HC Deb 06 April 1971 vol 815 cc220-1
4. Mr. Clinton Davis

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will undertake discussions with the London borough of Hackney into the provision made by this borough for the homeless.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Michael Alison)

It would be premature for my right hon. Friend to arrange any such discussions before he has received and considered the report of the Working Party announced to the House on 18th March.—[Vol. 813, c. 386.]

Mr. Clinton Davis

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that, in contrast with virtually every other London borough, the London Borough of Hackney reduced its provision for the homeless by no less than £40,000 for the year 1969–70? Does he not consider that this is deserving of inquiry? Furthermore, is it not absolutely wrong to herd together hundreds of homeless people into one block of flats, as has been done at Duncan House in Hackney?

Mr. Alison

I refer first to the last part of the question. The hon. Gentleman knows that the council are endeavouring to replace Duncan House with small family units. On reductions in expenditure, I understand that Hackney is to spend nearly £400,000 next year for 80 units to replace premises in redevelopment areas and for a further 30 new units.