HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 cc22-3
38 and 39. Mr. Champion

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) in view of the fact that doubt exists whether the Bottle Brook, which has been responsible for considerable flooding in Little Eaton, Derbyshire, is a lesser watercourse and as such not part of the main river of the Trent River Board, if he will bring to a speedy conclusion his present consultations with the various associations concerned with a view to assigning responsibility.

(2) if he will introduce legislation with a view to establishing clearly the responsibility of public authorities for the cleaning and maintenance of lesser watercourses which are not part of the main river of a river board.

Mr. Godber

While realising the difficulties in cases such as that referred to by the hon. Member, I am afraid I have nothing to add to the reply given to the hon. Member for Anglesey (Mr. C. Hughes) on I 11th November.

Mr. Champion

Is the Minister not aware that the Heneage Report has been in the hands of his Department since November, 1950, that the Minister himself announced consultations with the appropriate association in February of this year, and that this delay is causing considerable difficulty everywhere? Will not the Minister conclude these negotiations and himself take a decision?

Mr. Godber

I have a good deal of sympathy with the point put forward by the hon. Member. As I am sure he is aware, however, it is easy enough to initiate discussions but not quite so easy to bring them to a conclusion.

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