Council Housing Starts

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st November 1976.

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Photo of Mr Dafydd Elis Thomas Mr Dafydd Elis Thomas , Merioneth 12:00 am, 1st November 1976

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his target figure for new starts by local authority housing departments in Wales in 1977.

Photo of Mr Alec Jones Mr Alec Jones , Rhondda

We do not set targets for local authority housing departments.

Photo of Mr Dafydd Elis Thomas Mr Dafydd Elis Thomas , Merioneth

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that that is a totally inadequate answer in view of the housing needs in Wales? Does he have a target for total public and private sector building needs for Wales in the next year?

Photo of Mr Alec Jones Mr Alec Jones , Rhondda

I gave the hon. Gentleman an answer on 29th October from which he was entitled to draw, and could draw, certain implications regarding new housing in 1976–77 and up to 1978–79. I should point out to the hon. Gentleman that it is extremely difficult to place validity on such figures. For example, they ignored the extra £30 million that my right hon. and learned Friend announced for expenditure on housing in Wales this year and the £20 million announced for next year. Further, the new block allocations, which the hon. Member has welcomed, mean that local authorities will have the discretion to switch resources from new house building to the acquisition and repair of older houses if they think that that meets the needs of their areas.