HC Deb 21 July 1961 vol 644 cc1652-3

Lords Amendment: In page 23, line 9, at end insert: and section thirty-nine of this Act shall apply in relation to the council as it applies in relation to a drainage board.

12.45 p.m.

Mr. Vane

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

One of the new provisions of the Bill gives local authorities power to undertake certain drainage works against flooding. Having imposed those duties on local authorities, it follows that we ought to see that they have the requisite powers. The powers which we had in mind were those which we have given to drainage boards, since these tasks in a sense are comparable.

Originally, it was intended to rely on the powers in an earlier Statute, but the drainage boards asked for these powers to be defined more precisely in the Bill. The first draft met a good deal of criticism in the House. In another place, my right hon. Friend provided that the assurances which he had given were implemented and that the notice required before a local authority or a drainage authority exercised its powers of entry was extended. I think that that will meet the approval of the House.

This sentence gives a local authority the same powers as we shall later, I hope, give to drainage boards to carry out these drainage works against flooding which are important and which we should like them to undertake where it is appropriate and practicable for them to do so.

Mr. Peart

This is a very important Amendment, because it emphasises the work of local authorities. While the Bill deals mainly with the work of river boards, there must be a partnership. At all times in our discussions we have stressed that local authorities must work with river boards, and I am glad that it has been suggested in another place, and agreed by the Minister, that we should put into our legislation that powers given to the drainage boards should also be given to local authorities. We accept the Amendment. I hope that the House will accept it.

Question put and agreed to. [Special Entry.]