HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 cc186-7
14. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) whether he is aware of dissatisfaction in Cardiff caused by assessors of flood damage; and whether, in view of the Government's contribution to the distress fund, he will intervene on behalf of persons aggrieved in this way;

(2) whether he will set up machinery to enable flood victims in Cardiff to appeal against awards made by assessors; and whether he will make a statement on the administration of the Government's contribution to the Flood Relief Fund.

Mr. Brooke

I understand that 2,171 claims have been lodged by Cardiff residents, of which over 2,100 have already been settled and paid, to an amount of over £80,000. Two complaints which the hon. Member has brought to my notice do not seem to be well founded. Administration is in the hands of the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, and it is not for me to intervene or devise appeal machinery; I am sure that any complaint will be thoroughly examined.

The Lord Mayor's fund for the whole of Wales and Monmouthshire has received Government grant of £300,000

Mr. Thomas

I thank the Minister for that reply. Bearing in mind that the assessors from his Department are really the people who decide the claims and not the Lord Mayor, who is just the head in title of the fund, will the Minister make it possible for those people who have a sense of grievance to appeal? That is all I ask. I appreciate that the overwhelming proportion is very well satisfied with the administration of the scheme.

Mr. Brooke

I do not think that I should interfere. These assessments are made by officers of the Cardiff Corporation working to what are known as the Lord Mayor of London's Distress Fund rules which were arrived at and gave general satisfaction at the time of the 1953 floods. I understand that there is a fund committee which is generally responsible, and I do not think that I ought to take these matters out of local hands.