HC Deb 05 June 1962 vol 661 cc183-4
8. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will relax the conditions under which improvement grants are made for the introduction of baits, hot water and inside toilets.

Dr. Hill

While I recognise that the present statutory requirement of five standard amenities as a condition of grant may give rise to difficulties in some cases, I do not think it would be in the general interest to consider relaxation of the requirement at the present time.

Mr. Allaun

Will the Minister reconsider, at least, the condition that the bath must be in a separate bathroom? While that is naturally desirable, is he aware that there are many houses in good condition in which this requirement alone is preventing the introduction of a bath, and where public money would not be ill spent?

Dr. Hill

I am not unsympathetic to the hon. Gentleman's point of view, which, if I recall rightly, he expressed in Committee last year. My present attitude is that public money should be concentrated on those cases where the full improvement can be achieved, but I recognise that there is something in the hon. Gentleman's point and I will consider what he says.

Sir Harmar Nicholls

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are one or two marginal points which he might look into, particularly the size of the windows in some rural areas, which are below the regulation size but in keep- ing with the area and not necessarily unhealthy? In regard to this sort of thing, would it not be helpful if he had another look at the regulations?

Dr. Hill

The replacement of windows is not one of the improvements covered by the standard grant.

Sir H. Nicholls

It is.

Dr. Hill

I have no doubt that my hon. Friend has a point in mind.