§ 19. Mr. Peter Walker
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will recommend local authorities to provide standard improvement grants for the improvement and replacement of electrical installations.
§ 29. Mr. Prior
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what representations he has received from the Electrical Association for Women with regard to the inclusion in local authority standard improvement grants for the cost of replacement of electrical installations which have aged to the point of being potentially dangerous; and what reply he has made.
§ Sir J. Eden
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will authorise the local authority standard improvement grant to householders to include grants for replacing electrical installations which have aged to the point of being potentially dangerous.
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Robert Mellish)
My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations. Standard grants are designed to provide basic amenities lacking in older houses, not to renew existing equipment as it wears out. This is maintenance and is a normal responsibility of ownership.
§ Mr. Walker
Will the right hon. Gentleman examine this again, particularly from the point of view of the danger factor involved? Is he aware that a considerable danger exists in a badly wired house? Would he give further consideration to this matter?
§ Mr. Mellish
We take the point. We realise that some of this repair and renewal is essential in many houses. But the hon. Member knows that his own party, when in Government only last year, amended the standard grant legislation. It was not then thought necessary to include the sort of provision for which he is asking, and we do not think that it is necessary now.