§ Sir P. Macdonald
asked the Minister of Agriculture why the rate of grant this year for drainage improvement schemes carried out by the Isle of Wight River Board has been reduced to 33⅓ per cent. from the 50 per cent. which was available to the former Isle of Wight Rivers Catchment Board when the river board has new and increased functions but only the same area and resources as the former catchment board; and upon which methods or formula the rate of grant for such schemes is determined.
Mr. T. Williams
This change in grant rates has no relation to the transfer of functions from a catchment board to a river board, as the Question would seem to imply. It is the outcome of a general review of grants payable under Section 55 of the Land Drainage Act, 1930, which 29W was carried out by my Department last year. These grants have regard to the relative needs and resources of the different catchment boards and river boards. Many river board areas differ in extent from the catchment areas which they have superseded, but, so far as comparisons are possible, the outcome of the review was to increase the rate of grant for some authorities and to reduce it for others, including the Isle of Wight. I am not prepared to disclose the detailed calculations on which rates of grant are based.