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New Clause—(Provisions As To Further Improvement Grants)

Volume 467: debated on Wednesday 13 July 1949

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(1) No assistance shall be given under section eight of this Act in respect of the provision of dwellings by means of the conversion of dwellings in relation to which the conditions specified in subsection (1) of section eleven of this Act for the time being apply.

(2) Where by virtue of the giving on any occasion of assistance under section eight of this Act in respect of the improvement of a dwelling the conditions specified in subsection (1) of section eleven of this Act are required to be observed with respect to the dwelling before the observance thereof by virtue of the giving of assistance on a previous occasion has ceased to be requisite, the provisions of sections eleven and twelve of this Act and of subsections (4) and (5) of section thirteen thereof shall apply in relation to the dwelling as regards each occasion on which assistance is so given as if it were the only occasion on which it were so given:

Provided that in relation to any period during which the said conditions are simultaneously required to be observed by virtue of the giving of assistance on more than one occasion, anything which would or would not constitute a breach of the condition as to rent in relation to the application of that condition by virtue of the giving of assistance on the last occasion shall be treated as constituting or, as the case may be, not constituting a breach of that condition in relation to the application thereof by virtue of the giving of assistance on any previous occasion.—[ Mr. Woodburn.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

New Clause.—(AMENDMENT OF SECTION 16 OF ACT OF 1930.)

Where, in pursuance of subsection (2) of section sixteen of the Act of 1930, a local authority have accepted an undertaking that a dwelling house shall not be used for human habitation until the authority, on being satisfied that it has been rendered fit for that purpose, cancel the undertaking, and the house has not been so rendered fit to the satisfaction of the local authority within a period of three years from the date of the acceptance of the undertaking, the undertaking shall, if the local authority so resolve, be deemed, for the purposes of subsection (3) of the said section, to have been broken, and the provisions of that subsection shall apply accordingly,
—[Mr. Woodburn.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

11.0 p.m.

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time."

This Clause deals mainly with the demolition of houses subject to the undertakings of the Act of 1930. Where an undertaking has been given to put a house in fit condition, and it has not been implemented in three years, a local authority will make a demolition order and will substitute orders for closing orders. This Clause is being included in the Bill at the request of the local authorities, including my own local authority, and the local authority in Perthshire, which has a number of houses waiting to be demolished. It is essential, from the point of view of amenity, that a clean sweep

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This is largely a machinery matter. It provides further grants for houses already grant-aided where further work is carried on in regard to electricity or gas, or bringing houses up to higher standards than the 10-year standard. No further grant under this Clause can be given when grant-aided houses are converted or combined.

The reason is that if an existing house is converted or combined and it ceases to be the house that was formerly grant-aided. In that case there will have to be a formal repayment of the original grant so that the local authority will be able to settle terms of rent for the new accommodation. The Clause marries this flexible grant so that it can be blended in with, and make one transaction of, the grant. Some local authorities thought it necessary that various grant arrangements should be harmonised.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.

should be made of such houses. There is an Amendment on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Dumfries (Mr. Niall Macpherson) which we think is a reasonable Amendment, and to save time I would like to indicate that I will accept it.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time.

I beg to move, as an Amendment to the proposed new Clause, in line 6, after the first "undertaking," to insert:

"or from the first day of January, nineteen hundred and forty-nine, whichever is the later."
I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for indicating in advance that he is prepared to accept this Amendment. It seemed to me that it was possible that an undertaking might have been given in, say, 1939, at a time when it was impossible to implement the undertaking. In this case it would be hard on the owner if he was now deprived of the possibility of getting a grant to put a building into good repair. For that reason I have suggested that there should be a period of about 2½ years from the date of the acceptance of the undertaking.

Amendment to the proposed Clause agreed to.

Clause, as amended, added to the Bill.