§ Mr. Marks
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether it will be necessary to evacuate the Ann Street, Denton (Tameside) health centre; whether the area health authority considered the building was satisfactory when it occupied it in 1978; what repairs will now be necessary; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
The Ann Street, Denton, health centre was completed in 1977. Both the Tameside area health authority (AHA) and its predecessors, Lancashire county council, have been concerned about structural defects in the building since before it was opened, and 265W have made continuing efforts to try to put these right. However, the main problem, including leaks in the roof and external cracking in the fabric, have persisted.
With the agreement of the North-Western regional health authority, an independent assessor has now been appointed by the AHA to report on the adequacy of the building and the repairs which may be necessary. Pending the outcome of the assessor's report, it is not clear whether the health centre will need to be evacuated while repairs are carried out, but I am assured that no decision will be made without full consultation with the staff working at the health centre. I understand that the administrator of the local family practitioner committee wrote to the general practitioners at the health centre on 29 October to explain the current situation.
I am satisfied that the health authorities concerned have taken all proper and necessary steps to try to put right the problems persisting at the health centre; and the hon. Member may like to contact the authorities for any further information he requires.