§ 3.48 p.m.
§ The MINISTER of STATE, SCOTTISH OFFICE (Lord Kirkhill) rose to move, That the draft Land Drainage (Scotland) Amendment Order 1978, laid before the House on 22nd June, be approved. The noble Lord said: My Lords, the purpose of this order is to revise to present value the maximum cost per hectare which may be specified in a draft improvement order if the Secretary of State is to make the order without the agreement of all the owners involved but with the agreement of a majority liable to bear more than half the cost of the improvement. The proposed amendment would re-establish the degree of balance between the majority and minority interests of these owners, as created under the original legislative provision, and is submitted in fulfilment of an undertaking given by the Government earlier this year that this cost figure would be reviewed.
§ The review, now completed, is based on the rise in the tender price index for drainage works since 1965. It indicates that the present £100 per hectare figure is now significantly out of line with present costs and should be revised to £325 per hectare so as to restore the effectiveness of the original legislation. The Scottish Land Owners' Federation and the National Farmers' Union of Scotland have been consulted and are agreeable to this revision. I beg to move.
§ Moved, That the draft Land Drainage (Scotland) Amendment Order 1978, laid before the House on 22nd June, be approved.—(Lord Kirkhill.)
Lord CAMPBELL of CROY
My Lords, we are grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Kirkhill, for explaining the purpose of this order and I, personally, do not see any objection to it. I am sure that noble Lords will give it their blessing.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.