HC Deb 06 April 1939 vol 345 c3013W
Mr. Hepworth

asked the Minister of Health whether for public information and guidance, he can state whether overhead or underground shelters attached to private residences or business places are to be subject to rating assessment; whether he is aware that some rating officials are suggesting that these structures will be so rated if used for any other purpose, such as storing garden tools, than shelters against air raids; and whether, if existing legislation is not enough to protect tenants, he will incorporate a new clause in the legislation now before the House?

Mr. Elliot

My hon. Friend is doubtless aware of the terms of the Rating and Valuation (Air Raid Works) Act, 1938, which govern this matter and of the Debate in this House on the particular issue raised by his question. The circumstances of individual cases will inevitably vary and, while I have no authority to give directions to the responsible local authorities, I have no doubt that they will apply common sense to the interpretation of the statutory provisions, especially where—as in the instance cited —any increase of assessable value could only be negligible.

Mr. Lyons

asked the Minister of Health whether pending any fresh legislation on the matter, he will recommend to all local authorities that air-raid protection shelters, privately acquired and erected, shall not be made liable for additional rating?

Mr. Elliot

This matter is governed by the Rating and Valuation (Air Raid Works) Act, 1938.