Dangerous Structures.

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing. – in the House of Commons on 27th July 1927.

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Photo of Sir Robert Thomas Sir Robert Thomas , Anglesey

31.

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the recent collapse of a house in Beak Street, Regent Street, his attention has been drawn to the state of the law in regard to dangerous structures, inasmuch as a district surveyor, who has notified a house to be dangerous, is not empowered to take steps to ensure the safety of the occupants; and whether he will adopt measures to amend the law?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

I have no general jurisdiction as regards the law of building in London, which for the most part is contained in private Acts promoted by the London County Council. I will send the council a copy of the hon. Member's question, but I may mention that Section 114 of the London Building Act, 1894, already empowers a Petty Sessional Court upon the application of the council to direct that the inmates of a dangerous structure shall be removed.

Photo of Sir Robert Thomas Sir Robert Thomas , Anglesey

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that 5,091 defective structures were notified by the London County Council during 1926, and that in only 11 cases were the tenants removed, and will the right hon. Gentleman also thaw the attention of the London County Council to that very serious fact?

Photo of Mr Neville Chamberlain Mr Neville Chamberlain , Birmingham, Ladywood

I will include that observation.

Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

Is not one of the difficulties that the London County Council have to face the shortage of housing accommodation in London, and that there is nowhere to transfer people?

Photo of Mr Ernest Thurtle Mr Ernest Thurtle , Shoreditch

Are there not large numbers of empty houses in Kensington, Chelsea and such places?

Photo of Sir Robert Thomas Sir Robert Thomas , Anglesey

Is it not better——

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

This is becoming a debate.