HC Deb 05 March 1970 vol 797 cc160-1W
Mr. Ron Lewis

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will now publish the names of the housing authorities that he has contacted or written to regarding the speeding-up of their building programme.

Mr. Greenwood

Since I wrote personally last October to 20 local authorities whose names I gave in answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Ted Fletcher) on 30th October, 1969, my hon. Friend the Joint Parliamentary Secretary (Mr. Freeson) and I have held meetings with most of them and also with some others. We are now proposing special meetings with some other authorities.—[Vol. 790,c. 3–4.]

Mr. John Fraser

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT the figures of the current seven-year forward programmes of local authority house construction for each of the London boroughs and the Greater London Council, comparing it with the programmes as they stood in 1968 and indicating the reasons for any significant changes.

Mr. Freeson

In 1965 the London housing authorities were asked to submit their building programmes for the years 1965–68 and to give an indication of their proposals for 1969–71. They agreed to a massive increase in house building and came near to meeting the target by putting to tender in the first four years over 70 per cent. more dwellings compared to the achievement of their constituent authorities in the four years before 1965. Since 1968 many new councils have shown a lack of will to build. For example, the London boroughs of Hammersmith, Harrow and Waltham Forest put no dwellings to tender in 1969, and Ealing, Greenwich and Kingston between them only 143 dwellings: these six London boroughs, with a total population of over 1 million, could be building about 4,000 homes a year. The Greater London Council had a shortfall of some 4,000 dwellings over the past two years and has decided to cut its programme in the next few years from 9,000 to 6,750 a year. There is no current seven-year forward programme, but my colleagues and I are having discussions with members of a number of authorities about their future programmes.