« ElőzőTovább »
third year, and the order will have full effect, and where a Union is in more than one county, an order may be made by a joint committee of the Councils of those counties; and (b) Where at the passing of the Act the whole of the guardians of any Union, in pursuance of an order of the Local Government Board, retire together at the end of every third year, they are to continue so to retire, unless the County Council, or a joint committee of the County Councils, on the application of the Board of Guardians or of any District Council of a district wholly or partially within the Union, otherwise direct (s. 20 (6)). These provisions as to the term of office of Guardians effect an important change in many Unions. For the most part the whole Board of Guardians have hitherto held office for a year only. Orders of the Local Government Board have in some cases provided for a simultaneous triennial retirement of the whole body of guardians, and in a few instances for the annual retirement of one-third of the guardians. The general rule under the Local Government Act, 1894, is that one-third of the body are to retire each year, subject to the power of the County Council to direct a simultaneous retirement of the whole body in every third year, and subject to the continuance of any similar existing arrangement under an order of the Local Government Board. But the existing arrangement may be altered by the County Council on the application of the Board of Guardians or of any District Council of a district wholly or partly within the Union. In the case of a Union situated wholly or partly in a County Borough, the Council of that Borough will have jurisdiction under section 20 (6).
The jurisdiction of the Local Government Board under the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1842 (5 & 6 Vict. c. 57), and the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 106), to inquire into the right of any person to act as an elective guardian, and to order a new election in the case of casual vacancies in any Board of Guardians, will cease after the appointed day (Sched. 2).
RELATION OF RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL TO GUARDIANS. Guardians as such will not be elected under the Act for any parish or other area in a rural district; but the rural district councillors elected for the parish or other area will be the representatives of that parish or area on the Board of Guardians, and when acting in that capacity are to be deemed to be Guardians of the Poor (s. 24 (3)). It follows from this provision that a person who is qualified to be elected, and to be a rural district councillor, will be a guardian for any area for which he is elected a rural district councillor; although if guardians were separately elected he might not be qualified to be elected and to be a guardian.
The guardians representing the rural area of the union used to form the Rural Sanitary Authority. Under the new Act, the principal authorities in both rural and urban districts are the District Councils, and members of these authorities will be elected as such.
Boards of Guardians.
Term of office and retirement.
Guardians for rural parishes are elected as
or areas are
Qualification, &c., of rural councillors.
Number of rural councillors and guardians.
Parishes divided by Act.
Powers of County Council to alter number of guardians or rural district councillors.
Uniting parishes for elections.
The members of a Rural District Council will represent their parishes or other areas on the Board of Guardians; whilst, for the urban parishes or areas in the union, Guardians will be separately elected as such. Whilst the Act thus makes the constitution of a Board of Guardians for a union dependent, to the extent that the union is rural, upon the elected rural district councillors, it is, on the other hand, so drafted as to make it necessary to refer to the provisions relating to guardians in order to explain the mode of election, term of office, and other matters connected with rural district councillors.
The provisions of the Act, with respect to the qualification, election, and term of office and retirement of guardians, apply to rural district councillors, and any person qualified to be a guardian for a union comprising the district is qualified to be a district councillor for the district (s. 24 (4)). Under this provision the electors have a very wide choice in the election of persons to fill the the office of rural district councillor, see page 121.
The number of councillors for each parish or other area in a rural district must necessarily be the same as the number of guardians for that parish or area (s. 24 (2)) to make this scheme practicable.
The number of guardians is, where the general law applies, fixed by the orders of the Poor Law Commissioners and their successors under the Poor Law Acts [Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834 (4 & 5 Will. IV. c. 76), s. 38], and will remain the same under the new Act until any alteration is made in accordance with its provisions; but where a parish is divided by the Act into two or more new parishes,1 then, subject to any order made by the County Council, there is to be one guardian, and, if it is in a rural district, one district councillor for each of the new parishes (s. 79 (2)).
