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I am directed by the Local Government Board to draw the attention of the Town Council to certain provisions of the Local Government Act, 1894, under which powers and duties will devolve on the Council for the purpose of bringing the Act into operation within the borough.

These provisions have reference to the alteration of areas and boundaries, and the election of guardians. Important powers in relation to these matters are conferred by the Act on county councils, and under section 75 (2) the expression" county council," when used in the Act, includes, unless the context otherwise requires, the council of a county borough.

Under section 83, it is the duty of the town council of every county borough to exercise all such of their powers as may be requisite for bringing the Act into full operation within the borough as soon as may be after its passing.

Section 84 provides that the first elections of guardians under the Act shall be held on the 8th November next, or such later date or dates in the present year as the Board may fix, and the persons elected are to come into office on the second Thursday next after their election, or such other day not more than seven days earlier or later as may be fixed by or in pursuance of rules made by the Board under the Act in relation to their election. It is important that alterations which may affect the preparation of the lists of voters should be made sufficiently early to enable the lists to be properly prepared, and it is consequently provided by sub-section (3) of section 84 that every division into wards or alteration of the boundaries of any parish or union or district which is to affect the first election shall, if parishes or parts for which the registers of parochial electors will be made are affected, be made, so far as practicable, before the 1st of July next.

By "parochial electors" are meant, with reference to a parish in a county borough, the persons who would be the parochial electors of the parish if it were a rural parish, namely, the persons registered in such portion either of the local government register of electors or of the parliamentary register of electors as relates to the parish. (Sections 2 (1) and 75.)

Many of the provisions of the Act referred to in this circular

30th April, 1894.

CIRCULAR. are to take effect from the "appointed day." Subject as mentioned in the Act, this day, for the purpose of elections, is defined as the day or respective days fixed for the first elections under the Act, or such prior day as may be necessary for the purpose of giving notices or doing other acts preliminary to such elections, and, for the purpose of the powers, duties, and liabilities of councils or other bodies elected under the Act, or other matters not specifically mentioned, it will be the day on which the members first elected come into office. (Section 84.)

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The provisions which should first receive the attention of the Town Council are those contained in Part III. of the Act, which relate to areas and boundaries.

Sub-section (1) of section 36 provides (amongst other things) as follows:-

For the purpose of carrying this Act into effect in the case of-
(a.) Every parish
which at the passing of this Act
is situate partly within and partly without an adminis-
trative county; and

(b.) Every parish which at the passing of this Act is situate partly within and partly without a sanitary district; every county council shall forthwith take into consideration every such case within their county; and whether any proposal has or has not been made as mentioned in section 57 of the Local Government Act, 1888, shall, as soon as practicable, in accordance with that section, cause inquiries to be made and notices given, and make such orders, if any, as they deem most suitable for carrying into effect the present Act in accordance with the following provisions, namely:

(i.) The whole of each parish shall be within the same administrative county; and

(ii.) The whole of each parish shall, unless the county council for special reasons otherwise direct, be within the same county district.

The expression "county district" does not include a county borough; but, with that exception, includes every urban and rural district, whether a borough or not, i.e., every urban and rural sanitary district within the meaning of the Public Health Act, 1875, other than a county borough. (Section 21.)

By sub-section (11) of section 36, it is provided that, where at the passing of the Act a parish is situate in more than one county, a joint committee of the councils of the several counties com

prising the parish shall act under the section. The expression CIRCULAR.

1894.

county" includes a county borough. (Section 75.) The expres- 30th April, sion "administrative county" only includes a county borough where this is expressly stated (section 100 of the Local Government Act, 1888, and section 75 of the Local Government Act, 1894); but a parish partly within and partly without a county borough would, the Board believe, be in every case a parish partly within and partly without an administrative county, as defined by the Act of 1888. It would in any case be a parish partly within and partly without a sanitary district. Consequently it will be necessary that joint committees of the councils of the county and county borough should be appointed to act under section 36, with respect to every parish which is now partly within and partly without a county borough.

The appointment by the council of each county or county borough of representatives on any joint committee for the purposes of section 36 is to be made within two months after request from any other of the councils interested. If any of the councils fail to appoint members of the committee within that period, the members actually appointed are to act. Any question relating to the constitution or procedure of the joint committee as to which the councils concerned are unable to agree is to be determined by the Board.

If a parish is partly within a county borough and partly within a rural sanitary district, and no action is taken under section 36 prior to the appointed day, the parish will as from that date be divided by the Act, the part within the rural district and the part without being constituted separate parishes by sub-section (3) of section 1.

