HC Deb 25 July 1974 vol 877 cc1974-5

Lords Amendment: No. 11, in page 31, line 9, leave out "a local" and insert: and where a local authority are under a duty by virtue of section 36 of the Land Compensation (Scotland) Act 1973 to rehouse him, the".

Mr. Millan

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

This is basically a drafting amendment. I will explain it because on the face of it it will not be absolutely clear to the House.

Clause 36 was a new Clause put into the Bill on Report following a debate which, as the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Taylor) will remember, took place in Committee. The clause gives additional protection to persons displaced as a result of the housing action area procedure, that when they are rehoused by a local authority some attention will be paid to the wishes of the person concerned, particularly about the locality in which he is being rehoused.

The way in which the clause is drafted would place an absolute obligation on the local authority to rehouse anyone displaced in a housing action area. In fact, the normal obligation of a local authority is to provide rehousing only when in the normal course rehousing is not already made available either by the landlord or in some other way.

This is provided for in previous legislation. It is the well-established law and practice on the matter, but most of us know that in many of these situations it becomes an obligation on the local authority. The purpose of the amendment is to put this clause in the form in which it ought to have appeared in the first place to say that when the local authority is under an obligation to rehouse it must have regard to the wishes of the person concerned as to the locality. In that sense, it is merely a drafting amendment.

Mr. Teddy Taylor

I am grateful to the Minister for introducing the amendment. We are proud of this clause, because it was brought into the Bill as a result of representations by my hon. Friend the Member for Berwick and East Lothian (Mr. Ancram) in Committee. We were worried when we saw the amendment because it appeared to be a weakening of the housing obligation, but I am grateful for the Minister's assurance that that is not the case.

Question put and agreed to.

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