§ 13. Mr. Dugdale
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware of the shortage of remand homes; and what proposals he has for remedying it.
§ Mr. Vosper
My right hon. Friend is aware that there is pressure on remand home accommodation. The West Riding County Council is opening a new remand home for boys shortly and several other projects producing more places have been approved or are under consideration. Additional approved school accommodation now being provided will reduce the numbers waiting in remand homes for approved school places. My right hon. Friend is considering what further provision is necessary with a view to consultation with the local authorities in any areas where more places appear to be needed.
§ Mr. Dugdale
Will the right hon. Gentleman in particular consider the provision of more designated reception homes to which younger children can be sent if courts desire to do so?
§ Miss Bacon
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, although local authorities have the responsibility of providing 468 remand homes, there is no power for the Home Secretary to give directions to local authorities? Since we were not able to discuss an Amendment on this subject which we tabled to the Criminal Justice Bill, will the right hon. Gentleman ask the Home Secretary to consider taking these powers so that where there is no remand home in an area directions can be given to local authorities?
§ Mr. Vosper
The chief difficulty is a financial one, and my right hon. Friend is considering with the local authority associations whether some different financial arrangements can be made which will make it easier for a local authority to set up a remand home.