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Repairs, Birmingham (Materials)

Volume 439: debated on Monday 23 June 1947

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asked the Minister of Works if he is aware of the urgent need of roofing material for the repair of dwelling houses in Birmingham, now suffering injury to their existing structure and furniture and other internal contents; and if he will make arrangements to augment the present limited available supplies.


asked the Minister of Works if he is aware that the shortage of slates and other building materials is so acute in Birmingham that builders are experiencing difficulty in carrying out repairs to houses for which statutory orders have been issued by the medical officer of health; and, in view of the large numbers of houses with defective roofs, if he will review the present allocation of materials to enable essential repairs to be carried out.

I am not aware of any serious difficulty in meeting these needs, for which special provision has been made in the priority distribution scheme. If the hon. Member opposite would supply me with details of any case he has in mind I should be glad to inquire into it.

In view of the particularly sad circumstances in which many of these people live, would the Minister give special attention to fixing his priorities so that they are given preference over ordinary building?

Yes, Sir, and with the cooperation of the local authority who have the power of issuing these certificates we shall do that.

Is the Minister aware that according to the chief sanitary inspector in Birmingham builders are having to take slates from out-houses in order to repair roofs, and that the position is becoming almost intolerable and should be investigated?

There is a difficulty with regard to the supply of slates, but my regional officers will assist local authorities in this matter.

Can the Minister tell us off-hand of any case in which there is no difficulty of supply?

If the right hon. Gentleman will look around in his own constituency I think he will find an overwhelming number of cases.