HC Deb 18 July 1963 vol 681 cc714-5
20. Mrs. Braddock

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what decision has been taken regarding improvement grants where a bath unit can be installed without reducing living accommodation in a house, details of which were sent to his Department some months ago by the hon. Member for Liverpool, Exchange.

Sir K. Joseph

This is one of the matters I am considering in connection with legislation to implement the proposals affecting the improvement of houses outlined in the recent White Paper on Housing.

Mrs. Braddock

Will the Minister hurry up with this matter, because it is now 12 months since I sent information about it? There are very many two-bed-roomed houses in very good condition that have no bath. If it is possible to put a bath and the equipment in a kitchen it helps the housing problem, because many people do not want to move, and if a bath is put in a bedroom the house becomes overcrowded. I am very pleased to hear that the right hon. Gentleman is giving consideration to this matter, but will he please hurry up, as it needs urgent attention?

Mr. A. J. Irvine

In this connection, has the Minister in mind the fact that some time ago his Department had discussions with the Liverpool Corporation on his Ministry's Circular 29 of 1962, which the Corporation regarded as introducing a more restrictive policy for the authorising of improvement grants? Does the case mentioned by my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Exchange (Mrs. Braddock) come within the ambit of that policy Circular? If so, should not the right hon. Gentleman take the opportunity to communicate again with the Liverpool Corporation to clear up any possible doubt about the matter?

Sir K. Joseph

The whole detail of the improvement grant policy is under review at the moment, pending what I hope will be early legislation, but I will take up the hon. and learned Gentleman's point.