§ 52. Mr. Rippon
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the purpose and cost of the housing survey being carried out in Hexhamshire and elsewhere on behalf of his Department by interviewers working for a consortium of five survey research firms; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Stanley
The national dwelling and housing survey is intended to provide up-to-date statistics on a range of housing matters to form a basis for current and future housing policy, and to distribute Government grants to local authorities fairly. The third and final phase of the survey was approved by the previous Administration in December 1978 and was well under way when we came into office in May. If we had cancelled this third phase, which costs approximately £2 million, a considerable proportion of this sum would have been wasted. We would not let future surveys of this type and scale go ahead unless we were convinced that they were fully justified on financial and policy grounds.