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Session 1997-98
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Community Care (Residential Accommodation) Bill
     The Bill clarifies the law relating to the amount of a person's capital which a local authority may take into account when determining whether the person should be provided with residential accommodation under section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948. It reflects the decision of the Court of Appeal of 31 July 1997 in the case of R v Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council ex parte Help the Aged.
     Clause 1 relates to the powers and duties of a local authority to make arrangements for providing residential accommodation for persons who by reason of age, illness, disability or other circumstances are in need of care and attention not otherwise available to them. It provides that a local authority, when determining whether care and attention are otherwise available to a person, must disregard the person's capital up to the limit prescribed in regulations made under section 22 of the National Assistance Act 1948. The prescribed limit is currently £16,000. It further provides for the method of calculating the person's capital.
     Clause 2 makes provision in relation to Scotland corresponding to Clause 1.
     Clause 3 provides for the commencement and extent of the Bill.
 Financial effects of the Bill
     There are no financial implications for local authorities or business in this Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to make clear the existing policy intention as regards local authorities' duties towards people needing residential accommodation and the capital assets such people may retain. When the capital limit prescribed by regulation 20 of the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992 was increased in April 1996 from £8,000 to £16,000, local authorities were given additional funding in respect of the extra costs. The additional funding was provided in the first year in the form of a special grant, and subsequently incorporated into the Revenue Support Grant.
 Effects of the Bill on public service manpower
     There are no effects on public service manpower.
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Prepared 25 November 1997