Special Rating Districts

Oral Answers to Questions — European Community – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st January 1976.

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Photo of Mr George Thompson Mr George Thompson , Galloway 12:00 am, 21st January 1976

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to restore special rating districts.

Mr. Milian:

No, Sir.

Photo of Mr George Thompson Mr George Thompson , Galloway

Is the Minister aware of the indignation felt by many country folk at the fact that they are having to pay for services that they do not receive? Does he realise that in the past, if they did not receive these services, they did not pay for them? Can he give a categoric assurance that we are not facing a gradual edging of the population of the countryside to the towns and villages in order to set free more houses for second home owners?

Mr. Milan:

I think that I can give the hon. Member that assurance. His first point was rightly dealt with as a matter of principle in the Local Government Act 1973. I realise how a number of people feel about this matter, but I believe that the general principle in the 1973 Act is the right one.

Photo of Mr John Corrie Mr John Corrie , Ayrshire North and Bute

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he expects any change in the situation in Scotland under which people whose properties are not attached to a main sewerage system still have to pay rates? Is he aware that there has been such a change in England?

Photo of Mr Bruce Millan Mr Bruce Millan , Glasgow Craigton

The English decision was made in entirely different circumstances. Sewerage in England is not provided by local authorities as it is in Scotland.