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Incidence of rates.
Form of demand
Compulsory acquisition of land.
Audit of accounts.
Construction of enactments.
The Local Government Act will not otherwise alter the incidence of charge of any rate levied to defray expenses under any of the adoptive Acts, and rates will continue to be made and charged as before, and property applicable to the payment of such expenses will continue to be so applicable (s. 7 (6)).
Expenses under the adoptive Acts will not be reckoned as expenses of the Parish Council for the purpose of the limitation of the rate to sixpence in the pound under section 11 (3), but where there is no Parish Council, these expenses will be included as expenses of the Parish Meeting for the purpose of the similar limitation under section 19 (9) of the rate levied for defraying the expenses of that Meeting. The limitations on rates laid down by some of the adoptive Acts are referred to under the respective Acts.
The demand note for any rate levied for defraying the expenses of a Parish Council or Parish Meeting must state in the prescribed form the proportion (if any) of the rate levied for the purpose of any of the adoptive Acts (s. 11 (5)).
A Parish Council who borrow for the purposes of any of the adoptive Acts must do so in accordance with the Local Government Act, but the charge for the purpose of any of the adoptive Acts will ultimately be on the rate applicable to the purposes of that Act (s. 12 (3)). As pointed out in Chapter IV, the power of a Parish Council to borrow for the purposes of the adoptive Acts may be wider under the new Act than it would have been under the adoptive Acts.1
A Parish Council executing the Acts can acquire land compulsorily under the Local Government Act, 1894, for the purposes of those Acts.2 Where the Acts authorised the purchase of land it was by agreement only.
Another effect brought about by the Parish Council executing the Acts is that the accounts thereby become subject to audit by the district auditor. With the exception of accounts of Public Library Commissioners the accounts of authorities are not, under the adoptive Acts, subject to government audit.
The general provision in section 52 (5) of the Local Government Act, 1894, directing that all enactments in any Act, whether general or local and personal, relating to any powers, duties, or liabilities transferred by the Act to a Parish Council or Parish Meeting from the vestry, or overseers, or churchwardens and overseers, are, subject to the provisions of the Act, and, so far as circumstances admit, to be construed as if any reference therein to the vestry, or to the overseers, or to the churchwardens and overseers, referred to the Parish Council or Parish Meeting as the case requires, and the enactments are to be construed with such modifications as may be necessary for carrying the Act into effect, has application to the construction of the adoptive Acts.
Provisions of and Procedure under the respective adoptive Acts, as modified by the Local Government Act, 1894.
In the following exposition of the provisions of the adoptive Acts the details of the provisions are dealt with at such length as to indicate the machinery of their adoption and execution, and the main objects which their adoption is intended to secure.
The Lighting and Watching Act, 1833.
(3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 90).
This Act may be adopted by a majority of two-thirds of the votes Adoption. of the parochial electors of any parish present at a Parish Meeting or at a poll consequent thereon (3 & 4 Will. IV. c. 90, s. 8). If a poll is taken, the two-thirds majority must also be a clear majority of all the parochial electors of the parish (s. 12).
Its provisions may be adopted as to lighting or as to watching, or as to lighting and watching, as may be deemed expedient (s. 71), and it may be adopted for a part only of a parish by a Parish Meeting held for that part (s. 73).
If the Parish Meeting convened to adopt the Act do not determine to adopt it, one year must elapse before the question of the adoption of the Act can be again submitted to the Parish Meeting (s. 16). If the Act is adopted for a rural parish without a Parish Council, the Parish Meeting must forthwith determine that a certain number of inspectors, not being more than twelve nor less than three, shall be elected to carry the purposes of the Act into effect (s. 8).
