HC Deb 20 March 1989 vol 149 cc721-2
10. Mr. Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next intends to meet the chairman of Housing for Wales; and what he expects to discuss.

Mr. Peter Walker

I expect to meet the chairman at the official launch of Housing for Wales on 3 April. I expect to discuss the undoubted success that will attend this new body.

Mr. Murphy

Why is the chairman of Housing for Wales also the vice-chairman of the Land Authority for Wales, and why is the chairman of the Land Authority for Wales also the chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation? Can we expect to see even more failed Conservative parliamentary candidates running our public affairs in Wales and introducing unpopular Thatcherism into our country by the back door?

Mr. Walker

; I know of no political views of any description which are held by the chairman of the housing development corporation. I am surprised at the hon. Gentleman's remark. The chief executive is a former Welsh Office civil servant. The chairman of the Cardiff Bay development corporation was appointed before I was appointed to my present job. The one thing that I cannot be accused of is making party-political appointments as Secretary of State for Wales.

Mr. Coleman

Does the Secretary of State recall the answer that his ministerial colleague gave during the previous Welsh Question Time about homelessness in Wales? Will he discuss homelessness with the chairman? Will he discuss the possibility of using council house sales receipts to deal with the growing problem of homelessness?

Mr. Walker

Quite a few council house sales receipts have been used to that end. Under a Labour Government, there were hardly any such receipts.

Mr. Livsey

When the Secretary of State meets the chairman of Housing for Wales, will he tell him of the housing crisis in rural Wales? What will he do about forming a housing strategy for rural Wales involving affordable houses for rent and affordable starter homes?

Mr. Walker

I am glad to say that, before I have met the chairman, the Housing Corporation has decided to spend quite a lot of important resources on that problem.