HC Deb 22 October 1975 vol 898 cc464-5
8. Mr. Welsh

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied with present schemes for the modernisation of Scottish housing.

Mr. Hugh D. Brown

I have nothing to add to the reply I gave to the hon. Member on 14th May.—[Vol. 892, c. 122.]

Mr. Welsh

Will the Minister consider reviewing his answer and bear in mind the needs of non-traditional type houses, which were built around the Second World War with the encouragement of the then Government? Will he bear in mind that steel houses are badly in need of renovation and modernisation? What hope can he give the tenants of these houses? Will he apply special help to meet their special needs?

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Gentleman had asked that question, I should have been able to give him a more helpful reply. The sorting out of priorities within the modernisation schemes and the generous allocations made by the Government is a matter for the local authority. I am well aware of the urgent situation of some of the non-traditional houses, especially if there is any element of fire risk due to faulty wiring. However, that is primarily the responsibility of the local authority.

Mr. Gordon Wilson

Will the Minister bear in mind the recent rejection by his Department of a scheme for the Linlathen first development in Dundee, which was referred back to the local authority because it was too expensive? Has there been any reduction in the standard and improvement of houses in recent months by the Department as a result of the Government's cash squeeze? If so, how many such projects throughout Scotland have been referred back to local authorities?

Mr. Brown

I am sorry to disappoint the hon. Gentleman, but there has been no reduction in the standard of housing. I emphasise that it is not a cash squeeze but an insistence by the Government that we get value for money. I assure the hon. Gentleman that we want to maintain the highest possible standards for council houses and, indeed, for any other kind of houses.