§ 33. Mr. KIRKWOOD
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action has been taken by the Department of Health to provide alternative housing accommodation for the inhabitants of Standburn, East Stirlingshire, whose dwellings have been condemned; is he aware that the residents have petitioned in favour of a transfer to new houses under the 1930 Act to the adjacent village of Maddiston; and will he consider giving a favourable response to this petition?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for SCOTLAND (Mr. Skelton)
The Commissioner who inquired into the housing conditions at Standburn reported that of the 170 houses in the village, 39 were capable of being reconditioned and that the remainder should be closed and demolished. In communicating these views to the County Council, the Department of Health suggested that the new houses required for the displaced tenants should be built in other localities where there would be a reasonable prospect of work being available. I am informed that the county council are now negotiating with the proprietors for the improvement of the remediable houses. I am also informed that the council have under consideration the question of the selection of sites for the new houses, including the representations made on this subject in the petition referred to by the hon. Member, and I have no doubt that in arriving at their decision they will have due regard to these representations.
§ Mr. WELLWOOD JOHNSTON
Can the Under-Secretary say why the Department of Health have refused to allow the county council to see the report of the commissioner who presided over a so-called public inquiry held at the expense of the county council?
§ Mr. SKELTON
It is not the practice to show a report, which is a report to the Department, to any outside body.
§ Mr. JOHNSTON
Can the Under-Secretary say whether the Department's instructions or suggestions to the county council follow in every particular the recommendations of the Commissioner?