Youth Justice Board Saved As Government Abandons Plans To Axe Quango
The government has abandoned plans to axe the board responsible for overseeing the youth justice system after concerns the proposed abolition could have led to another defeat of the Public Bodies Bill.
Minister Lord McNally announced the decision on Wednesday, shortly after another U-turn over the coalition put forward the proposal to scrap the post of chief coroner. Abolishing the Youth Justice Board was intended to be part of the government's attempt to tackle bureaucracy in the so-dubbed "bonfire of the quangos".
The board was established in 1997 under Labour to monitor the justice system for under-18s and ensure those in custody were kept in safe conditions.
The government retracted the clause in the Bill which would have seen the board culled, the BBC reported on Wednesday, after suffering defeats in the House of Lords earlier this year. McNally said the government realised there had been "considerable opposition" in both the Houses of Parliament and in a public consultation.
He described the future of the board as "an emotive issue".
Former chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham, responsible for the amendment to the Bill which reprieved the board, said he welcomed the decision.
"During the summer riots the Youth Justice Board played an enormously important part in liaising with, overseeing and helping both the youth offender teams out in the community and also the oversight of those being received in custody who required a great deal of help", he told the BBC.