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Local Government

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 1 April 1952

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Rating Of Site Values (Report)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government when the report of the Committee on the Rating of Site Values will be available to Members of this House.

Can the hon. Gentleman explain this long delay?—because some months ago now he told me that the report was to be printed immediately and presented to this House. What is the reason for this long delay in a matter which is of great interest to a large number of people in local government?

The delay is not the fault of my right hon. Friend only, but partially the fault of his predecessor also. The reason for the delay has been the difficulty of getting the Stationery Office to print the report, but it is settled, and it is hoped that the report will be published after Easter.

Bathing Beaches (Oil Pollution)


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to enable him to provide assistance, financial and otherwise, to local authorities to help them in the difficult and expensive task of clearing bathing beaches polluted with oil washed in from the sea.

My right hon. Friend has been sorry to hear of this difficulty, but he is afraid there are no resources available to help local authorities to meet the cost of clearance. He understands, however, that his hon. Friend the Minister of Transport is investigating the problem of pollution.

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Minister of Transport says that he has no funds either? Is it not time that somebody did assist the local authorities in this matter?

I agree that this is a large and difficult problem for the local authority, but it may be better to approach it at the source of pollution and to remedy it there. That is what the Minister of Transport are trying to do.

Glendale Road, Burnham-On-Crouch


asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware of the inconvenience caused to residents in Glendale Road, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, by the poor condition of the road, and of the hardship that will fall on some of them when they are required to pay their share of the proposed improvements; and if he will expedite approval of such works as are most urgently necessary on conditions which will, so far as possible, alleviate this hardship.

My right hon. Friend is looking into this case to see whether the condition of the road warrants the work being done in spite of the present financial restrictions. Objections to the apportioned costs have been determined by the magistrates, and there has been no appeal.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the condition of the road is now extremely bad, and that of the inhabitants of the road about half seem to approve of the proposed improvement and the other half oppose it because among them are old age pensioners and others who simply cannot afford the sum required from them in contributions? Can he put forward a constructive solution of this difficulty?

My right hon. Friend has called for a report on whether the work can be carried out. Whether it is carried out or not must depend upon the report that is received. I would point out to the hon. Gentleman that there has been no appeal from the apportionment of costs that was made by the magistrates.

There is a further appeal to the Minister on limited grounds after the magistrates have made their order, but in point of fact that right has not been exercised.