HC Deb 26 February 1891 vol 350 cc1696-7
MR. JESSE COLLINGS (Birmingham, Bordesley)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Agriculture, if he is aware that, under an enclosure award, 17 acres of land were vested in the churchwardens and overseers of the parish of St. Margaret's, Leicester, for the purpose of allotments, and that such land is now let to an allotments society; and whether the select vestry of the parish have decided to apply to Parliament for powers to sell the said land for building purposes; and, if so, whether, in any Bill giving such powers, the Government will take care that provisions are inserted to compel the vestry, in case of sale, to secure other land equal or more in quantity and suitable as regards quality and situation for the purpose of allotments?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the land in question is not charity land, but Corporate property, and that owing to the growth of manufactories around it the land is unfit for allotments? Is he aware that the land is intended to be sold not for ordinary building purposes, but for the erection of almshouses—on the principle of the greatest good of the greatest number?


In answer to the question on the Paper, I have to say that the award referred to was not made under the Inclosure Acts, which are administered by the Board of Agriculture; and I am not aware of the circumstances relating to the allotment beyond what appears in a Bill which has been introduced in the House of Lords, under which powers are taken to sell the land in question for building purposes. The purposes for which it is intended to be sold are accurately described, I believe, by the hon. Member who has just sat down. I am quite in sympathy with the hon. Member for the Bordesley Division in his desire to maintain and promote the provision of allotments. The matter in question is not within the control of the Agricultural Department, but I will give it my attention with the view of securing that the advantages at present enjoyed by the inhabitants shall not be prejudiced by the Bill.


Will the right hon. Gentleman say in what Department rests the duty of securing the allotments which have been made under the award, and which have been enjoyed for a considerable number of years? Is there any security that such allotments may not be taken away for building purposes without granting an equivalent?


As the only danger with which the allotments in question are threatened appears to be from a Private Bill in the House of Lords, that is not a question, I think, which I can be expected to answer. It should be asked in another place.

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