The inspectors must be resident ratepayers, assessed to the poor rate on an annual value of £15 (s. 17). One-third of their number go out of office annually, and their places are filled at the annual parish meeting for the purposes of the Act. The outgoing inspectors are eligible for re-election (s. 19). Casual vacancies must be filled immediately when the number of inspectors is reduced to less than three (s. 21). The inspectors must meet on the first Monday in every month at noon at some convenient place or office, previously publicly notified (s. 22). One-third of the body form a quorum, except in the case where only three inspectors have been appointed, when the quorum is two (s. 23).
The inspectors elected by two or more adjoining parishes may unite for the better carrying into effect the purposes of the Act (s. 61). a parish with a Parish Council, this and other provisions of the Act would, after the adoption of the Act, be carried into execution by that Council.
Interval between adopt.
Election of where no Parish Council.
The inspectors or Parish Council, as the case may be, may provide Fire engines. and keep up fire engines, with pipes and other utensils proper for the same, and may provide proper places for keeping the same, and may place such engines under the care of some proper person or persons,
Lighting and Watching Act.
Acquisition of land.
and make him or them such allowance for his or their trouble as may be thought reasonable (s. 44).
They may contract with any person or company for lighting the streets, roads, and other places either with electricity, gas, oil, or with any other material, or in any other manner, or for furnishing lamps, lamp irons, lamp posts, watchboxes, posts, chains, pales, rails, and other necessary things (s. 57).
The provisions of sections 39 to 43 of the Act authorising the appointment of watchmen and determining their duties are now practically obsolete. Watchmen under the Act are superseded where a county police are established.
Land and buildings may be purchased or rented for the purposes of the Act (s. 59), but the Act confers no compulsory powers of acquisition. A Parish Council executing the Act would be able to purchase land compulsorily under section 9 of the Local Government Act, 1894.1
The inspectors or Parish Council may appoint and pay a treasurer and other officers, and hire and rent offices (s. 24). The treasurer must give security to their satisfaction (s. 25).
The Act requires the inspectors within one month next after the expiration of twelve months from the day of adoption of the Act to give notice to the churchwardens that they are ready to produce their accounts and vouchers, and thereupon the churchwardens are to give notice of a meeting of ratepayers within ten days of receipt of such notice, for the purpose of producing such accounts, and for the election of inspectors, and for determining the amount of money to be raised for the current year. In the following years the meeting is to be held on the same day, except when it falls on a Sunday, and then on the day following (s. 18).
The accounts and vouchers are to be verified by a statutory declaration made before two justices by the inspectors (s 19).
The provisions of sections 18 and 19 of the Lighting and Watching Act require some consideration in view of the altered circumstances brought about by the Local Government Act. Few parishes with a
a population so small as not to have a Parish Council are likely to adopt the Act, and where a parish has a Parish Council that Council will, as mentioned before, be substituted for the inspectors. In that case the Parish Council should take the necessary steps to convene the annual assembly of the Parish Meeting for the purpose of the Act at such a time as the ratepayers are directed to meet by the Act, but of course no inspectors will be appointed by that meeting. So far as
1 As to such compulsory purchase, see Chapter VI.
Parish Councils are concerned, the provisions of the Local Government Act relating to their accounts will in practice supersede the Watching Act. provisions of the Act of 1833 concerning the same matter. In the Annual Meeting. case of a parish without a Council the procedure to be followed under the Lighting and Watching Act, 1833, as modified by the Local Government Act, 1894, is by no means clear. The inspectors will be performing their statutory duty if they communicate, as directed by the Act of 1833, to the churchwardens, for the powers and duties of the churchwardens under the Act are not affected by the Act of 1894, where there is no Parish Council. The churchwardens as such have no power to convene a Parish Meeting, and reliance must therefore be placed on the persons authorised to convene Parish Meetings " voluntarily undertaking to convene the annual assembly of the Parish Meeting for the purpose of the Lighting and Watching Act.
