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New Clause—(Rating Of Gas Boards)

Volume 639: debated on Wednesday 3 May 1961

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(1) In respect of any rate period beginning after the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and sixty-three, a Gas Board shall, notwithstanding anything in subsection (2) of section six of the Rating and Valuation (Miscellaneous Provisions), Act, 1955, be liable to be rated in respect of any administrative offices occupied by the Board substantially for purposes concerning gas supplied outside the rating area in which the offices are situated; and accordingly any such offices shall be rated for any such period and shall be included in the valuation list in force during any such period for the rating area in which the offices are situated and in every rate made for any such period by the rating authority for that area.
(2) The rating of offices under the foregoing subsection shall be a "substantial change of circumstances" within the meaning of subsection (5) of section eleven of the Local Government Act, 1958.—[Mr. F. Harris.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

I think it would be convenient to discuss at the same time the following two new Clauses, also in the name of the hon. Member for Croydon, North-West (Mr. F. Harris)—(Rating of Electricity Boards.) and (Rating of British Transport Commission.).

In introducing the three new Clauses, I ask for the patience of the Committee, because they are rather complicated. They cover very difficult matter. Their purpose is to draw the attention of the Committee to what the Croydon authority and myself feel to be the need for a change in the existing law so that the administrative offices occupied by gas and electricity undertakings and the Transport Commission and used in respect of their activities outside the rating area in which these offices are situated shall be separately rateable, as properties occupied by private industry and commerce are today.

Some properties, principally the showrooms, occupied by these boards, and some properties, principally houses and hotels, occupied by the Transport Commission, are separately rateable. In general, however, properties belonging to these three types of undertaking are rated under special arrangements. These special arrangements can, unfortunately, react upon local authorities such as the county borough of Croydon. The new Clauses would remove the anomaly and provide for separate rateability of these administrative offices of these three types of undertaking occupied substantially for purposes concerned with functions—

It being Ten o'clock, The CHAIRMAN left the Chair to report Progress and ask leave to sit again.

Committee report Progress.