HC Deb 12 April 1957 vol 568 cc1427-8

Where a sum has been paid or secured under section one of the principal Act by the owner of land in respect of the cost of street works to be carried out in the private street on which the land has a frontage and any street works are subsequently carried out in the private street in respect of that frontage to the satisfaction of, but otherwise than at the expense of, the local authority, the local authority, without prejudice to their powers under any other enactment, may, by notice to be fixed up in the street, declare the street or a part thereof in which any of the street works were carried out, being a part which comprises a part on which the said land has a frontage, to be a highway repairable by the inhabitants at large and thereupon such street or part of the street as defined in the notice shall become a highway repairable by the inhabitants at large.—[Mr. MacColl.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

11.5 a.m.

Mr. James MacColl (Widnes)

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

I should like to express my regret to the hon. Member for Hitchin (Mr. Maddan), whose Bill it is, that I have left until this comparatively late stage the putting down of this new Clause. The hon. Gentleman was very kind and helpful in dealing with Amendments in Committee, and I am only sorry that this point escaped me until after the Committee stage of the Bill had been completed.

The point is fairly simple, although the procedure behind it is rather complicated. As hon. Members no doubt know, there is a variety of different codes under which local authorities work in connection with private streets. One code is that under the Private Street Works Act, 1892. Another is that under the Public Health Act, 1875; another is that under the Public Health Acts (Amendment) Act, 1890, which amends to some extent the 1875 Act. It so happens that under certain of those codes it is not possible for a local authority conveniently to adopt a street where the authority has not itself done the work. It is not impossible, because there is available a somewhat cumbersome and old-fashioned procedure laid down under the Highways Act, but this is really not to anybody's advantage.

The procedure which is used under most of the codes is a very simple and straightforward one involving the putting up of notices. In the new Clause, I propose to introduce, in respect of all codes not already covered, a provision whereby a local authority, when the work has been done to its satisfaction by someone else, shall have roughly the same power of adopting a street as it would have had it done the work itself. Put shortly, that is what this rather complicated procedure amounts to. It will, I think, be greatly to everybody's advantage and to nobody's disadvantage.

Mr. Charles Royle (Salford, West)

I beg to second the Motion.

The lucid explanation given by my hon. Friend the Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl) is quite sufficient at this stage, and I need say no more.

Mr. Martin Maddan (Hitchin)

I very much welcome the new Clause. The hon. Member for Widnes (Mr. MacColl) said that the Bill had gone a long way before he spotted the omission, adding that it was kind of me to be kind about it; but, of course, what he said could well be taken as indicating that I ought to have thought of it much earlier. as indeed, I should have done.

I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for bringing forward this new Clause. I am sure that it will be of great advantage.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.