HC Deb 12 April 1984 vol 58 cc563-74

Lords Amendment: No. 1, in page 2, line 5, after "or" insert save where the freeholder is a body of persons or Trust established for charitable purposes only".

Sir George Young

I beg to move, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be appropriate to take Government amendments (a) to (c) in lieu thereof.

Sir George Young

It is important to be clear what we are dealing with on this amendment. We are not talking about whether tenants of charitable housing associations should or should not have the right to buy. I cannot help suspecting that some of those who have opposed us on clause 1 believe that that is the issue at stake, particularly as this clause in more or less its present form went through both Houses last Session with barely a ripple of dissent.

The purpose of clause 1 is to extend the right to buy to tenants of property which is held on long leases by local authorities, housing associations and other public sector landlords. I remind my hon. Friends that this is a longstanding commitment. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister affirmed it in answer to a parliamentary question two years ago and the commitment was explicitly reaffirmed in our manifesto before last year's general election. We said: For public sector tenants, the present 'Right to Buy' scheme will be improved and extended to include the right to buy houses on leasehold land". The issue here is whether tenants of leasehold property, who clearly have every reason to expect that we will give them the right to buy, should be denied that right if the lease held by their landlord was obtained from a charitable freeholder — for instance, a school or a college with charitable status.

The effect of the Lords amendment would be to deny tenants of such leasehold property any right to buy a long lease of their homes. I ask the House to consider very carefully what the consequences of that would be. Tenants of perfectly ordinary council houses would find themselves denied the right to buy, not because of anything to do with their status as tenants, not because of any physical characteristic of their home, but for what, from their point of view, can only be the wholly accidental reason that the land on which their home is built was at some time in the past leased to their landlord by a charitable freeholder. Having been denied the right to buy on what can only seem to them to be legalistic grounds, they may well have the dubious satisfaction of seeing their neighbours across the street, in identical houses, going ahead with their purchases simply because their homes happen to be on freehold land.

That is the consequence of this amendment, and this is by no means a theoretical case. If my hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bowden) catches your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I am sure that he will wish to point out that there are several hundred dwellings in the London borough of Southwark in precisely this position. Given that Southwark is an unwilling seller of council houses, the only hope that these tenants have of being able to buy their homes rests with clause 1. The Lords amendment would destroy that hope.

I come to the reasons given for the amendment. The first is that charities have leased land in the expectation that they will get it back when the leases expire. If that is not the case, as a result of clause 1, they may well not be prepared to lease land for housing development in future. Secondly, the terms of compensation for freeholders subject to enfranchisement are thought to be inadequate.

I do not accept that these arguments justify excluding the tenants concerned from the right to buy.

What we are effectively being asked to do is to exclude freeholds held by charities from the enfranchisement provisions of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. That issue was debated at length during the passage of the 1967 legislation, but the outcome was that charities were not excluded from the enfranchisement rules. They are subject to enfranchisement on the same terms as any other freeholders. It would be anomalous to create a special exclusion for them in the context of clause 1 of this Bill. The charities are not being taken unawares in any way which did not apply to all freeholders brought within the scope of the enfranchisement in 1967.

Secondly, particular reference was made in the other place to the position of educational charities, such as the Oxford and Cambridge colleges, that have leased land to housing associations in the expectation that they will get it back for academic development at the end of the lease. What was not appreciated—although my noble Friend Lord Bellwin did refer to it—is that special provision is made in the 1967 Act to protect the position of such charities. Under section 28 of that Act, where a tenant applies to purchase the freehold, a university or college may apply to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science for a certificate that the property will be required within ten years for academic development. The grant of a certificate means that the application for enfranchisement cannot proceed.

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Alternatively, under section 29 of the 1967 Act, protection of development rights is available, even if no immediate development is in prospect. University bodies may, with the consent of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, impose restrictive covenants on any enfranchising tenants, reserving their rights for possible future development. My right hon. Friend has never yet refused consent to such an application. Consents are frequently and regularly given. Having imposed the covenants, university bodies can ask the Secretary of State to act as their agent to reacquire compulsory freeholds that have been enfranchised where the land is wanted for development purposes. That is a unique compulsory purchase power available to a private body.

