HC Deb 12 March 1998 vol 308 cc329-30W
Mr. Gareth Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he will announce the outcome of his consultation on the new housing department within the Welsh Office. [34539]

Mr. Win Griffiths

We have sought powers in the Government of Wales Bill to wind up Tai Cymru and transfer its functions to the Secretary of State for Wales. We intend to transfer these functions to the Assembly when it is established.

In my written reply to my hon. Friend of 4 December 1997, Official Report, column 306, I announced the setting up of a new Housing Department of the Welsh Office to combine all of the existing functions of Tai Cymru and the Welsh Office Housing Division. I also announced the issue of a consultation paper on the organisation and role of the Housing Department and its relations with other bodies including an enhanced role for local authorities in planning the provision of housing in their areas. Copies of the consultation paper "Streamlined, Efficient, Accountable: A New Housing department for Wales" were placed in the Library of the House.

Consultation ended on 23 January. There were 52 responses. Our proposals were widely supported. My right hon. Friend and I have therefore decided to confirm the proposals set out in the paper.

A number of the responses raised particular points about the way in which the new Department will operate and its relations with other bodies. We shall bear these in mind as we are putting the new organisation together.

A list of respondents has been placed in the Library of the House.

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