HC Deb 03 November 1909 vol 12 cc1817-8

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the Upper Inny Drainage Board, after having sold its title, levies and expends money annually without giving the people who pay it any account of the expenditure; that the Board met on 2nd September, 1909, and without any authority from the people of the district decided to levy £500, and are now suing for this sum former tenants of the Nugent estate, who got no notice of this liability when purchasing their holdings and on whose purchase agreements it is not mentioned; and whether, in these circumstances, he, as President of the Local Government Board for Ireland, can have the proceedings stayed until the expenditure is made subject to the payers of the money by making the Drainage Board representative of them?


I do not understand the hon. Member's statement that the Upper Inny Drainage Board has sold its title. I am informed that the present Drainage Board was recently elected by the persons who pay the maintenance rate—that is, by the proprietors of the lands within the district. It is the duty of the board to levy the necessary maintenance rate, and it has authorised a levy of £500. It is also bound to keep accounts of its expenditure and to make them accessible to the ratepayers for 14 days before its annual meeting. From a Report which I have received from the Estates Commissioners it appears that the greater portion of the estate referred to was sold to the tenants under the Purchase of Land (Ireland) Act, 1891. The liability to the future payment of maintenance rate was not expressly referred to in the agreements for sale, but it is a charge on the lands, and I have no power to intervene, as suggested in the last paragraph of the question, in any legal proceedings which may be taken for its recovery.