§ 6. Mr. Osborne
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he is aware that small boarding-house keepers and shopkeepers in places like Cleethorpes that have a seasonal trade of about ten weeks only, are alarmed at the increases in their rating assessments, and fear it may mean bankruptcy to many of them; and if he will reconsider the position of the small seaside resorts with a view to easing the proposed increases in their rates.
§ The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Duncan Sandys)
I could not accept my hon. Friend's suggestion that property in certain towns should be valued differently from property in other parts of the country.
§ Mr. Osborne
Is my right hon. Friend aware that many men bought small boarding houses and small shops in little seaside places like this in the hope that they would keep them, but now they are having to go out to work in order to retain them? The extra burden that this involves will sink some of them. Is this not a special case which the Minister could look at again?
§ Mr. Sandys
If the occupier of a boarding house considers that his assessment for rating does not sufficiently take into account the seasonal character of the trade and the length of the holiday period, that is a proper ground on which to make an appeal to the valuation courts.
§ Mr. Sandys
Do I understand that the hon. Member is speaking on behalf of the seaside resort of West Ham?