It is important that such a Parish Meeting should be convened every year, as the total amount of money to be raised in any one year for the purpose of the Act, is to be fixed and determined by the Parish Meeting at their first meeting and subsequent yearly meeting (3 & 4 Will. IV., c. 90, s. 9). The expenses are paid out of a rate levied by Expenses. the overseers in the same manner as a poor rate, but the owners and occupiers of houses, buildings, and property (other than land) are to be rated at and pay a rate in the pound three times greater than that at which the owners and occupiers of land are to be rated at and pay (s. 33). Tithes are assessable as land (14 & 15 Vict., c. 50).
The Act confers no borrowing powers. Such powers seem un- Borrowing.
After the expiration of three years from the adoption of the Act Abandonment the Parish Meeting may determine that from and after a certain date of Act. the Act shall no longer be in force in the parish (3 & 4 Will. IV., c. 90, s. 15). A simple majority only is required for the abandonment of the Act.
The Lighting and Watching Act, 1833, is, so far at least as lighting Operation of Act in parish lighted is concerned, superseded in urban districts, and in any place within a under P. H. Act, rural district where the powers of an urban authority under the Public 1875. Health Act, 1875, to light the streets markets and public buildings in such place, have been conferred upon the Rural Sanitary Authority or District Council by an order of the Local Government Board (38 & 39 Vict., c. 55, s. 163).
1 See page 173.
2 See page 14.
3 Coal mines are rateable, not as "land," but as property other than land."-Thursby v. Overseers of Briercliffe-with-Extwistle ( 1 Q. B., 567 ; 10 T.L.R., 397; W.N. (1894), 63).
4 This means that land should pay in the proportion of one quarter of the rate. -R. v. Somersetshire Justices (22 J.P., 431), followed in R. v. Scuth-Eastern Railway (Law Journal (Notes of Cases), vol. 19, p. 121).
The Baths and Washhouses Acts, 1846 to 1882.
These comprise the following statutes-
THE BATHS AND WASHHOUSES ACT, 1846, (9 & 10 Vict. c. 74);
The Baths and Washhouses Acts may be adopted with the approval of the Local Government Board1 for any parish not within an urban district (9 & 10 Vict., c. 74, S. 1). A resolution of the Parish Meeting adopting the Acts must be carried by at least twothirds of the number of votes given on the question at the meeting, or the poll consequent thereon, and a copy of the resolution extracted from the minutes and signed by the chairman, must be sent to the Local Government Board, and when the approval of that Board has been signified the Acts come into operation in the parish (s. 5).
In the case of a parish without a Parish Council, the Parish Meeting are to appoint, not less than three nor more than seven ratepayers of the parish, Commissioners for carrying the Acts into execution. One-third of the Commissioners, or as nearly as may be one-third, (to be determined among themselves) are to go out of office yearly, but are to be eligible for immediate re-appointment (s. 6). Any vacancies in the commissionership may be filled up by the Parish Meeting when and as the meeting think fit (s. 8). The Parish Meeting are also required to appoint yearly two persons not being Commissioners to audit the accounts of the Commissioners and report thereon to the meeting (s. 15). The Commissioners must meet at least once a month (s. 9); one-third of their number is a quorum, but when only three Commissioners have been appointed, the quorum may be two (s. 11). The Commissioners are a corporate body, with a common seal, and they may hold and convey any lands vested in them for the purposes of the Acts (s. 20).
Lands vested in the Guardians or others for the general benefit of the parish may, with the approval of the Guardians and the Local Government Board (and of the Parish Meeting of a parish without a Parish Council), be appropriated for the purposes of the Acts, or lands may be purchased or hired (s. 24); but the Acts do not authorise the compulsory acquisition of land. Where, therefore, Commissioners execute the Acts, they cannot purchase or take any lands under the Lands Clauses Acts otherwise than by agreement (10 & 11 Vict. c. 61, s. 4). This does not apply to a Parish Council executing the Acts, who under section 9 of the Local Government Act, 1894, are empowered to acquire land compulsorily for any purpose for which they are authorised to acquire it. Upon the lands purchased or
1 34 & 35 Vict., c. 70.