§ 10. Mr. A. Henderson
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether, in view of the representations made to his Department by the Borough 1003 Council of Rowley Regis, he will reconsider his decision to reduce the number of houses to be erected by the council in 1958 from 284 to 96.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. J. R. Bevins)
My right hon. Friend has not given any decision which would have the effect of reducing the number of houses to be completed by the council in 1958. The figure of 96 refers to dwellings for which he is at present prepared to give tender approval in 1958, and this cannot affect completions this year. In fact, the council should complete over 200 dwellings in 1958, which is about as many as it completed last year.
§ Mr. Henderson
Is not is a fact that, as a result of the Minister's decision, the Rowley Council will be unable to carry out its five-year programme? Will the Parliamentary Secretary bear in mind that, although the council has built more than 2,000 houses since 1946, it is still faced with a waiting list of 1,900 applicants, together with a slum clearance programme covering more than 770 slum dwellings? How can he expect the council to face up to its housing responsibilities if he interferes with its programme as he has done in this case?
§ Mr. Bevins
We appreciate the size of the problem in the right hon. and learned Gentleman's constituency, but the position was that the council wanted to go out to tender for 284 houses, which was 60 more than it started last year and 70 more than it completed. If, later in the year, the right hon. and learned Gentleman would like my right hon. Friend to review the matter again, he would be very glad to do so.
§ Mr. Henderson
May I ask the hon. Gentleman whether, in those circumstances, the Minister would be willing to to see a deputation from the borough council later on?