§ 29. Mr. Teddy Taylor
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress made in selling council houses to sitting tenants.
§ Mr. Stanley
I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Leek (Mr. Knox).
§ Mr. Taylor
Does my hon. Friend agree that we have every reason to be proud of the fact that we have ensured that so many thousands of families have the opportunity of becoming owner-occupiers who otherwise would never have had that opportunity? Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the arrangements in his Department to ensure, first, that councils that are not co-operating with the Government's policy are sorted out and, secondly, that councils meeting genuine problems, such as difficulties over the ownership of property, can be assisted by his Department?
§ Mr. Stanley
I entirely agree with my hon. Friend that it is an important achievement by the Government that about 300,000 council dwellings have become owner-occupied since the Government came to office. I assure my hon. Friend that I am satisfied with the rigorous and detailed measures that we take inside the Department to monitor progress in general. I am also aware that we must take into account the limited number of cases when there are special technical difficulties, to which my hon. Friend has referred.