HC Deb 03 February 1971 vol 810 cc1660-1
22. Mr. Galbraith

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Glasgow families were rehoused from slum dwellings in 1970; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Younger

About 6,500 houses were closed or demolished in the first nine months of 1970: figures for the last quarter are not yet available. As regards the number of families rehoused, central records are not kept for different local authorities. My hon. Friend could no doubt obtain the figure from Glasgow Corporation.

Mr. Galbraith

Is not this substantial progress? Does my hon. Friend think that modernisation, which I believe to be a much greater problem, is going ahead equally well? Has he any plans to help Glasgow with this great problem, which the Socialist administration in the city has neglected for so many years?

Mr. Younger

I agree that the need to accelerate the improvement of older houses is now one of the greatest priorities in the housing programme generally and particularly in Glasgow. As my hon. Friend will know, the Glasgow joint working party of officials suggested last year that about 75,000 houses in the city were below a tolerable standard. I intend to give every possible assistance and encouragement to Glasgow Corporation to tackle this massive task.

Mr. McElhone

Will not the hon. Gentleman accept that, in spite of the Government's promises, the present authority in Glasgow managed to build less than 3,000 houses last year? Is he aware that we are still waiting for the special aid promised by the Government?

Mr. Younger

The present administration in Glasgow had an extremely successful year of improvement last year. Last year, the local authority housed by all means a record number of Glasgow families. I am making good progress in working out with the corporation what special help is needed for Glasgow, and I hope to make an announcement before long.

Mr. Hannan

Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that a declining number of new houses has been provided by the Glasgow local authority although there is a waiting list of 50,000 people? Is not this part of a shoddy campaign to try to buttress the failing political prospects of the Glasgow Conservatives?

Mr. Younger

As the working party showed with crystal clarity, the need in Glasgow is no longer to build any houses anywhere, of any kind; the need is to provide the right houses in the right places, where people will want them and at a decent standard. This is where the priorities have to be re-assessed. It is still the case, in spite of what the hon. Gentleman says, that a record number of Glasgow families were moved into houses last year.

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