HC Deb 06 April 1965 vol 710 cc228-9
24. Mr. J. H. Osborn

asked the Minister of Power what information he has obtained, in his review of national fuel resources, on the capital and operational costs of various methods of heating municipal housing estates and other developments; and what information he has about the use of natural gas, town gas, oil and solid fuel heating for this purpose.

Mr. John Morris

These costs vary greatly from area to area and according to the type of heating required. On the second part of the question, I understand that for local authority dwellings approved in 1964 by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the main space heating appliances were in 43 per cent. for solid fuel, 27 per cent. electricity, 24 per cent. town gas and per cent. oil.

Mr. Osborn

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in my constituency the hospital has decided to use oil-fired heating? Will he undertake not to press for a change in that decision, as it will delay the hospital? Is he aware that there is a housing estate on the verge of my constituency which still has to make a decision, and will he advocate economic and not political considerations as being the main factor?

Mr. Morris

The issue of the hospital is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health. With regard to the housing scheme, I understand that Sheffield Council has not yet made its decision.

Mr. Varley

Would not my hon. Friend agree that when municipal housing authorities are making decisions about heating schemes, they should consider not only the question of efficiency, but the political instability of the oil producing countries concerned?

Mr. Morris

It is for local authorities to choose the type or types of fuel for use on their housing estates. They are best able to judge what meets their needs.

Mr. Lubbock

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that outside Stockholm there is a suburb inhabited by 30,000 people, which is heated by a district heating system powered by nuclear power? In view of Britain"s pre-eminence in the generation of power by nuclear means, does not the hon. Gentleman think that it would be worth while his Department investigating this matter with respect to large-scale units for housing schemes?

Mr. Morris

So far as that Question concerns my Department, I will look at it; so far as it concerns my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government, I will draw his attention to it.