HC Deb 23 April 1896 vol 39 cc1504-5

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, whether the valuations of Government property, in London, and at Plymouth and Devonport, are made, as stated in the letter of the Treasury to the Local Government and Taxation Committee of the London County Council of the 22nd September 1893, under the authority of and in the manner prescribed by the Treasury Minute dated 27th June 1874 (Parliamentary Paper, 234), and are based on the principles laid down in the Memorandum on the subject which the then Chancellor of the Exchequer on the same day read in the House of Commons (Hansard's Debates, vol. 220, page 478); and, if not, then under what authority and in what manner, and based on what principles, are the valuations now made; and whether the contributions in substitution for the rate on the assessable value of the Citadel at Plymouth is a penny in the pound less than the rate levied on other assessable adjoining property, although the residents in the Citadel enjoy all the amenities derivable from local expenditure by the local authorities of Plymouth.


The valuations of Government Property in London and at Plymouth and Devonport were made under the authority of, and in the manner prescribed by, the Treasury Minute of 27th June 1874, and are based on the principles laid down in the memorandum on the subject read in the House of Commons on that day by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Nearly the whole of the London valuations have recently been revised by the Treasury and the Assessment Committee of the Districts in which the Government Properties are situated. A revised valuation of the Government property in Plymouth was settled in December last jointly by the Treasury Valuer and the Assessment Committee's Valuer, and on the 13th December the Clerk to the Plymouth Guardians, who are the Assessment Authority for Plymouth, wrote to the Treasury respecting the new valuation as follows:— I am instructed by the Guardians to inform you that they consider it a fair and just valuation. The contribution for the Citadel is calculated on a penny in the £ less than the rate levied on Plymouth property generally, for the reason that the Local Authorities do not render to the Citadel all the services that they render to rateable property in the Borough. The Citadel and other Government properties at Plymouth are drained by the Government's own system of drainage maintained at the Government expense. No service of any kind in the matter of drainage is rendered to the Citadel from local expenditure. The Plymouth rates last year were 6s. 1½d.in the £; the contribution for the Citadel was calculated on 6s. 0½d. in the £ in accordance with an arrangement come to in 1875. The following is a copy of the original memorandum of agreement:— The Urban Sanitary Authority concur in the proposals, which they consider not unreasonable, that as very little use is made of their sewers by the Government, the contribution to the General District Rate should be subject to a reduction of one penny in the pound on the rates of each year. The hon. Member will therefore see that this Question is not in acordance with the views of the local authorities of Plymouth, nor with the facts of the case as regards the local expenditure in connection with the Citadel.