§ 21. Major Conant
asked the Minister of Health on what grounds he has instructed the Malvern Urban District Council to issue no further building licences to private persons without his approval; and whether his approval will be given in the case of builders who already have building materials available.
§ Mr. Key
My right hon. Friend has asked the Malvern Urban District Council not to issue further building licences without his consent because of the prevailing shortage of labour and materials and the need for concentrating them on houses to let to those in greatest need. The council have started a good programme of their own which they can increase, and my right hon. Friend is anxious that their building should not be prejudiced. It is open to any builder with materials available to offer to build for the local authority, either in reply to advertisements for tenders or on the lines laid down in Circular 92/46, of which I am sending the hon. and gallant Member a copy.
§ Major Conant
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that less than a month ago the Minister informed me that he was entirely satisfied with the policy of this council in the issue of licences, and why has his policy 557 changed? If I give him the names of builders serving in the Forces, will he undertake to have them released at once?
Is the Minister aware that the Colwall area, which comes under the Malvern Rural District Council, has not yet started to build one house, in spite of the fact that people are living in overcrowded conditions in that area?
§ Mr. Derek Walker-Smith
Is it not a fact that the necessity for tendering by small builders who are not equipped for, or practised in, tendering imposes a considerable delay in the housing programme of this country?
§ Mr. Walker-Smith
While appreciating that the Minister has taken the advice offered to him to set up that system, is it not the fact that very little progress has so far been made with this excellent idea which was recommended to the Minister?