§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many houses owned by his Department have been changed from solid fuel to other forms of heating since March 1974; and whether he will stop the policy forthwith.
§ Mr. Mason
Since 1st April 1974 some 9,700 married quarters in the United Kingdom have been converted from solid fuel open fire heating to central heating other than by solid fuel, although a sizeable proportion of these with electric 823W central heating systems will indirectly help the coal mining industry.
In the same period, some 1,850 married quarters have been converted to solid fuel central heating. Another 229 married soldiers' quarters which it is planned to build at Ouston, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, will be centrally heated by solid fuel.
The present policy is to complete the programme, started in 1970, of installing central heating in all married quarters for which there is a long-term requirement. In each case, the Property Services Agency of the Department of the Environment selects the most economical available fuel, taking into account capital and running costs.