HC Deb 07 July 1955 vol 543 cc1275-6
4. Mr. Osborne

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the dissatisfaction felt in coastal areas against the drainage rate; and if he will review the working of the 1930 Act.

Mr. Amory

I am not aware that there is any general dissatisfaction about the drainage rates levied by internal drainage boards in coastal areas.

The principle embodied in the Land Drainage Act, 1930, that land which derives benefit or avoids danger as a result of drainage operations should be subject to a drainage rate has been an integral part of land drainage legislation for centuries past. I see no justification for reviewing the working of this part of the Act.

Mr. Osborne

If I send my right hon. Friend evidence of dissatisfaction from my constituents who feel that the Act is operating unfairly to them, will he investigate it?

Mr. Amory

Yes, I shall be glad to do so.

Mr. E. L. Mallalieu

Whatever may be the case in coastal areas, is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the widespread dissatisfaction with the rate in internal areas—for instance, where there is a row of houses and where one half of the road pays at a certain rate and the other half at another rate? Will he not give us any hope that these matters can be gone into?

Mr. Amory

The effect to which the hon. Gentleman calls attention is inevitable where there are boundaries: there is always a difference. The reply to the first part of the supplementary question is that I have always been dissatisfied with any rate that I have had to pay.