HC Deb 18 November 1970 vol 806 cc1224-5
33. Mr. Freeson

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many of the general improvement areas declared by local authorities under the Housing Act, 1969 were originally intended for slum clearance and redevelopment.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Paul Channon)

Local authorities are not obliged to give this information but from the reports available I have no reason to think there are many such cases.

Mr. Freeson

Will the Minister take it from me that during the visits I have made round the country I have seen many authorities with serious housing and slum problems who are doing precisely this? Will he be a little less complacent about it and stop local authorities from switching from slum clearance to improvements and abusing the Act?

Mr. Channon

If the hon. Gentleman thinks that we are being complacent, why on earth, when he was in office, did he frame the present Act in this way?