Jane Hutt said: 'I am pleased to be able to allocate£28.4m to Welsh local authorities to support the ongoing provision and development of community based services for people with learning disabilities.
'I am also allocating some£20m to local and health authorities to continue to meet the social care costs of the hundreds of people who have been resettled into the community from the long stay learning disability hospitals such Ely, Llanfrechfa Grange, Hensol, and Bryn y Neuadd.
'I am delighted that this year's allocations include sufficient resources to finish the resettlements from Llanfrechfa Grange. This is yet another significant milestone in our resettlement programmes.
The mental handicap strategy (MHS) was launched in 1983 and was based around three key principles which continue to shape current care provision:
That people with learning disabilities have:
The right to an ordinary pattern of life within the community;
the right to be treated as an individual; and
the right to additional help and support in developing their maximum potential.
Allocations for community based services In 1997-98 approximately half of the MHS grant resources for this purpose (approx£28 million) transferred into the local authority revenue support grant.
Three long-stay learning disability hospitals in Powys and Ely Hospital in Cardiff have closed over the last year or so.
This announcement confirms the availability of resources to complete resettlement from Llanfrechfa Grange. The Health Authority will be consulting in due course on proposals to close the hospital and to provide alternative facilities.
Resettlement from Hensol hospital is continuing. A comprehensive resettlement plan for Bryn y Neuadd hospital has not been agreed by the National Assembly and resettlement is progressing as and when resources allow.
Local and health authorities will be notified of their individual allocations over coming weeks.