§ 34. Mr. John Fraser
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to establish a central housing authority for Greater London.
§ Mr. Fraser
Is the Minister aware that cheap cracks from the Government Front Bench do not help the housing programme and that the number of starts bears no relationship to the housing need in London? Will he announce his intention to step in—in place of failing authorities in London, no matter which they may be—to ensure that houses get built, because housing lists are already far too long?
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
Is my right hon. Friend aware that this year the G.L.C. will have over 16,000 new lettings, which is an increase of 36 per cent. over the last year in which Labour controlled the G.L.C.?
§ Mrs. Renée Short
Is the Minister aware that the fall in the number of housing starts is not confined to Greater London but is being experienced in every large town and city? Will he consider the recommendation contained in the 1968 Report of the Estimates Committee for the setting up of a house building corporation or association to build houses in all parts of the country where the local authorities are either unwilling or unable to do so for whatever reason? Further, may I remind the Minister—[HON. MEMBERS: "Too long."] Hon. Members opposite are very impatient today. I remind the Minister that that was an all-party Committee and not a Committee composed only of Labour Members.