Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Trivial Fact of the Day with Roy Jenkins

Owen Hatherley has a good article in today's Guardian laying bare the shrinking size of modern houses and calling for a return to the 'Parker Morris' standards of the 1960s.

Sir Parker Morris was the author of the 1961 government report Homes for Today and Tomorrow. He called for minimum space standards for new accommodation, and these became mandatory in new towns in 1967 and in all public-sector housing two years later.

The Parker Morris standards were abolished by the new Conservative government in 1980. Thanks, Maggie.

When I became a councillor later in that decade, the phrase "Parker Morris standards" was still on the lips of council officers. Usually, this was in the context of pointing out that some new shared-ownership scheme we were looking at would have been illegal under them.

Sir Parker Morris was the town clerk of Westminster and is remembered in the name of the Parker Morris Hall, which is part of the Abbey Centre there.

A reader asks with mounting impatience: This is all very interesting, I suppose, but where does Roy Jenkins come into it?

Liberal England replies: Sir Parker's daughter Jennifer married Roy Jenkins in 1945.

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