§ Mr. Thomas Cox
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) whether he is satisfied with the operation of the Accommodation Agencies Act 1953 in respect of the practices of accommodation agencies in England and Wales;
(2) whether he will consult with the local authority associations and the Association of Municipal Corporations with a view to setting up a watchdog inquiry on the practices of accommodation agencies;
(3) whether he will issue guidance to local authorities in England and Wales as to their responsibility for the conduct and practices of accommodation agencies in their areas;
(4) whether he will introduce new legislation to enable local authorities to compile a register of accommodation agencies in their area;451W
(5) if he will now seek to amend the Accommodation Agencies Act 1953, in the light of the recent judgment on the terms of that Act by the Lord Chief Justice in the High Court.
§ Mr. Channon
I am satisfied that the Accommodation Agencies Act is working satisfactorily, and the recent High Court judgment gives me no reason to alter my opinion. I see no justification for undertaking an inquiry into the Act's working, for amending it, or for imposing an additional task on local authorities which, I have no doubt, are fully aware of the powers the Act gives them.