"No Place to Call Home"

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire 12:00 am, 13th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider acting on the recommendations contained in the recently published Shelter report, entitled "No Place to Call Home", a copy of which is in his possession.

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

Most of the recommendations deal with matters which are the responsibility of the local authorities. My right hon. Friend is considering whether any action is necessary on his part.

Photo of Mr David Steel Mr David Steel , Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire

Will the Secretary of State consider two points: first, the conflict between housing authorities and social work authorities in different parts of Scotland on the same issue; and secondly, the fact that in Scotland in 1970 there was only one place of temporary accommodation for every 11,000 people whereas in England in the same year there was one place for every 2,000? Does he not think that this matter requires Government action?

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's interest in this valuable report which we are studying carefully. We shall look specially carefully at the two issues he has raised.

Photo of Mr Neil Carmichael Mr Neil Carmichael , Glasgow Woodside

Will the Minister pay particular attention to the point raised by the hon. Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Mr. David Steel) about co-ordination between social work departments and housing managers? Will he call a conference of those officers and his own social work advisers with a view to ensuring the coordination of policies, which differ widely throughout Scotland, and removing some of the cases which ocupy the homeless list administratively, leaving the difficult cases to be dealt with more thoroughly and in greater depth?

Photo of Mr Hector Monro Mr Hector Monro , Dumfriesshire

It is too early to say whether we should call a conference. My Department wants to look carefully at the suggestion of co-operation between housing departments and social work departments. The report has been out for only 10 days. When we have looked at it in detail we will consider whether a conference is necessary.