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Plumbing (Cold Weather Effects)

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 13 April 1954

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he has now received the report on the effects on plumbing of very cold weather at the end of January and the beginning of February; what it shows; and what action he proposes to take.

Yes. The sample survey for which I asked covered over 200,000 post-war council houses. While the available evidence suggests that postwar houses fared rather better than prewar houses, it indicates that in England as a whole 8ยท5 per cent. of the post-war houses suffered damage to their water systems. In some localities, and particularly in Wales, the figure was very much higher.It is clear that more needs to be clone to give effect to the recommendations contained in the Housing Manuals and their Technical Appendices. I am satisfied that these recommendations, if properly applied, provide adequate protection against conditions normally to be expected in this country.I have, therefore, issued a circular, of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, to all local authorities reminding them of the importance of taking the precautions recommended. I have also asked my regional officers to take steps to see that the recommendations are observed. In addition, I have written to the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Federation of Registered House-builders, and the Institute of Plumbers, asking them to do all they can to help avoid a recurrence of this year's loss and inconvenience.