HC Deb 29 October 1957 vol 575 cc5-6
8. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of the dissatisfaction of certain local authorities concerning appointments to valuation appeal committees; and what steps he proposes to take to improve the position.

Mr. J. N. Browne

These appointments are under statute entirely a matter for the sheriff, and my right hon. Friend has no authority to intervene.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the arguments which were adduced from this side of the House have been amply borne out by the experience of Fife County Council? Is he aware that the county council was in no way asked for nominees for the appointment of landward representatives on this valuation appeals committee, and that there is great indignation in Fife because of this?

Mr. Browne

I am aware that what the hon. Member says is correct, but under Section 5 of the Act the matter is entirely within the discretion of the sheriff. He is not specifically required to consult local authorities.

Mr. T. Fraser

The hon. Gentleman will remember that his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State argued for this inclusion in the Act of Parliament because he thought it would be a very good thing. Some of us thought that it would not. Does the Under-Secretary share this dissatisfaction? If so, perhaps he will have to introduce another Bill.

Mr. Browne

On the whole, the Act is working extremely well and the number of complaints has been very limited.