HC Deb 09 December 1970 vol 808 cc409-10
33. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the number of new housing starts in the current year planned by the London Borough of Brent.

Mr. Channon

The council has started 176 dwellings since 1st January, 1970.

Mr. Pavitt

How many starts have actually been made? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that last year 1,976 starts were planned and only 24 achieved? In view of the fact that the council are selling off sites left, right and centre, would he do something about this appalling housing problem in my constituency?

Mr. Channon

The hon. Gentleman knows that my right hon. Friend is very concerned about the whole question of housing in London, and that he is already engaged in discussions with all the London boroughs about this very important problem. Certainly, he will bear in mind what the hon. Member says.

Mr. Freeson

Can the hon. Gentleman give some idea of the results of those discussions, bearing in mind that they are largely a repetition of very thorough investigation undertaken before this Administration came into power? Is he aware that the authority in question, like many others, has been sharply cutting down on its house construction programme, despite the very serious housing problem? It has reduced by 4,000 on its original building programme during its period of office.

Mr. Channon

To answer the hon. Gentleman's factual question, officers of my Department are to meet officials of the council on 14th December and we shall await the report of that meeting with great interest.