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Council Houses (Condensation)

Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

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3.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, if he is considering any fresh initiatives to combat condensation in new council house dwellings.

We will consider the need to take further action, in the light of advice from the joint working party on heating and energy conservation in public sector housing, as soon as we have the results of the current Building Research Establishment survey of complaints about condensation.

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that far more research is needed at national level into this serious problem, and that more money should be made available to individual local authorities to deal with this difficulty? Will he bear in mind, too, that this is a serious problem in Newport and is causing great distress to tenants, especially those in new properties?

I appreciate that it is a real problem. If the hon. Gentleman will send me specific details concerning Newport, I shall have them examined. I am due to receive a report on the new survey towards the end of the year. In the light of the information that came from the six local authorities involved in the survey, I hope that we can gain a wider appreciation of the many real problems that are emerging.

Is Leicester one of the six local authorities to which the hon. Gentleman has referred? Is he aware of the valiant efforts that the city's housing department is making to combat the blight of condensation? Will he do what he can to assist?

The answer to the first part of the hon. and learned Gentleman's question is "No". Leicester is not one of the six local authorities involved. As I said to the hon. and learned Gentleman on an earlier occasion when environment questions were being dealt with at Question Time, my officials will be pleased to examine the problems to which he referred on the Braunstone estate. We feel that it is wiser to wait until the city council tell us that its remedial works are sufficiently far advanced.