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Garston Scheme, Liverpool

Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1922

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asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he is aware of the decision of Mr. Justice Branson, on 25th August, 1921, that the Corporation of Liverpool had overpaid about £300,000 to the contractors for the Garston housing scheme; whether the inquiry into this matter, to be held in Liverpool on the 19th instant, will be public;(2) whether the contractors for the Garston housing scheme are proceeding with their contract; and, if not, what steps his Department is taking with regard to the £300,000 overpaid to the said contractors; whether the Liverpool Corporation proposes to make arrangements with another building company regarding the Garston contract and whether he will take steps to prevent a fresh contract being proceeded with before the Ministry's inspector has reported regarding the overpayment of the £300,000?

I am aware of the fact of this overpayment, and I have given directions for a public inquiry into it by the Inspector of Audits for the district, which opens on the 19th instant. Pending the receipt of his Report, I propose to defer decision on it. As regards further progress with the scheme I am not yet aware of the proposals of the Liverpool Corporation, but I should naturally desire to avoid any postponement of the completion of a much needed housing scheme.