HC Deb 20 April 1964 vol 693 cc853-4
14. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works why repairs are necessary in the new maisonettes of the Talavera Park Estate, Aldershot; and if he will order an inquiry into the building procedures used.

31. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what repairs are now required in the new married quarters at Talavera Park Estate, Aldershot.

1. Sir E. Errington

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what are the causes of the bulging of certain floors in married quarters recently built at Talavera Park Estate, Aldershot; how they are going to be repaired; at what cost; what arrangements are to be made for temporarily displaced occupants; and for what period they will be displaced.

Mr. Sharples

One steel beam in each maisonette was not deep enough to resist a deflection of about ¼ in. Measures are in hand to strengthen the floors and make good the small movement in partition walls. Repairs will cost £78 for each of the 64 quarters completed and £25 for each of the 64 quarters under construction. The work will be finished about the end of May. It will take a few days for each quarter and occupants temporarily displaced will be accommodated in quarters completed but not yet occupied.

The cause of the trouble is clear without the need for a special inquiry.

Mr. Boyden

How much movement does the Parliamentary Secretary expect in the Aldershot buildings? As a set of very expensive buildings fell down last July and as these buildings have moved ¼ in., does not the hon. Gentleman think that there is some lack of supervision in his Department which allows this kind of building to go on undetected?

Mr. Sharples

No, Sir. The deflection here was only ¼ in. None the less, there was a mistake in the construction of these buildings, which I readily admit, and I should like to apologise to the occupants for the inconvenience caused to them.

Mr. Lipton

Is not this but one of many examples showing how lax the control of Government expenditure is? When will the Government take steps to ensure that the unfortunate taxpayer gets value for money? It is not only these married quarters at Aldershot. No. 10, Downing Street and everything the Government are connected with is cracking up.

Mr. Sharples

No, Sir. I do not accept that. We in the Ministry of Public Building and Works are now doing building to the value of over £200 million a year, and the cost of putting right these married quarters is some £6,600.