HC Deb 06 November 1962 vol 666 cc774-5
8. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will give further consideration to the Stoke Nos. 29/35 (Penkhull) Clearance Areas Compulsory Purchase Order, 1961, and accept the recommendations made by his inspector at the inquiry.

19. Mrs. Slater

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will review the decision made on the Stoke-on-Trent Nos. 29/35 (Penkhull) Clearance Area Compulsory Purchase Order in order to make it accord with the recommendations made by his inspector after the (inquiry.

Sir K. Joseph

I have no power to review once I have given a decision on a compulsory purchase order.

Dr. Stross

Is the Minister aware that this lack of power which he now describes and the fact that he has no discretion left means that a scheme of comprehensive development for the whole of this village has been completely spoilt? Will he accept that most hon. Members consider this to have been most deplorable?

Sir K. Joseph

I cannot accept that. There is an elaborate procedure which ensures that all interests in the area are represented. There were a number of voices raised, both for and against this particular scheme, and I came to the decision, as falls upon me. I cannot reopen the merits of that decision by way of Question and Answer.

Mrs. Slater

Is this not a glaring example of the Minister's personal responsibility? His inspector recommended 98 per cent. of the premises in the Order, but has he not now reduced this to one-third? Does he not think that he should be able to look at a case like this again, for on his decision rests the conditions of many in the village who will be condemned to live in slum houses?

Sir K. Joseph

The hon. Lady speaks as if there was not a point of view the other way. In fact such a point of view was expressed articulately at the inquiry, and I have made my decision on the balance of the facts. In this case Stoke make it quite clear that there was plenty of land on which they could get on with their housebuilding.