HC Deb 06 December 1978 vol 959 cc680-1W
46. Mr. Douglas-Mann

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which local authorities are failing to operate the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act satisfactorily; and in what respects.

Mr. Armstrong:

Parliament has entrusted local authorities with the responsibility of discharging their functions under the Act towards homeless people; we have made it clear that we expect authorities to exercise these responsibilities humanely and sensitively. Statistics published by the Department in monitoring progress under the Act indeed indicate the very substantial extent to which authorities are assisting homeless people. I recognise, however, that some authorities, and I believe they are a very small minority, have expressed opposition to the legislation notwithstanding that it had—and I trust still has—the support of all parties in this House. I look to authorities which take this view to carry out their responsibilities with full regard to both the letter and the spirit of this important Act and not, because of their views, to subject individuals or families to additional and avoidable distress.

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