HC Deb 26 June 1969 vol 785 cc1802-3

8.0 p.m.

Mr. MacColl

I beg to move Amendment No. 65, in page 25, line 24, after 'section', insert '19'.

Perhaps it would be convenient to discuss at the same time Government Amendments Nos. 154 and 155.

These Amendments are designed to restore into general improvement areas the provisions of Section 19 of the 1964 Act for enforcing improvements where they are not being done. The provision already applies outside general improvement areas. My view was, and continues to be, that if one cannot get a sitting landlord to move, the best thing, which would take much less time, is to have the local authority acquire the property. This does not take away that power; it adds a power. We have been asked by the A.M.C. and the public health inspectors to do this. While, as the judges say, I must remain doubting but not dissenting, we are going to put this in.

Mr. Graham Page

It might be thought that this was a minor Amendment if there were no comment from this side. This is an important change in what we understood to be Government policy when the Bill was drafted. I would not disagree with this proposal. I think local authorities require this power, and if they use it wisely it will be very useful. However, it is a change in policy and I merely stress its importance.

Amendment agreed to.

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