5 and 6.
Mr. Peter Walker
asked the Minister of Power (1) if he will seek power to appoint inspectors to look into complaints from tenants who believe that they are being charged for electricity in excess of the maximum charges laid down by the electricity boards;(2) whether he will introduce the appropriate legislation to enable electricity boards to enforce maximum charges fixed under Section 29 of the Electricity Act, 1957.
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Power (Mr. John Morris)
No, Sir, but as I have already made clear, my right hon. Friend is prepared to look into abuses and reconsider the matter if it is shown that there is a genuine need for strengthening the means of enforcement.
Is the Minister aware that without some form of inspection, either by the electricity boards or the Ministry, it is almost impossible for tenants to obtain the required evidence to enable them to bring cases to the courts? Would it not be much easier to make these powers enforceable by the electricity boards themselves?
We have tackled this problem very speedily. We have decided to see how the present arrangements work and we have asked the electricity consultative councils to report back to us. If further action is needed, I assure the hon. Gentleman that we will take it.