I believe that that is a complete answer to those who have asserted that the result of clause 1 would be to deprive uiversities and colleges of land that they have let out on lease, but which they need for long-term academic development. I do not believe that we should concede the case for exemption.

Mr. Simon Hughes

Many hon. Members have probably received the same letter from the Association of Land-owning Charities, which refers to this point. It expresses concern for Oxford and Cambridge-type college land. Is the Minister saying that no charitable freehold land in places such as Oxford and Cambridge was leased for other than educational purposes as the reversionary purpose, and that all the land that we are talking about is covered by the provisions that he has mentioned, which give the Secretary of State for Education and Science some power? If not, it might help to have some figures, so that we know the number of properties in that category as well as in the other categories that the hon. Gentleman is no doubt about to deal with.

Sir George Young

The assurances that I gave a few moments ago were not quite as broad as the hon. Gentleman implies. The first one applies to property that will be required within 10 years for academic development. Under section 29, which is slightly broader, protection of development rights is available even if no developent is in prospect. Then the university bodies may, if my right hon. Friend the Scretary of State agrees, impose restrictive covenants on any enfranchising tenants, reserving their rights for possible future developments. I imagine that that development would be in connection with the academic role of the universities and colleges, rather than the slightly broader role implied by the hon. Gentleman.

However, we are anxious to do what we can to meet the fears expressed by charitable freeholders, without denying tenants their right to buy. We are prepared to look at the terms of compensation available to the freeholder in the event of enfranchisement. The terms originally written into the 1967 Act were amended by a Conservative Opposition amndement in 1974 when leasehold enfranchisement was extended to houses of higher rateable values. The effect of that alternative basis is generally to provide for higher compensation to the freeholders.

We suggest—this is the purpose of amendment (c)—that a reasonable compromise in this case would be to retain the application of clause 1 to property leased from charitable freeholders, but to provide that such freeholders are entitled to compensation on the 1974 basis in the event of enfranchisement. That, we suggest, would be a

reasonable recognition of their concern over this issue. Amendments (a) and (b) are technical drafting amendments on the same subject.

Mr. John Fraser

The hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bowden) and I both share part of the Dulwich college estate. Can the Minister explain the logic of amendment (c)? Why should a relatively affluent leaseholder in Court lane pay a very small amount for his freehold while a less affluent tenant, who may buy from Southwark borough council, has to pay a much higher sum for the freehold? I am not endorsing one scheme or the other at present, but why penalise the less well-off leaseholder?

Sir George Young

The main anomaly is that some of the constituents of my hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich are excluded from the right-to-buy provisions. Any amendment to remove that major anomaly may, in turn, create others. However, the answer is that we want to do what we can to meet the fears expressed by charitable freeholders. We do not want to deny their tenants the right to buy. We feel that this modest concession may make it easier for the charitable freeholders to accept what the Government are doing. I believe that we have a reasonable compromise proposal.

The Lords amendment would dash the hopes of many tenants who have been counting on clause 1 for almost two years now, and that would be a devastating blow for them. Our proposals respect the aspirations of such tenants, but at the same time try to make a genuine response to the concern of the freeholders. I believe that that is the right course. We have given a clear commitment on this issue, and I ask the House to accept the Government's amendments.

Mr. Chris Smith

I rise to disagree with the Government's view and to agree with that of the other place. The Minister said that it was wholly accidental that some tenants happened to be tenants where the freehold was held by a charity and the leasehold was held by the local authority or housing association. From the tenant's point of view that is the case, but from that of the charity it is not. It is not wholly accidental that the charity came to make that land available in that form in the first place, and therein lies the crux of the argument.

