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SECT. 19. Sub-sect. (6).
(6.) The chairman of the parish meeting and the overseers of the parish shall be a body corporate by the name of the chairman and overseers of the parish, and shall have perpetual succession, and may hold land for the purposes of the parish without licence in mortmain; but shall in all respects act in manner directed by the parish meeting, and any act of such body corporate shall be executed under the hands, or, if an instrument under seal is required, under the hands and seals of the said chairman and
INCORPORATION OF THE CHAIRMAN AND OVERSEERS.-It would appear that the functions of the corporate body created by this subsection will be purely ministerial. No powers are conferred upon them except that of executing instruments and (under the next subsection) of holding the legal interest in parish property.
The validity of any instrument executed by them, will, it appears, depend upon their being authorised to execute it by the parish meeting. That meeting is itself capable of executing instruments (subsection (11)), and it would appear that the cases in which an instrument executed by the chairman and overseers will be necessary are limited to the execution of instruments relating to property which is vested in them by sub-section (7).
It is suggested that the power given to the corporate body created by this clause of holding land for the purposes of the parish will enable that body to hold gifts of land for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish in the same way as a parish council where it exists may hold such gifts under section 8, sub-section (1) (h), ante, p. 53.
(7.) The legal interest in all property which under this Act would, if there were a parish council, be vested on the appointed day in the parish council shall vest in the said body corporate of the chairman and overseers of the parish, subject to all trusts and liabilities affecting the same, and all persons concerned shall make or concur in making such transfers (if any) as are requisite to give effect to this enactment;
VESTING OF PARISH PROPERTY IN THE CHAIRMAN AND OVERSEERS. The property referred to is property which before the appointed day was vested in the overseers or churchwardens and overseers of the parish. See ante, p. 28, section 5, sub-section (2) (c), and note.
Amongst other property which will vest in the chairman and overseers of a small parish, under the provision in the text, is property held by the overseers or churchwardens and overseers for a charity other than an ecclesiastical charity. See ante, p. 28, note to section 5, sub-section (2) (c).
(8.) The provisions of this Act with respect to the Sub-sect. (8). stopping or diversion of a public right of way, or the declaring of a highway to be unnecessary and not repairable at the public expense, and with respect to a complaint to a county council of a default by a district council, shall apply, with the substitution of the parish meeting for the parish council;
RIGHTS OF WAY AND HIGHWAYS.-As to the powers of a parish council as to these matters, see ante, p. 91, section 13, sub-section (1), and notes. The power given by sub-section (2) of that section to a parish council to undertake the repair and maintenance of footpaths is not conferred upon the parish meeting of a small parish.
COMPLAINT TO COUNTY COUNCIL OF DEFAULT BY DISTRICT COUNCIL.-As to this, see ante, p. 105, section 16, and note. The provisions of sub-section (3) of that section, as to notice by the district council to the council of a parish of a scheme for a sewerage or water supply affecting the parish, is not made applicable by the text to a parish governed by a parish meeting.
(9.) A rate levied for defraying the expenses of the Sub-sect. (9). parish meeting (when added to expenses under
any of the adoptive Acts) shall not exceed six-
LIMIT OF EXPENDITURE.—AS has been remarked already the adoption of any of the adoptive Acts in one of these small parishes is not likely to be of common occurrence. Where any such Act has been adopted the margin of expenditure remaining to the parish meeting will not be large. Indeed, even where no adoption of an Act has taken place the produce of a sixpenny rate will not enable the parish meeting to incur any heavy expense; but the limited powers conferred upon the parish meeting by this section do not afford much scope for expenditure, and it was no doubt the intention of the Legislature to keep the outlay of these small parishes within very narrow limits. It must be remembered, however, that under the next sub-section the parish meeting can, if the county council think it desirable, acquire any of the powers of a parish council under this Act.
It will be observed that, although the expenses under any adoptive Act are to be considered for the purpose of ascertaining whether the
SECT. 19. sixpenny limit is being approached, those expenses still remain distinct from the expenses of the parish meeting; the incidence of charge of any rate levied to defray them is to remain unaltered by this Act, and the rate is to be made and charged as heretofore. See ante, section 7, sub-section (6), and note.
Sub-sect. (10). (10.) On the application of the parish meeting the county council may confer on that meeting any
of the powers conferred on a parish council by this Act;
ADDITIONAL POWERS.-The exercise of any powers which may be conferred upon a parish meeting under this section will, of course, be controlled by the limit which is placed upon the expenditure of the parish meeting by the last sub-section; it is, moreover, suggested that it would be the duty of the county council, before making an order under this sub-section, to inquire into the resources of the parish, and to ascertain how nearly the limit had already been approached.
(11.) Any act of the parish meeting may be signified by an instrument executed at the meeting under the hands, or, if an instrument under seal is required, under the hands and seals of the chairman presiding at the meeting and two other parochial electors present at the meeting.
EXECUTION OF INSTRUMENTS BY THE PARISH MEETING.-Acts which would require the execution of an instrument in writing by a parish meeting would include any appointment made under sub-sections (3), (4), or (5) of this section. Any instrument dealing with property, the legal interest in which is vested in the body corporate of the chairman and overseers, must be executed by that body under the direction of the parish meeting in the manner directed by sub-section (6), and a resolution of the parish meeting would be a sufficient direction for that purpose. Schedule I., Part 3, Rules 1-3, provide for the keeping of minutes of the proceedings of a parish meeting and for the receipt in evidence of a minute signed at the meeting or at the next ensuing meeting by "a person describing himself as or appearing to be chairman of the meeting at which the minute is signed."
