HC Deb 13 December 1955 vol 547 cc988-9
11. Mr. Lewis

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware of the financial difficulties confronting the County Borough of West Ham, due mainly to the effects of war damage, and the added costs resulting from increased bank rates, reduction in housing subsidies, and recent taxation; and whether he will take some action, by means of a special financial grant or other means, to save the council having to increase their existing rate of 28s. in the £.

Mr. Deedes

In view of the exceptional circumstances, war distress grants to West Ham alone have been continued up to the revaluation. The full effects of revaluation cannot yet be measured.

Mr. Lewis

May I take it from that reply that the Minister will sympathetically consider or reconsider the matter after the revaluation? If it can be proved that this is still an exceptional case, will he favourably consider continuing the grant after that date?

Mr. Deedes

As has already been announced, after revaluation the Government are undertaking a review of local government finance. Then will be taken into account exceptional cases as well as normal cases.

Mr. Mitchison

Will the hon. Gentleman give similar consideration to other boroughs whose finances have been grievously affected by the derating of the London outfall sewer?

Mr. Deedes

No doubt the review of local government finance will take that and other matters into account.