§ 89. Mr. McInnes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has yet replied to the letter which Glasgow Corporation sent him last month about a review of the rents of houses belonging to the Corporation; and what are the terms of his reply.
§ 1950 Mr. Maclay
My Department yesterday sent the following reply to Glasgow Corporation:
Review of Rents
I am directed by the Secretary of State to refer to your letter of 7th February giving the Corporation's observations on the comment made by the Auditor in his docquet on the Housing Accounts for 1956–57 to the effect that "apart from considerations involved in fixing rents of new houses, in the year ended 31st May, 1957, no other review of rents appears to have been made in terms of section 73 (5) of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1950".
The Secretary of State notes that the Corporation decline to review rents until the Government reverse their "policies of high interest rates and reduced housing subsidies". He does not, however, regard the level of interest rates or of housing subsidies at any particular time as bearing on the statutory obligation imposed on the Corporation by section 73 (5), which requires that they "shall from time to time review rents and make such change either of rents generally or of particular rents and rebates as circumstances may require".
The Secretary of State has also had other complaints made by or on behalf of ratepayers in the City to the effect that the last general review of rents of Corporation houses took place in 1938, and that no consideration has been given to the change in money values since then.
Having regard to the comment of the Auditor in his docquet on the Housing Accounts for 1956–57 and to the complaints made to him, the Secretary of State is of opinion that an investigation should be made under section 356 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1947, as to whether the Corporation have failed to do what is required of them by section 73 (5) of the Housing (Scotland) Act, 1950, and he accordingly proposes to cause a local inquiry to be held into the matter.122W
Before, however, making the necessary arrangements for the inquiry, the Secretary of State is willing to consider any representations that the Corporation may wish to make to him, either in writing or at a meeting, within a month from the date of this letter. If the Corporation make no representations within that period, or if any representations that may he made are such as he would not feel justified in accepting, the Secretary of State will then arrange for the inquiry to be held forthwith.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant.
(Sgd.) J. ANDERSON
The Town Clerk,
P.O. Box 31,