HC Deb 01 April 1958 vol 585 cc1015-6
19. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he is aware of the numerous cases of hardship to owner-occupiers arising under the operation of the provisions of the Private Street Works Act, 1892; and what action he proposes to take to alleviate this.

Mr. Bevins

Local authorities already have powers under the Act which enable them to meet cases of individual hardship and I believe that these powers are not infrequently used.

Dr. Johnson

Is my hon. Friend aware that since I put down a Question on this subject a month ago, as purely a constituency matter in the first instance, I have received representations from all parts of the country about the operation of these Acts in regard to road charges? Is he aware that these have fallen very hard on people with small incomes who in some cases are having to sell their houses to meet the charges? Will he look at the whole problem in the light of present-day circumstances?

Mr. Bevins

My right hon. Friend is not satisfied on present evidence that there is any need for a general amendment of the law, but it ought to be clearly understood that local authorities have power to contribute to the cost of works if they think fit and also to allow the charges to be spread over a period of up to thirty years. Those powers are frequently used.