HC Deb 09 April 1964 vol 692 cc1373-4

Amendment made: In page 32, line 5, after "may", insert subect to subsection (7) of this section".—[Sir K. Joseph.]

Sir K. Joseph

I beg to move Amendment No. 64, in page 32, line 12, to leave out from "proceedings" to the end of line 13 and to insert: an undertaking to carry out the works specified in the improvement notice, or any such works as might have been so specified if the court exercised its jurisdiction to vary the improvement notice". Amendment No. 68, in page 33, line 8, is consequential on this one, which limits the power of the court when accepting undertakings in connection which improvements in the same way as the local authority's powers are limited: that is to say, that it must accept an undertaking only in the light of the preliminary improvement notice.

Amendment agreed to.

Sir K. Joseph

I beg to move, Amendment No. 65, in page 32, line 19, after "section", to insert:

  1. (a) so as to require the carrying out of works to improve a dwelling to the full standard if the works specified in the improvement notice appealed against were works to improve the dwelling to the reduced standard, or
  2. (b).
At present, Clause 27 prevents the court altering an improvement from full to reduced standard. In compliance with an undertaking given in Committee, the Amendment makes explicit that the court may not alter an improvement the other way also.

11.45 p.m.

Mr. MacColl

My recollection of what we wanted done was precisely the opposite. We wanted power to be given to vary the thing both ways, to vary and reduce the grant to a full grant and the full standard to the reduced standard. I cannot remember that anybody on our side was very keen on limiting the flexibility in dealing with this. It seemed to us a very reasonable arrangement that where the matter came to court, rather than throw it out and start all over again, the sensible thing to do was to give the court power to make a variation either way. Therefore, I am rather sorry to see this Amend- ment. Although it is consistent, it is consistent in the wrong direction.

Sir K. Joseph

That is another point which is dealt with in another part of the Bill. All this does is spell out that the court's powers do not enable it to increase against an appellant who is appealing against a requirement to improve to the reduced standard a requirement to improve to the full standard. This was the criticism in Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 32, line 38, at end insert: (a) the persons who may appeal under subsection (1) against an immediate improvement notice served under section 22 of this Act in respect of any dwelling shall include a tenant occupying that dwelling, and subsections (2) to (9) shall not apply in relation to an appeal by such a tenant, but—

  1. (i) such a tenant may appeal only on the ground that the carrying out of the works specified in the improvement notice will cause unreasonable hardship to him or to any member of his family residing with him, regard being had to the age, health and any infirmity of the tenant or any such member;
  2. (ii) on such an appeal the sheriff may either confirm or suspend the improvement notice as he thinks fit, and any such suspension shall cease to have effect when there is a change in the occupation of the dwelling;
  3. (iii) for the purposes of sub-paragraph (ii) of this paragraph there is a change in the occupation of a dwelling when the tenant who was occupying the dwelling when the improvement notice was suspended by the sheriff ceases to occupy the dwelling, except that there is no change in the occupation of the dwelling if, on the tenant ceasing to occupy the dwelling, it is occupied by a member of his family who was residing with him immediately before he ceased to occupy the dwelling.—[Sir K. Joseph.]

In page 33, line 8, leave out from "accepts" to "he" in line 9 and insert: an undertaking to carry out works on a dwelling comprised in a tenement, being a dwelling in respect of which an immediate improvement notice has been served under section 22 of this Act."—[Sir Keith Joseph.]