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Internal Drainage Rates

Volume 414: debated on Monday 22 October 1945

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68.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware of the inequalities in the payment of internal drainage rates in urban areas; and whether steps will be taken to make easier the alteration of boundaries to allow county boroughs to be one rating authority for drainage purposes.

I am aware that an urban area may lie within two or more internal drainage districts, in which the incidence of drainage rates is different. The jurisdiction of an internal drainage board is fixed in relation to the benefit derived from drainage operations; and no adjustment of boundaries on the lines suggested is therefore possible under existing law.

:Is the Minister aware that in some urban constituencies four times the amount of rates is levied by internal drainage boards, as compared with the rate paid to the main drainage board, and in view of this fact, can the question of boundaries of internal drainage areas be considered when the question of the boundaries of municipal boroughs is being considered?

I am afraid that the only opportunity that could be afforded would be if the existing drainage law were to be amended.

Would the right hon. Gentleman tell the House what has happened to the River Boards Bill, which would probably solve the whole problem?