HC Deb 08 July 1977 vol 934 cc1709-10
Mr. Stephen Ross

I beg to move Amendment No. 38, in page 5, line 24, leave out subsection (3).

Hon. Members who served on the Committee may remember that I said that I had given an undertaking to the district councils before Committee stage that we would be withdrawing subsection (3), which had aroused a feeling of abhorrence among local authorities. They felt that it involved too much bureaucracy. Unfortunately, we forgot to do that in Committee and I am honouring that pledge now.

The prime objective of the subsection is related to statistical returns in respect of homeless households. I believe that co-operation is the way to secure this and am not convinced that it is necessary to place an explicit obligation on authori- ties in England which are co-operating handsomely. If the hon. Member for Merioneth (Mr. Thomas) can also persuade the Welsh authorities to provide more statistics it would be helpful. The statistics derived from the returns made have proved of great value and I have no reason to believe that a statutory obligation is required to secure the continuation of the returns. I am aware that a statutory obligation would have the unwelcome implication that authorities might be unwilling to respond. I am confident that they will continue to respond and see no reason for inserting a statutory requirement.

Mr. Rossi

We are grateful to the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) for implementing an undertaking given in Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

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