asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the recent visit of the Under-Secretary of State to Merseyside.
I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to the meeting I held on 14th February at Runcorn, where the housing progress and programmes of selected housing authorities, including some from Merseyside, were discussed. This was one of two meetings held in the North-West, where the number of dwellings for which local authorities let contracts in 1974 was less than the corresponding number in 1973, despite other regions achieving a considerable increase. I am pleased to say that the total programmes of the authorities present at the meeting showed a firm intention on their part to increase the number of public sector houses put in contract in 1975.