32. Mrs. Slater
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs how many houses in Stoke-on-Trent, and nationally, were improved with the aid of standard and discretionary grants up to 30th September, 1962.
§ Mr. Corfield
Since mid-1959, 38 dwellings have been improved in Stoke-on-Trent with standard grants and, since 1949, 2,476 with discretionary grants. In England and Wales the comparable figures are 247,935 and 333,002, respectively.
In view of those figures, and comparing them with the number of houses in areas like Stoke-on-Trent which could be made into good houses if they had modern amenities, will not the Government now consider doing more to persuade people—and landlords in particular—to improve their houses 228 by adding modern amenities? Will the hon. Member ask the Minister whether local authorities can be given grants in order to make these improvements, and for a certain number of years to guarantee the rents to the landlord, providing that the control of the houses was in the power of the local authorities?
§ Mr. Corfield
My right hon. Friend is very anxious that more use should be made of these grants, and he will certainly consider any suggestions that are made, including those of the hon. Lady. She will be aware that we have been trying to give more publicity to these grants. She probably knows that a demonstration was held in her own area and that this led to a considerable increase in the use of these provisions in that area. That is to be welcomed.
Yes, but is the hon. Member aware that after that demonstration in Stoke-on-Trent, to which a great deal of publicity was directed, only one landlord in the area has taken advantage of the grant? All the others are owner-occupiers. It is the landlords to whom we should direct our publicity.