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Clause 16. — (Postponement of Revaluation.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Local Government Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th October 1966.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Jones Mr Arthur Jones , Northamptonshire South 12:00 am, 20th October 1966

I support the Amendment but, at the same time, I recognise the difficulties with which the Government are faced. They are taking not the easy way out, but one which is at the end of the line. It is the most unimaginative way out. It will give valuation officers very little prospect of keeping their departments together. When there is a postponement of revaluation of this sort and a rundown of the potential work which keeps these departments busy the departments will not hold the best men. There will be a general rundown.

The Government should have made every effort to try to see how this difficulty could be overcome. A number of suggestions were made in Committee, where it was suggested that we should try to concentrate on a certain type of hereditament, that we should have a rolling revaluation. The Parliamentary Secretary was not in the least sympathetic, because he said that if this was done in a particular order it would lead to hardship to one type of ratepayer or another. I do not accept that view. It must be possible, and a way must be found, to provide for the revaluation that is absolutely necessary if the whole basis of rates as a means of income for local authorities is to be assured.