We must consider why the charity made the land available to the housing association or local authority in the first place. In the case of the Oxford and Cambridge colleges and the Dulwich college estate, as well as in other cases, it is quite probable that the charity made the land available on the assumption that the housing would be available to tenants in the public sector or, in necessitous circumstances, to those belonging to a housing association. It was deliberately not made available for individual purchasing. The charity that owned the land made that decision when it made the land available.

That point is clearly made in the letter from the Association of Land-owning Charities, which states: The charity has been ready to assist the association by providing land that it would not have let to a commercial developer; it took account both of housing need and of the fact: that the land would not be exposed to the risk of enfranchisement". That is clearly a twofold reason for a charity making land available in that way. It does so first because it sees that housing needs must be met, and it wants them to be met by rented housing, and, secondly, because it does not wish to see the land and the dwellings on it enfranchised.

For those reasons, we must look carefully at the Government's proposals in overturning the Lord's amendment. In Committee, the case was discussed at some length. There was an example in my constituency where the land on which dwellings were constructed, and a proportion of the building costs, were made available by a particular company. We discussed the case in some detail. Those dwellings will not, of course, be affected by the clause, because the company concerned is not a charity. However, the principle is the same. The intention behind the grant of money by Whitbread and the grant of land or building space was that the provision of local authority rented accommodation should be assisted.

If the Lord's amendment is rejected, we must ask whether charities will not reasonably feel that their original reasons for making land available have been abrogated. It is not in their interests that they should be overturned. The offer of compensation in the Government's amendments—the so-called compromise—is not enough to offer in return for overturning that basic principle on which the land was made available in the first instance.

The clause will not only affect land that has already been made available by charities. Its impact will undoubtedly be considered by charities in future that may otherwise have considered making land available to housing associations or local authorities. Because the Government have removed the qualification put in by the other place, those charities will think twice in future before making land available for rented housing in that form. If the Government are successful tonight those charities will no longer be able to guarantee that the land and the dwellings on it will always be occupied by tenants and will not necessarily be enfranchised.

The Government could have taken an easy way out instead of offering the package that they are apparently offering, of some supposed compromise of compensation. They have just won a vote on giving charitable housing association tenants the right to claim. That right is not enshrined in the Bill, it will simply be an administrative measure which will make available to the tenants of charitable housing associations a sum to purchase a dwelling in the private sector. Why did not the Government come up with the same scheme for tenants who are affected by being tenants of dwellings where charities are the freeholder? If the Government are logical in their intentions towards the tenants of charitable housing associations, why did they not come up with the same scheme in this instance? It would be useful to have some answer on that from the Government.

Why are the Government not consistent about a Government-inspired decision in the other place, which the Government are asking us to approve tonight under the new schedule to be inserted after schedule 6 which gives grounds for the so-called right to exchange, which we shall discuss later? Ground six for exclusion from right to exchange excludes people who are tenants of a landlord which is a charity. If the right to exchange is not good enough for tenants of a charity, why are the Government coming forward with right-to-buy proposals not just for tenants of charitable housing associations but for tenants where the freeholder is a charity and the leaseholder is a local authority or a housing association?

We must ask the Government about that point because they genuinely appear to be inconsistent. For various simple reasons—the purpose which originally made the land available for rented housing; discouragement on future occasions when land may be made available for rented housing; and because the Government do not appear to be consistent in putting forward their case this afternoon—we must ask the Government to justify their case much more fully and convincingly than they have. If they do not, we must beg to disagree.

Mr. Gerald Bowden (Dulwich)

I welcome the amendment warmly on behalf of some 2,000 tenants of Southwark council living in Dulwich who would like the opportunity to buy their homes. The hon. Member for Norwood (Mr. Fraser) in an intervention, and the hon. Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) in his speech, allowed their remarks to stray into Dulwich, and demonstrated their ignorance and misunderstanding of the problem.

