HC Deb 24 May 1989 vol 153 cc941-2
7. Mr. Tony Banks

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has regarding the future use of the county hall, London SE1.

Mr. Ridley

The future use of county hall is in part the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal against a High Court decision made in March 1988 and in part the subject of planning appeals recently submitted to me. Arrangements are in hand for the holding of a public inquiry. I cannot comment on the proposals.

Mr. Banks

Is not the conversion of county hall into a luxury hotel a studied insult to the homeless of London and to Londoners generally'? Would not the Secretary of State do well to advise the sleazebags who are corning up with this particular proposal that a Labour Government will take county hall back into public ownership by compulsory purchase and they will lose an awful lot of money unless they back off now?

Mr. Ridley

I cannot comment on the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question, but I can assure him that the hypothesis contained in the second part certainly will riot come true.

Mr. Gow

In what ways would the progress of mankind be impeded if further municipal headquarters, notably those owned and occupied by Socialist authorities, were sold to the private sector?

Mr. Ridley

I confess that I am stumped by my lion. Friend's question.

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