HC Deb 26 November 1957 vol 578 cc975-7
29. Mr. Gibson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will make a statement as to the reduction of the number of rent tribunals; and what consultations have taken place with associations representing the staff affected as to their future employment.


The information asked for in regard to the cost of building is as follows:—

Development Corporation Average total cost of 3-bedroom houses in tenders approved in 1956 Average total cost of 3 bedroom houses in tenders approved in 1957 up to 22nd November, 1957
£ £
Aycliffe 1,416 1,483
Basildon 1,715 1,704
Bracknell 1,694 1,662
Corby 1,516 1,501
Crawley 1,712 1,731
Cwmbran 1,593 1,628
Harlow 1,710 1,664
Hatfield 1,805*
Hemel Hempstead 1,636 1,626
Peterlee 1,630 1,669
Stevenage 1,649 1,599
Welwyn Garden City 1,512 1,643
* Monthly rented houses only approved during the period.
†No tenders approved in the period 1st January, 1957–22nd November, 1957.

Mr. H. Brooke

As my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary informed the House on 21st November, I am arranging to amalgamate some rent tribunals where the work has decreased and where amalgamation can be carried out without inconvenience to the public. There is already an agreement with the Society of Civil Servants for dealing with staff redundancy on the amalgamation of rent tribunals. This agreement has just been modified, at the request of the Society, and tribunals concerned are being informed.

Mr. Gibson

The amalgamation of tribunals is a matter on which we shall probably need some more information. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have received from an officer of the association referred to a complaint that no consultation whatever has taken place with the staffs of these tribunals on what is to happen to them, and that notices have been issued through the chairmen of the tribunals which appear to expire somewhere around the end of this year? Further, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the whole matter is causing great distress among people who have put in many years of good solid service for the State on these tribunals? Will he take some steps to see that consultations do take place with the association concerned?

Mr. Brooke

Perhaps I should explain the position. The staffs of the tribunals are, in fact, employed by the tribunals and not by me. When there has been a question of amalgamation, my first course naturally has been to inform the chairmen, and, as I told the hon. Gentleman, there is an agreement in existence with the relevant staff association for dealing with any staff redundancy that may occur.

Mr. Mitchison

Would the right hon. Gentleman take this opportunity of expressing his appreciation of the work that has been done by the staffs of these tribunals? It has been difficult work tactfully and well performed.

Mr. Brooke

It is difficult work and I am very grateful both to the members and to the staffs of the tribunals.