§ Mr. Thorpe
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs where, and on what dates, he proposes to hold regional housing conferences.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The programme of local conferences to encourage cooperation among housing authorities which was announced by my Department on 29th November is now under way. The first two were held at Cambridge on 17th December and at Stafford on 20th December. Arrangements are being made for further conferences at Oldbury on 23rd January, Maidstone on 12th February, Thetford on 20th February, Oxford on 25th February, Huddersfield on 27th February, and Bradford on 3rd March. Other conferences will be held as soon as possible but the centres and the dates have not yet been fixed.
In addition to this programme the Northern Housing Office is continuing discussions with authorities in Lancashire and Cheshire which have already led to the formation of three groups of authorities in the Manchester area, Merseyside and Central Lancashire. The Welsh Office has had similar discussions with many of the housing authorities in Wales; and the North-East Regional Office has been holding a series of meetings with individual authorities before calling conferences to encourage the formation of groups.