HC Deb 23 July 1975 vol 896 cc527-8
1. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps have been taken by the Greater London Council to reduce the vacancy rate on the Debden, Ninefields and other housing estates in Essex, subsequently to his Department's meeting with local authority associations and others.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Ernest Armstrong)

The meeting was concerned with housing management generally. I suggest that the hon. Member should get in touch direct with the GLC if he wishes to know more about the way in which it exercises its housing responsibilities on particular estates.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we do not always get very sympathetic responses from the GLC? Apart from the fact that so few tenancies are given to local people, is he aware that many of my constituents com- plain that houses are left vacant because of administrative delay, and there is also unhelpfulness over exchanges that would be genuinely and mutually beneficial?

Mr. Armstrong

This is a matter for the local housing authority. It is not for us to impose anything on it. The vacancy rate in this area is rather lower than the average.

Mr. McCrindle

Will the hon. Gentleman tell me what progress is being made in transferring responsibility for housing on GLC estates outside Greater London to the local authorities concerned?

Mr. Armstrong

These matters are under discussion. I shall keep the House informed.