The position is really quite simple. There are in Dulwich some 2,000 tenants of Southwark borough council. Southwark is the landlord but not the freeholder of the land on which the dwellings are situated. The freeholder is the Dulwich college estate, but that is in some sense a technicality because the leases are long. In fact they are long, long leases. In many cases they have more than 180 years to run. The ground rent is nominal and the tenants wish to buy the properties. In 1980 they thought that the Housing Act would give them that right but they found that they were defeated on a technicality—the fact that Southwark was not the freeholder.

Southwark borough council has set its face like granite against the sale of any of its properties. It wishes to maintain its tenants in municipal feudal serfdom. It will be unwilling to change unless it is forced to do and it has used every technicality that it can to avoid such sale.

The solution is simple. A simple legislative change would do it and that was introduced and would have become law had there not been a general election last year, thus causing the Bill to fall. But the tenants were reassured that the measure would be reintroduced early in the new Parliament and it was. It passed through this House with its good will and good wishes but it stumbled on an obstacle in another place. In tabling its amendment, I think that the other place was motivated by good intentions, but there were unforeseen consequences. In an effort to protect a particular interest it caused detriment to many tenants who might otherwise have expected to be able to buy. The amendment that was proposed and made in another place was far too broad in its sweep. It was a constitutional sledgehammer to make a delicate legislative adjustment.

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Hon. Members may understand the disappointment, bitterness and resentment that is felt by so many of the tenants in Dulwich of the leasehold properties when they find that they have yet again had their aspirations dashed by some technicality or misunderstanding of the position. There is a clear injustice which can be righted and we have the opportunity this afternoon to do so.

I was struck by the speeches from the Opposition Benches when hon. Members addressed themselves to an earlier amendment. They dwelt upon the sense of injustice in another area. They have an opportunity this afternoon to demonstrate where their sense of justice lies by supporting the amendment now.

Mr. John Fraser

Is the hon. Gentleman in favour of amendment (c)? Whose side does he take there — Dulwich college or his tenants?

Mr. Bowden

The hon. Gentleman raises a different matter. If the tenants of Southwark council were direct lessees of the Dulwich college estate they would have the right to buy under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. The fact that they happen to be council tenants where their landlord is the leaseholder denies them that right. It means that they are between the devil and the deep blue sea. They are like the sailor in the picture, sitting between two women and thinking, "How happy could I be with either were t'other fair charmer away." If they were direct tenants of Dulwich college they would have the right to buy. If Southwark council, whose tenants they are, were the freeholder, they would have the right to buy. They are denied that right. That is why I press upon the hon. Member for Norwood that he demonstrates his sense of justice by voting for the amendment.

Mr. John Fraser

For the benefit of myself and the South London Press, although we beg to differ about the main amendment, does the hon. Gentleman appreciate that under amendment (c), if the tenants get a lease from Southwark borough council and then want to buy the freehold, they will have to pay the full discounted value of the bricks and mortar as opposed to the price that would be paid by his more affluent constituents who are not former tenants of Southwark borough council and who only have to pay the value of the land? In that situation, does he favour his tenants or Dulwich college?

Mr. Bowden

I am speaking this afternoon for your benefit, Mr. Speaker, and for the benefit of the House. I hope that the hon. Gentleman, the South London Press and its readers may get some benefit as well. However, the technicality which the hon. Gentleman raises is one that I cannot be expected to answer off the cuff. I recognise that there is a real point there and I hope that all my tenants, whether direct or otherwise, have the opportunity to buy their freehold interests at a fair market price. We have a duty to right this injustice, and I urge the House to support the amendment.

Mr. Simon Hughes

I am the third hon. Member in succession whose political fortunes are not unaffected by the view taken of them by the South London Press.

We differ from the hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bowden) in that we are at the north end of the borough of Southwark and do not have the green open spaces that surround some of the properties about which he talked and which are owned by Dulwich College Estates.

I sympathise with the tenants of Southwark in wishing to escape from the present administration, which is not often favourable to any of its tenants. However, it is not right that that pragmatism should override the principle of the proper use of charitable land.

