§ Mr. Robert Hicks
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations he received in response to his consultation paper about business rating and bed-and-breakfast accommodation; what was the balance of the various proposals outlined and submitted; and the details of the options he considered prior to his final decision.
§ Mr. Portillo
We received 246 responses to the consultation paper. Taking into account the weight of responses from groups and bodies as opposed to individuals, the majority were in favour of an exemption for bed-and-breakfast operators who intended to offer accommodation in their own homes for up to six people. There was also majority support for the qualification that the exemption should apply only where use of the dwelling for bed and breakfast was subsidiary to its use as a residence. Besides the proposals set out in the consultation paper, we considered all options that were put to us in the responses.