HC Deb 30 April 1889 vol 335 cc774-5
MR. WALTER M'LAREN (Cheshire, Crewe)

asked the Secretary of the Local Government Board whether he had received a memorial from the Cheshire Quarter Sessions, showing that the last payment made by the Local Government Board on 20th December, 1888, of £11,514 was in respect of maintaining and repairing roads up to 25th March, 1887; whether this was the final payment that the Board intended to make in respect of roads; whether, as the County Council only took over the county work on 1st April, 1889, the county was now left to find this sum of about £11,500 for the two years between 25th March, 1887, and 1st April, 1889, amounting to £23,000; and whether any opportunity would be given to the House of discussing this and other matters connected with the county finance in respect of grants from the Government, as it now no longer came within the Budget.


I have received a memorial from the Cheshire Quarter Sessions with reference to the payment of Government contributions in respect of the maintenance of main roads. The sum of £11,514, which was paid to the county authority during the last financial year, was a Government contribution in aid of the expenditure of that year, although the contribution was necessarily based on an expenditure actually incurred during a period prior to that year. The payment referred to is the last Government contribution which will be made in respect of main roads, as, from the 1st of April last, the county authority have had ceded to them certain licence duties and other revenue in substitution for the Government contributions previously paid. There can be no ground for contending that, while the county is entitled to receive the revenue referred to, they are also to receive the contributions for which that revenue has been substituted. If the hon. Member wishes to raise a question with reference to this matter by a Motion, it will, of course, be be open to him to do so.


Is it not the case that this payment was for the repair of main roads up to the 25th of March, 1887?


No, Sir; certainly not. The payment was made in relief of the rates for the current year 1888, but as the expenditure for the current year could not be ascertained, the payment had to be based on the expenditure of the previous year. The sum was paid, however, in relief of the rates for the current year.

MR. C. R. SPENCER (Northamptonshire, Mid)

Is that in accordance with the statement which has been made by Lord Salisbury?


I am unable to say, nor do I know what statement the hon. Member refers to. It is, however, in accordance with the statements that were made in this House.


Are we to understand that it is in accordance with the declaration of the President of the Local Government Board?