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Baroness Sharp of Guildford: My Lords, I should point out to the Minister that the amendment as drafted does not give priority to any particular group of adults. It has been deliberately left open to be determined by the Secretary of State.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, I accept that Amendment No. 14 has built into it a determination by the Secretary of State. However, I should like to return to the point that placing requirements on the LSC would be an unfortunate move. I believe that we need a rather less restrictive approach which would allow it to exercise its own judgment and discretion. I hope that, in view of this, the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, will not press her amendment.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, before I decide what to do with Amendment No. 13, perhaps I may ask the noble Baroness to answer one question. The amendment that follows these amendments--Amendment No. 15--goes some way to answering the concerns expressed by the noble Baroness. If my amendment were to be accepted, the noble Baroness spoke of a person aged between 19 and 25 without a learning disability then taking precedence over someone with a disability aged over 25. Amendment No. 15 narrows the group of people for whom proper provision should be made, as opposed to reasonable provision. Can the noble Baroness give the House an indication of whether she will be able to accept that amendment? Logic would say that Amendment No. 15 should be more acceptable than my amendment.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, perhaps it would be easier to wait until we reach the next group of amendments. However, although I am sympathetic to what is being proposed in Amendment No. 15, I am afraid that I am going to have to resist it for reasons that I shall give in due course.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness for being so straightforward in her answer to my question. In her opening remarks in response to Amendment No. 13, the noble Baroness said--I made a note of her words--that the LSC "must" provide education and training to meet the requirements of those who have not achieved level 2.

However, that is not what it says in the Bill. Clause 2(1) states that,

and goes on to refer to young people up to the age of 19. But there is a very different emphasis in Clause 3.

13 Mar 2000 : Column 1320

Subsection (1) states that the council must provide "reasonable facilities" and subsection (2) says:

    "Facilities are reasonable if (taking account of the Council's resources) ... the Council can reasonably be expected to secure their provision".

So there is already a very serious constraint on who will receive "proper facilities" and who will receive "reasonable facilities" in the opinion of the council. There is a wholly legal defence for the council to say, "We simply can't afford it". It is just a matter of trying to find a way to put some focus on those young people, with or without learning disabilities, who, for one reason or another, have not achieved level 2 qualifications.

There are many people who must be considered personally culpable for not achieving--for example, not working hard enough, not attending well and truanting from school--and there is perhaps less sympathy for them. But even now the Government still say that we cannot as a society stand back and let those people become problematic and, of course, more costly to the community. However, there is another group of people involved. I have in mind those who, for many reasons well beyond their control, have not achieved level 2 qualifications. I have already mentioned long periods of illness, dislocation because of moving from one part of the country to another and even moving from one country to another. There are also those people described in Amendment No. 15, which refers to those with genuine disabilities.

It seems to me that the Government should find a way to give some flexibility to enable proper provision to be extended to a group of people who will be determined by a form of words on the face of the Bill, or, using the words of the noble Baroness, determined by the Secretary of State. In light of the fact that the Minister is not prepared to accept my amendment or Amendment No. 15, I wish to test the opinion of the House.

5.21 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 13) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 81; Not-Contents, 128.

Division No. 3


Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Baker of Dorking, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brigstocke, B.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L. [Teller]
Buscombe, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elton, L.
Fookes, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Garel-Jones, L.
Geddes, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hanham, B
Harris of High Cross, L.
Henley, L. [Teller]
Hereford, Bp.
Hooper, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Liverpool, E.
Luke, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Montrose, D.
Naseby, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Rawlings, B.
Rees, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Ryder of Wensum, L.
Saatchi, L.
St. John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Tebbit, L.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Warnock, B.
Wilcox, B.
Windlesham, L.


Addington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Alli, L.
Amos, B.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Brett, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Burlison, L.
Carter, L. [Teller]
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Cledwyn of Penrhos, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Crawley, B.
Currie of Marylebone, L.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Gale, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grabiner, L.
Gregson, L.
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Patel, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Paul, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Richard, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogers of Riverside, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Simon of Highbury, L.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Tope, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Varley, L.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Old Scone, B.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

13 Mar 2000 : Column 1322

5.32 p.m.

[Amendment No. 14 not moved.]

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