HC Deb 09 February 1960 vol 617 cc210-1
14. Mr. Ridsdale

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs when the survey of private street works arrangements, being carried out by his Department, will be completed.

Sir K. Joseph

Information from local authorities, now almost complete, is about to be analysed. It is not yet possible to say how soon any general conclusions can be drawn.

Mr. Ridsdale

But is my hon. Friend aware what an urgent problem this is for retired ratepayers? Would it not be more realistic for his Department to give some help? The ratepayer faces very much increased burdens in the near future. Although local councils can contribute towards relieving the problem locally, could the Government help more generally?

Sir K. Joseph

I am very sympathetic to my hon. Friend's suggestions, but it would he most unwise to assume that there would be any fundamental change in present practice, since owners of these houses must be assumed to have known the obligations they were undertaking. There are many factors to be taken into account in this inquiry, and I am sure that I can give no accurate timetable.

Colonel Beamish

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is more than one view about this, and that it is very disappointing to hear him say, apparently, that he has a shut mind on the matter? In considering whether new legislation is necessary, will he study carefully the views of local authorities and other interested parties before committing himself in any way?