§ 8. Mr. Mark Robinson
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he is satisfied with the progress of enveloping schemes for houses in Wales.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
A start has been made. Four enveloping schemes, involving 886 houses, have now been approved and I expect to announce at least two more before the summer. I hope that each of the remaining nine authorities which received supplements for enveloping within their 1984–85 housing allocations will also come forward with projects during the course of the year.
§ Mr. Robinson
Is my hon. Friend aware that £500,000 has already been made available to the Newport borough council for the Witham/Feering scheme in Newport? Can my hon. Friend confirm that an additional £250,000 will be made available to Newport borough council?
§ Mr. Roberts
I can confirm that Newport has already been notified of an additional £250,000 for this enveloping scheme.
§ Mr. Roy Hughes
Did the Minister notice the recent report on housing in Mid-Glamorgan, where death rates are reckoned to be 64 per cent. higher than the national average owing to the deplorable housing there? Does he not feel that a boost for the construction industry is vital rather than to put VAT on home improvement work, which was such a deplorable feature of the recent Budget?
§ Mr. Roberts
The hon. Gentleman is wrong to attribute the statistics he mentioned simply to housing in Mid-Glamorgan. There are, of course, many deficiencies in the area of that authority and many things that we accept should be put right.