HC Deb 23 February 1976 vol 906 cc17-8
15. Mr. Michael Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many improvement grants were made for homes in South Glamorgan in 1975.

Mr. Alec Jones

Four hundred and twenty-one in Cardiff and 188 in the Vale of Glamorgan, making 609 in South Glamorgan. This is a provisional figure and includes improvements to both private and local authority dwellings.

Mr. Roberts

In view of the high rateable values in South Glamorgan, does the Minister consider that improvement grants will cease to be an effective instrument of housing policy?

Mr. Alec Jones

The present rateable value limit of £175 per annum is proving to be very favourable to the people of Wales. Only 10 per cent. of the housing stock of the Principality is outside the limit. The limit does not apply to properties which are converted to letting. Our experience shows that rateable values are not the limiting factor suggested by the hon. Gentleman.

Mr. Grist

In view of the age of so much of the housing in Wales, does the Minister accept that a cutback in improvement grants as projected in the White Paper will mean that more houses will become derelict than the number built, about which the Department boasts?

Mr. Alec Jones

I wish that the hon. Gentleman would choose his words with more care. There has been no restriction in the provision of improvement grants by local authorities.

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