The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Alistair Darling): I set out in my statements to Parliament on 8 October, Official Report, columns 277-280 and 13 October, Official Report, column 539, the details of the Governments recapitalisation scheme. All UK incorporated banksincluding UK subsidiaries of foreign institutionswith substantial business in the UK, and building societies, are eligible to apply for the scheme. To date, RBS Group plc andsubject to their merger proceedingLloyds TSB plc and HBOS Group plc have announced the terms on which they are participating. Those terms are set out in detail in the placing and open offer agreements, and in the preference share subscription agreements. I have today arranged for final, signed versions of the agreements to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
I now set out the detail of dealing with future applications to the scheme from those banks which are currently raising capitaleither by an agreement with HM Treasury or otherwiseand which, for whatever reason, may seek to negotiate a substantively new proposal or new agreement with HM Treasury about the terms of any recapitalisation. Detailed terms of participation would remain a matter for discussion with the board of the institution concerned, taking proper account of prevailing market conditions, but HM Treasury would expect to apply the following general principles:
The objective of the recapitalisation scheme is to ensure that each eligible institution has sufficient capital to sustain confidence in the institution. Institutions should therefore have a sufficient buffer of capital above the minimum requirement both to absorb losses that might ensue from a downturn and to continue lending on normal commercial criteria. In assessing any proposals in relation to eligible institutions, HM Treasury will continue to focus on three key objectives:
maintaining financial stability;
safeguarding the interests of taxpayers; and
protecting depositors and consumers.
There is no automatic right of access to the recapitalisation scheme. At minimum HM Treasury would expect the following high-level conditions to be met before capital could be offered to any eligible institution:
the institution must have a plan to meet an appropriate level of capitalisation, as determined by the FSA. (Information about the FSA approach is set out in its statement of 14 November 2008). It is a matter for the institutions concerned to disclose to the market their capital requirement;
the institution must have a sustainable business model and delivery plan;
the institutions funding profile, sources and mix must be clear, broad-based and sustainable; and the senior management team must be credible, with demonstrable ability to deliver the business plan.
If the Government are to provide capital, the issue will carry terms and conditions that appropriately reflect the financial commitment made by the taxpayer, including in relation to dividend policy, remuneration, lending policy and wider public policy issues.
To the extent that HM Treasury is asked to subscribe for, or underwrite, an offering for ordinary equity shares, the price would be at a discount to either the market price prevailing at the time of the transaction or, if applicable, the placing price agreed on 13 October, whichever is lower. The percentage discount would not be less than the percentage discounts applied in transactions already announced.
To the extent that HM Treasury is asked to subscribe for preference shares or other tier 1 instruments, the appropriate coupon will be based on prevailing market conditions, with due regard given to the rate at which eligible institutions have announced the issue of such instruments most recently.
With respect to fees, HM Treasury would charge an appropriate level of fees for any underwriting commitments, again paying due regard to the fees paid in recent transactions involving eligible institutions.
Any transaction would, of course, be subject to the necessary regulatory and legal clearances, and would need to comply with the European Commissions decision of 13 October 2008 authorising the recapitalisation scheme under EU state aid rules.
Any securities acquired by HM Treasury under the recapitalisation scheme will be managed on a commercial basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI). Details about UKFI are set out in my letter to the Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee of 3 November, which is available in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls): In the Childrens Plan, which I presented to Parliament in December 2007, the Government set out their ambition to make this country the best place in the world for young people to grow up. As part of this we committed to strengthening the links between schools, health and other childrens services in every area through childrens trusts, so that together they can tackle all the barriers to the learning, health and happiness of every child.
clarifies what a childrens trust is, what it does and how it relates to other local partnerships;
discusses in more detail the vision and priorities in the childrens plan as they relate to childrens trusts and the five every child matters outcomes;
identifies the challenges that now need to be addressed; and
offers guidance on how the priorities in the childrens plan should be taken forward across the whole childrens trust.
extend the number of relevant partners under a duty to co-operate to include schoolsincluding academiessixth form and FE colleges, and Job Centre Plus;
make the childrens trust board a statutory body; and
give the board responsibility for producing the children and young peoples plan, which will then be owned by the full childrens trust partnership.
