§ Mr. JOHN WILLIAMS
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he has now received any com- 600 munication from the Pontardawe public health authority concerning housing conditions in the Swansea Valley; and, if so, whether he is in a position to state what steps he proposes to take to move the said authority to immediate action?
Whether he will urge upon the Pontardawe district council the necessity and advisability of adopting a town-planning scheme, and of constructing any cottages proposed to be erected in such a manner as to fit in with the requirements of such a scheme; and also whether he is aware that, according to the medical officer of health's report for 1910 for the Pontardawe district, there were fifty basements occupied in the district, and, according to his report for 1905, there were twenty-eight houses condemned as being unfit for habitation, but that, notwithstanding the condemnation in the said report, those houses were still inhabited; that, according to the same report, there were then nineteen young married couples waiting for houses; and that since that time the number has more than doubled; and whether he will undertake to see that the provisions proposed to be made by the said council are adequate to meet the pressing and urgent needs of the district at the present moment?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Burns)
I am aware from the report of the medical officer of health of the Pontardawe Rural District for the year 1910 that there are about fifty basements in use, for human habitation in Ystalyfera, in the district. Having been in communication with the rural district council in regard to housing conditions in their area, I have been informed by them that they have practically agreed to acquire land in the portion of the district named sufficient for the erection of about 120 houses, and that at the present time they are considering plans for the erection of fifty houses. Until the provision of further houses is accomplished the council feel unable to deal effectively with some of the existing insanitary houses. I have impressed upon the council the necessity for prompt and energetic action on their part, and I shall not lose sight of the matter. I am not in a position to express an opinion on the desirability of a town-planning scheme for the rural district, but I will bring the matter to the notice of the council, and will bear it in mind when dealing with any proposal from them for the erection of houses.