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this Act may appoint out of their own number so many persons as they may think fit, for any purposes of this Act which, in the opinion of such authority, would be better regulated and managed by means of a committee: Provided that a committee so appointed shall in no case be authorised to borrow any money, to make any rate, or to enter into any contract, and shall be subject to any regulations and restrictions which may be imposed by the authority that formed it.
Audit of Accounts of Committees.-As to the audit of committee accounts, see sect. 13, post, and incorporated provisions.
Control over Committees.-The body appointing a committee does not thereby deprive itself of the powers delegated to the committee, and may exercise such powers at any time without previous revocation of the delegated authority: Huth v. Clarke, 25 Q. B. D. 391; 59 L. J. M. C. 120; Barnsley Local Board v. Sedgwick, L. R. 2 Q. B. 185; 36 L. J. M. C. 65; Eaton v. Basker, 7 Q. B. D. 529; 50 L. J. Q. B. 444. With regard, however, to a library committee to whom had been delegated all the powers of the council as the library authority, it would appear that the committee, to the extent of the delegation, would be independent of the council.
Contracts. Note that the power to make contracts is not reserved, as is the case with committees appointed by district councils to exercise their powers under the Public Health or Highway Acts: sect. 56 (1), L. G. A., 1894.
8-(3.) Every borough council shall from time to time appoint a finance committee for regulating and controlling the finance of the council; and no order for payment of any sum, whether on account of capital or income, shall be made by a borough council except in pursuance of a resolution of the council passed on the recommendation of the finance committee; and any costs, debt, or liability exceeding fifty pounds shall not be incurred except upon a resolution of the council passed on an estimate submitted by the finance committee. The notice of the meeting at which any resolution for the payment of any sum by the borough council (otherwise than for ordinary periodical payments) or any resolution for incurring any costs, debt, or liability exceeding fifty pounds will be proposed, shall state the amount of the said sum, costs, debt, or liability, and the purpose for which they are to be paid or incurred. Provided that the foregoing provisions shall not apply to payments made in pursuance of a precept from another authority.
Statutory Finance Committee.-No provision is contained in the M. C. Acts or M. M. Acts for the appointment specially of a finance committee by provincial boroughs or metropolitan vestries and district boards; but the appointment of a finance committee has become customary. This sub-section is, with the exception of the proviso at the end, mutatis mutandis the same as sect. 80 (3) and (4) of the L. G. A., 1888. See also sect. 22, M. C. A., 1882.
As to the form of order for payments, see sect. 9, Lon. G. A., p. 90, post.
Note that this provision is not confined to payments due, but extends to prospective liabilities exceeding 507.
The L. C. C. have created an urgency fund, with a separate banking account, to meet urgent payments; and their finance committee are authorised to make payments thereout for the (i) payment of wages and disbursements of officers, police-court costs, &c.; (ii) in pressing cases the payment of rents, rates, taxes, compensation for accidental injuries (so as to avoid the accumulation of law expenses), moneys required to be paid to secure cash discount, or to make deposits on purchases, &c., and moneys certified due to contractors; and (iii) the payment and discharge generally during a recess of debts or liabilities of the council.
See the published Standing Orders of the L. C. C., No. 309, pp. 111 -122, also pp. 54-57, 226-231.
The proviso excludes from the controlling provisions contained in the sub-section the fulfilment by the borough councils as overseers of the obligations imposed by sect. 11 (2), p. 112, post.
Audit. As to the audit of the borough council's accounts, see sect. 14, p. 120, post.
8-(4.) Section fifty-seven of the Local Government Act, 1894, which relates to joint committees, shall, with the substitution of the words Local Government Board for County Council therein, apply to borough councils as if they were district councils.
Joint Committees.-This sub-section will meet any need that may arise for joint enterprise between two or more borough councils. Sect. 57 of the L. G. A., 1894, did not apply to London, and the vestries had not power to appoint statutory joint committees. Sect. 235
of the M. M. A., 1855, merely contained a saving for vestries then acting or exercising powers jointly or in union at the passing of that Act.
