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Water Rates (Newport)

Volume 885: debated on Thursday 30 January 1975

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I wish to raise a matter of which I have given you prior notice. It concerns Parliamentary Question No. 15 on Monday of this week addressed to the Secretary of State for Wales in which I asked about the proposals of the Welsh National Water Development Authority to increase water charges to the borough of Newport by 142 per cent. and sewerage charges by between 150 per cent. and 200 per cent.

I was told by the Under-Secretary of State that no representations had been received from the borough concerning these proposed charges. I have discovered that this is not true and that the borough has made the strongest possible representations. It would have been failing in its duty to the people of Newport if it had not done so. I can assure the House that there is very strong feeling in the town about this matter. I may say that during the past few hours I have received a written apology from the Under-Secretary. But in view of the importance of this matter, I feel that the records of the House should be corrected.

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I regret that there was a factual error in my reply last Monday to my hon. Friend's Question on this local matter. However, as soon as I discovered the error, I apologised personally to my hon. Friend, as did my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. I have now also written to my hon. Friend repeating my apology and correcting my error.