The Council of each County may, from time to time, by order, fix or alter the number of guardians or rural district councillors to be elected for each parish within their county, and for those purposes 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 Local Government Board (s. 60 (1) ).
The County Council may, under this provision, add any parish in a union, the population of which does not exceed 300, and the aggregate rateable value of which does not exceed the average rateable value of the parishes in the same union, to some adjoining parish in the union for the purpose of the election of guardians [Poor Law Amendment Act, 1868 (31 & 32 Vict. c. 122), s. 6]. As the district councillor elected for a rural area is to represent that area on the Board of Guardians, it is evident that only parishes of the same character must be added to one another. An urban parish should only be added to an urban parish, and a rural parish to a rural parish.
1 See page 10.
Under section 12 of the Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act, 1876 (39 & 40 Vict. c. 61), the County Council may divide any parish into wards for the election of guardians, and determine the number of guardians to be elected for each ward, due regard being had to the value of the rateable property therein; but they have no power to alter a ward that has once been formed, whether under a local Act, or by them under this provision.
Powers of County Council. Wards for
The Council of each county may, for the purpose of regulating Regulation of the retirement of guardians or rural district councillors, in cases retirements. where they retire by thirds, and in order that, as nearly as may be, one-third of the persons elected as guardians for the union, and one-third of the persons elected as rural district councillors for the district, shall retire in each year, direct in which year or years of each triennial period the guardians or district councillors for each parish, ward, or other area in the union or rural district shall retire (s. 60 (2)).
Although, where the guardians and rural district councillors retire by thirds there will be an election every year in some parts of the union or district, there will not be an election every year for each parish. It will be the duty of the County Council to regulate the retirement of guardians and rural district councillors so as to secure the requisite rotation.
than one county.
Where a poor law union is situate in more than one county, Unions in more the power, under section 60, of fixing or altering the number of guardians or rural district councillors, and of regulating the retirement of guardians and district councillors, is to be exercised by a joint committee of the Councils of the counties concerned, but if any of those Councils do not, within two months after request from any other of them, appoint members of such joint committee, the members of the committee actually appointed are to act as the joint committee.
If any order of the joint committee is, within six weeks after the making thereof, objected to by any of the County Councils concerned, or by any committee of any of those Councils authorised in that behalf, it is to be of no effect until confirmed by the Local Government Board (s. 60 (3)).
Where the guardians and rural district councillors retire by thirds, one-third, as nearly as may be, of those first elected under the Act, save as hereinafter mentioned, are to continue in office until the 15th of April, 1896, and then retire; and one-third, as nearly as may be, are to continue in office until the 15th of April, 1897, and then retire; and the remainder are to continue in office until the 15th of April, 1898, and then retire (s. 79 (3)).
The guardians and rural district councillors to retire respectively in April, 1896, and in April, 1897, are to be the guardians and rural
A joint committee of County Councils is appointed under section 81 of the Local Government Act, 1888 (51 and 52 Vict. c. 41).
Retirement of first elected
councillors and guardians.
Retirement of guardians and district
councillors in 1896 and 1897.
Chairman, vicechairman and other additional
Constitution of committee.
district councillors for such parishes, wards, or other areas, as may be determined by the County Council for the purpose of the rotation (s. 79 (4)). Previous mention has been made of the provisions of section 60 which relate to the power of the County Council to regulate the retirement of guardians and of rural district councillors. Under the section a joint committee of the County Councils concerned exercise the power where a union is in more than one county.
Where guardians or rural district councillors retire together at the end of the triennial period, the guardians and district councillors first elected under the Act are to retire on the 15th of April, 1898 (s. 79 (5)). In the case of a union wholly or partly within a county borough, the Town Council of the borough will have jurisdiction under the provisions of sections 60 and 79 above referred to, so far as those sections relate to guardians.
SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS AS TO GUARDIANS.
