§ 16. Mr. Milne
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what reply he has sent to the communication sent him by the Blyth Borough Council on the economic situation and its effect on the local housing programme; and what assistance he will give towards a solution of their housing problem.
I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the reply which has been sent to the council. I am not clear that it needs special assistance.
§ Mr. Milne
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is simply not good enough and that quack remedies are no longer a solution to the type of housing problem that the Blyth local authority is facing? Is he further aware that a statement was made some time ago that the housing problem existed only in the larger centres? Last year, in the Borough of Blyth, with over 1,300 people on the waiting list, no new houses were built. Is the Minister aware that if we are to clear this housing list, the Government must turn their back on their traditional housing policies and do something about it very quickly?
My information about the problems of Blyth, which the hon. Member has raised, is that two important problems confronted the local authority: shortage of land due to mining subsidence and the need of a new sewage scheme. Furthermore, by pooling rents and subsidies and applying a differential rent scheme, the local authority could find additional resources.