22. Mrs. Butler
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what discussions he is having with local authority 216 associations about the revision of building byelaws to ensure that all new buildings are adequately protected against frost damage.
§ Mr. Corfield
A draft of the building regulations which, under the Public Health Act, 1961, will replace building byelaws in England and Wales has been circulated to interested bodies, including the local authority associations. The draft includes a requirement that soil and waste pipes shall be placed internally in all new buildings in order to prevent the risk of frost damage. A number of comments on this point have been received from interested bodies, and these are now being considered by the Building Regulations Advisory Committee.
Does the hon. Member appreciate just how much sheer misery has been caused in recent weeks not only by the vulnerability of water pipes to frost damage, but by inadequate heating systems and lack of double windows? Are those items covered in the draft of the new byelaws? If they are not, would he consider something on those lines? In view of the £15 million worth of claims which have been made to insurance companies for damage to dwellings, should we not do everything we can to prevent such waste and hardship in future cold spells?
§ Mr. Corfield
Clearly, recent experience is very much in our minds, but double windows are a little beyond the Question. However, I will keep the matter in mind.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Is the document to which the hon. Gentleman has referred and which has been circulated to local authorities available to hon. Members, or will it be made available?