Results 41–60 of 1838 for speaker:Mr Arthur Skeffington

Orders of the Day — Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Bill (24 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: The difficulty is that it is a rule in practice and has been decided in innumerable cases that, if a local authority provides services other than for the inhabitants of the locality, it may be ultra vires. It seems desirable to remove the uncertainty. At the time of the annual audit, any elector can go to the district auditor and make the necessary challenge. It is not making for any basis of...

Orders of the Day — Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Bill (24 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: I am grateful to both the hon. Member and to my hon. and learned Friend. The very fact that certain authorities have sought powers for one purpose or another—bulk purchasing of goods and materials, or sharing equipment—and that the House has given them the powers, is convincing proof that the law is at least uncertain in this matter. Otherwise, the House would not have given the powers in...

Orders of the Day — Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Bill (24 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: With the permission of the House, I should like to reply to some of the points that have been made. I am pleased that, on the whole, the Bill has, been welcomed. The welcome has been somewhat tepid in some quarters, but I do not object to that because proper points have been made by all those who have spoken, and they will have to be considered seriously in Committee and in later stages....

Orders of the Day — Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Bill (24 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: I may be able to save the hon. Member's intervention. I have said that I am prepared in Committee to see whether further definition is needed. I am not being doctrinaire. The Bill is only trying to do what the Report required us to do. If a further modification is needed, we shall consider it. Several hon. Members asked whether a public body could be a national body like the National Coal...

Orders of the Day — Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Bill (24 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: There is probably a great deal to be said for an objective test of that kind. My only doubt is that to impose such an obligation in the Bill would be a limitation upon local authorities and would take away from them the kind of status which, I thought, the House now generally agreed should belong to modern authorities. This goes to the whole point of the ultra vires question. I am anxious...

Orders of the Day — Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Bill (24 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: I said in opening that the practice of local authorities in doing this work has proved again and again that they test the market and accept the scheme which, in the end, gives them the best economic return. Obviously, anything we can do to encourage that we ought to do, whether it is done by circular or by other measures. Again, however, I must ask the House to remember in the background all...

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time. I think that I can be a little more enthusiastic about this Measure than was Mr. Harold Macmillan, when he introduced the Valuation for Rating Bill of 1953 and said: I tell the House quite frankly that no one more dislikes the necessity for introducing this Bill than I do. Ministers, unless very young or very innocent, dislike...

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: I was trying to avoid the need to embark upon a wide description. But I should tell the House, since it is relevant, why the Bill is required at this moment in advance of action on the Royal Commission's recommendations, and why a wholesale rating Measure is not being brought before the House at this time. The urgency of the Bill arises in connection with the 1973 revaluation. The House, in...

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: The hon. Gentleman said that under the present system a ratepayer can find half a dozen comparable houses and tender them as evidence. Nothing in the Bill will prevent him from doing that in the future. The hon. Gentleman will find that in Lands Tribunal cases time and again the ratepayer has wanted to go much wider than locally to get his comparison. It is the ratepayer who has as much...

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: The court will always have regard to the weight of the evidence, and the best evidence, and if the ratepayer can produce six examples of local houses that will be by far the best evidence. The hon. Gentleman's argument is non-founded.

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: The difficulty is simple. In relation to dwelling-houses, the Inland Revenue is finding it increasingly difficult to get, as it is required by practice and to some extent by Statute to get, the best evidence, which is the actual evidence of rents settled in the market. This is the great and sole difficulty.

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: I pointed out that we believe that it will have advantages for everyone engaged in this sphere; the ratepayer, who will have a distinct advantage, the local authority and the professional experts.

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: The date of the revaluation has to be determined by the House. When a revaluation could not take place in 1968, provision was made in the Act of 1966, Section 16 of which specifies the date as 1973. Legislation would be required if there were to be a postponement. The hon. Gentleman has seen the Queen's Speech, and I am sure that he can draw his own conclusions.

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: With the permission of the House, I wish to reply to the many interesting points which have been made in the debate. As I expected, a number of hon. Mem- bers have directed their attention to the possibility, as they saw it, that the individual rate payer might be disadvantaged under the Bill. That was a very proper point to make, but I assure hon. Members that this was not the purpose....

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: The hon. Member must wait to see the White Paper. It is to deal with structure. I do not know how much it can deal with other matters. I do not think it possible to deal with the whole subject of finance until w-t know something about the structure.

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: As to the second point, the hon. Member had better wait until he sees the White Paper. I wish to give the best advice I can as to what will be the next stage. Although the debate has been brief, the number of relevant points made has been large. The hon. Member for the City of Chester (Mr. Temple) made a number of points, to one of which I referred in an intervention which he kindly allowed...

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: Perhaps I can deal with that point when I come to the matter of evidence. I affirm what I said before, that in a number of cases which have come before the Lands Tribunal, and in cases within my own experience, if it had been pos sible to adduce evidence wider than that existing in the rating area concerned it would have been greatly to the advantage of local rate payers in an appeal. But...

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: The hon. Gentleman has not sufficiently studied the rules of evidence. There are two points to be considered. First, evidence has to be relevant, but also, it has to be admissible. Hitherto, the general rule has been—this certainly applies to local valuation courts —that evidence which goes very wide of the area is not admitted. The Bill admits that evidence, and it then can be...

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: When my hon. Friend considers the point, I am sure that he will see the answer. The Bill meets the case where there is no best evidence, where there is no local evidence. If that point has not been grasped—

Orders of the Day — General Rate Bill (10 Nov 1969)

Mr Arthur Skeffington: I will give way in a moment. I must make progress with my argument. This is a most elementary point. It is because the evidence of rents is becoming so scarce that we feel the need for this Measure. The hon. Member for the City of Chester commented on the unfairness of gross values and asked why they have continued to be used. That matter may be considered when the time comes for the basis...


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