HC Deb 14 March 1967 vol 743 cc200-2
3. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is satisfied with the rate at which builders are joining the National House Builders Registration Council following the suggestion of legislation made by his predecessor in this House on 7th March, 1966.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Anthony Greenwood)

Registration is going ahead at a good rate and has almost doubled in the last 12 months; I hope those builders still outside the scheme will join quickly.

Mr. Goodhew

Is the Minister aware that there are many good house builders who are not satisfied that this Council is capable of ensuring the high standard of which he talks, and, furthermore, that they very much resent the blackmail inherent in the threat made by his predecessor, when he said that, if they did not join voluntarily, he would introduce legislation?

Mr. Greenwood

There is no question of blackmail, and I am sure that any lack of confidence on their part is not justified. Ninety per cent. of the largest builders already belong to the Council.

Mr. Graham Page

Would the Minister agree that the 10-year guarantee now offered by the Council is a great improvement on the previous two-year guarantee which used to be offered?

Mr. Greenwood

Yes. I am much obliged to the hon. Gentleman for drawing attention to that.

4. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is satisfied that the National House Builders Registration Council has sufficient inspectors to ensure the maintenance of the standards of workmanship his predecessor was anxious to achieve when he suggested legislation on 7th March, 1966.

Mr. Greenwood

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given in answer to a Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Yarmouth (Dr. Gray) on 7th March.—[Vol. 742, c. 242.]

Mr. Goodhew

Is the Minister aware that, whilst his Council is supposed to inspect buildings every three weeks during construction, I am told that there are many buildings in my constituency which are nearly completed without having had a single inspection?

Mr. Greenwood

The Council is doing a great deal of this work. It has 16 supervisors, 88 inspectors and 14 field officers. Ten more inspectors are being appointed by the end of this month in order to expedite the work to which the hon. Gentleman refers.

14. Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will introduce legislation to prevent builders and speculators from charging house buyers six guineas for the National House Builders Registration Council's certificate when the recommended charge is only 1s.

Mr. Mellish

No, Sir. The Council will shortly be promulgating a new form of agreement between builder and purchaser, and it will be a condition of this agreement that the certificate be issued on payment of one shilling. At present this is only a recommendation.

Mr. Carter-Jones

I thank my hon. Friend for that hopeful answer, but is he aware that we have been trying to do this for some time? Is he further aware that builders are charging 10 and 12 guineas for this certificate and, having had their money back once, they then charge a further 10 and 12 guineas over and above that at the end of the deal? Will my hon. Friend ask the Council to speed up its action?

Mr. Mellish

I understand that the new agreement will be introduced on 1st August, 1967. I certainly will discuss with the Council many of the anomalies to which my hon. Friend has referred.

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