Sect. 57 of the L. G. A., 1894, is as follows :—
57.-(1.) A parish or district council may concur with any other parish or district council or councils in appointing out of their respective bodies a joint committee for any purpose in respect of which they are jointly interested, and in conferring, with or without conditions or restrictions, on any such committee any powers which the appointing council might exercise if the purpose related exclusively to their own parish or district (ƒ).
(2.) Provided that a council shall not delegate to any such committee any power to borrow money or make any rate (g).
(3.) A joint committee appointed under this section shall not hold office beyond the expiration of fourteen days (h) after the next annual meeting (i) of any of the councils who appointed it.
(4.) The costs of a joint committee under this section shall be defrayed by the councils by whom it is appointed in such proportions as they may agree upon, or as may be determined in case of difference by the county council (k).
(5.) Where a parish council can under this Act be required to appoint a committee consisting partly of members of the council and partly of other persons, that requirement may also be made in the case of a joint committee, and shall be duly complied with by the parish councils concerned at the time of the appointment of such committee.
Assessment Committee.-See sect. 13, p. 117, post.
(f) The obligation, semble, will not rest upon joint committees to report their proceedings, as in the case of sole committees under sect. 8 (2) of Lon. G. A.
(9) This repeats the proviso in sect. 8 (2). The power to make contracts is not reserved, and a joint committee may do so if authorised by its reference.
(h) The period of fourteen days named in sub-sect. (3) was doubtless deemed sufficient to provide against a joint committee holding office after the annual meeting of any of the councils who appointed it. The intention should in any case be observed.
(i) See sect. 3 (3), Lon. G. A., p. 47, ante.
(k) L. G. B. substituted for county council by sect. 8 (4) of Lon. G. A., p. 88, supra. As to the determination of differences by L. G. B., see sect. 28 (3), post.
9. Payments to and by borough council.]-(1.) All payments to and by the borough council shall be made to and by the borough treasurer, and all payments by the council shall, unless made in pursuance of the specific requirement of an Act of Parliament, or of an order of a competent court, be made in pursuance of an order of the council signed by three members of the finance committee present at the meeting of the council, and countersigned by the town clerk, and the same order may include several payments. Moreover, all cheques for payment of moneys issued in pursuance of any such order shall be countersigned by the town clerk, or by a deputy approved by the council.
Payments to and by the Borough Council.-This section is mutatis mutandis identical with sect. 80 (1) and (2), L. G. A., 1888. Cf. also, sects. 141 and 142, M. C. A., 1882.
The words "the same order may include several payments would appear to permit of an order being made upon the borough council's bankers as treasurer, containing a schedule of payments sanctioned. Note that all orders must be countersigned by the town clerk, and all cheques by the town clerk, or a deputy, who may conveniently be the paid officer (" comptroller" or "accountant") of the borough council.
As to "signature," see the note to sect. 11 (1), p. 103, post.
The finance committee is to be appointed under sect. 8 (3), p. 87,
Borough Treasurer. As to the appointment of treasurer, see sect. 62, M. M. A., 1855. By sect. 63, ib., no person holding the office of treasurer or clerk, nor their respective partners, nor any person in the service or employ of them or either of them, shall hold, be eligible to, or in any manner assist or officiate in the office of clerk or treasurer
respectively. Penalty, 1007. A penalty of 507. attaches to any officer or servant being interested in contracts, or exacting fees other than his proper salary, wages and allowances (sect. 64, M. M. A., 1855); and by sect. 65, ib., any officer entrusted with the custody or control of money must give security for duly accounting for the same.
Cf. sect. 18, M. C. A., 1882, and sects. 3 (iii) and 75 (16) (e), L. G. A., 1888, as to county treasurer. See L. C. C. Standing Order No. 247.
9-(2.) Any such order may be removed into the High Court of Justice by writ of certiorari, and may be wholly or partly disallowed or confirmed on motion and hearing with or without costs according to the judgment and discretion of the Court.
Sub-sect. 2.-This sub-section is the same as sect. 141 (2), M. C. A., 1882. See the notes thereon in Arnold's "Law of Municipal Corporations," 4th ed., pp. 151—3.