HC Deb 17 February 1982 vol 18 cc267-8
2. Mr. Spriggs

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to monitor population changes which affect the number of children and adults moving from Liverpool or other parts of Merseyside to St. Helens for council housing and private housing, respectively.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Sir George Young)

No, Sir. Monitoring such population changes and the implications for local housing and other policies is essentially a matter for the local authorities. In common with other authorities, St. Helens sends an annual housing needs appraisal to the Department as part of its housing investment programme submission.

Mr. Spriggs

Is the Minister aware that when I made inquiries of the local authority about the movement of population from Liverpool and the Merseyside area in general into council and private properties, it was unable to help me because it kept no figures and there is no monitoring of people taking private accommodation? As the matter is important in making a case for special development area status, will the Minister give it more serious consideration?

Sir George Young

Perhaps I can help the hon. Gentleman with the figures. The estimates from his local authority suggest that the population will fall from 191, 300 in 1981 to 187, 500 in 1986. The evidence shows that the migration flows between St. Helens and the rest of Merseyside are broadly in balance. I take on hoard the hon. Gentleman's points and will write to him.