HC Deb 01 December 1993 vol 233 cc548-9W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will list by valuation tribunal the targets set for(a) 1990–91, (b) 1991–92 and (c) 1992–93; and whether they were short of or exceeded their targets;

(2) if he will list by valuation tribunal the targets set for 1994–95;

(3) if he will list by valuation tribunal the targets set for 1993–94; and whether they are currently (a) on target, (b) below target or (c) above their target.

Mr. Baldry

Valuation tribunals are independent judicial bodies. The president of each tribunal has the statutory responsibility for making the necessary arrangements for the hearing of appeals or their disposal by written representations. There is no requirement on tribunals to seek to decide specified numbers of cases within given periods, and the numbers actually decided depend on a range of factors, many of which are outside presidents' control. My Department now discusses each year with national representatives of the tribunal service and with the Valuation Office Agency the number of cases in each major category which could realistically be expected to be settled nationally over the coming year, and the resources that would be required to bring this about. Indicative figures are issued to each tribunal office to show the rate of progress locally that would be consistent with these national expectations, and staff complements for each office are determined in the light of these. The figures do not, however, have the status of formal targets. This process has not yet been completed for 1994–95.

For 1992–93, the first year of this procedure, the number of non-domestic rating appeals resolved nationally by the Valuation Office Agency and the tribunal service in England was 336,900, compared with an expected 290,000. Progress in 1993–94 has been encouraging to date.

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