HC Deb 28 July 1982 vol 28 cc1183-4

Lords amendment: No. 1, after clause 4, insert—

"A.—(1) In section 4 of the Local Government (Financial Provisions etc.) (Scotland) Act 1962 (which provides for reduction and remission of rates payable by charitable and other organisations)—

  1. (a) in subsection (2)—
    1. (i) after paragraph (b) there shall be inserted the words—
      • "; or
      • (c) are within any such category as the Secretary of State may by order specify, being a category of lands and heritages which are not used for profit making purposes, which are wholly or mainly used as residential accommodation for person living separately from any family and in which certain facilities are shared by those persons,";
    2. (ii) after the words "described in" there shall be inserted the word "—(i)"; and
    3. (iii) after the words "one-half" there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—
  2. (b) in subsection (5)(a), for the words "or (b)" there shall be substituted the words "(b) or (c)"; and
  3. (c) at the end there shall be added the following subsection—

(12) An order under subsection (2)(c) of this section shall have no effect until approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.".

(2) Where the Secretary of State has power under paragraph (c) of section 4(2) of the said Act of 1962 (the which paragraph is inserted by subsection (1) above) to specify a category of lands and heritages he may instead or in addition prescribe a method whereby the values of, or of certain of, those lands and heritages are, for the purpose of making up any valuation roll, to be ascertained.

(3) Prescription under subsection (2) above shall be by order made by statutory instrument; and such order shall have no effect until approved by resolution of each House of Parliament."

11.15 pm
The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Allan Stewart)

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said amendment.

Hon. Members will recall our discussion in Committee about rating relief for communal accommodation for single persons. The hon. Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) tabled an amendment which was withdrawn after ministerial assurances that the matter was being actively considered. We have been aware of the problem for some time and we have brought forward this enabling provision which I am sure will be welcomed, especially by the Scottish Council for the Single Homeless and the housing associations.

Mr. Bruce Milan (Glasgow, Craigton)

We welcome the amendment. As the Minister said, there is a history to it and we tried in previous legislation to have something similar. The Scottish Council for the Single Homeless, and Mr. Naumann of that council, made representations two or three years ago. My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow, Garscadden (Mr. Dewar) pursued them, together with other hon. Members. This is a useful provision. It requires an order from the Secretary of State to implement the provision. Can the Minister tell us the Government's intentions?

Mr. Allan Stewart

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his remarks. He is right to say that we need an order. We must have consultations first, and we have arranged a meeting in August. We must consult COSLA and the Scottish Valuation Advisory Council. I hope that we shall have an order for consideration by the House early in the next Session.

Question put and agreed to.

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