asked the Minister of Fuel and Power why his Department has used material and labour suitable for house building in erecting a wall of rustic brick, measuring nine inches by eight feet and 700 yards in length at River Lane, Coal Yard, Peterborough; why it was necessary to use expensive facing-bricks; and why an expanded metal fence at much less cost was not used.
The British Electricity Authority tell me that the extension of their power station at Peterborough has required the construction of two new sections of wall. One section of 300 yards was needed as a retaining wall for an embankment; it is made of concrete and faced with brick. The other, 420 yards in length, is made of brick; it is needed to enclose the coal store, and to prevent tive for either of the purposes in view, the coal dust from blowing about the town. I am advised that walls of expanded metal would not have been effec-
Is the Minister aware that, as regards the original wall acting as a retainer a concrete base had already been erected, which was quite sufficient for this purpose, and that the facing bricks used in addition were quite unnecessary from that point of view? In view of the shortage of houses in Peterborough, and the shortage of bricklayers and of rustic bricks, the provision of this unnecessary brickwork seems to be a public scandal.
The construction of these walls and the choice of the bricks were decided upon in consultation with the Peterborough Corporation, and the plan adopted, conforms with the Corporation's scheme for improving the amenities of their river front.
Did final approval have to be given by the Minister?
Technically, yes, but I should never have dreamt of stopping it.
Why does the Minister try to fob it off on Peterborough Corporation?