§ SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derby, Ilkeston)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the high assessment of allotments in Suffolk and other parts of the country; whether the statement is true that in South-West Suffolk the assessor's valuation for the purpose of rating allotments averages 40s. an acre, though farm land in the same locality is assessed at from 5s. to 10s. an acre; and whether he can take any steps to alter this disproportionate rating?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. RITCHIE, Tower Hamlets, St. George's)
My attention was called some days ago by my hon. Friend the Member for the Sudbury Division (Mr. Quilter) to the high assessment of allotments in Suffolk and elsewhere, and he undertook to furnish me with particulars of the assessments. I have not yet received these particulars; but I may say that it is not in the power of the Local Government Board to interfere with the discretion of the Local Authorities in matters of rating. The rateable value of an allotment depends on the rent at which it may reasonably be expected to let from year to year; but I should regret to learn that allotments were unduly rated as compared with the ordinary basis of assessment in force in the union.