HC Deb 03 March 1976 vol 906 cc660-2W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is her current policy for providing reception centres for the provision of temporary board and lodging;

(2) if there has been any decrease in the number of places at reception centres as provided for in the Social Security Act 1966; and, if so, by how many;

(3) how many reception centres have been provided under the Social Security Act 1966; and how many places are provided (a) for men and (b) for women.

Mr. Meacher

The Supplementary Benefits Commission has a duty under Section 34 of and Schedule 4 to the Social Security Act 1966—in continuance of a duty under the National Assistance Act 1948—to maintain reception centres for the provision of temporary board and lodging for persons without a settled way of living so that they may be influenced to lead a more settled life.

The Commission exercises this function on behalf of my right hon. Friend and subject to her direction by providing 23 reception centres, with a normal capacity of about 2.730 beds—2,640 for men, 90 for women. In 1966 there were 1,879 beds, all for men.

The policy is one of continuous review. In London it is planned to replace the large Camberwell centre with a number of smaller centres, and plans for centres outside London include the replacement of the two remaining centres run by local authorities by directly administered centres.

Higher rate Lower rate
Standard Regions and Countries (1) Adults and Children(2) Children(3) Col. (3) as a percentage of Col. (2)(4) Adults and Children(5) Children(6) Col. (6) as a percentage of Col. (5)(7)
North 8,153 1,551 19.0 5,784 917 15.9
Yorkshire and Humberside 10,296 2,048 19.9 7,898 1,477 18.7
East Midlands and East Anglia 12,434 2,082 16.7 8,092 1,569 19.4
South-East 36,526 6,219 17.0 24,330 4,422 18.2
South-West 10,139 1,353 13.3 7,350 1,066 14.5
West Midlands 10,375 2,151 20.7 8,285 1,837 22.2
North-West 17,617 3,554 20.2 13,241 2,284 17.3
Wales 10,652 1,280 12.0 7,182 974 13.6
Scotland 9,893 1,932 19.5 7,637 1,609 21.1
TOTAL 126,085 22,170 17.6 89,799 16,155 18.0
Northern Ireland* 7,434 1,173 15.8 4,746 827 17.4
* The figures for attendance allowance under the separate Northern Ireland legislation relate to allowances in payment at 1st January 1976.

Mrs. Chalker

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she will advise the Attendance Allowance Board to pay foster parents claiming the allowance in areas where the local authorities are not making comparable payments.

Mr. Alfred Morris

Where a local authority assumes responsibility for the

The Commission may also contribute to the funds of voluntary organisations which maintain centres for purposes similar to those of reception centres and is currently making 22 grants to voluntary organisations providing 646 beds.