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The important subjects of the powers of the Parish Council under Adoptive Acts. the adoptive Acts, and the acquisition of land by the Parish Council Acquisition of for the purpose of their duties, are separately treated in the two
Adoption by parish meeting.
Notice of Meeting and mode of adoption.
The Adoptive Acts-General Provisions as to Adobtion and Execution—Transfer of Powers under— Provisions of respective Acts.
THE title of "the Adoptive Acts" is given by section 7 of the Local Government Act, 1894, to the following Acts, inclusive of any Acts amending the same, namely,
(a.) THE LIGHTING AND WATCHING ACT, 1833;
(b.) THE BATHS AND WASHHOUSES ACTS, 1846 TO 1882;
(d) THE PUBLIC IMPROVEMENTS ACT, 1860;
(e.) THE PUBLIC LIBRARIES ACT, 1892.
The observations in this chapter almost exclusively relate to rural parishes, as the Act does not generally alter the mode of adoption or the execution of the adoptive Acts in urban districts. But certain provisions enable an urban district council to transfer to themselves the powers of any authority executing the Acts within their district, and direct that, after the appointed day, the approval of the urban district council must be obtained to the adoption of an Act for any part of the district.
General Provisions of the Local Government Act, 1894.
The adoptive Acts come into force only where adopted, and, as from the appointed day, the power of adopting any of them in a rural parish belongs exclusively to the parish meeting (s. 7 (1)).
Not less than fourteen days' notice of the Parish Meeting, at which it is proposed to adopt any of the adoptive Acts, must be given (Schedule 1, Part 1, г. 3). An Act is adopted by means of a resolution passed by the requisite majority at the Parish Meeting.1
Some of the adoptive Acts can be adopted not only for a parish but for a part of a parish, and where that is the case, the Act may be adopted by a Parish Meeting held for that part (s. 7 (4)). In dealing with the subject of Parish Meetings, allusion has been made to the provisions relating to the holding of parish meetings for part of a rural parish.
1 See Chapter II. as to proceedings of Parish Meetings.
See page 20.
The powers conferred on the Parish Meeting in relation to the adoptive Acts are not confined to determining whether any of these Acts shall be put in force in the parish, for, although, as will be Control by shortly shown, the execution of the Acts will usually be entrusted to other hands, the Parish Meeting will be able to control to a considerable extent the amount of the rates and expenditure under the Acts.
Where it is provided by an adoptive Act that a particular majority of the Vestry or other voters should agree to the adoption or abandonment of the Act, or as to other matters, the like majority of the Parish Meeting, or, if a poll is taken, of the parochial electors, will be required, and where the opinion of the voters under any Act was to be ascertained by voting papers, the opinion of the parochial electors is to be ascertained by a poll taken in manner provided by the Local Government Act, 1894 (s. 7 (2)), i.e., as prescribed by Rules to be framed by the Local Government Board under section 48 (8), to which reference is made in dealing with elections under the Act.1 Any one parochial elector is entitled to demand a poll in the case of a resolution submitted to a parish meeting for the adoption of any of the adoptive Acts (Schedule 1, Part 1, r. 7).
Where, under any of the adoptive Acts, the consent or approval of, or other act on the part of the vestry or meeting of ratepayers or voters of a rural parish, was required in relation to any expense or rate, the consent or approval or other act devolves, under the Local Government Act, 1894, on the Parish Meeting in the place of the vestry or meeting of inhabitants or voters (s. 7 (3)). In some instances under the Acts, the Parish Meeting will be required to determine the amount of the rate.
When any of the adoptive Acts is adopted for the whole or part of a rural parish after the appointed day, and the parish has a Parish Council, the Parish Council will be the authority for the execution of the Act (s. 7 (7)); but in parishes without a Parish Council," the Commissioners or other body required to be appointed by the particular adoptive Act will be the authority for its execution, unless, on the application of the Parish Meeting, the County Council confer on that meeting the power of a Parish Council to execute the Act. Where such a power is conferred on the Parish Meeting, they can appoint a committee of their own number to exercise that power. The acts of the committee must be submitted to the Parish Meeting for their approval (s. 19 (3) (10)).
1 See pages 221 and 235.
2 The parishes without a Parish Council, in which any of the adoptive Acts will be in force, are not likely to be very numerous. From a reply given by the President of the Local Government Board to a question asked in the House of Commons on the 7th of December, 1893, it appeared that in very few parishes with a population of less than 200 were any of the adoptive Acts then in force.
Authority for the Acts.
Authority for the execution of the Acts.
