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The parish of Woolwich was constituted a district under the Public Woolwich. Health Act, 1848 (11 & 12 Vict. c. 63), by a provisional order confirmed by the 15 & 16 Vict. c. 69. Its Local Board was elected in practically the same manner as other Local Boards under the Public Health Act, 1875, were elected, and the same provisions as to the qualifications of electors and of members of the Local Board were in force.
Section 31 of the Local Government Act, 1894, directs that the Application of provisions of the Act with respect to the qualification of the electors Act to London of urban district councillors, and of the persons to be elected, and with respect to the mode of conducting the election, shall apply as if members of the Local Board of Woolwich, and the Vestries elected under the Metropolis Management Acts, 1855 to 1890, or any Act amending those Acts, and the auditors for parishes elected under those Acts were urban district councillors. So far as respects the qualification of persons to be elected, the provisions referred to are also to apply as if members of the District Boards under those Acts were urban district councillors; but members of District Boards will continue to be elected in the manner provided by the Metropolis Management Act, 1855. A member of a District Board or of a Vestry, or an auditor, must either be a parochial elector of some parish within the district, or have resided during the whole of the twelve months preceding the day of nomination (s. 75 (2)) in the district. Sex or marriage is not to be a disqualification for being elected or being a member of a Vestry or District Board1 (s. 23 (2)). The disqualifications imposed by the Act for holding the office of district councillors apply to members of the Local Board of Woolwich 'and of the Vestries, and to the auditors (s. 46 (9)); but not to members of the District Boards.
The electors of members of the Vestry and of the auditors will be the "parochial electors," who in London will be those persons who, if the particular parish were a rural parish, would be the parochial electors of that parish. Who are the parochial electors in rural parishes is shown on page 206.
The mode of conducting elections under the Act is explained on pages 222 to 226.
No person is in future to be an ex-officio chairman of any of the Vestries elected under the Metropolis Management Acts (Local Government Act, 1894, s. 31 (1)); but the ex-officio members of the Vestries will be retained, as the provision of the Act abolishing exofficio members of urban authorities is not made applicable to the London Vestries. This retention of the incumbent and churchwardens, and in some parishes of district rectors, as ex-officio members of the Vestry is justified on the ground that the London Vestries have certain duties, powers, and privileges relating to the affairs of the church (25 & 26 Vict. c. 102, S. 3).
Chairman and bers of Vestry.
Term of office.
The provision under which the incumbent will cease to be ex-officio chairman of the Vestry applies to every parish in Schedules A and B of the Metropolis Management Act, 1855, but the following provision requiring the election of a chairman for the year applies only to those Vestries who do not elect members of District Boards. In a parish under a District Board the members present at a meeting of the Vestry must always elect a chairman for the occasion.
Each of the Vestries, except those electing District Boards, and each of the District Boards and the Local Board of Woolwich, are required at their first meeting after the annual election of members to elect a chairman for the year, and the provisions of the Act with respect to chairmen of Urban District Councils being justices' are to apply as if the said Vestries and Boards were Urban District Councils (s. 31 (2)). The respective chairmen will be justices of the county of London. No time is expressly mentioned in subsection (2) of section 31 for the subsection coming into operation, but so far as the Vestries and the Local Board are concerned the subsection cannot apply until after the appointed day, as there will be no annual election of their members in 1894 until November. This is not the case with District Boards, whose members will be elected in the year 1894 on the first Wednesday in June as usual. There is nothing in the enactment, so far as the chairman of a District Board is concerned, to postpone its commencement, and the first chairman for the year should be elected at the first meeting in 1894 of a District Board after the June election. The chairman so elected seems entitled to become at once a justice of London subject to the provisions of section 22 of the Local Government Act, 1894. That section also is not limited as to the time of its commencement, although, of course, there will be no chairman of a District Council before November.
The provisions of section 41 of the Metropolis Management Act, 1855, enabling a District Board to elect a chairman of the meeting, will apply only in the case of the absence of the chairman of the District Board elected under the new Act.
Nothing in any local and personal Act is to prevent any Vestry in the county of London from holding its meeting at such time as may be directed by the Vestry (s. 31 (2) (3)).
The term of office of a vestryman, and of a member of a District Board or of the Local Board of Woolwich, and of an auditor, is not affected by the new Act, but will continue to be governed by the provisions of the Metropolis Management Act, 1855, to which reference has been previously made. No power is conferred on the London County Council to direct that the whole body of vestrymen, or of members of a District Board, or of the Local Board, should retire simultaneously. See the provision as to this in the case of Urban District Councils, page 132.
