HC Deb 05 February 1963 vol 671 cc226-7
28. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he is aware that the present maximum grants permitted for conversion to smokeless grates are still insufficient to enable conversion to the more expensive closed stoves capable of burning the cheaper fuels; and, in view of the shortage of premium fuels suitable for open grates, if he will authorise an increase in the grants for closed stoves suitable for consuming the more plentiful cheaper fuels.

Mr. Corfield

Where stoves are installed, grant under the Clean Air Act is normally based on the notional cost of open fires designed for burning smokeless fuel. In areas where supplies of smokeless fuels suitable for open fires are likely to be inadequate, my right hon. Friend is prepared to consider relating the grant to the actual cost of stoves, but he must take into account the availability of suitable gas cokes as well as the availability of premium fuels.

Mr. Hynd

While thanking the hon. Gentleman for that reply and the information which I am sure will be welcomed in many smokeless zones, will he ensure that some examination is made of the position in Sheffield, particularly, where there is a serious shortage of these fuels and where there has been difficulty in getting adequate grants to enable closed fires to be installed.

Mr. Corfield

I understand that my right hon. Friend the Minister of Power is considering the position in a number of areas other than the North-East where this applies at the moment.