HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 cc3-4
5. Mr. Fell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the wide dissatisfaction over the method of assessment of land drainage rates; and when he hopes to arrange for an alteration.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. John Hare)

I am aware that there have been complaints in some internal drainage districts, particularly on the question of inclusion within the district but no better alternative method of assessing these rates has been suggested and neither the Heneage nor the Waverley Committees recommended any change.

Mr. Fell

No, Sir, but is my right hon. Friend aware that there is great disquiet amongst this minority who find themselves paying rates which often are suddenly doubled, apparently arbitrarily, and in some cases trebled, when adjoining premises which appear to be the same and paying the same other kind of rates pay quite different land drainage rates? Many people amongst this minority are becoming increasingly worried about this and will be grateful to the Minister if he can work out a method by which drainage rates can be made more equitable for these people.

Mr. Hare

I am well aware of the great personal and continuous interest which my hon. Friend is taking in this matter, but it is extremely complicated and, as I have said, both the Heneage and Waverley Committees went into this question but advised in favour of the present basis.