A Board of Guardians may elect a chairman or vice-chairman, or both, and not more than two other persons, from outside their own body, but from persons qualified to be guardians of the union, and any person so elected will be an additional guardian and member of the Board. On the first election, if a sufficient number of persons who have been ex-officio or nominated guardians of the union, and have actually served as such, are willing to serve, the additional members are to be elected from among those persons (s. 20 (7)). This restriction of choice applies to the first election only. It is not obligatory on the Board of Guardians to elect these additional members, but, if they exercise the power, they must, on the occasion of the first election, give preference to those ex-officio or nominated guardians who have actually served as guardians and are willing to continue to serve. The chairman and vice-chairman will be elected for one year1 (Local Government Act, 1894, s. 59 (1) (2); 38 & 39 Vict. c. 55, Schedule 1, Part 1, r. 3), but the other additional guardians will hold office for three years as provided by subsection (6) of section 20 of the Local Government Act, 1894. Women, whether married or single, if qualified to be guardians (see page 121) may apparently be elected to these offices.
UNION ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE.
The constitution of the Union Assessment Committee, which the Board of Guardians of every union formed under the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834, are required by section 2 of the Union Assessment Committee Act, 1862 (25 & 26 Vict. c. 103), to appoint at their first meeting after the annual election of guardians, from among themselves, will be affected by the abolition of ex-officio
1 See pages 134 and 135.
2 The Local Government Board have advised Guardians that this committee, should be appointed as usual in 1894. See their circular letter of 3rd of April 1894, printed at page 400 of the Appendix.
guardians. Under the Act of 1862 the committee appointed was to Assessment consist of any number not less than six nor more than twelve guardians, and where there was an adequate number of ex-officio guardians one-third at least of the committee was to consist of such ex-officio guardians. The Local Government Act, 1894, repeals the reference to ex-officio guardians, whilst it leaves untouched the provision as to the number of the Assessment Committee (Sched. 2). In future the Committee will consist wholly of elected guardians to the number of not less than six nor more than twelve. It is the duty of the Committee to generally supervise the valuations of rateable hereditaments within the union. The valuation lists are in the first place made by the Overseers, and deposited with the Committee, who hear any objections to the lists, and make any alterations that may be necessary before they finally approve them. An appeal lies to Quarter Sessions against valuation lists.
SCHOOL ATTENDANCE COMMITTEE
A School Attendance Committee appointed by guardians under section 7 of the Elementary Education Act, 1876 [39 & 40 Vict. c. 79], may consist of from six to twelve elected guardians, as the requirement that one-third at least of the committee shall consist of ex-officio guardians, is repealed by the Local Government Act, 1894 (Schedule 2).
POWERS OF GUARDIANS
Constitution of ance committee
If, in the case of a rural parish or of any urban parish in respect to Appointment which the power of appointing overseers has been transferred under the Act, notice in the prescribed form of the appointment of overseers1 is not received by the guardians within three weeks after the 15th of April, or after the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of overseer, as the case may be, it will be the duty of the guardians to make the appointment or fill the vacancy, and any overseer appointed by the guardians will supersede any overseer previously appointed whose appointment has not been notified (s. 50).
The powers of the guardians in respect of the sale, exchange, or Sale, &c., of letting of any parish property, are in a parish having a Parish Council parish property. transferred to that Council (s. 6 (1) (d), and so much of any enactment as authorises the appointment of assistant overseers by a Board of Guardians is repealed as from the appointed day (s. 81 (6)). The assistant overpower of appointing an assistant overseer is conferred on the Parish Council (s. 5 (1)), or Parish Meeting3 (s. 19 (5) ), as the case may be. The Board of Guardians of a union elected in pursuance of the Act Powers under will, save as otherwise provided by an order of the Local Government Board made on the application of those guardians, have the same powers and duties under any local and personal Act as the existing Board of Guardians (s. 60 (5)).