The chairman "presiding at the meeting" may be either the chairman for the year (sub-section (1) of this section) or a chairman appointed for the purposes of that particular meeting under Schedule I., Part 1, Rule (10); the execution of an instrument at a meeting by either of these chairmen who may happen to preside at the meeting, and by two parochial electors also present, is a sufficient compliance with the requirements of this sub-section. Rule (4) of Schedule I., Part 3, relates to the proof of the due execution of instruments purporting to be executed by the chairman and two other members of a parish meeting.
GUARDIANS AND DISTRICT COUNCILS.
20. As from the appointed day the following provisions SECT. 20. shall apply to boards of guardians:-
(1.) There shall be no ex officio or nominated guardians: qualification of guardians.
EX OFFICIO GUARDIANS.-It was provided by 4 & 5 Will. 4, c. 76, s. 38, as amended by 7 & 8 Vict. c. 101, s. 24, that every justice of the peace residing in any parish, and acting for the county, riding, or division in which the same was situate, should be an ex officio guardian of the united or common workhouse, and should be entitled, if he thought fit, to act as a member of the board of guardians in addition to and in like manner as elected guardian. The text abolishes the right of justices to act as ex officio guardians, and the two sections referred to in this note are repealed by section 89 in so far as they relate to ex officio guardians.
NOMINATED GUARDIANS.-Guardians were not, however, nominated under any general Act, except in the metropolis, under 30 Vict. c. 6, s. 79. By that section the Local Government Board was empowered to nominate to be members of a board of guardians in the metropolis such persons as they thought fit from any justices of the peace for any county or place resident in the union or parish, or from among ratepayers resident therein and assessed to the poor rate therein on an annual rateable value of not less than 40%., or partly from one and partly from the other, but so that the number of guardians so nominated did not, together with the ex officio guardians, ever exceed one-third of the full number of the elected guardians. The 30 Vict. c. 6, section 79, is repealed by section 89 of this Act, and as section 30 of this Act (post) applies to the metropolis all the provisions relating to guardians it follows that there as elsewhere there will not in future be any nominated guardians.
(2.) A person shall not be qualified to be elected or to Sub-sect. (2). be a guardian for a poor law union unless he is a parochial elector of some parish within the union, or has during the whole of the twelve months preceding the election resided in the union, or in the case of a guardian for a parish wholly or partly situate within the area of a borough, whether a county borough or not, is qualified to be elected a councillor for that borough, and no person shall be disqualified by sex or marriage, for being elected or being a guardian. So much of any enactment, whether in a public, general, or local and personal Act, as
relates to the qualification of a guardian shall be repealed:
PAROCHIAL ELECTORS.-The parochial electors are the persons described in section 2, sub-section (1), ante, p. 5. See also section 75 as to the expression "parochial elector" when used with reference to a parish in an urban district.
RESIDENCE. It has been said that the meaning of the word "residence" must be determined with reference to the purpose of the statute in which it is used. Blackwell v. England, 27 L. J. Q. B. 124. In the text it appears to mean a personal dwelling within the union, as distinguished from the mere occupation of property. For some purposes a person may have more than one residence; thus he may have houses in different places, each of which may be called his residence (see Walcot v. Boyfield, 1 Kay 534; 18 Jur. 570); but it may be doubted whether, for purposes of this Act, a man can reside in more than one place.
Further, the residence must be during the whole of the twelve months preceding the election. This provision resembles that in section 9 of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, and as but for the passing of the 48 Vict. c. 9 the letting of a house furnished for any part of the twelve months disqualified a person from being a burgess, so any similar letting would disqualify a person from being elected or being a guardian if his only qualification were residence. See further on this subject the notes to section 3, sub-section (1), ante.
COUNTY BOROUGHS.-The provisions of this Act relating to guardians apply to county boroughs. See section 30, post.
QUALIFICATION OF BOROUGH COUNCILLOR.-The qualification of the councillor of a borough depends upon sections 11 and 12 of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882. See the text of these sections in "Arnold's Municipal Corporations," or in " Macmorran's Local Government Act, 1888," p. 211.
Referring to this sub-section the Local Government Board have expressed an opinion in the following terms :—
There are three alternative qualifications for the office of guardian mentioned in section 20 (2) of the Act.
"A person will be qualified if-(1.) he is a parochial elector of some parish within the poor law union, or (2) he has during the whole of the twelve months preceding the election resided in the union, or (3) in the case of a guardian for a parish wholly or partly situate within the area of a borough, he is qualified to be elected a councillor of that borough. "Clergymen and ministers of a dissenting congregation could not, in view of section 12 (1) of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, possess the last of these qualifications, but they might be elected as guardians if they possessed either of the other qualifications above mentioned."
QUALIFICATION OF WOMEN.-A woman may be registered as a county elector, and, if so registered, will be a parochial elector under section 2, sub-section (1), ante, p. 5. But hitherto a married woman has