HC Deb 04 June 1931 vol 253 c337

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been called to cases where ratepayers who have removed to another district without paying arrears of rates, by using only a monomark address as a means of approach can evade personal service of a summons; and whether he will consider taking steps to prevent this evasion by legalising the service of a summons in such a case by registered letter through the monomark address or otherwise?


My attention has not been drawn to any such cases. Service of a summons otherwise than by delivery to the ratepayer in person is already legalised under the provisions of the Distress for Rates Act, 1849, and the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925, and I do not think that further legislation such as my hon. Friend suggests would be of material assistance to rating authorities.


If I give the Minister a case in which the local authorities were able to communicate with the man who is in arrears with his rates, and I can show that they cannot proceed any further, will he give further attention to the matter, because it opens the door for evasion, and, when once appreciated, I am afraid it will be pretty general?


If the hon. Member has a specific case in mind, I shall be very glad to consider it with him.