The childrens plan set out a vision in which local authorities, schools, the health service and other local providers work together and support each other, both in setting the direction and in driving delivery. The proposals announced today, taken together, give us a framework that will help make this vision a reality.
The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls): The Secretary of State for Health and I today welcome the publication of the final report of the independent review of child and adolescent mental health services. We would like to thank the CAMHS external review group for their report and recommendations. In particular, we would like to thank Jo Davidson, the chair and group director of children and young people's services at Gloucestershire county council and Dr. Bob Jezzard, the vice-chair.
This has been a challenging review. Childrens mental health is an area where there are strong views and perspectives. The external review group should, therefore, take great credit for having produced such a coherent and evidence-based report, which sets out a clear vision for how we can all take responsibility for promoting childrens mental health and psychological well-being, alongside clear recommendations for how we can best achieve the step change in the quality and consistency of services at all levels.
the progress that has been made, since the launch of standard 9 of the childrens national service framework and the publication of Every Child Matters in 2004, in delivering services to meet the educational, health and social care needs of children and young people at risk of and experiencing mental health problems, including those with complex, severe and persistent needs; and
the practical solutions that can be used by those developing policy and delivering, managing and commissioning services to address current challenges and deliver better outcomes for children and young people with mental health problems, and how these solutions can be monitored.
We welcome the fact that the review carried out its task in such a comprehensive manner, undertaking an intensive programme of investigation, including a national call for evidence and extensive consultation with children, young people and their families throughout the process. The fact that the reviews recommendations respond to the concerns of users of these vital services gives its report added weight and importance.
We agree with the reviews analysis that whilst considerable improvements have been made to the support and services delivered in this area, there is still a great deal of change that needs to take place at all levels of the system to support the delivery of integrated, child and family-focused mental health and psychological well-being services that are organised around children and young peoples needs.
The reviews report identifies the important changes that are required if we are to see real improvements in childrens mental health and psychological well-being. The review sets out a clear and ambitious vision of what this change would look like for children, young people and their families accessing universal, targeted and specialist services, highlighting the importance of:
everyone having a good understanding of what mental health and psychological well-being is, how they can promote resilience in children and young people and where children, young people and their families can go if they need more information and help;
childrens mental health and psychological well-being services being viewed and working as a single service that is organised around children, young people and their families needs, with staff working within these services having a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities as well as those of others;
staff within universal services being trained and supported to provide effective mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention work and where necessary having the knowledge and skills that are needed to refer children and young people swiftly through to specialist services; and
staff within specialist services to have an appropriate range of skills and competences so that they can deliver support that is easy to access, readily available and based on the best evidence of what works.
The review makes 20 challenging recommendations to Government across all aspects of childrens mental health and psychological well-being services. The Secretary of State for Health and I are delighted to be able to demonstrate our commitment to the immediate implementation of a number of these recommendations. In particular:
we will set up a National Advisory Council for childrens mental health and psychological well- being. In line with the reviews recommendations, the council will act as a champion for childrens mental health and psychological well-being issues, advise Government on implementing the recommendations that have been set out in the reviews report, and hold Government to account on our successful delivery. We are delighted that Dame Jo Williams, former chief executive of Mencap has agreed to chair the review and Dr Lesley Hewson, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist and director of CAMHS, Bradford District Care Trust, to act as vice-chair; and
we will improve support for practitioners delivering services for children and young people and drive culture change and consistency at national, regional and local levels, we will develop a National Support Programme. This will build on the work of the national CAMHS support service and field forces working in this area. The National Support Programme will co-ordinate these organisations to give everyone working in this area the support they need to achieve the aims of the CAMHS review.
