HC Deb 25 October 1982 vol 29 c318W
Mr. Ralph Howell

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Norfolk North, on 28 July 1981,Official Report,c.442–443,whether action has been taken to introduce legislation to prevent local authorities denying tenants the right to buy when mutual exchanges are arranged.

Mr. Stanley:

I made clear on 28 July 1981 that the Government considered that it was totally unacceptable for a local authority to try to exploit a tenant's wish to exchange in order to get him to forfeit his right to buy, and that the Government would bring forward leglislation to prevent this practice being continued with effect, subject to Parliamentary approval, from 28 July 1981. The necessary legislation has not been brought forward to date because a suitable opportunity was not available in the present Session. My hon. Friend will understand that I cannot anticipate the legislation to be announced for the next Session.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many council houses in England and Wales have been sold to date to sitting tenants, giving the total, and also a breakdown housing authority by housing authority.

Mr. Stanley:

An estimated 308,000 local authority and new town dwellings in England were sold between 1 April 1979 and 30 June 1982, the great majority of which were to sitting tenants.

The latest authority by authority figures were placed in the Library following the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Paddington (Mr. Wheeler) on 12 July 1982—[Vol. 27, c.297]—and the latest new towns figures were given in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Buckingham (Mr. Benyon) on 21 June 1982—[Vol. 26, c.33].

For information on sales by authorities in Wales, I refer my hon. Friend to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.