Sub-section (2) of section 36 provides that where a parish is at the passing of the Act situate in more than one urban district, the parts of the parish in each such district shall, as from the appointed day, unless the county council for special reasons otherwise direct, and subject to any alteration of area made by or in pursuance of this or any other Act, be separate parishes in like manner as if they had been constituted separate parishes under the Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act, 1876, and he Acts amending the same.

As regards the manner in which these cases might be dealt with by the joint committee, it is to be borne in mind that section 36 expressly directs that the orders shall be so made that the whole of each parish shall be within the same administrative county. An order could not therefore be made directing that a parish, now partly within a county borough and partly within an administrative county, should so remain. The parts of the parish

CIRCULAR. might be added to other parishes by orders under the section, instead of being allowed to become separate parishes in pursuance of the Act.

30th April, 1894.

In any case, such as those mentioned above, the boundary of any borough in which the parish is partly situated could, on the necessary application, be altered by an order of the Board under section 54 of the Local Government Act, 1888.

Where a parish is divided by the Act into two or more new parishes, sub-section (9) of section 36 directs that these parishes shall, until it is otherwise provided, be included in the same poor law union in which the original parish was included, and subsection (2) of section 79 directs that, subject to any order made by the county council, there shall be one guardian, and in the case of a new parish in a rural district, one district councillor for each of the new parishes. Many of the parishes which will be divided by the Act are at present entitled to more than two guardians, and in such cases, if a county borough is concerned, it is desirable that a joint committee of the county and town councils should be appointed to settle the future representation of the new parishes.

The town councils of county boroughs will have power to give names to any new parishes formed by the Act within such boroughs, although no order for any alteration of area has been made. (Section 55 (2).)

It is provided by sub-section (11) of section 79 that the overseers of any parish divided by the Act shall, until the first appointment of overseers next after the appointed day, continue in office as if they were overseers of each part of the parish, which by reason of such division becomes a separate parish.

It is to be observed that when parishes are divided, and new parishes are constituted by the Act, whether under section 1 (3), or section 36 (2), they are to be separate parishes in like manner as if they had been constituted separate parishes under the Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act, 1876, and the Acts amending the same. The formation of parishes under the Acts referred to has no effect as regards the constitution of school districts, without the sanction of the Education Department.

Where the alteration of the boundary of any parish, or the division thereof, or the union thereof, or of part thereof with another parish, seems expedient for any of the purposes of the Act, provision for such alteration, division, or union, may be made by an order of the county council or of a joint committee of county councils, under section 57 of the Act of 1888. (Section 36 (8) and (11).)

The provisions of section 59 of the Local Government Act,

30th April,

1894.

1888, will apply to any order for the purposes of the present Act CIRCULAR. that may be made under section 57 of that Act, and section 69 of the new Act provides that in any case where an alteration of any area is made by the Act, an Order may be made, in the case of an area situate in more than one county, by a joint committee of county councils, for any of the matters mentioned in section 59 of the Act of 1888. Under these powers adjustments may be made of any property, debts, and liabilities affected by the alteration, and directions may be given for effecting any subsidiary arrangements rendered necessary by the alteration.

Sub-section (12) of section 36 requires that every report made by the Boundary Commissioners under the Local Government Boundaries Act, 1887, shall be laid before the council of any borough affected by that report, and before any joint committee of the councils of counties or county boroughs. The sub-section further provides that it shall be the duty of the councils and joint committees to take these reports into consideration before framing any order under the powers conferred on them by the Act. The town council or joint committee will not be bound to give effect to the recommendations of the Commissioners, but the reports in question will be found to be of assistance in arriving at a decision in regard to any matter dealt with therein.

II.-GUARDIANS.

The Act makes important alterations in the qualification, mode of election, and retirement of guardians; and the Board desire to refer the town council generally to the provisions of section 20 on these matters. It may be observed that guardians will only be elected in urban parishes. In a rural parish one or more rural district councillors will be elected, who will represent the parish on the board of guardians. (Section 24 (3).)

Under sub-section (1) of section 60 of the Act, the town council of a county borough will, where a union or parish under a separate board of guardians is co-extensive with the borough, or wholly included in it, have power to fix or alter the number of guardians to be elected for any parish comprised in the union or for the separate parish, as the case may be; and it is provided that for those purposes the council may exercise powers of adding parishes to each other and dividing parishes into wards, similar to those which by the Acts relating to the relief of the poor are, for the purpose of the election of guardians, vested in the Board.

The power to add parishes to each other for the purpose of the election of guardians is conferred on the Board by section 6 of the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. c. 122). That

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