One of the problems of this debate is that we have no figures of the number of tenants affected. I accept the figures given by the hon. Member for Dulwich of those affected on this estate, but we do not know the numbers affected elsewhere. The remedy is to deal with the problem in the way in which it is dealt with, as a matter of co-operation, between Dulwich College Estates, the borough council and, if necessary, this House and which provides for proper, well-spelt-out compensation, if that is agreeable to Dulwich College Estates.

There is in Southwark all too little land available for housing from a charitable source and by charitable designation and it would be sad if the land about which we are talking, even if not in 50 or 100 years' time—I accept that the lease is enormously long—were to be lost from a housing purpose or open space designation to some other use.

It would be wrong for the pragmatic approach in this instance to override what is clearly a matter of principle. As my noble Friend Lord Evans said in another place, here we have charities providing land for housing and not providing land which ultimately they intend should be sold. That was the intention, and the principle of a charitable association and of charitable designation s that the purposes of the charity should be fulfilled.

Running into a minor obstacle—or however one might descibe what happened in another place—is hardly what happened. The voting in the other place on this amendment was 157 for and 77 against the Bill in its present form. The Government had more than twice as many voting against as for them. Therefore, an obligation falls roundly on them to justify wishing to reverse what the legislative process has made clear is its view, and that they have not done.

There may be solutions available to the tenants of Southwark who are resident on land which will eventually revert to Dulwich College Estates. However, this is not the way to deal with the matter because it goes against the whole purpose for which that land was provided for housing. We shall therefore join those opposing the Government's attempt to reverse what was clearly seen by the other place a few weeks ago to be unprincipled.

Mr. John Fraser

Once again the Opposition find themselves on the side of the other place. The reason for that was described by my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith). If the Lords amendment is defeated, charities which own land will be less likely in future to make that land available to local authorities for housing purposes. They will choose instead to make it available to charitable housing associations and thus preserve themselves from what they regard as the perils of enfranchisement. We should do nothing which might cut off the supply of valuable land for those in the greatest housing need.

By amendment (c) to the Lords amendment the Minister is introducing an anomaly which he will live to regret. Delegations will be calling on the hon. Member for Dulwich (Mr. Bowden)—perhaps I should say that they will be going to see him or his Labour successor—in exactly the same way as they came in 1964 and 1965 to complain about the leasehold laws.

If the Government have their way and there is enfranchisement, there will be one class of less affluent lessees in Dulwich and thereabouts who will have to pay a high price to Dulwich college to buy their freeholds, whereas their more affluent neighbours with leases from another source will have to pay only the value of the [and. That will be seen in years to come as a monstrous inequity as between one and another, something which this House will eventually set right by amending legislation

It is interesting to note that when local authorities strongly argue a housing case, their argument is rejected by the Government. But if prestigious charities such as Dulwich college, Oxford or Cambridge come with an argument to the Government, it is accepted. There is one rule for Labour local authorities and another for the privileged charities, and as between the two I know whose side I am on.

Question put, That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said amendment:—

The House divided: Ayes 259, Noes 138.

