HC Deb 29 November 1928 vol 223 cc579-80
39. Brigadier-General WRIGHT

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the difficulties some owners, when making application under the Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1926, are encountering at the hands of county councils, he can take any steps to see that more generous consideration is given to all applications of this nature?


The merits of individual applications for assistance under the Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1926, are, of course, matters for the local authorities; but I have indicated in a circular letter the lines which local authorities should follow in dealing with applications for assistance, and I will furnish the hon. and gallant Member with a copy of this circular. I might add that I take every opportunity of urging local authorities to give sympathetic consideration to applications under the Act in cases in which assistance may properly be granted.


In view of the fact that the only activity under this Act has been shown by the district councils, would it not be possible now to extend the powers?


My hon. and learned Friend is mistaken in saying that the only activity has been shown by district councils. I am glad to say that there is a good deal more activity now being shown by county councils all over the country.


Is it not a fact, as shown by the statistics which my right hon. Friend was good enough to give me last week, that the proportion of acceptances to applications in the case of rural district councils is very much higher than in the case of county councils?


Yes, I think that is so.


Will my right hon. Friend take powers to compel county councils to take action, as there are some that have not framed schemes under this Act at all?


If that is the condition of housing under the county councils, is it safe to hand over further powers to them?


We are getting too many supplementary questions.

41. Mr. A. M. WILLIAMS

asked the Minister of Health the number of condemned rural workers' dwellings in Cornwall?


I regret that the information desired by my hon. Friend is not available.


asked the Minister of Health whether he will take further action both in regard to individual landlords and also district councils where either of these have refused to use the Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1926, to improve and make habitable condemned dwellings?


I have no power to compel landlords to take advantage of the facilities afforded by this Act if they do not wish to do so. The number of districts in which no scheme is in force is very small, and in these cases I am pressing the local authorities concerned to exercise their powers under the Act and to take steps to put schemes into operation.

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