Under Section 60 of the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925, valuation lists and rate books are open to inspection by any ratepayer or any person authorised by a ratepayer to act on his behalf. I am, however, in consultation with my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, as to the steps which it may be necessary or desirable for rating authorities to take so that the totals of rateable value included in the various catchment areas may be readily available to county councils and catchment boards, and I hope shortly to be in a position to com municate with the rating authorities concerned.
My right hon. Friend has discussed personally with representatives of the Ancholme Drainage and Navigation Commissioners difficulties arising in connection with the levying of rates on the basis of annual value, instead of on an acreage basis. The provisions of the Act must, of course, be observed, but my right hon. Friend will be ready to assist this and other drainage authorities as far as he can in carrying out the requirements of the Act.