asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the same valuer was responsible for revaluation for rates in the rural district of Wimborne and Cranborne, the adjoining county borough of Bournemouth and the rural district of Beaminster; and what directions as to the basis of revaluation were given to the valuer or valuers concerned.
No, Sir. A different valuation officer was concerned for each area. The basis for the new rating assessments is prescribed by law. No special directions were given to the valuation officers concerned.
Is my hon. Friend aware that as a result of the activities of these different valuers the rate burden in the rural district of Wimborne and Cranborne has increased by almost double the increase in the adjoining county borough of Bournemouth, which has many more amenities, whereas in the rural district of Beaminster, which has similar amenities to Wimborne and Cranborne, the rate burden has actually gone down? Is not this a very striking discrepancy? Will not my right hon. Friend ask the Inland Revenue to look into the matter again?
As my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury told my hon. Friend when he brought a deputation to see him and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government, this question is being looked into. The deputation was quite recent. It submitted a mass of material, and our investigations are not yet completed.