§ Mr. McQuarrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the position regarding guidelines issued to local authorities and the Scottish Special Housing Association on houses for renting to officers at Her 479W Majesty's prison, Peterhead; if he will investigate the complaint that prison officers are in a lower category of applicants than oil-related workers; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Ancram
No guidelines have been issued to local authorities. The management of council housing is the responsibility of the local authority for the area concerned and the Secretary of State has no powers to intervene in the way this responsibility is carried out.
The Scottish Special Housing Association has guidelines for their economic expansion houses for essential incoming workers. Greatest priority is given to oil and manufacturing workers. I understand, however, that, at present, prison officers seeking SSHA houses in the Peterhead area are normally being offered a house within six to 12 weeks of applying. My right hon. and learned Friend is aware there has been some criticism of the allocation procedures for economic expansion houses and Scottish Development Department is currently reviewing these procedures.