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Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I understand the nature of the controversy over terracing. I believe that the situation that we have developed in our football grounds over the past decade or so, with an increasingly larger number of all-seater stadia, is greatly to be welcomed and has made a major
With regard to the idea of an American style commissioner, although I am not sure that that is how I would describe it, I believe that there would be some merit in that approach. Nevertheless, that is not necessarily a matter for me; it is a matter for wider debate in the sport itself.
Lord Woolmer of Leeds: My Lords, does the Minister recognise the warm welcome that will be given to this report throughout the football industry by supporters, clubs and football organisations for the thoughtful and long-term view that it takes of the problems? Meanwhile, will the Minister tell the House how many orders to date have been made against individuals under the Football Disorder Act? Secondly, will he assure the House that all necessary arrangements will be in place for the three away international games that England has in the World Cup during the course of this year?
Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I am again grateful for the noble Lord's support for the report. I hope that the report will be widely welcomed by supporters' organisations. We certainly intend to work very closely with them.
I do not have precise figures for the number of orders made under the legislation that we put in place last year. However, I understand that approximately 40 such banning orders are in place. The police believe that they have played an important part in curbing the attendance of those intent on hooliganism at away matches involving English clubs in European competitions and, of course, the England side itself. We believe that the legislation has had a salutary effect and will continue to do so. It will be kept under review as per the requirements of the sunset clauses.
With regard to the policing of future international matches that take place abroad, we are in close contact with the countries against whom we shall be playing. I recently visited Germany to look at the arrangements that are likely to be in place for the England v Germany match in September. As a product of that visit, we shall no doubt make a number of suggestions which I believe will necessarily improve the level of security for that match.
Lord Cope of Berkeley: My Lords, I understand that a Written Answer was recently provided on the number of orders. With regard to the matter of terracing, was the Minister or the Minister of Sport expressing the Government's view?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My Lords, the new strategy for learning disability for the 21st century sets out proposals for improving the life chances of people with learning disabilities. A new learning disability development fund of up to £50 million per year is being set up to support the proposals in the White Paper for adults. There will also be an implementation support fund of £2.3 million per year for three years from April 2001 to provide central support for key aspects of the new strategy.
Lord Rix: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that helpful reply. I also thank the Government for a most helpful and far-reaching White Paper. I commend it to your Lordships' House as ideal bedside reading!
Perhaps I may ask the Minister to turn to page 125 of the White Paper. Sub-objective 4.1 refers to proposed performance indicators in regard to short-term breaks. Will the Minister confirm that if the proposed performance indicator indicates a shortfall, as I am sure it will, steps will be taken to make good that particular shortfall?
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Rix, for that question. I am sure that the House would wish to acknowledge his contribution to this field over many years. In many ways, I feel that this White Paper represents the culmination of that dedication.
With regard to the question of performance indicators, if we are to make a success of the White Paper, it is very important that targets are set and that a performance management framework is in place to ensure their implementation. We shall ensure that that happens.
As far as concerns resources, it is worth bearing in mind that, between health and local government, approximately £3 billion is spent on the provision of services for people with learning disabilities. Part of the answer to the problem is to ensure that those resources are used effectively. In addition, I believe that the development fund that we have announced will greatly help in encouraging local statutory agencies to develop the kind of services that the noble Lord has in mind.
Lord Renton: My Lords, in accepting what the noble Lord, Lord Rix, has said, I ask the Government to bear in mind that many children with learning difficulties who go to mainstream schools are unhappy, some are bullied, and their presence sometimes interferes with the education of normal
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, that is a little outside my area. However, I certainly agree that paramount to any decision about education are the needs of individual children and the wishes of their parents. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill makes changes to the existing law to strengthen the right of children with special educational needs to be educated in mainstream schools. But I can tell the noble Lord that, although the proportion of pupils in special schools fell from 1.3 per cent in 1991 to 1.2 per cent in 1995, it has remained constant in each of the past six years. I can assure the noble Lord that the Bill does not make it more difficult for parents whose children have statements of SEN to gain a special school place.
Lord Ashley of Stoke: My Lords, I am very impressed by this thoughtful, sensitive and wide-ranging White Paper. It reflects great credit on the Government. I should like to add my congratulations to my noble friend Lord Rix and to Mencap for the work that they have done over the years. But would my noble friend agree that special educational needs services are ultimately delivered by local authorities, some of which are good, some of which are appalling? Although the White Paper states that an inspection will take place in 2001-02, will my noble friend assure the House that regular monitoring will take place to ensure that those services are delivered to the people who need them?
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I agree with my noble friend that the record of statutory agencies is at the moment patchy. There are some very good services, some excellent committee people, and some services that are not so good.
I believe that the most important building block in the development of this policy is the proposal to develop what are called learning disability partnership boards at local level. The aim is to bring together statutory and voluntary organisations to give the necessary impetus to implement the effective provision of services. That will be backed up by our performance management arrangements in the health service and the performance assessment arrangements in social services to ensure that it happens properly.
Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, does the Minister recognise some of the concern that has been caused to people with Asberger's and their carers by the way in which learning disability is defined in the White Paper? Many people with Asberger's get their support from learning disability services. Can he guarantee that they will continue to be able to get their support from learning disability services until there are specialist support services for them?