Transfer of powers to Parish Council where
Act is in force
The Parish Council, on coming into office, will also, as a matter of course, be the authority for the execution of an adoptive Act in those cases where the area under any existing commissioners or other authority is co-extensive with the parish, and all the powers, duties, and liabilities of that authority will be transferred to the Parish Council (s. 7 (5)). But in cases where the area is not co-extensive with the parish, other provisions will, according to circumstances, take effect after the appointed day.
Where any adoptive Act is in force in a part only of a rural parish, the existing authority under the Act, or the Parish Meeting for that in part of parish. part, may transfer the powers, duties, and liabilities of the authority to the Parish Council. The transfer may be made, subject to any conditions with respect to the execution of the Act, by means of a committee, as to the authority or Parish Meeting seems fit, and any such conditions may be altered by the Parish Meeting (s. 53) (1)). It will be observed that it is not obligatory that the transfer should be made, and that either the existing authority or the Parish Meeting may make the transfer and lay down the conditions for the execution of the Act by a committee of the Parish Council. On the transfer taking effect, the existing authority will cease to exist, and any subsequent alteration of the conditions would have to be made by the Parish Meeting.
than one parish.
Transfer of powers to urban district council and adoption of Acts in district.
Where the area under the existing authority is not comprised within one rural parish, the powers and duties of the authority will be transferred to the Parish Councils of the rural parishes wholly or partly comprised in that area, or, if the area is partly comprised in an urban district,' to those Parish Councils and the District Council of the urban district. Until other provision is made in pursuance of the Act, the transferred powers are to be exercised by a joint committee appointed by those Councils. Where any such rural parish has not a Parish Council, the Parish Meeting will appoint members of such joint committee (s. 53 (2)). This provision, unlike that relating to the case of an adoptive Act being in force in part only of a rural parish, is imperative, and the transfer must take place. So far, the provisions mentioned relate, except where otherwise indicated, to rural parishes; but the Act also contains provisions affecting the adoption and execution of the adoptive Acts in urban parishes which may conveniently be referred to here.
Where there is in any urban district,' or part of an urban district, any authority constituted under any of the adoptive Acts, the Council of that district may resolve that the powers, duties, property, debts, and liabilities of that authority shall be transferred to the Council as from the date specified in the resolution, and upon that date the 1 This does not include a county borough as that is not an "urban district" within the meaning of the Local Government Act, 1894 (ss. 21 (1), 35).
As to joint committees, see page 137.
same will be transferred accordingly, and the authority will cease to exist, and the Council will be the successors of that authority. After the appointed day it will not be possible to adopt an Act for any part of an urban district without the approval of the Council of that district (s. 62). These provisions of section 62 have application to the Burial Acts and the Public Improvements Act, 1860, only, as in an urban district the other adoptive Acts must, without exception, be adopted and executed by the urban authority exclusively. There is no provision in the Act to meet the case of an area under an existing authority comprised in more than one urban district similar to the provision in section 53 (2), see page 86.
The property, debts, and liabilities of any authority under any of Property of superseded the adoptive Acts, whose powers are transferred in pursuance of the authorities. Act, will continue to be the property, debts, and liabilities of the area of that authority, and the proceeds of the property must be credited, and the debts and liabilities and the expenses incurred in respect of the said powers, duties, and liabilities, be charged to the account of the rates or contributions levied in that area, and where that area is situate in more than one parish the sums credited to and paid by each parish must be apportioned accordingly (s. 53 (3)). The apportionment may be made by agreement of the Parish Councils or other authorities interested, and in default of agreement, by arbitration under the Arbitration Act, 1889, (Local Government Act, 1894, s. 68).
It will be the duty of every authority whose powers are transferred Liquidation of to liquidate, as far as practicable before the appointed day, all current debts and liabilities incurred by the authority (s. 86 (2)).
liabilities by superseded authorities.
The officers of any authority under the adoptive Acts, whose powers are transferred to the Parish or District Council, will become officers of superseded the officers of that council, and hold their offices by the same tenure authorities. and upon the same terms and conditions as before, and, while performing the same duties, will receive not less salary or remuneration than before. They will be entitled to compensation for any loss of emoluments (s. 81). Any byelaws or regulations of any authority in force at the time of the transfer will continue in force as if made by the Council to whom the powers are transferred, and may be revoked or altered accordingly (s. 87).
So far as rural parishes are concerned, a means of avoiding Alteration of the stereotyping under all circumstances of existing areas under the adoptive Acts is provided by the Local Government Act, 1894, for on the application of a Parish Council, the County Council may, by order, alter the boundaries of any such area if they consider that the alteration can properly be made without any undue alteration of the incidence of liability to rates and contributions, or of the right to property belonging to the area, regard being had to any corresponding advantage to persons subject to the liability or entitled to the right (s. 53 (4)).
1 See pages 183 to 185 as to existing officers.
2 See page 366.