Report (2nd Day)

Part of Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 22nd October 2014.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Ramsbotham Lord Ramsbotham Crossbench 5:30 pm, 22nd October 2014

Having said that and witnessed the Minister’s customary graciousness, I agree with him that there has been an enormous amount of engagement and effort by officials and others to engage with people, but that engagement has been not about if the secure college will be established but when. We therefore still know nothing about what is to be done, who is to do it and how much it is to cost. I have quoted a number of times in this House the two definitions of the word “affordability”: first, can you afford it, and, secondly, can you afford to give up what you have to give up in order to afford it? Bearing in mind the current situation, financial and otherwise, I wonder whether it is worth spending the amount of money on this unproven and uncosted pilot when it could be diverted now to doing better by all the young people about whom we have been talking.

I accept that we are talking about a pathfinder and that the affirmative procedure for the rules is being proposed. However, the affirmative procedure will come only after the Bill has become law. Everyone knows that an affirmative procedure that comes after that has no clout anywhere—and certainly not with this.

I thank all noble Lords who have contributed to this debate for the wide and thoughtful contributions that they made. The one that perhaps struck me most was from the noble Lord, Lord Deben, who reflected on the fact that we all know and love people of the same age group as those whom we are talking about, whose interests are currently not well served by the country. Therefore, the country must have a very clear say in what happens to them.

I understand that the secure college pilot is to be rigorously evaluated and will open in 2017. I will return to NHS England and healthcare provision in the next group because I do not think we have had full coverage of it. My feeling is that the Government appear hell-bent on pushing this through, but I do not think that it is the right approach. I am not proposing to divide the House on this amendment, but I give notice that I will do so on Amendment 111, which specifically mentions the approval by Parliament of the rules before they are adopted. I beg leave to withdraw this amendment.

Amendment 108 withdrawn.

Amendment 109

Moved by Lord Beecham

109: Clause 32, page 31, line 2, at end insert—

“( ) No female, nor any male under the age of fifteen, may be placed in a secure college.”