HC Deb 27 June 1961 vol 643 cc326-8

(1) Sections twelve to fifteen of this Act shall apply—

  1. (a) to a building which is not a house but in which there are two or more separate dwellings which do not each have a sanitary convenience and personal washing facilities accessible only to those living in the dwelling, and
  2. 327
  3. (b) to a building which is not a house but in which there are two or more separate dwellings each of which is wholly or partly let in lodgings or is occupied by members of more than one family,
as if references in those sections to a house which, or a part of which, is let in lodgings or which is occupied by members of more than one family included references to any such building, but no direction shall be given under section eighteen of this Act by virtue of this section in relation to such a building.

(2) If a local authority make an order under section twelve of this Act as applied by the foregoing subsection as respects a building at a time when another order under that section is in force as respects one of the dwellings in the building they shall revoke the last-mentioned order.

(3) References to a house in sections sixteen, seventeen and twenty of this Act shall include references to a building to which this section applies.—[Mr. H. Brooke.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Brooke

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

The new Clause arises from discussion initiated by the hon. Member for Islington, South-West (Mr. A. Evans) and other hon. Members in Committee and I hope that it will commend itself to the hon. Member and other hon. Members, on both sides, as effectively meeting certain points that were raised. The Clause is designed to serve a twofold purpose. Subsection (1, a) brings within the scope of the provisions of the Bill dealing with multiple occupation a type of dwelling or building that was not covered in the Bill originally but which the hon. Member for Islington, South-West stressed should be included; that is to say, dwellings of a tenement type that might not necessarily be individually in multiple occupation. They might each be occupied by one family only but they share washing facilities, W.C.s., or something like that. In parts of London and elsewhere, there are a number of these old tenement buildings. They certainly seem to be of a type which the Bill should cover. Subsection (1, a) of the Clause is designed to include them.

Subsection (1, b), which deals with a different matter, is designed to make it possible for the local authority to deal as one building with a block of flats where individual flats are in multiple occupation. With the Bill as originally drafted doubt might arise whether the management provisions could be made to apply to the staircases and the common parts of a block of flats as distinct from the individual flats that were in multiple occupation. I hope that the Clause will commend itself to the Committee. It is a genuine attempt by the Government to meet points which were raised in Committee.

Mr. A. Evans

I am glad that the Government have decided to bring these buildings within the ambit of the Bill. One would have thought that the Minister would have been aware of some of these rather awkward blocks of buildings which are to be found in various parts of London and in same of the other great towns. One would have thought that he would naturally bring them within the Bill. It was, however, necessary for us on this side to point out that many of these buildings were shocking places and required to be dealt with under Part II of the Bill. We are happy that the Minister has accepted our suggestion and has now brought forward the new Clause to include them.

There are one or two points which are not clear to me which, perhaps, the Minister will consider. Subsection (1, b) refers to each dwelling which is wholly or partly let in lodgings To my way of reading, that means that every dwelling in the building must be wholly or partly let in lodgings before the local authority could use its powers under Part II of the Bill.

It being Ten o'clock, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

Committee report Progress.