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Young Offenders

Volume 228: debated on Thursday 8 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to ensure that there is secure accommodation for young offenders in Wales.

The provision of secure accom-modation is a local authority responsibility and no authority in Wales currently provides long-term secure accommodation. In order to facilitate the appropriate development of this provision, the Welsh Office undertook a review, the report of which was published in August 1991. The main recommendation of this report, the provision of an 18-place regional secure unit, has since been taken forward by a joint Welsh Office and local authority working party comprising representatives of all the South Wales county councils except South Glamorgan which opposes the development. The working party is currently awaiting a report from the consultants who have been appointed to take forward work on the design of the unit as well as a site option appraisal. I very much hope that the consultants' reports, which is expected imminently, can be endorsed quickly by the working party so that work on the new unit, which is intended will be in place in 1995, can commence as soon as possible. We have already announced that we are prepared to make available grant of up to £4,500,000 to meet the capital cost of the new unit.