HC Deb 12 April 1978 vol 947 cc1378-9
8. Mr. Joseph Dean

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the housing investment programmes for 1978 for the six largest metropolitan districts, and the metropolitan districts in West Yorkshire; and if he will give any information that is available to him regarding the size of the respective waiting lists of the local authorities.

Mr. Armstrong

Tables showing authorities' bids and allocations for 1978–79 have already been placed in the Library of the House. Information about local authority waiting lists is not collected centrally. I invite my hon. Friend to seek this information from individual local authorities.

Mr. Dean

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Conservative-controlled authority in Leeds has cut back its house building programme from 1,750 to 1,250, despite having a waiting list of 20,000, and that the local politicians running that authority are laying at the Government's door the blame for lack of financial resources?

Mr. Armstrong

We are in negotiation with the Leeds authority. My regional officers are now talking to that authority about specific schemes. We have said that where there is any hold-up, the authority should have other schemes ready to bring forward.

We are also discussing the allocation of resources, because we believe that we have provided for housing for a large and continuing programme. That is certainly our aim, and we want to help Leeds to achieve good housing success.

Mr. Alison

Is the Minister aware that Leeds citizens and ratepayers have never had a better deal than under the Tory leadership which has been there since 1975? Does the Minister recognise that the Government themselves have allocated only two-thirds of the housing investment programme grant for which application was made?

Mr. Armstrong

In fact, the allocation was increased this year. We are now asking the Leeds authority for details of any schemes which it says it cannot bring forward. I suggest that the other matters that the hon. Gentleman raised are more appropriate to the hustings.

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