Division No. 249] [6.25 pm
Adley, Robert Fox, Marcus
Aitken, Jonathan Franks, Cecil
Alexander, Richard Gale, Roger
Amess, David Galley, Roy
Ancram, Michael Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Arnold, Tom Gardner, Sir Edward (Fylde)
Ashby, David Glyn, Dr Alan
Aspinwall, Jack Goodlad, Alastair
Atkins, Robert (South Ribble) Gorst, John
Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Vall'y) Gow, Ian
Baker, Nicholas (N Dorset) Gower, Sir Raymond
Baldry, Anthony Gregory, Conal
Batiste, Spencer Griffiths, Peter (Portsm'th N)
Bellingham, Henry Grist, Ian
Bendall, Vivian Ground, Patrick
Berry, Sir Anthony Grylls, Michael
Biggs-Davison, Sir John Hamilton, Hon A. (Epsom)
Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter Hampson, Dr Keith
Body, Richard Hanley, Jeremy
Bonsor, Sir Nicholas Hannam, John
Boscawen, Hon Robert Harvey, Robert
Bottomley, Peter Hawkins, C. (High Peak)
Bowden, A. (Brighton K'to'n) Hawksley, Warren
Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich) Hayes, J.
Boyson, Dr Rhodes Hayhoe, Barney
Braine, Sir Bernard Hayward, Robert
Brandon-Bravo, Martin Heathcoat-Amory, David
Brinton, Tim Henderson, Barry
Brooke, Hon Peter Hickmet, Richard
Brown, M. (Brigg & Cl'thpes) Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Browne, John Hill, James
Bruinvels, Peter Hind, Kenneth
Bryan, Sir Paul Holland, Sir Philip (Gedling)
Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon A. Hooson, Tom
Buck, Sir Antony Howard, Michael
Budgen, Nick Howarth, Alan (Stratf'd-on-A)
Bulmer, Esmond Howarth, Gerald (Cannock)
Burt, Alistair Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Butterfill, John Howell, Rt Hon D. (G'ldford)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln) Howell, Ralph (N Norfolk)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Hubbard-Miles, Peter
Channon, Rt Hon Paul Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Churchill, W. S. Hunter, Andrew
Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford) Irving, Charles
Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S) Jackson, Robert
Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe) Jenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Colvin, Michael Johnson-Smith, Sir Geoffrey
Coombs, Simon Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)
Cope, John Jones, Robert (W Herts)
Cormack, Patrick Kershaw, Sir Anthony
Couchman, James Key, Robert
Cranborne, Viscount Kilfedder, James A.
Critchley, Julian Knight, Gregory (Derby N)
Crouch, David Knight, Mrs Jill (Edgbaston)
Currie, Mrs Edwina Knowles, Michael
Dicks, Terry Knox, David
du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Lamont, Norman
Dunn, Robert Lang, Ian
Evennett, David Latham, Michael
Fallon, Michael Lee, John (Pendle)
Farr, John Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)
Favell, Anthony Lester, Jim
Fenner, Mrs Peggy Lewis, Sir Kenneth (Stamf'd)
Fletcher, Alexander Lightbown, David
Fookes, Miss Janet Lilley, Peter
Forman, Nigel Lloyd, Peter, (Fareham)
Forsyth, Michael (Stirling) Lord, Michael
Luce, Richard Sainsbury, Hon Timothy
Lyell, Nicholas St. John-Stevas, Rt Hon N.
McCurley, Mrs Anna Sayeed, Jonathan
McCusker, Harold Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')
Macfarlane, Neil Shelton, William (Streatham)
MacKay, Andrew (Berkshire) Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)
MacKay, John (Argyll & Bute) Shersby, Michael
Maclean, David John Silvester, Fred
McNair-Wilson, P. (New F'st) Sims, Roger
Madel, David Skeet, T. H. H.
Major, John Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)
Malins, Humfrey Soames, Hon Nicholas
Malone, Gerald Speller, Tony
Maples, John Spencer, Derek
Marlow, Antony Squire, Robin
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Stanbrook, Ivor
Mather, Carol Stanley, John
Maude, Hon Francis Steen, Anthony
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Stern, Michael
Mellor, David Stevens, Lewis (Nuneaton)
Merchant, Piers Stevens, Martin (Fulham)
Meyer, Sir Anthony Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)
Miller, Hal (B'grove) Stewart, Andrew (Sherwood)
Mills, Iain (Meriden) Stewart, Ian (N Hertf'dshire)
Mills, Sir Peter (West Devon) Stradling Thomas, J.
Miscampbell, Norman Sumberg, David
Moate, Roger Tapsell, Peter
Montgomery, Fergus Taylor, John (Solihull)
Moore, John Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)
Morris, M. (N'hampton, S) Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman
