Clause 15. — (Enforcement of Obligations to Carry Out Coast Protection Work.)

Orders of the Day — COAST PROTECTION BILL [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East 12:00, 25 October 1949

I beg to move, in page 20, line 5, to leave out subsection (1), and to insert: (1) No person shall be liable, by reason only that he is subject to an obligation to which this section applies, to maintain or repair any works being either works constructed, altered or improved under a works scheme or works for whose maintenance or repair provision is made by a scheme under section thirteen of this Act.(2) This section applies to any obligation to carry out coast protection work to which a person would be subject by reason of tenure, custom, prescription or otherwise if this Act had not been passed.(3) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, nothing in this Part of this Act shall operate to release any person from any obligation to which this section applies. This Amendment is to meet a point raised by hon. Gentlemen opposite on the Committee stage, when it was pointed out that as the Bill was originally drafted it would be possible for someone, who had an obligation to carry out coastal protection works, to meet the charge under a works scheme and still have the liability for the maintenance of works under his ordinary obligation. This Amendment makes it clear that if there is an obligation of that kind on any person to carry out coast protection work, if he has made a payment of a charge under a works scheme or under a scheme under Clause 13, he shall not be held liable for maintenance works under this Clause.

Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

We are grateful to the Government for this Amendment, which is important. As the Parliamentary Secretary said, it meets very satisfactorily the point which we raised in Committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mr Robert Hudson Mr Robert Hudson , Southport

I beg to move, in page 20, line 21, at the end, to insert: Provided that any person on whom a notice is served may serve notice of objection on the ground that the work as specified in the notice is unnecessary, or that the carrying out thereof would cause hardship to the objector, or that the obligations if any to which the objector is subject as provided in subsection (1) of this section does not extend to the work required in the notice, or that the period within which he is required to carry out the work is unreasonable, and the provisions of subsections (5) and (6) of section eight of this Act shall apply as if the notice of objection had been served under subsection (3) or (4) of that section. As the Clause is drafted, a person concerned has no right of appeal. We feel that it is only fair that he should have it, so we are suggesting the insertion of these words in order to carry out that object.

Photo of Colonel Alan Gandar-Dower Colonel Alan Gandar-Dower , Penrith and Cockermouth

I am not sure whether the Government intend to accept the Amendment, but I should be glad if the Minister, in replying, would indicate what the word "otherwise" means, in subsection (1).

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

The Amendment refers to people who have some obligation to carry out this work. Therefore the position is very different from that which exists, for example, under a works scheme where, naturally, there ought to be a right of appeal, and where it is understood that individuals will make contributions according to the extent to which the value of their land has been improved by the works carried out.

Here we have the position in which people already have an obligation to do certain work. It seems quite reasonable that a coast protection authority should, if it considered it desirable, insist that the obligation should be carried out. Obviously there will still be a right of objection, which will exist for persons who claim that they were never required to do a particular job of work. Such a person would obviously challenge the right of the coast protection authority, by saying that his obligation did not include the particular job of work which the coast protection authority were asking him to carry out. I should say that would be the main issue which such an individual would wish to raise.

On the question mentioned in the Amendment of the time needed to carry out the obligation, we should expect the coast protection authority to grant a reasonable time. We must remember that before a coast protection authority would be able to enforce an obligation it would have to allow the person concerned a reasonable time to carry out the work. After the coast protection authority had given directions to an individual, still further time would have to elapse to give him the opportunity to carry out the work. In view of all those reasons I hope that the right hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment will now be able to withdraw it.

Amendment negatived.