Local Authority Plans for Services for Children

Orders of the Day — Children (Scotland) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:30 pm on 1st May 1995.

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Amendment proposed: No. 155, in page 14, line 29, after 'of' insert —(a)'.—[Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.]

Photo of Margaret Ewing Margaret Ewing , Moray

I shall make a brief intervention on the provision of services for children by local authorities. The Minister will be aware that I am deeply concerned about issues pertaining to children with special needs and the assessment of those needs. Does he feel that the amendment will go towards meeting many of the arguments that were propounded in Committee, especially those directed to multi-disciplinary approaches to the assessment of children with special needs? To some extent, the amendments meet some of the concerns that were expressed in Committee. Does the Minister feel that the tabling of amendments in another place would lead to a more effective outcome? This is a matter of great concern to many people.

Photo of Mrs Maria Fyfe Mrs Maria Fyfe , Glasgow Maryhill

As the hon. Member for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) has said, clause 18, as amended, would be fine as far as it goes, but it still contains nothing about expanding the definition of children in need. The clause remains narrow. There is still nothing in it about respite care or disabilities. The Government have undertaken to do something about carers, but carers are not mentioned in the amendment. If the Minister can assure us that these points will be taken up in another place, we shall not pursue the matter.

Photo of Lord James Douglas-Hamilton Lord James Douglas-Hamilton , Edinburgh West

These matters are still being considered. I can assure the hon. Members for Moray (Mrs. Ewing) and for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mrs. Fyfe) that amendments to be considered this evening will ensure that local authority plans for services for children cover all relevant services. I shall look into the point mentioned by the hon. Member for Maryhill, which is under consideration.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment made: No. 156, in page 14, line 30, leave out from beginning to end of line 33 and insert '; or (b) any of the enactments mentioned in section 5(1B)(a) to (o) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 (enactments in respect of which Secretary of State may issue directions to local authorities as to the exercise of their functions).'.— [Lord James Douglas-Hamilton.]