HC Deb 08 July 1897 vol 50 cc1363-4

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, with respect to the Agricultural Act, 1896, in the case of a Union, such as Scarborough, comprising several parishes, some of which have agricultural land and some have not, should the annual amount received by the spending authority (the Board of Guardians), under the Agricultural Rating Act, 1896, be credited to the common fund of the Union, or should it be credited to the parishes in the Union separately, in proportion to the agricultural land in those parishes respectively that have agricultural land; and do the words "their share," in Section 3 of the above Act, refer to the share in the annual grant paid out of the Local Taxation Account to the spending authority, the guardians, or to the share of the several parishes in a Union in that sum after it has been received by the spending authority?


In reply to the Question, it may be said that in one sense the annual grant referred to is credited to both. What happens under Section 3 of the Agricultural Rates Act is this: the amount of the grant is paid to the spending authority—i.e. the Guardians of the Union. This amount is then to be deducted from the total amount that the spending authority would require to raise by rates, if this grant were not payable. The sum which remains after the deduction is to be raised by contributions from the different parishes, taking into account the amount of agricultural land in each of them, This is accomplished by raising the sum not on the rateable, but on the assessable, value of the parishes, the assessable value meaning the rateable value reduced by an amount equal to one-half of the rateable value of the agricultural land in each parish. The benefit to a parish with agricultural land will be derived not from the distribution of the grant directly to each parish—in proportion to its agricultural land (the grant being paid into the common fund)—but from the fact that they will br called upon for a lesser contribution to the rates in proportion to the amount of their agricultural land. The words "their share" refer to the spending authority.