My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a third time. In moving this Third Reading, it is perhaps not inappropriate that, following the Statement made by my noble friend the Leader of the House and Lord Privy Seal, I draw attention to the fact that this is the first Bill to go through your Lordships' House since the birth of the Royal child and it concerns the wellbeing of children. This Bill is concerned with the protection of those children in the care of local authorities who are sent to live in privately run children's homes. At present these homes are not required to be registered and this Bill redresses this anomaly. There are some 2,000 children in privately run homes in this country, and if this Bill passes through this House these homes will be registered and inspected. I should say that the Association of Independent Householders, who represent privately run children's homes, are in agreement with the Bill.
Moved, that the Bill be now read a third time.— ( Baroness Faithfull.)
My Lords, may I say briefly, before the noble Lord the Deputy Speaker puts the Question on the Third Reading, how much the Government appreciate the efforts not only of my noble friend in bringing this Bill to this stage but also of the honourable gentleman, the Member for Hartlepool in another place, who initiated this Bill and got it through the other place so that it could be presented to your Lordships, and now it happily approaches the statute book. My noble friend refers to the fact that this is the first measure to do with children that we are passing following the happy event of yesterday. I suppose that it is worth saying that it is unlikely that the new Prince will end up in one of these homes.
My Lords, I am happy to associate myself and my noble friends with this Bill. The honourable Member in the other place and the noble Baroness, Lady Faithfull, have put the House in their debt and have rendered a service to Parliament by drawing attention to what was an omission in the protective legislation. Also they have put the social services of this country in their debt. We are glad to join in the support for this Bill and hope that its implementation will be effectively carried out.
On Question, Bill read a third time, and passed.