HC Deb 07 March 1963 vol 673 cc637-8
29 and 30. Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) how many management orders have so far been made under Section 12, and how many notices have been served requiring landlords to provide certain amenities under Section 15, of the Housing Act, 1961;

(2) if he is satisfied with the working, up to the present time, of Part II of the Housing Act 1961; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Corfield

In mid-1964 local authorities will be asked to submit reports on the workings of the multi-occupation provisions of the Housing Act, 1961. Until then my right hon. Friend will not know the totals of orders made or notices served, or be able to make an informed statement about the working of Part II of the Act. Local authorities must be given a chance to obtain adequate experience in the use of these new powers before my right hon. Friend comes to any general conclusions about them.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

Whilst appreciating that it is still early days since the regulations dealing with Part II of the Housing Act came into force, may I ask whether my hon. Friend is aware that in Nottingham, where this evil of multi-occupation slums is particularly rife, we have made quite a good start involving the serving of over 100 notices under Sections 12, 15 and 16? Is he further aware that we in Nottingham welcome Part II of the Act and believe that we can make a very good job of it.

Mr. Corfield

Yes, Sir. By courtesy of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Nottingham, Central (Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux), my right hon. Friend has recently been given information which shows that the city council is making very good use of these powers, and I know that my right hon. Friend will wish to compliment the city council on its positive and lively approach to the problem.

Mr. MacColl

On the other side of the picture, is the hon. Gentleman aware that one metropolitan borough—and he will not have any difficulty in identifying it—has gone on record in public that its contribution will be minimal because of the lack of public health inspectors? Will the hon. Gentleman take urgent steps to consult various bodies on how this survey and the enforcement of notices are to be carried out with adequate staff?

Mr. Corfield

I will certainly look into individual cases, but the general situation must wait until the result of the reports to which I have referred is available.