HC Deb 16 July 1918 vol 108 cc959-60

It shall not be obligatory on a county council to charge on or raise within particular areas any portion of such expenses as are mentioned in paragraph (c) or paragraph (d) of Sub-section (1) of Section eighteen of the Education Act, 1902, and accordingly each of those paragraphs shall have effect as if for the word "shall" there was substituted the word "may" and as if the words "less than one half or" were omitted therefrom; and, whore before the passing of this Act any portion of such expenses has been charged on or allocated to any area, the county council may cancel or vary the charge or allocation.


The two Amendments in the name of the hon. Member for Haggerston affect the incidence of the rates, and would not be in order.


I beg to move, at the end of the Clause, to add the words: Before charging any expenses under Section eighteen (1) (a) of the Education Act, 1902, on any area situate within a borough or urban district the council of which is an authority for the purpose of Part III. of the Education Act, 1902, a county council shall consult the council of the borough or urban district concerned. This is a small Amendment which, I think, will promote the easy working of the educational machinery, particularly in regard to the overlapping that exists under the Act of 1902 between the county authority, the Part II. authority, and the small urban district or borough authority as the Part III. authority, within the area of the county authority. Under the Act of 1902, for the purposes of higher education, the county authority may raise either a general rate throughout the county or a special rate in the parish or parishes in the particular district where the school or college happens to be in respect of which they want to raise money, and that they may do, as the law stands, within the area of the small Part III. authority without consulting that authority. Under the 1902 Act there was a limit to the amount that they were entitled so to raise without the consent of the Board of Education. Under the Bill that limit is removed, and so their powers to raise money for the purposes of higher education within the area of another authority will be increased. For that reason it is highly desirable that before the larger authority desires to raise money within the area of the smaller authority, it should at least have the politeness to consult with that authority before taking such action.


On a point of Order. I understood you, Sir, to rule my Amendments out on the ground that they affected the incidence of rating. Does not this Amendment also affect it in exactly the same way?


It says the education authority shall consult the council of the borough. There is no harm in consultation.


I beg to second the Amendment. It is part of the general policy of co-ordination and co-operation as between the various authorities, and it seems very desirable.


I wish to say, on behalf of the county councils, that they have no objection whatever to this Amendment. The idea was that we should give notice to the minor local authorities in whose area we were proposing to levy a rate obviously in the public interest, and have the frankest conference and consultation on the matter. In our judgment that would be an advantage.


I shall be very glad to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.