HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 cc183-4
12. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will issue a circular to all local authorities urging them to accept payment of rates by equal regular instalments, either weekly or monthly, to help those ratepayers who find it difficult to meet heavy quarterly demands.

Mr. Brooke

There are recommendations in this sense in the 1957 White Paper, Local Government Finance (England and Wales) (Cmnd. 209). When the current Rating and Valuation Bill is on the Statute Book, I will consider the case for any further reminder.

Sir B. Janner

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask if he realises that, while concessions of this kind are important in certain districts, it is not a general practice, and I am doubtful whether all local authorities are legally entitled to do what they are doing in this respect? Will he put the matter on a proper legal basis in the event of his discovering that local authorities cannot do what many of them want to do?

Mr. Brooke

I was not aware of any legal obstacle, but I will look into that point. I have it in mind to send local authorities a circular when the Rating and Valuation Bill reaches the Statute Book.