HC Deb 07 May 1973 vol 856 cc11-2
11. Mr. Kinnock

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will now seek to determine and publish the total number of families on council house waiting lists in Wales on the last date on which statistics are available, so as to assist Her Majesty's Government's new housing policy.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

No, Sir. Waiting lists as a measure of housing needs are unreliable even for individual areas.

Mr. Kinnock

Does the Minister agree that even the rough estimate from the 5 percent. sample shows the disaster of his policy of preventing councils from extending their council house building by his refusing to push up the cost yardstick? Is he prepared to consider the prospects of thousands of families in Wales who are homeless, overcrowded or otherwise experiencing miseries because local councillors cannot afford or are not permitted to extend council house building?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

I shall not repeat what I have already said. It is the total number of houses available which is the main problem. With regard to the yardstick measures, the indications are that the new arrangements are having a significant effect on the number of schemes coming forward for approval.

Mr. Elystan Morgan

Has not the Welsh Council been studying the whole question of housing in Wales for some months? Is the Welsh Council looking into this aspect, or has the Minister specifically directed the council to exclude this aspect from its studies?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

No, we have not specifically excluded it, any more than we ever do.