HC Deb 17 June 1976 vol 913 c737

Q5. Mr. Moonman asked the Prime Minister if he will consider making an official tour of Great Britain's new towns, including Basildon.

The Prime Minister

I have at present no plans to do so, although I hope to visit Redditch New Town in September.

Mr. Moonman

With the passage of the New Towns (Amendment) Bill only yesterday, and as the new towns have proved themselves in so many ways, will my right hon. Friend give some consideration to the question of stimulating the development of further new towns?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir, I am aware of my hon. Friend's great interest in this matter. We are at present giving careful consideration to the Thirteenth Report of the Expenditure Committee on these matters. My hon. Friend was a member of the Committee. There has been no doubt about the success of the new towns. We are currently considering their future.

Mr. Tebbit

When the Prime Minister does visit a new town, will he take care to talk to many of the tenants in order to find out how many would welcome a return to the scheme under which, under the previous Conservative Government, tenants were enabled to purchase their houses at advantageous prices, and will he then attempt to persuade his colleagues to reintroduce such a scheme?

The Prime Minister

There is no universal and permanent right and correct ratio between housing for rent and housing for owner-occupation. The ratio will continue to be kept under review in the light of demands and need. The Government's first priority has been to increase the provision of rented housing to meet the very high demand that was apparent when we first took office.

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