HC Deb 26 March 1963 vol 674 cc1110-1
28 and 29. Mr. Wade

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) whether he will take powers to intervene in disputes over the allocation of houses by local councils;

(2) whether he will take steps to provide a right of appeal to himself for those who are dissatisfied with allocations of houses by local councils.

Sir K. Joseph

The selection of tenants is by Statute a matter for decision by the local authority. This I believe to be right, since the local authority with its intimate knowledge of its area is in the best position to assess the claims of all the people on its waiting lists.

Mr. Wade

I fully appreciate the importance of the general principle that these matters should be left to local authorities and that the Minister ought not to interfere, but may I ask whether the Minister is aware of a particular case where it is complained that the Deputy Mayor of Swansea overruled the decision of the housing committee and instructed the housing manager to allocate a particular house to a person other than the person originally selected? Is not that somewhat irregular, and is there any procedure whereby exceptional cases of this nature may be referred to the Minister?

Sir K. Joseph

I know that the House would not expect me to answer anything without knowing the full merits of any case, but from our experience as Members of Parliament representing constituencies we all know that if local authorities do not have the full facts, and any of us write to them, they will review the case to make sure whether their decision was right.