HC Deb 02 April 1963 vol 675 c231
27. Sir Richard Glyn

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contribution in lieu of rates was made last year to Dorset County Council on behalf of the installations and premises occupied by the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force and of other Crown property; and to what extent this contribution will be increased to keep in step with the revaluation.

Mr. Barber

Approximately £215,000. The properties in question will be revalued in 1963–64, and contributions for that year will be paid on the new values.

Sir Richard Glyn

Is my hon. Friend aware that practically the whole of the industry in Dorset is concentrated on Crown lands, such as Winfrith Heath, and that through the lack of private enterprise industry the rate burden has increased in Dorset county more than in any other administrative county on the mainland? For example, in the Wimborne and Cranbourne area, the increase has been as high as 56 per cent. Can my hon. Friend say whether in future Crown lands will bear their fair share of the county rate expenditure?

Mr. Barber

Yes. Crown lands will bear their share, and I recognise the importance of this matter to those people who live in Dorset. But, as I say, the revaluation has not yet taken place, but although it will take place in the next financial year contributions for that year will be paid on the new values.

Mr. McInnes

Can the hon. Gentleman indicate what legislation he proposes to introduce to ensure that Crown lands do bear their fair proportion?

Mr. Barber

I do not think that any legislation is necessary. I know of no case in which it has been seriously suggested that Crown lands do not bear their proper proportion of rates.