HC Deb 05 March 1941 vol 369 cc905-6
22. Sir W. Davison

asked the Minister of Health when it is proposed to introduce legislation to unify the law in relation to rating and valuation as between London and the provinces, so that regard may be had to the heavy losses suffered by many boroughs which are evacuation areas by reason of the fact that no allowance is made in respect of empty properties from which no rates can be collected, whereas allowance is made for losses on empties in the counties outside London by the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925?

Miss Horsbrugh

My right hon. Friend is in communication with the London County Council and the Metropolitan Boroughs Standing Joint Committee on this matter, but he is not in a position to make any statement as to the possibility of amending legislation.

Sir W. Davison

Is the hon. Lady aware that similar answers have been given for months and months past and that nothing has been done? In my own constituency of Kensington over 25 percent. of the property is empty and the owners of the other 75 percent. have to find the rates.

Miss Horsbrugh

I am aware of those facts, and they have been discussed from time to time. Arrangements are now being worked out with the London County Council and the Metropolitan boroughs, and the details of the scheme are now being put forward. I think that the hon. Member will agree that a satisfactory arrangement must be worked out to suit different localities.

Mr. Lawson

Is the hon. Lady aware that some of us in this House would have been very pleased to have had the support of the hon. Member on this matter?