HC Deb 13 December 1955 vol 547 cc989-90
12. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will introduce legislation amending Section 76 of the Local Government Act, 1933, to enable councillors living in council houses the right to speak and vote on all issues concerning council property.

Mr. Sandys

No, Sir.

Mr. Thomas

Is the Minister aware that there is grievous injustice here, because there is not a member who serves on a local authority who has not a direct financial interest in this question? The people who are not living in council houses have their rates decided by this question just as much as those who live in council houses. Will the Minister look at this matter again in order to avoid disfranchising those who live in council estates?

Mr. Sandys

It is a matter of degree. Of course, if we took that view we should disfranchise the whole of the House of Commons on any matter of taxation. I think most people would agree that by and large it is not desirable that councillors living in council houses should fix their own rents.

Mr. Mitchison

Is not the Minister aware that councillors do not know where they are in these cases about council houses? Ought he not to look at this Section of the Act again in order to make the position clearer to them? Very often they have not time to ask for a dispensation, which I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would give them if they were to ask.

Mr. Sandys

If there is any lack of clarity I will gladly look into it.