As at 1 April 1988 the number of staff employed by the Housing Corporation in England whose costs are met from my Department's programme was 573. Future staffing requirements are currently being assessed in the light of the functions to be conferred on the Housing Corporation under the Housing Bill now before Parliament and the proposed establishment of separate bodies which will carry out the corporation's functions in Wales and Scotland.
I thank the Minister for that very thoughtful reply. It is well known in the House that she is a staunch devolutionist, and I am delighted with the news that Wales will have its own Housing Corporation. In view of the large guango that is building around the Housing Corporation in England, will she bring forward proposals to devolve power to the various regions of England?
As I have already said, we announced that amendments to the Housing Bill would be brought forward to transfer the Housing Corporation's functions in Wales to a new body, Housing for Wales. The Housing (Scotland) Bill currently before Parliament also provides for the Housing Corporation's functions in Scotland to be transferred to a new body, Scottish Homes, the constitution and staffing of which are matters for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.