HC Deb 27 February 1936 vol 309 cc648-9
66. Mr. HICKS

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the Kingston Town Council is making advances on mortgage, under the provisions of the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act, in respect of property on an estate the subject of numerous complaints by occupiers of serious structural and other defects; whether the town council has invited him to open an inquiry for the purpose of investigating the complaints referred to; and whether he is prepared to advise the Kingston Town Council and all other local authorities to withhold any further advances on mortgage of property on this particular estate, or on any other estates being developed by the builder in question, pending investigation of the allegations in respect thereto?


My predecessor was invited to co-operate with the town council in an inquiry into certain allegations which had been mode in regard to one estate. These allegations were, however, the subject of legal proceedings, and I understand these proceedings are still before the courts. I understand that the council have made advances on a number of houses on the estate, and that every practicable step has been taken to put right the defects complained of. It is, of course, a matter for the council to decide in any particular cases whether they will make an advance, and I see no reason to interfere with their discretion on this matter.


Is the Minister aware that, on the day following the passing of the town council's resolution, the builder issued a writ, and thus rendered an inquiry impossible? If the case, after the lapse of nearly 12 months, is now sub judice and is still before the courts, ought not the loans to be in the same position?


It is a difficult matter to deal with a case in which legal proceedings are pending, but I would remind the hon. Gentleman that the council have taken steps to put the defects complained of in proper order.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this matter con-terns, not only Kingston, but a large 'Lumber of suburban areas in London?


The question relates to a particular district.

75. Mr. R. C. MORRISON

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider granting powers enabling local authorities to loan money to owner-occupiers of small dwellings for the purpose of redeeming mortgages at high interest rates and replacing them with advances under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act?


No, Sir. I do not consider that an amendment of the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act in the sense suggested would be desirable.