Second U-turn over the 'bonfire of quangos' saves Youth Justice Board

The Government has reversed plans to scrap the Youth Justice Board as part of its much-publicised "bonfire of the quangos". In a second U-turn in as many days, the Department of Justice said that the board – which oversees the detention and rehabilitation of young offenders – would be reprieved.

On Monday, it announced that the post of Chief Coroner would also be kept, despite an earlier pledge by the Government to abolish it.

The moves come after the Government was defeated in the House of Lords last month when peers backed an amendment to the Public Bodies Bill urging ministers to remove the body from a list of those to be abolished. Those backing the change included the former Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf and the former Tory cabinet minister Lord Newton. Ministers said the quango had achieved its objectives and local initiatives should be prioritised in future. But peers from all parties supported the amendment.

Lord Woolf said he would be extremely disappointed if proposals to disband the body – set up in 1997 to oversee the youth justice system – went ahead.

"This was an initiative that managed to change the whole approach towards a part of the criminal justice system – and probably one of the most difficult and important parts of the system – in a way which gave new hope to all those concerned for our justice system," he said.

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