The BBC has reported how the Youth Justice Board has been saved from quango cull:
The government has abandoned plans to scrap the Youth Justice Board, minister Lord McNally has announced. The Ministry of Justice said the youth justice system still needed reform but, “following careful consideration”, the board would be saved.
The board was set up in 1997 to oversee the youth justice system and ensure that under-18s in custody were kept in safe conditions. It was due to have been scrapped as part of a so-called “bonfire of the quangos”. But the government was defeated in the House of Lords on the decision earlier this year, and there were fears that continuing anger over the proposed abolition could have led to another defeat at the latest stage of the bill.
Announcing the reprieve, Lord McNally said the government realised “that the future of the Youth Justice Board is an emotive issue”. He said ministers believed its functions could have been brought in-house and carried out by the Ministry of Justice, but they accepted that in both Houses of Parliament and in a public consultation there had been “considerable opposition” to such a move.
“During that period 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”
For Labour, shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said he welcomed the government’s “long overdue change of mind”:
“The YJB does an important job battling to reduce youth offending. It has a proven track record in reducing crime, which is why it was madness for the government to want to abolish it and why Labour and so many groups have campaigned for its survival with such determination.”
But Mr Khan said the work of the board was “still being undermined by severe cuts to youth offending teams, which work within communities to cut crime and anti-social behaviour”.
In October the government announced it was scrapping 192 public bodies – such as the Film Council and the Audit Commission – while 118 would be merged. It said the move would save more than £1bn, but opposition to the plans has led to the reprieve of about 20 quangos and forced ministers to drop proposals to abolish 150 more without parliamentary approval.