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National Building Agency

Volume 886: debated on Thursday 20 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment which local authorities have been advised by the National Building Agency over the last 12 months regarding the creation of, or improvements to the operational efficiency of, a direct labour building department; and what is the total fee received by the NBA for this activity.

Only one specifically for the purpose, Hackney Borough Council which paid £3,000 in 1974. But the agency has provided many other authorities with advice on their building programmes, particularly on housing improvement work, and in a number of these authorities some of this work has been carried out by direct labour departments which have consequently benefited from the NBA's advice.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many members of the board of the National Building Agency are appointed by him; who they are; upon the basis of what qualifications or experience they are appointed; and what fees they receive.

The members of the board of the National Building Agency are: Lord Goodman, CH, Chairman; J. Bedford, OBE, Deputy Chairman; A. W. Cleeve Barr, CBE, Managing Director; Sir Kenneth Wood; P. Dunican; D. Llewellyn; Ald. H. Lambert; L. Patterson; Sir James Macfarlane, DL, JP; H. Brummitt, OBE; General Lord Bourne, GCB, KBE, CMG—Directors.Directors are appointed by the Secretary of State in the light of the contribution they are likely to make to the work of the board and the agency. Members of the board receive fees of £500, except for the chairman, who receives no remuneration, and the managing director, who receives no fee as a director.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the present staffing establishment of the National Building Agency; what were the equivalent figures on 1st January for each year since its inception; and how many of the staff were architects in each case.

The present number of staff employed by the National Building Agency is 168, of whom 42 are architects. Numbers of staff employed on 1st January of each year and numbers for the years before 1967–68 are not readily available. The average number of staff employed by the National Building Agency is subsequent years is as follows:

1967–68214
1968–69202
1969–70191
1970–71188
1971–72166
1972–73104
1973–74137
The proportion of these staff who were architects is not readily available.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the total fees received by the National Building Agency for each year since its inception; and what sum has been paid by it to his Department in each year.

The fees earned by the National Building Agency in each year were calculated as follows:

£
1964–65550
1965–666,525
1966–67281,126
1967–68210,802
1968–69286,304
1969–70292,886
1970–71459,571
1971–72433,896
1972–73598,709
1973–74740,359
No sums have been paid to the Department by the National Building Agency.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the total grant in aid paid by his Department to the National Building Agency for each of the years since its inception; and what is the proposed grant for 1975–76.

The information is as follows:

£
1963–645,000
1964–65196,000
1965–66495,600
1966–67330,000
1967–68500,000
1968–69475,000
1969–70450,000
1970–71450,000
1971–72450,000
1972–73200,000
1973–74199,000
1974–75230,000
The proposed grant in aid for 1975–76 is £276,000.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will outline the current activities of the National Building Agency; and what proportion of its staff time is devoted to the appraisal of industrialised building systems.

The current grant-aided activities of the National Building Agency include advice to local housing authorities on housing action and general improvement areas as well as technical reports and management studies for housing associations and the Housing Corporation. The agency's current fee-earning activities, which are mainly directed towards public authorities, include advisory services on management structures, procedures and the organisation of building programmes, and professional services to local housing authorities, the Housing Corporation and housing associations. The subjects covered include specialist housing projects and the implementation of housing action areas and general improvement areas.The proportion of staff time currently devoted to the appraisal of industrialised building systems is 3 per cent. This comprises the preparation of appraisal certificates, jointly with the Agrément Board, and technical reports for system sponsors. These certificates and reports are financed by charges to the firms concerned.