HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc175-6
Mr. Chataway

I beg to move, in page 11, line 41, at the end to insert: (2) A condition imposed in relation to a local authority under the proviso to section 12(1) above may require the authority to give consent under the preceding subsection. The House has accepted Amendments to Clause 12 which enable any local authority, with the approval of my right hon. and learned Friend, to provide a museum. This Amendment enables the Secretary of State, as a condition of his approval, to require the authority to pay the rate required for the county museum service. As it left the Standing Committee Clause 18 gave any authority which maintains a museum the right to opt out of paying the county museum rate. A safeguard is clearly needed if more authorities are authorised to provide museums, otherwise the whole cost of the museum maintained by a county council might fall on a smaller and smaller sector of the ratepayers. That would not be just if the museum maintained by the county council served the whole county.

There might be circumstances in which it was appropriate for a county district not to pay the county museum rate; for example, if it was maintaining a museum of its own which drew people from the rest of the county, the cost of that service to the rest of the county would possibly exceed any rate that the county district might be called upon to pay to aid the county council museum. There may be other cases where the museum is purely local, and provides no reason for exemption from the county museum rate. In between the two extremes, there are cases too complicated to deal with in detail by legislation.

The right course is for the authorities concerned to work out appropriate arrangements between themselves. This should be done before any application is made to the Secretary of State under Clause 12(1) and this Amendment will facilitate those arrangements.

Amendment agreed to.