§ Mr. Channon
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to ensure that all outstanding appeals against business rate valuations in Southend will be heard by the end of June 1992.
§ Mr. Heseltine
Responsibility for business rate appeals rests with valuation and community charge tribunals, which are independent bodies. The Essex (South) tribunal had 8,500 appeals outstanding against the 1990 list as at 30 November. Some 2,000 of these were in respect of properties in Southend. The prioritisation and timing of cases is a matter for the tribunal and I have no formal power to intervene. My Department nevertheless wrote to tribunals in England last June urging them to progress 1990 list appeals as quickly as possible.