Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 17th March 1997.
Refuge Projects (Funding)
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Prime Minister (1) which Departments have funded children and homeless charities central London refuge projects providing temporary havens for children in the last 15 years;
(2) if he will estimate the central Government share of the average costs of providing four days refuge in a safe supervised haven project for a child aged under 16 years in central London;
(3) when Ministers last discussed the need for and possible means of funding temporary safe havens for runaway children below the age of 16 years in central London;
(4) if he will review the practicality of instigating a central London children’s refuge empowered to negotiate a cost contribution with individual social services departments in order to admit a child on the first day of need.
The Prime Minister: The Department of Health has funded children and homeless charities in London on projects providing a refuge for children as defined in the Children Act 1989. Figures are not available to estimate the central Government share of the average cost of providing four days’ refuge, but the Department of Health has provided £300,000 over four years in respect of the London-based Centrepoint Glaxo refuge. Department of Health Ministers have met and discussed funding arrangements with voluntary organisations running the London refuge on several occasions; the last meeting was in September 1996. The Government have introduced legislation that enables the establishment of refuges that provide safe havens for children who appear to be at risk of harm. It is for local authorities and other agencies to work together to provide strategic solutions to the provision and funding of services for children in need–including young runaways. The Department of the Environment, as part of the rough sleepers initiative in central London, has funded Centrepoint in providing accommodation for young people, usually 18 to 25-year-olds, at a hostel in Vauxhall and for its “Off the Streets” project in Soho. DOE funding for the Vauxhall hostel is £165,000 in 1996-97. In addition, Centrepoint receives funding to provide emergency shelters for young people aged 25 years and under between December and March as part of the annual winter shelter programme under the RSI. In 1996-97, the DOE is funding Centrepoint to run a winter shelter in King’s Cross, providing up to 48 bedspaces.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Prime Minister what representations Her Majesty’s Government have recently received from the German Government concerning the imprisonment in Holloway prison of Ms Roisin McAliskey; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister: As far as I am aware, none.