§ Sir A. KNOX
asked the Minister of Transport what was the average county rate per £ for the maintenance of all roads in the county area in the financial year 1926–27, which county had the highest rate for road maintenance, and what was that rate?
I have been asked to reply. The expenditure of a county council on the maintenance of roads is not met out of the proceeds of a separate rate but out of the county fund, into which are paid rates, grants in aid of rates (e.g., the grants under the Agricultural Rates Acts), grants in aid of specific services (e.g., the grants out of the Road Fund), and receipts (e.g., rents, fees), from, sources other than rates and grants. In these circumstances, it is not practicable to state precisely the amount of the county councils' expenditure on roads which is met from rates alone. It is estimated that in the year 1924–25 (which is the latest for which complete information is available) that if the current expenditure of the county councils on highways and bridges, so far as it was met out of an aggregate comprising rates, grants (not allocated to specific services) in aid of rates, and miscellaneous receipts (not allocated to specific services), had been met out of rates alone, the average amount, per pound of the reduced assessable value of the counties of England and Wales, other than London, which would have been required to meet that expenditure would have been approximately Is. 6½d., and that the highest corresponding amount for any county would have been 4s. 9d., for the County of Huntingdon. These amounts include charges for maintenance and repair, and for improvement and enlargement, so far as not met out of capital, and also include interest on loans and provision for repayment of loans.