§ 6. Mr. Abse
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs why he refuses to allow labour charges incurred by per manent maintenance staff of the National Coal Board in effecting improvements to tenanted houses of the National Coal Board to rank for grant; and whether, in order to prevent resulting delays in improvements to National Coal Board houses and unnecessary increases in rents to miners occupying National Coal Board houses throughout South Wales, he will withdraw his directive.
The change suggested by the hon. Member has already been made, and the National Coal Board and the Welsh local authorities who had raised the question were so informed back in February. Since then all local authorities have been notified in Circular 29/62, which was sent out on 30th April.
§ Mr. Abse
Am I to understand from the Minister's reply that the circular which was sent made clear that private enterprise was to be used in the maintenance of these houses and no grant in aid would be given were the Coal Board to use its permanent maintenance staff? While I welcome the apparent change in the directive, may I ask why any clog should be put on the Coal Board using direct labour to do a job of work to ensure cheaper rents for the miners and to assist the Board?
The hon. Member may read in my reply that the change about which he seeks information was made in February last.