§ Mr. Grylls
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek powers to allow the water authorities to use alternatives to rateable values as a basis for water charges; and if he will publish a consultative paper on this subject.
§ Mr. Fox
Subject to the provisions of the Water Act 1973, water authorities have powers under section 30 to fix charges as they think fit. In doing so they will be guided by advice provided by the National Water Council, in particular its publication "Paying for Water" which was published in 1976. I have no plan to publish a consultative paper.