§ Mr. Mellor
I have today placed copies of the findings of the inspection, carried out by my social services inspectorate, in the Library of each House. This is the first such inspection of the youth treatment centres and I am grateful to the inspectorate for its thorough and detailed work. The Government fully accept their responsibility for ensuring that the special service provided by the centres for a group of youngsters with very severe problems is delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible. The inspectorate's report will be a great assistance in that task.
The inspection pointed to the urgent need for improvements to the fabric of the buildings, and action on this has already been set in hand. In considering the wider 391W recommendations relating to professional and management matters, the Government will wish to take account of the views of those directly involved in providing and using the youth treatment service. The findings are being made available to them and to others with an interest. I have also taken the opportunity to visit both centres to hear at first hand the views of staff and local management. Their task is a difficult one and I wish to applaud the commitment and dedication that they bring to it.