Morrison, Hon C. (Devizes) Temple-Morris, Peter
Moynihan, Hon C. Thomas, Rt Hon Peter
Murphy, Christopher Thompson, Donald (Calder V)
Neale, Gerrard Thompson, Patrick (N'ich N)
Nelson, Anthony Thorne, Neil (Ilford S)
Newton, Tony Thurnham, Peter
Nicholls, Patrick Tracey, Richard
Norris, Steven Trippier, David
Onslow, Cranley Twinn, Dr Ian
Oppenheim, Philip van Straubenzee, Sir W.
Ottaway, Richard Vaughan, Sir Gerard
Page, John (Harrow W) Viggers, Peter
Page, Richard (Herts SW) Waddington, David
Parris, Matthew Wakeham, Rt Hon John
Pattie, Geoffrey Walden, George
Pawsey, James Walker, Bill (T'side N)
Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth Waller, Gary
Pollock, Alexander Ward, John
Powell, William (Corby) Wardle, C. (Bexhill)
Powley, John Watson, John
Price, Sir David Watts, John
Proctor, K. Harvey Wells, Bowen (Hertford)
Pym, Rt Hon Francis Wheeler, John
Raison, Rt Hon Timothy Whitney, Raymond
Rathbone, Tim Wiggin, Jerry
Renton, Tim Wolfson, Mark
Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Wood, Timothy
Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas Woodcock, Michael
Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Yeo, Tim
Roberts, Wyn (Conwy) Young, Sir George (Acton)
Robinson, Mark (N'port W)
Roe, Mrs Marion Tellers for the Ayes:
Rossi, Sir Hugh Mr. Michael Neubert and
Rumbold, Mrs Angela Mr. Douglas Hogg.
Ryder, Richard
Adams, Allen (Paisley N) Bray, Dr Jeremy
Alton, David Brown, N. (N'c'tle-u-Tyne E)
Anderson, Donald Brown, Ron (E'burgh, Leith)
Archer, Rt Hon Peter Bruce, Malcolm
Ashdown, Paddy Callaghan, Jim (Heyw'd & M)
Ashton, Joe Campbell, Ian
Atkinson, N. (Tottenham) Campbell-Savours, Dale
Barron, Kevin Carlile, Alexander (Montg'y)
Beckett, Mrs Margaret Carter-Jones, Lewis
Bell, Stuart Cocks, Rt Hon M. (Bristol S.)
Benn, Tony Cohen, Harry
Bermingham, Gerald Coleman, Donald
Bidwell, Sydney Corbett, Robin
Corbyn, Jeremy Lofthouse, Geoffrey
Craigen, J. M. McCartney, Hugh
Crowther, Stan McDonald, Dr Oonagh
Cunliffe, Lawrence McGuire, Michael
Davies, Ronald (Caerphilly) Mackenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Davis, Terry (B'ham, H'ge H'I) McNamara, Kevin
Deakins, Eric Marek, Dr John
Dixon, Donald Maynard, Miss Joan
Dobson, Frank Meadowcroft, Michael
Dormand, Jack Michie, William
Douglas, Dick Mikardo, Ian
Dubs, Alfred Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)
Duffy, A. E. P. Nellist, David
Dunwoody, Hon Mrs G. O'Brien, William
Eastham, Ken O'Neill, Martin
Edwards, Bob (W'h'mpt'n SE) Owen, Rt Hon Dr David
Evans, John (St. Helens N) Parry, Robert
Fatchett, Derek Patchett, Terry
Faulds, Andrew Pavitt, Laurie
Field, Frank (Birkenhead) Pendry, Tom
Fields, T. (L'pool Broad Gn) Pike, Peter
Foster, Derek Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)
Fraser, J. (Norwood) Randall, Stuart
Freeson, Rt Hon Reginald Richardson, Ms Jo
Freud, Clement Roberts, Allan (Bootle)
George, Bruce Roberts, Ernest (Hackney N)
Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John Robertson, George
Godman, Dr Norman Ross, Ernest (Dundee W)
Golding, John Ryman, John
Gould, Bryan Sedgemore, Brian
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Sheerman, Barry
Hardy, Peter Sheldon, Rt Hon R.
Harman, Ms Harriet Short, Ms Clare (Ladywood)
Harrison, Rt Hon Walter Short, Mrs R.(W'hampt'n NE)
Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy Silkin, Rt Hon J.
Heffer, Eric S. Skinner, Dennis
Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth) Smith, C.(Isl'ton S & F'bury)
Holland, Stuart (Vauxhall) Snape, Peter
Home Robertson, John Soley, Clive
Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath) Steel, Rt Hon David
Hoyle, Douglas Stott, Roger
Hughes, Dr. Mark (Durham) Straw, Jack
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Hughes, Roy (Newport East) Thompson, J. (Wansbeck)
Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S) Tinn, James
Hughes, Simon (Southwark) Torney, Tom
Janner, Hon Greville Wardell, Gareth (Gower)
Jenkins, Rt Hon Roy (Hillh'd) Wareing, Robert
John, Brynmor Weetch, Ken
Johnston, Russell White, James
Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald Williams, Rt Hon A.
Kilroy-Silk, Robert Winnick, David
Kirkwood, Archibald Woodall, Alec
Leighton, Ronald Wrigglesworth, Ian
Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Lewis, Terence (Worsley) Tellers for the Noes:
Litherland, Robert Mr. James Hamilton and
Lloyd, Tony (Stretford) Mr. Allen McKay.

