HC Deb 16 February 1948 vol 447 c810
16. Mr. Lever

asked the Minister of Works whether he has arrived at a decision with regard to the licensing of building work at the Royal Exchange, Manchester.

Mr. Key

Yes, Sir. I have had this case thoroughly examined again in further consultation with the Manchester City Council. The Council have recommended that the reinstatement should proceed to the extent of protecting the fabric and with a minimum use of labour and materials. I am advised that necessary safety measures would in any case involve work on much the same scale as that remaining to be carried out under the licence granted last February. In the circumstances, therefore, I have decided that the work already authorised should proceed.

Mr. Lever

Apart from the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, does not the Minister think the time to have full consultation with the local authority about granting licences for £173,000, for building shops and storage space in the centre of Manchester, is before the work commences, not when it is in the middle and he has the excuse that winter will bring it down if it is not completed.

Mr. Key

Yes, Sir, and such consultations took place.