asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many exchanges of correspondence have taken place with the city of Manchester concerning the Housing Act 1980 and the right to buy since 1 April 1981; how many times he has threatened to use his power under section 24C of the Act; how many times he has used such powers; and if he will make a statement.
Since 1 April 1981, the city of Manchester have written 57 letters to the Department, and the Department has sent 21 letters to the council, about the Housing Act 1980 and the right to buy. The attention of ten authorities, excluding Manchester, has been drawn to the powers available to the Secretary of State under section 24C of the Act. Such powers have not yet been used.However, Manchester was formally warned on 12 April 1985 that the Secretary of State was considering whether to exercise these powers in relation to the Council's failure to provide statistical information about right to buy progress. Fortunately the figures were then forwarded. They indicate that Manchester had a significant number of cases in default of the statutory time-tables last December but that its performance had now improved to the extent that monthly statistical returns in the detail previously supplied are no longer needed.