§ Mr. Beith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance he has given to local authorities as to whether they should send out community charge bills or uniform business rate bills in respect of those caravans on protected sites whose status he has announced his intention to clarify by means of further legislation.
§ Mr. Nicholls
The Department wrote to all charging authorities in England on 30 March informing them of the reply given that day to my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Field) by my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Itchen (Mr. Chope) (Official Report, columns 346–47). In view of the proposed requirement on charging authorities to refund any payments of the standard charge in respect of caravans on protected sites, the letter drew to authorities' attention the need to consider to what extent they wished to take steps to collect the standard charge. It is my impression that most authorities have chosen not to levy a standard charge in these cases.