Equalisation Payments to Be Made to Certain Water Authorities

Part of Orders of the Day — Water Charges Equalisation Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th March 1977.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Jones Mr Arthur Jones , Daventry 12:00 am, 16th March 1977

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for dealing with the question at such length. I think that he knows as well as I do that the view that he is expressing is not one that is held by the local authority associations, certainly not those which I have consulted, and some of those who are on the consultative committee do not agree with the views that the hon. Gentleman has now put before us.

Will the hon. Gentleman be kind enough to consider whether an explanation could be made available, or a memorandum setting out the factors that he has put before us tonight, having regard to the circumstances in 1974–75 and the changed circumstances, as he says, of the current financial rate support grant domestic element arrangements and those for next year? As there is so much misunderstanding on the subject, I invite the hon. Gentleman to consider whether, for the benefit of everyone, it would not be a bad idea to prepare a memorandum. It would, perhaps, help the consultative committee when it comes to consider with the Government the arrangements for subsequent years.

This is a matter that needs to be resolved. I think that the Government realise that; certainly the hon. Gentleman does. Will he give an undertaking that a memorandum would be appropriate in the circumstances of the disagreement between the two Front Benches, to set the thing out so that we can all get the benefit of it?