HC Deb 09 July 1897 vol 50 cc1464-5
BR. COMMINS (Cork Co., S.E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury (1) whether it has been brought under his notice that the Board of Works constructed the Pier of Kinsale under the provisions of the Kinsale Harbour Act, 1880, in which the entire cost was estimated at £16,000; that they let the work to a contractor who undertook it for £13,879, but that the final cost of the Pier was £21,852, and the anticipated indebtedness of these authorities increased from £6,500 to £11,267, repayable in 25 years; that the practical rating valuation does not exceed £5,000; that the difficulties have been aggravated by the measures taken by the Board of Works to enforce payment; and that the fishery, to encourage which the Pier was built, has declined since 1885; and (2) does the Government propose, by the conversion of the debt to one of a longer term, or otherwise, to do anything to assist the ratepayers and enable them to discharge the debt, together with their sanitary and other duties, without crippling their resources and entailing the further decay of a once prosperous town and its trade?


(1) The figures given in the first paragraph are approximately correct. A very large proportion of the increase on the existing Estimate was due to the increased price put upon the land by the local owners. The question of reduction of interest must be considered in connection with any Bill dealing generally with the rates of Local Loans. (2) Any extension of the period or reduction of the debt, will be duly considered when the Kinsale Harbour and Town Commissioners show a bonâfide desire to recognise their obligations. At present even the rate struck in May 1896, has not yet been collected.


asked, whether there was any evidence of a desire on the part of the Commissioners to avoid payment?


Very great pressure has been brought to bear upon them, and my view is that they rather desire to avoid the obligation.