HC Deb 06 May 1969 vol 783 cc256-7
26. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will circulate local authorities and new town corporations on the use of district heating schemes to cover whole towns or large sections of towns and advise these authorities on the use of household refuse as a major fuel for such district heating schemes.

Mr. MacColl

The Departments concerned are currently examining the future possibilities of district heating, including the use of refuse as a fuel particularly in the context of major new developments. At present, therefore, my right hon. Friend is not in a position to issue general guidance on the subject.

Mr. Roberts

Will my hon. Friend urgently consider what further steps could be taken, in conjunction with the Ministry of Power, to encourage district heating in general and district heating based on refuse in particular? Will he at least ensure that new town authorities introduce district heating schemes based on some type of refuse usage?

Mr. MacColl

The possibility of using district heating schemes at Milton Keynes and Northampton will be considered by my Department and the corporation.

Mr. Lubbock

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a large number of local authorities are introducing provisions to give themselves power for district heating in Private Bills during the present Session and that there will probably be an even bigger queue next year? Will he consider introducing national legislation so that we can have a uniform framework for adequate protection of the rights of the consumer?

Mr. MacColl

The attitude of the House towards this legislation and the experience under it if it is passed will be valuable assistance in achieving effective national legislation.