Rest Centres, London

Oral Answers to Questions — Housing – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14 July 1949.

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Photo of Mr William Field Mr William Field , Paddington North 12:00, 14 July 1949

asked the Minister of Health how many families were living in rest centres administered by the London County Council on the latest date for which figures are available.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

On Saturday, 9th July, 502 families were in the rest centres.

Photo of Mr William Field Mr William Field , Paddington North

asked the Minister of Health what is the average length of stay of families in the rest centres administered by the London County Council; and how many of the families now living in the rest centres have been there for six months, one year and two years, respectively.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

The average length of stay is, approximately, 30 weeks; on 30th June, 228 families had been in the rest centres six months or longer; 86 families one year or longer, and six families two years or longer.

Photo of Mr William Field Mr William Field , Paddington North

Is my right hon. Friend aware that these rest centres were intended only for short-term residence? Is he also aware that many families now residing in them feel that they are being overlooked by the local authorities who arranged their admittance? Will he look into the matter?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I will certainly look into it, but I would also ask my hon. and gallant Friend and the House to consider the difficulties with which London housing authorities are faced as a consequence of the fact that people are still coming to London in much larger numbers than the capital can assimilate.

Photo of Mr Philip Piratin Mr Philip Piratin , Stepney Mile End

Has not a family which has been there for over two years the right to the very highest priority? Surely they can be rehoused?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

Priority for families for housing is a matter to be decided by the local authorities concerned; I think the best the House can do is to leave it to the local authorities.