HC Deb 17 October 1975 vol 897 cc848-9W
Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the number of appointments within the jurisdiction of his Department which carry with them the use of accommodation; and which of these appointments will now carry the right of the holder to continue in the use of the accommodation after the end of the appointment and which will not carry such a right.

Mr. Strang

The number of houses which are let to staff of the Department in appointments for which accommodation may be provided is as follows:

Laboratories and Research Establishments 58
Farm Settlements 5
Experimental Centres:
Agricultural workers 207
Others 53

Under existing policy occupants are expected to vacate the properties when their appointments end.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give an assurance that in all cases where he has any power or authority no person will be required to leave any residential accommodation because of the end of an appointment or period of employment.

Mr. Strang

As regards accommodation akin to tied cottages in agriculture, future policy will be framed in the light of Government decisions in response to comments on the consultative document issued in August. In this connection I would refer the hon. Gentleman to paragraph 16 of that document, which says: On the assumption that abolition of agricultural tied cottages can best be achieved by extension of the Rent Acts, this would mean that the legislation would not encompass lettings by landlords excluded from the scope of the Rent Acts, e.g. the Crown, Government Departments, and local authorities. However, following enactment of the legislation, it would clearly be undesirable for the social objections to the tied cottage system to persist on such properties which include, for example, local authority agricultural college holdings, experimental husbandry centres of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and estates of the Land Settlement Association which come under the aegis of the Ministry. Extra-statutory arrangements could ensure that what happens on such properties would be compatible with any statutory provisions for the private sector. As regards other accommodation, decisions will be taken in the light of general policy in relation to Government properties.