§ Mr. Foot
78, 79 and 80. asked the Minister of Works (1) how many building workers were engaged on reconstruction in the Plymouth City centre at the most recent convenient date;
- (2) whether he will give an assurance that under his new licensing system, reconstruction work in the Plymouth City centre during 1954 will be restored at least to the level which prevailed in 1951;
- (3) whether he will make a full statement on how the new licensing system recently announced will apply to reconstruction in heavily bombed cities; and whether, in particular, local authorities will still have the right to select the projects which they consider most urgent.
§ 81. Mr. G. P. Stevens
asked the Minister of Works when he proposes to announce the building licence allocations for the war-damaged cities for 1954.
§ Sir D. Eccles
I would refer hon. Members to the statement of my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Housing and Local Government on 1st December, about work in the provincial blitzed cities under the new licensing arrangements.
Under the new system allocations are no longer necessary. Work will be licensed up to the capacity of the building industry in each area. On this basis I expect to issue licences for the blitzed cities as a whole to approximately double the value of the 1953 allocation. Local authorities of blitzed cities are being advised to push forward negotiations with prospective developers and to keep up to date the programme of work they would like to see put in hand.
At Plymouth, 362 building workers were employed on reconstruction of the centre in September. Next year I am prepared to license double the amount allocated last year, and if applications for this sum come forward the total will substantially exceed the level of 1951.