HC Deb 13 November 1962 vol 667 cc181-2
15. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what part the reclamation of derelict land is intended to take in his department's plans for slum clearance.

Sir K. Joseph

Speeding up slum clearance means in the first place building houses quickly for those who will be displaced and then making the best use of the cleared sites. If reclamation of derelict land can enable more houses to be built quickly, no doubt the local authorities concerned will have this possibility in mind.

Mr. Boyden

Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the amount of industrial derelict land has increased, is increasing and ought to be diminished? Is his Manchester office, for example, to have anything to do with advising the smaller local authorities technically and making more financial provision for dealing with this problem?

Sir K. Joseph

No, not as such, though where land is short, extra land that can be recovered from a derelict state will be eagerly sought after. On the first point, my Department has asked all local authorities to report the amount of derelict land in their areas and the action that they propose for reclamation, in their quinquennial review.

Mrs. Braddock

Is the Minister aware that Liverpool has a very big slum problem and that derelict land, which has been standing there since the war finished, is in a completely shocking condition? Will he make arrangements to come to my constituency to look at it for himself, because there are no words that can describe the state of the central area in Liverpool?

Sir K. Joseph

I think that the hon. Lady knows that the Government are deeply aware of the need for haste in dealing with the housing problems in the hon. Lady's constituency. As to the first part of her supplementary question, perhaps she will send me details of the land to which she is referring.