§ Sir Eldon Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which Suffolk parish councils have indicated to him that they intend to cease providing certain local services on the grounds that the revenues they expect to receive from their British charge payers, following the cessation of rates from American service men, are insufficient.
§ Mr. David Hunt
[pursuant to his answer, 19 February 1990, c. 662.]: I now intend exceptionally to pay extra grant for 1990–91 only to parish councils which face particular difficulties as a result of the exemption from the community charge of United States service personnel living within their area. I understand that in some parishes where United States service men constitute a high proportion of the population, the parish council precept together with contributions to the area safety net has meant that some charge payers are bearing a heavy burden. I hope that this extra grant for 1990–91 will enable these parishes to continue to provide local services without an undue cost falling on charge payers in their area. This additional support will help those parishes most seriously affected by this problem in the first year of the new system.
The grant system provides full compensation at district level for the fact that overseas service men—including those from the United States—are exempt from the community charge. District councils have powers to assist parish councils in meeting the cost of any function which they both may provide. From 1991–92 onwards I would expect district councils to make use of that power to assist parishes with a reduced number of charge payers as a result of the exemption of United States service personnel.