§ Q40. Mr. Latham
asked the Prime Minister whether she is now in a position to give details of the progress of the Government's policy of encouraging the sale of council house by local authorities; and what action is to be taken regarding those councils which are failing to carry out their statutory duties in that connection.
§ The Prime Minister
I am glad to be able to tell my hon. Friend that some 118,000 council and new town houses were sold in Great Britain between the last general election and 31 December 1980; and that at that date more than 100,000 further sales to sitting tenants were in the process of negotiation.
The Department of the Environment has now formally approached 16 authorties in England—listed in the Official Report for 4 March at column 268—where there is evidence of an unsatisfactory rate of progress. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment is continuing to monitor progress very closely in these authorities, and all others. We have made it clear that we shall not hesitate to use our reserve powers of intervention if need be.