§ Mr. Fraser
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what communications he has received from the Rochester-on-Medway council about the proposed management buy-out of council housing stock; and what steps he will take to ensure that an independent expression of views by tenants is made before considering any consent to transfer under the Housing and Planning Act 1986.
§ Mr. Trippier
The council has informed us that it has resolved to sell its entire housing stock and has given us a preliminary indication of its plans. If it decides at a later date, having consulted its tenants, to apply for the Secretary of State's consent to dispose of the stock, my right hon. Friend will of course consider the application on its merits.
Schedule 3A to the Housing Act 1985 (as inserted by schedule 1 to the Housing and Planning Act 1986) requires the council to consult its tenants before applying to the Secretary of State for consent. My right hon. Friend is obliged by the terms of the schedule not to entertain an application from Rochester-on-Medway council until it has consulted tenants in accordance with the schedule.