Question accordingly agreed to.

Lords amendments No. 1 disagreed to.

Amendments made to the Bill in lieu thereof:

(a), in schedule 10, page 83, line 6, leave out 'shared ownership lease' and insert lease in pursuance of Part I of this Act'.

(b), in schedule 10, page 83, line 16, leave out 'shared ownership lease' and insert 'lease in pursuance of Part I of this Act'.

(c), in schedule 10, page 83, line 20, at end insert— '(4) Where, in the case of a tenancy to which this subparagraph applies, the tenant or the tenant under a sub-tenancy directly or indirectly derived out of the tenancy exercises his right to acquire the freehold under Part I of the said Act of 1967, the price payable for the dwelling-house shall be determined in accordance with section 9(1A) of that Act notwithstanding that the rateble value of the dwelling-house does not exceed £1,000 in Greater London or £500 elsewhere. (5) Sub-paragraph (4) above applies to

  1. (a) a tenancy of a dwelling-house which is a house which is created by the grant of a lease in pursuance of Chapter I of Part I of the 1980 Act or Part I of this Act;
  2. (b) a tenancy which is granted in substitution for a tenancy falling within paragraph (a) above in pursuance of Part I of the said Act of 1967; and
  3. (c) where in any case that Part applies as if there had been a single tenancy granted for a term beginning at the same time as the term under a tenancy falling within paragraph (a) above and expiring at the same time as the term under a later tenancy, that later tenancy.'.—[Sir George Young.]

6.30 pm

Lords amendment: No. 2, in page 2, line 9, after "of" insert "not less than".

The Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr. Ian Gow)

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

Mr. Speaker

With this we shall discuss Lords amendments Nos. 3, 8, 9, 20, 22, 24 to 27, 31, 47, 49, 52 to 61, 72, 73, 89, 90, 96 to 100, 106, 115 to 121, 125, 139, 141 to 151, 157 to 159, 161, 162, 165, 167 to 171, 175 to 178, 180, 181, 183 to 185, 187, 188, 193, 194, 197 to 200, 207, 209, 211, 212 and 214.

Mr. Gow

This is a formidable looking group of amendments. They are, however, all of a technical nature with no policy implications. They deal with minor drafting improvements and the correction of printing or cross-referencing errors. If any hon. Member would like a further explanation of them, I should be happy to give that.

Question put and agreed to.

Subsequent Lords amendment agreed to.

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