§ Mr. John Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to promote tenants' choice; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chope
Tenants' choice came into force in April last year and gives public sector tenants the opportunity to seek a new landlord for their homes. Many tenants are currently looking at the possibilities with the Housing Corporation. The spur of competition has also encouraged many local authorities to seek to improve the service they provide to their tenants.
We propose, with the Housing Corporation, to provide local publicity to raise awareness of the possibilities under tenants' choice in areas where it is relatively low. Advertisements will be placed in local newspapers and with local radio stations operating from the following centres: Manchester, Bradford, Huddersfield, Halifax, Leeds, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Bristol, Plymouth and Southampton. These areas were selected on the advice of the Housing Corporation. The publicity will run for three weeks from mid-March and will cost approximately £130,000. We are considering further publicity later this year in other areas where awareness of tenants' choice is currently low.
The Department, with the Housing Corporation, commissioned four videos which explain tenants' choice in detail. They should be completed by the end of March at a cost of approximately £120,000. They will be available to tenants through the Housing Corporation which has power to provide information, advice and assistance to tenants who are interested in tenants' choice.
Contracts for the publicity and the videos were awarded according to the conditions laid down by the Government information service.
§ Mr. Gould
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list those areas of the United Kingdom to be targeted in his Department's campaign on the tenants' choice provisions of the Housing Act 1988;
(2) what budget has been set for his Department's campaign on the tenants' choice provisions of the Housing Act 1988; and whether any contracts have been awarded to outside bodies for preparation of such a campaign;
(3) whether he has any plans to jointly launch a campaign with the Housing Corporation to promote the tenants' choice provisions of the Housing Act 1988.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
[holding answer 1 March 1990]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Chope), today to my hon. Friend the Member for Ryedale (Mr. Greenway).
§ Mr. Chris Patten
[holding answer 1 March 1990]: At 30 January 1990 the Housing Corporation had had 766 inquiries from tenant groups or individual tenants.