asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West on the rebuilding scheme at the general infirmary at Leeds, what were the labour shortages which have caused 23 weeks' delay in the building scheme; what efforts have been made, to overcome such shortages; if he will seek to obtain up-to-date information on the size of interim payments; what accounting information is required by his Department on schemes of this kind; and what is the amount paid to the latest convenient date on the rebuilding of the revised phase 1 at Leeds general infirmary.
I understand that despite continued attempts to overcome labour shortages the contractor has had difficulty in recruiting for all trades, especially joiners and labourers.The Department receives quarterly reports from the regional health authority on the state of the contract, and must approve any increase in the overall cost of the contract. I understand total payments made in respect of this contract up to the middle of July amounted to £8,757,900. The regional health authority is very willing to let my hon. Friend have any further information he may need.