§ Mr. Heddle
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the fact that the Town and Country Planning Acts require notices of intended works to be served upon the owner or owners or tenant or tenants of the subject property, he has any plans to amend the Land Drainage Act to place a similar obligation upon county councils of their intentions to carry out works; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wiggin
The Land drainage Act 1976 confers on county councils various powers to carry out works, but I assume that the hon. Member has in mind the case about which he wrote to me recently concerning section 99 of the Act. This section simply gives certain authorities power to enter into an agreement with any person to carry out drainage works "which that person is entitled to execute". The interpretation of this section is, of course, a matter for the courts but my view is that, since an authority which acts under this power is acting as contractor for the person who is entitled to do the work in his own right, it would be inappropriate to impose on the authority any obligations of the kind referred to by the hon. Member.