HC Deb 02 July 1982 vol 26 cc1174-5

Lords amendment: No. 62, in page 32, line 45, at end insert— (2A) In this section and sections B and D 'building' includes structure. (2B) Subject to subsection (2C) below, in this section, the sections mentioned in subsection (2A) above and section C below `'local authority' means a district council, a London borough council and the Common Council of the City of London. (2C) This section and the other sections mentioned in subsection (2B) above shall have effect, in relation to a building in respect of which—

  1. (a) an undertaking that it shall not be used for human habitation is in force by virtue of section 16(4) of the Housing Act 1957 or paragraph 5 of Schedule 24 to the Housing Act 1980; or
  2. 1175
  3. (b) a closing order is in force by virtue of section 17, 26 or 35 of the Housing Act 1957, section 26 of the Housing Act 1961 or paragraph 6 of Schedule 24 to the Housing Act 1980,
and which is situated in an area which in pursuance of section 40 of the Housing Act 1969 or section 49 of the Housing Act 1974 is for the time being declared by the Greater London Council to be a general improvement area or a housing action area, as if for the words 'the local authority', in each place where they occur, there were substituted the words 'the Greater London Council'.

Mr. Macfarlane

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this we may take amendments Nos. 63 to 76.

Mr. Macfarlane

Amendment No. 67 confers on local authorities power to enter buildings and particular land to undertake works under the clause. It is thought right that the power should not extend to occupied land that is not appurtenant to the building in question. It is considered that the power is essential for the clause to be effective.

Amendments Nos. 69 and 70 enable the local authority to recover its expenses for work undertaken on the operational land of the British Railways Board and statutory undertakers.

Amendment No. 71 enables the authority to recover its expenses where work has been undertaken in connection with houses subject to Housing Act closing orders or undertakings. The clause as introduced in the other place restated the existing position in section 8 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and did not enable the authority to recover its expenses in such circumstances. It was because authorities could not recover their expenses that they were given the power to take speedy action in Housing Act cases with no right of appeal for the owner. However, amendments Nos. 75 and 76 give owners a right of appeal against the authority's notice of proposed works, or against a demand for costs where no notice is given. This effectively removes any objections, on those grounds, to the local authority being able to recover its costs.

Amendment No. 72 makes it clear that the local authority's expenses under the clause are recoverable as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction; it also clarifies the court procedure in such circumstances.

Amendments Nos. 62 to 66, 68 and 73 are drafting amendments. Amendments Nos. 62 and 73 deal with the definitions of the local authorities that are to be empowered to undertake works under the clause. In relation to the Greater London Council, the council's powers are confined as at present to certain buildings, for example, in relation to which a closing order has been made, in areas declared to be a housing action area or a general improvement area by that council.

Question put and agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 63 to 76 agreed to.

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