§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why he does not want rent scrutiny boards to operate in public; what effects sitting in private has on the speed of decisions, and why; what further representation he has received from the Association of Municipal Corporations on this subject; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Channon
The function of these boards is to check the provisional assessments of fair rents which local authorities have made for their dwellings. Inspection of dwellings and examination of all the information available will take place over a period of time and can be done more expeditiously in private, informal meetings. If a board disagrees with an authority's provisional assessment, it must send a report to the authority with its reasons and consider any representations from the authority, and the authority must publish the report by depositing it at its principal office. I am sending the hon. Member a copy of the Department's reply to a recent letter from the AMC on this subject.