§ Payments into fund
§ 1. No payment shall be made into the fund (hereinafter referred to as the "art fund") unless the payment is authorised or required to be made by the following provisions of this Schedule.
§ 2.—(1) There may be paid into the art fund from the county fund or, as the case may be, the general rate fund such sums as the local authority determine, but, except with the consent of the Minister of Housing and Local Government,—
- (a) the aggregate of sums so paid in any financial year shall not exceed the product of a rate of one-fifth of a penny in the pound for the administrative area of the authority for that year;
- (b) a sum shall not be so paid if the payment thereof would cause the balance
178 of the art fund to exceed the product of a rate of one penny in the pound for that area for that year.
§ (2) The above references to the product of a rate for an area shall, where there is more than one rating area within the area, be construed as references to the aggregate product of a rate of the amount in question for all rating areas within the area.
§ (3) The product of a rate of any amount for a rating area shall for the purposes of this paragraph be taken to be the product of a rate of that amount for that area ascertained, in the case of an area other than a county borough, in accordance with rules made for the purposes of section 9(2) of the Rating and Valuation Act 1925, or, in the case of a county borough, in accordance with rules made by the Minister of Housing and Local Government for the purposes of Part I of the Local Government Act 1958.
§ 3. Where any object previously kept for exhibition in a museum or art gallery maintained by the local authority under section 12 of this Act is sold by the authority, and the proceeds of sale are not subject to any trust the terms of which prevent their being used for the purchase of other objects for exhibition either in that museum or gallery or in any other museum or art gallery for the time being so maintained, the proceeds of sale or any part thereof may be paid into the art fund.
§ Power of investment
§ 4. Until it is required for the purposes of the art fund, money therein may be invested by the local authority in the like investments as trustees are for the lime being by law authorised to make, and for this purpose section 7 of the Trustee Investments Act 1961 (which applies the preceding sections of the Act to persons other than trustees having trustee investment powers) shall have effect as if this Act had been passed before that Act:
§ Provided that for the purpose of the making of investments by the authority under this paragraph, paragraph 9 of Part II of Schedule 1 to that Act (which specifies local authorities whose securities are to be authorised investments) shall not apply to the authority or to a joint board comprising the authority and established under section 5 of this Act.
§ 5. Income arising from investments made under paragraph 4 above shall be carried to the county fund or the general rate fund, as the case may be, and an equivalent sum shall be paid from that fund into the art fund.
§ Application of foregoing provisions to joint boards
§ 6. Where the local authority is a joint board established under section 5 of this Act—
- (a) references in this Schedule to the county fund or general rate fund shall be construed as references to the general revenues of the joint board, and references to the administrative area of the local authority shall be construed as references to the library area of the joint board;
- (b) the proviso to paragraph 4 above shall be treated as disapplying paragraph 9 of
179 Part II of Schedule 1 to the Trustee Investments Act 1961 in relation to the authorities constituting the joint board as well as in relation to the board itself.—[Sir E. Boyle.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Sir E. Boyle
I beg to move, That the Schedule be read a Second time.
The Schedule really goes with the third of the new Clauses which we were talking about earlier. Perhaps without getting out of order I could say to the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) that I am not sure that I was not too pessimistic when she asked me about the power of the county council to contribute to a fund, because Clause 13(a) empowers a local authority to contribute towards expenditure incurred by any person in providing or maintaining a museum. I will ascertain that point later, but I may have been too gloomy in the advice which I gave to the hon. Lady.
The new Schedule has provisions for the management of a fund established under Clause 3. There is provision for a maximum contribution in any financial year and I can tell the House that although it may seem that this is tightly drawn, nevertheless these limitations are similar to those in local Acts, save that these name a sum as the maximum balance of the fund. To adapt this to the circumstances of different authorities we have in the Schedule expressed the maximum as the product of 1d. rate
The Schedule will enable any proceeds from the sale of any picture or museum object to be paid into the fund instead of being credited to the county fund or the general rate in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act, 1933. Paragraph 4 of the Schedule authorises the investment of any money in the fund under the Trustee Investments Act, 1961.
§ Mrs. White
We are a little concerned about the Schedule. It seems to us to be rather tightly drawn, and to limit the amount that may be paid into the fund to one-fifth of 1d. rate seems to us to be unduly restrictive for some local authorities. We are also concerned about the matter of the balance and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to give us a little more explanation. The Schedule provides in that 180a sum shall not be paid if the payment thereof would cause the balance of the art fund to exceed the product of a rate of one penny in the pound for that area for that year.Suppose that a sale of a picture has been made and that money has been added to the art fund. Does this affect the balance and therefore the amount which the local authority can pay into the fund? There may be a situation in which for one reason or another the authorities in charge of the museum or art gallery may have decided to sell one of its pictures, possibly with a view to purchasing something else, perhaps, of a similar nature but of better quality, and it may for a short time have in the fund a balance which would bring it above the amount permitted in paragraph 2(1,b). But this might be purely temporary because it might be planning to spend that money.
We are not very clear about whether it is desirable to have the limitations of either paragraph 2(1,a) or paragraph 2(1,b), but perhaps more particularly 2(1,b). Can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that this sort of restriction will not have the effect which some of us think it may have? We may have misread the proposed Schedule, but we should like an assurance that this kind of top limit restriction will not frustrate the general purposes of the Schedule.
§ Sir E. Boyle
I hope that I can give the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) the assurance for which she asks. The limits of paragraph 2 are based on the experience of local Acts. While it may seem that these limits are low, we must remember that the average 1d. rate today is worth about the same as was 2¾d. on the valuation lists in force before 1st April, 1963. That is to say, they are not perhaps quite as narrow as they seem when one bears in mind the effects of the last revaluation.
The other thing of which I should like to remind the hon. Lady is this. The payment into the fund of the proceeds of sale of any object under paragraph (3) will not reduce the amount which may be paid into the fund out of the county fund or general rate fund under paragraph 2(1). I recognise that the House has not had very long to consider this Schedule. 181 I will consider the remarks which have been made about the Schedule and see whether any further attention needs to be given to this part of the Bill in another place.
§ Mr. Willey
Perhaps the Minister will give the further assurance that he will consult the local authorities about this, particularly those with experience in this matter.
§ Sir E. Boyle
We have engaged in some consultation and have tried to follow the experience of local Acts. I am, however, ready to bear in mind the anxieties which have been expressed.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Schedule read a Second time, and added to the Bill.