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Volume 130: debated on Monday 21 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the implications for rates in Wales following the House of Lords judgment on 11 February in the case of Clement v. Addis Ltd.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the statement made on 9 March by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment.

May I put on record my appreciation to the Secretary of State for any assistance that he gave in his discussions with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment preceding that statement? May I ask him specifically whether there is any opportunity whatever for the Welsh Office to make any additional financial help available to Swansea city council and West Glamorgan county council, which have suffered as a result of this decision of 11 February?

Provision is made so that the effects of an event such as this can be dealt with under section 67 of the Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980. We are having discussions to see whether that applies in this case.