HC Deb 13 February 1929 vol 225 cc445-7

I beg to move, in page 25, line 36, to leave out the word "such," and to insert instead thereof the word "the."

This Amendment is part of the principle raised in the next Amendment on the Paper standing in my name—in page 25, line 36, at the end, to insert the words: of draining so much of such road as lies within the district of the local authority in whom such drain or sewer is vested, but nothing in this Section shall impose upon any such local authority any obligation to enlarge or alter any such sewer. Under the provisions of Sub-section (2) of this Clause, the county council is given the right to make use of any portion of any drain or sewer connected with a road which in the past has been used for the purposes of road drainage. There is a certain number of cases where a district authority has constructed a drain or sewer mainly for house drainage purposes, but which is also used in connection with road drainage, and under the Clause as it stands the county council would be entitled to use that drain, which really belongs to the district authority, not only for draining that portion of the area which was drained into it by the district council, but possibly also other portions of the road which are outside that area but within the functions of the county council to attend to. The object of the Amendment is to ensure that nothing in this Clause shall impose upon the local authority any obligation to enlarge or alter any drain of theirs constructed for house purposes because it is being used to a greater extent for road drainage than it was used by the actual authority to which it belongs. If a drain constructed mainly for house drainage, but used partially for draining a particular area of land, is used for draining a much greater area than that, it may have a prejudicial effect on the original purpose for which the drain was constructed.


I beg to second the Amendment.


The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Chamberlain)

I find some difficulty in understanding what my hon. Friend is afraid of in this matter. The wording of the Clause is very similar to a provision in the Local Government Act, 1888, which provides: where coy sewer or other drain is used for any purpose in connection with the drainage of any main road, the county council shall continue to have the right of using such sewer or drain for such purpose. As far as I am aware, no difficulty has ever arisen in connection with that provision. If the view of my hon. Friend is that under this provision the county council could divert into a drain or sewer water from some other district outside the district in such quantities as to make the existing sewer insufficient for its purpose, and could then call upon the district council to enlarge or alter the sewer to meet this extra drain upon it, in that case, I think, my hon. Friend is not well advised, because I am informed that, under the Sub-section as it stands, the county council could claim the right to use only such facilities as now exist, and it would be quite possible, if they did call upon the district council to enlarge or alter any sewer, for the district council to refuse to do so, unless the county council were ready to enter into an agreement with them to reimburse them for any extra charge. Sub-section (3) says: If any difference arises between the county council and any district council as respects the council in whom a drain is vested, or as to the use of any drain or sewer, the difference shall, if either council so require, he determined by the Minister. Therefore, I think my hon. Friend need have no reason to fear, and I understand the Association of Municipal Corporations think that there is no danger in this Clause.


Is my right hon. Friend satisfied that Sub-section (3) really covers the case where a difference arises between a county council and a district council as to the extended use of a drain such as I have referred to? Some doubt has been raised as to it by those who are qualified to speak.


I am satisfied that the Minister could determine such a point as that.


Does the hon. Member wish to withdraw his Amendment?


Yes, Sir.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.