitating ex-drug users in the allocation of community care grants to the homeless who are allocated unfurnished accommodation.

The Secretary of State issues general guidance to social fund officers in the form of the social fund officer's guide, which replaced the social fund manual in December 1991. A copy of this guidance is available in the Library. Area social fund officers (the managers of district DSS offices) also issue guidance which complements that in the social fund officer's guide taking account of local factors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will ensure that sufficient resources are allocated to the Benefits Agency to ensure that rehabilitated drug users who have been treated at a rehabilitation unit are not excluded from community care grants for the homeless who are offered unfurnished accommodation.

The circumstances and priority of each individual application to the fund are carefully considered by social fund officers. No group of people who satisfy the basic community care grant conditions are excluded from the consideration of an award.Since April 1991 we have allocated additional funds of over £43 million to the discretionary social fund budget. This flexible response shows the Government's commitment to ensuring that the social fund will meet the highest priority needs wherever and whenever they occur.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will issue guidelines to the Benefits Agency to ensure that no changes are made to the priority given to rehabilitating ex-drug offenders in the allocation of community care grants for the homeless when they are offered unfurnished accommodation without prior consultation with the relevant county drug advisory committee and other appropriate agencies.

We have already issued guidance to social fund officers on the continuing need for constructive and close liaison with Social Services Departments and other interested bodies. The guidance is contained in the social fund officer's guide, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Family practitioner committee name19861987198819891990
Cleveland4,144,9654,366,6054,471,9934,575,1484,704,310
Cumbria3,124,0463,239,8863,331,0273,416,1023,537,853
Durham4,454,2604,632,0514,746,2624,825,2384,950,368
Northumberland1,866,4661,938,6691,993,4782,053,5462,110,955
Gateshead1,650,9981,702,1121,723,0241,755,9971,775,934
Newcastle upon Tyne2,341,6462,435,1682,484,0272,523,3522,559,600
North Tynosidc1,673,4471,739,0951,793,3801,821,0891,841,808
South Tyncsidc1,279,5881,334,9171,381,1451,416,4771,465,888
Sundcrland2,608,3022,702,2842,815,8882,861,0472,911,109
Northern23,143,71824,090,78724,740,22425,247,99625,857,825
Humbersidc6,059,4256,312,8696,563,6816,684,7226,799,647
North Yorkshire3,754,5943,911,3704,070,8834,206,8664,356,739
Bradford3,757,3923,915,0354,136,6734,218,9474,306,996
Caldcrdale1,504,5501,555,3211,589,4951,610,3791,684,172
Kirklecs2,564,6262,659,2682,757,9842,811,9052,877,835
Leeds5,493,0015,643,7995,844,5925,966,9846,046,207
Wakeficld2,456,3742,557,0102,659,7492,719,9222,805,009
Yorkshire25,589,96226,554,67227,623,05728,219,72528,876,605
Derbyshire5,783,1826,009,0616,244,9146,406,6076,560,412
Leicestershire5,583,3615,824,7156,017,4276,085,0896,207,181
Lincolnshire3,065,0553,258,4713,480,0623,597,8103,727,628
Nottinghamshire6,408,4516,688,9566,974,7267,151,6587,381,564
Barnsley1,949,8792,036,7762,127,7912,158,5412,182,234
Doncaster2,412,4302,543,8662,671,2832,730,2392,802,967
Rotherham1,843,5771,939,6761,993,7612,052,2252,094,630
Sheffield4,351,0664,511,8544,670,9734,750,3354,854,146
Trent31,397,00132,813,37534,180,93734,932,50435,810,762
Cambridgeshire3,045,6863,219,6133,336,4873,408,3423,583,858
Norfolk3,511,0323,687,1633,870,6143,983,0784,178,908
Suffolk3,116,3923,255,3253,377,4433,419,7063,553,306