Mr. ARTHUR DUCKWORTH:
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the considerable opposition among the ratepayers in the Minsterley, Pontesbury, and Hanwood districts of Shropshire against the comprehensive water scheme covering these districts promoted by the Atcham Rural District Council; and whether, in sanctioning the council's proposals following the public inquiry, full consideration was given to the protests of these ratepayers and to the extra rate burdens that the scheme will impose upon the locality?
Yes, Sir, I was satisfied that there was urgent need for a pxper water supply in those parishes and that the burden on the rates, after allowing for an Exchequer grant of £15,000 and similar contributions from the county council and the rural district council, would not he unduly heavy.
Is there any possibility of this matter being reconsidered, in view of the meetings of protest that are still being held and the fact that a petition against this treatment has, I understand, recently been signed by a majority of the ratepayers?
I have really given careful consideration to this matter and also the representations which my hon. Friend has made to me, but I may say that the rates increase due to this scheme compare very favourably with other areas of the country.