We are committed to: taking forward key recommendations within the report on improving access for children, young people and their families to mental health support through universal services; improving the access, quality and impact of mental health services for vulnerable children and young people; and ensuring that parents and carers have access to high quality advice and support when they are concerned about their childrens mental health.
For example, legislation to strengthen Childrens Trusts is already in train. Revised statutory guidance will highlight that Childrens Trusts should consider the mental health and psychological well-being needs of children and young people in their area as part of their wider joint strategic needs assessment and respond to this through effective joint-working between primary care trusts, local authorities and other strategic partners.
the roll-out of phase two of the targeted mental health support pathfinder programme (TaMHS) in an additional 55 local authority areas. This will enable a further 100 to 150 secondary schools and their feeder primary schools to deliver additional support in school to promote all childrens psychological well-being and additional help in and through the school for those children and their families at risk of problems. It will also provide additional funding for schools to forge closer working links with specialist CAMHS. Children will benefit from schools increased ability to identify risks to mental health at an early stage and ensure that they receive prompt access to the help and support that they need;
additional funding for local authorities already delivering the targeted mental health in schools pathfinder, so that they can build on their work in pupil referral units and special schools in order to meet the needs of this very vulnerable group of children and young people; and
additional funding for organisations who are delivering vital telephone helpline support for parents who are concerned about their childrens mental health.
We are pleased to accept most of the reviews recommendations in principle, with a view to implementing these as soon as is practical. Overall, we share the reviews conclusions on the need to promote greater consistency in access, quality and impact of childrens mental health services. In order to deliver these improvements, we identify four priority areas to be addressed by the National Support Programme and National Advisory Council. These are:
awareness of and access to services through the provision of local information in every area that clearly sets out the support that children, young people and their families can expect to receive in their local area;
the diffuse leadership and responsibility for childrens mental health and psychological well-being that currently exists at a national, regional and local level, for example through the strengthening of Childrens Trusts;
waiting times, where we are aware of the significant negative impact that having to wait a long time to receive treatment can have on children and young peoples recovery, so look to the national support programme to drive further improvements in this area; and
transitions to adult services, where we agree with the review that urgent work is required to identify, understand and overcome the barriers to smooth transitions between mental health services for young people and services for adults.
We will give further consideration to the remaining six recommendations from the review in conjunction with the National Advisory Council in order to develop an appropriate response and effective solutions that reflect local and national priorities.
The Secretary of State for Health and I have set out our initial response to each of the reviews 20 recommendations in a summary document that has been made available on the DH and DCSF websites and in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr. Iain Wright): The Government are today publishing a new rough sleeping strategy No one left outcommunities ending rough sleeping. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
Ten years ago, the Government set out an ambitious plan to cut rough sleeping by two thirds. Thanks to the determination of our partners in local authorities, the voluntary sector and other agencies dealing with the homeless, we achieved that goal several years ago. There have been significant and sustained reductions in the number of people who sleep rough on the streets.
Our success in tackling rough sleeping so far is something in which we lead the world and of which this country can be proud, but we are not complacent. Ten years on from our first strategy, we are determined to make further progress. Our vision is to end rough sleeping once and for all. And we know that many of our partners share this determination and we will work across Government to make progress.
This new strategy signals our intent to work with our partners to end rough sleeping once and for all by 2012. To make this happen we want to make sure that in every part of the country people get the help they need, so no one has to sleep rough. Services will act promptly to prevent rough sleeping from occurring in the first place, or to bring people in from the streets as quickly as possible. People who have slept rough will be supported to improve their health, consider employment options and rebuild their lives.
After a decade of progress we have learnt from our experiences, and are more confident and determined than ever that we can make progress towards this goal, building on the commitment, innovation and energy of our partners across Government, in local authorities, the third sector and communities. The strategy sets out a fifteen point action plan for the next four years. The tougher economic climate may bring new pressures and challenges, but I am confident that the strategy prepares us well for the future. The Government is investing £200 million to prevent homelessness and tackle rough sleeping.
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