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Greenwich (Rates And Housing)

Volume 889: debated on Monday 24 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in deciding the allocation of expenditure allowed to the London borough of Greenwich under Section 105 of the Housing Act 1974, he took into account the amount of sub-standard property purchased by the council from private landlords and the council's long-established programme for the improvement of interwar property which is difficult to let.

The bids from London authorities for allocations under Section 105 of the Housing Act 1974 were more than double the amounts of the resources which it was considered should be so allocated. In making the allocations our priorities were to provide sufficient to cover existing contractual commitments, and then to allocate the balance, having regard to proposals to improve substandard houses purchased from private owners. The case for improving interwar council estates already possessing the standard amenities, although desirable ranked less high.So far as Greenwich is concerned, its bid related to proposals to start improvements or conversions on just over 1,600 dwellings in 1975–76. Of that figure only 110 dwellings had been or were expected to be acquired from the private sector and most of the council's inter-war cottage estates already possess all or most of the standard amenities. Such dwellings are not normally difficult to let.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why he has not yet found it possible to arrange a meeting with elected members of the London borough of Greenwich to discuss mistakes made by Government Departments in the calculation of rate support grant due to the borough for 1974–75, despite the fact that such a meeting was originally requested by the borough council on 14th November 1974.

As the hon. Member knows, it was agreed there should be an official level meeting initially. This was held in early February. The request for a deputation to be received was made on 19th February and after consideration of the issues I am arranging to meet the members of the local authority.