§ Mr. Derek Page
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what progress has been made in encouraging local authorities to co-operate in system building of houses.
§ Mr. Mellish
Authorities are making increasing use of system building. In 1964, 26,260 or 18 per cent. of all local authority and new town dwellings approved for building were industrialised. The figure for 1965 will probably be about 33,000 (21 per cent.). My right hon. Friend is confident that the industry is capable of expanding the supply and that the demand from authorities will grow steadily in the years ahead.
Authorities are coming together in groups or consortia in order to combine their demands. The Department's officers are helping them and progress is encouraging. 21 groups have been formed and another 21 groups are discussing co-operation.
In Circular 21/65 my right hon. Friend asked authorities to make greater use of industrialised building and told them of the appointment of Mr. Lederer to advise him on industrialised methods. His function is to help organise their co-ordinated use by housing authorities both individually and in groups. The main aim is to promote the placing of large and continuing orders so that maximum economy in the use of resources is achieved.