1 See page 135.
The first elections of London vestrymen and auditors and members Elections in 1894 of the Local Board of Woolwich under the Act, will be held on the 8th of November, 1894, or such later date or dates in 1894 as the Local Government Board may fix', and the persons elected will 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 the rules made by the Local Government Board under the Act in relation to their election (s. 84).
office of vestry. men and
Persons who, at the passing of the Act, are members of the Woolwich Local Board and of any Vestry under the Metropolis Management Acts, or are auditors under those Acts, are continued in members of the office until the day on which the first members and auditors elected under the Act come into office, as if the term of office for which they were elected expired on that day, and consequently the usual annual election of such members and auditors respectively will not take place in 1894.
Of the members of the Local Board and Vestries first elected Retirement of first elected under the Act, the first annual retirement will take place at the members. date of the annual election in the year 1896. The mode of determining those members who are to retire in 1896 and 1897 is the same as in the case of urban district councillors except that the date of the annual election is to be substituted for the 15th of April (s. 79 (3) (6) (10)). In the case of the Woolwich Local Board the annual election is in April.
The first meeting of a Vestry elected under the Act and of the First meeting in Woolwich Local Board will be convened by the returning officer 1894. (s. 79 (9)). Any difficulty that arises with respect to the first meeting may be removed by an order of the County Council (s. 80 (1) ).
Powers and duties of District Councils--Transfer of
THE powers and duties of District Councils under the Local Gov-
I. Rural District Councils.
II. Urban and Rural District Councils.
In the former group, the powers and duties are for the most part transferred powers and duties derived from the Sanitary and Highway Authorities whom the Rural District Council succeed. The latter group comprises new additional powers conferred on both Urban and Rural District Councils, and certain administrative functions transferred from Justices in Petty and Quarter Sessions.
I.—Rural District Councils.
A Rural District Council from the appointed day become the successors of the Rural Sanitary Authority in the District and all the powers, duties, and liabilities of the superseded authority are transferred to the Rural District Council (s. 25 (1)). In other words the old Rural Sanitary Authorities are transformed into the new Rural District Councils, who will exercise all the powers and duties of the former authorities under the Public Health Acts and other statutes.
Among the matters with which Rural District Councils deal under the Public Health Acts, are:-Sewerage and Drainage, Scavenging and Cleansing, Water Supply, Regulation of Cellar Dwellings and Lodging-houses, Nuisances, Diseased and Unwholesome Meat and Food, Infectious Diseases, and the provision of Hospitals and Cemeteries. They have also powers under various other Acts, e.g. :-The Allotments Acts, The Canal Boats Acts, The Housing of the Working Classes Acts, The Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts, and the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts.
In addition to transferring to the Rural District Councils the powers Sanitary Powers. and duties of the superseded Rural Sanitary Authorities, the new Act Powers of an provides more effective machinery for conferring on the Rural District Councils powers which are ordinarily possessed by Urban Authorities only.
Section 276 of the Public Health Act, 18751 enables the Local Public Health Act, 1875. Government Board, on the application of a Rural District Council or of persons rated to the poor, the assessment of whose hereditaments amounts at the least to one-tenth of the rateable value of the district or of any contributory place therein, by order to declare any provisions of the Act in force in urban districts to be in force in such rural district or contributory place, and to invest the District Council with all or any of the powers and duties of an urban authority under the Act.
The order may be made unconditionally, or subject to any conditions as to the time, portion of the district, or manner during at and in which the powers and duties are to be exercised and attach, and when the application for the order is made by the ratepayers of any contributory place, the order is not to extend beyond the limits of the place. A "contributory place" under the Act is a Special Drainage "Contributory District, and every parish or part of a parish in the rural district not comprised in the area of a Special Drainage District. Where a parish is partly in a Special Drainage District, the part without the district forms a separate contributory place (s. 229). A Special Drainage District may be constituted of any portion of the area within the jurisdiction of a Rural District Council (s. 277).
Among the powers of an urban authority under the Public Health Acts which can thus be conferred on a Rural District Council may be mentioned, powers with respect to Offensive Trades, Streets, New Buildings, Lighting, Public Pleasure Grounds, Hackney Carriages and Slaughter Houses.
Orders under section 276 of the Public Health Act, 1875, may be Other Acts. made to apply the provisions of certain other Acts to Rural Districts. Any provisions of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1890 (53 & 54 Vict. c. 59) in force in urban districts only (s. 5), and the provisions of the Private Street Works Act, 1892 (55 & 56 Vict. c. 57), s. 4, may be thus extended to rural districts.
The powers conferred on the Local Government Board by section 276 of the Act of 1875, or by any enactment applying that section, may now be exercised not only on the application mentioned in the section, but also on the application of a County Council, or with respect to any parish or part of a parish on the application of the Parish Council of that parish (Local Government Act, 1894, s. 25 (7)).
1 This Section is reprinted at page 325 of the Appendix.