§ TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS FOR GENERAL DRAINAGE CHARGES
Lords Amendment: No. 22, in page 24, line 8, to leave out from "for" to "and" in line 12 and insert:
any of the years ending with 31st March, 1969, 31st March, 1970, or 31st March, 1971, in
respect of which the authority have not already made a determination under this subsection,".
§ The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. Hoy)
I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.
This will extend the transitional provisions for drainage charges to include the financial year 1968–69 as well as the years 1969–70 and 1970–71. This is required to meet a. local problem in the Gwynedd River Authority area in north-west Wales. In 1967–68 the amount of the general drainage charge was very much higher in this area than in any other river authority area. Moreover, if the authority had raised a general charge for the year 1968–69 under the 1961 Act as it stands, the amount would have been further increased because there has been an increase in the precept on local authorities.
The high rate of charge in this area is due largely to the method of calculating the charge prescribed in Section 2 of the 1961 Act. The Bill provides a new method of calculation which makes the charge more closely equivalent to the contribution which the general ratepayer makes to the river authority precept. If the Gwynedd River Authority were able, as it would like, to use this new method of calculation for 1968–69 the charge would be reduced from 1s. 6½d. to 11½d. in the £. This relief would be most welcome to farmers in the area.
The Amendment would make it possible by enabling the Gwynedd River Authority to make determinations for the year 1968-69 under subsections (2) and (3) of Clause 28 so that it can raise the general charge on a Schedule A basis but use the new method of calculating the amount of the charge under the provisions of Clause 28(3) of the Bill. I hope, therefore, that the House will approve this Amendment.
§ Mr. Godber
I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for the very clear way in which he has explained this Amendment. We on this side and certainly any hon. Members who know anything about the problems of the Gwynedd River Board will be only too glad to assist it in any way. The Board has had many problems over the years. I remember them in the past and if this Amendment will help I am very glad. The Board is in a unique situation in regard to the problems it has had to face and I am glad to know that special action 558 has been taken to help in this area. I greatly welcome and commend this Amendment.
§ Question put and agreed to.