Orders of the Day — Housing Bill

– in the House of Commons at 6:17 pm on 14th June 1988.

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As amended (in the Standing Committee) further considered.

Photo of Mr Clive Soley Mr Clive Soley , Hammersmith 6:28 pm, 14th June 1988

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Yesterday the Minister issued a pamphlet entitled "Tenant's Choice", which was laid in the Vote Office. It was obviously intended for the debate. I should like to draw to the attention of the Minister the fact that it needs to be corrected, and I would be grateful if he would put that in train to ensure that hon. Members and people outside are not misled. I know that the Minister cannot do anything about the matter at this stage.

The pamphlet reproduces part of the Housing Act 1985. It reproduces page 358 of that Act but does not include the amendments that went through the House of Commons and the House of Lords. They affect the power of the Secretary of State to decide whether a house is suitable for an elderly person. The House of Lords removed that power and gave it back to the local authority. The pamphlet suggests that the power lies with the Secretary of State. I should be grateful if the Minister would ensure that that is corrected in due course, but I understand that he cannot do anything about it now.

On another, but related, point, in Committee on 8 March, columns 493 and 1544, both Ministers made pledges to the Committee that they would produce a social landlords' charter, to be debated on Report. We have not had that, and I wonder whether, through you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, I can draw to the Minister's attention yet again the inadequate preparation of the Bill. We were told that we could debate what is an important part of the Bill on Report. We do not have the charter so obviously, in those circumstances, we cannot debate it.

Photo of Mr Paul Dean Mr Paul Dean , Woodspring

I think the hon. Member realises that he has been addressing his remarks to the Minister rather than to the Chair. I think that the best thing that we can now do is to proceed with the debate, and it may be that he will receive some answers to the points that he has made.