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CHAPTER V.

DIVISION OF DISTRICTS INTO WARDS.

c. 98, s. 24.

LOCAL BOARDS OF HEALTH in districts where the Public Health Local Boards Act, 1848, is applied, may, with the sanction of a Local Govern- of Health. ment Board, divide their districts into separate wards, and de- 21 & 22 Vict. clare what proportion of the members of the Local Board is to be elected by each ward. In districts where the Local Govern- Local Government Act is adopted, the owners and ratepayers may, by reso- ment Boards. lution, direct a petition to the Local Government Board to divide Ib. the district into wards, for the purpose of election of the Local Board, and to declare what proportion of the members of the Board shall be elected by each ward; and the Local Government Board may by an order make such division and declaration after such inquiry as they may deem necessary, of which fourteen days' notice is to be given.

If any member be elected in more than one ward, he must, Persons within three days after notice, choose, or in default of his elected for choosing, the Board at their next meeting is to decide, for more than which one of the wards he is to serve; and he is thereupon to Ib. be held to be elected in that ward only, and a vacancy will then exist on account of the other ward.

one ward.

Ib.

No person entitled to vote can give in the whole of the wards Voting in a greater number of votes than he would have been entitled to wards. give if the district had not been divided into wards, nor in any one ward a greater number of votes than he is entitled to in respect of property in that ward.

Subject to these limitations, any ratepayer or owner may, by Ib. notice in writing delivered to the clerk of the Local Board, or in case of the first election to the person appointed to conduct that election, elect in what ward or wards he will vote for the ensuing year, and determine the proportion of votes which he will give; and if he do not give notice he is not to be entitled to vote for any ward in which he does not reside.

The Act does not specify when the notice is to be given; but it must obviously be given to the clerk or person conducting the election before the voting-papers are distributed, for if it be not, the voting-paper of the voter giving the notice cannot be properly directed.

With reference to the correlative section of the Municipal Corporation Act (5 & 6 Wm. IV. c. 76, s. 44), it has been held that a burgess who has property for which he is rated in two or more distinct wards, is not entitled to be enrolled or to vote in

Voting in wards.

more than one ward. If at the time of revising the lists, he refuses to make his selection of the ward for which he wishes to vote, the mayor may strike out his name from all the lists except one. (1)

So, again, under the 22 Vict. c. 35, the nominator of a candidate for election as town councillor must himself be a burgess of the ward for which the candidate is nominated (2); the same rule would seem to apply to the nomination of a candidate for election for a ward in a Local Board of Health district.

(1) Reg. v. Cambridge, 28 L. J. Q. B. 10.

(2) Reg. v. Parkinson, 17 L. T. 169; 37 L. J. Q. B. 52; 8 B. & S. 769.

CHAPTER VI.

ELECTION OF LOCAL BOARDS.

§ 1. GENERALLY.

MEMBERS of Local Boards of Health of non-corporate districts By whom. when elected otherwise than by being selected by town councils 11 & 12 Vict. are to be elected by the ratepayers, i.e., persons rated to the 63, s. 20. Ratepayers. relief of the poor in the district or part of the district for which Ib. they claim to vote for the space of one whole year immediately preceding the day of tendering their votes, and who shall have paid all rates made upon them for the relief of the poor in such district or part of a district for the period of one whole year, and who shall have also paid all such rates and all rates due from them under the Public Health and Local Government Acts before the day of tendering their votes, except such rates which shall have been made or become due within the six months immediately preceding; and by the owners of property, Owners. i.e., persons for the time being in the actual occupation of any kind of property rateable to the relief of the poor and not let to them at a rack-rent, or persons receiving, either on their own account or as mortgagees or incumbrancers in possession, the rack-rent of any such property, that is, a rent which is not less than two thirds of the net annual value of the property out of which the rent arises.

Ib.

c. 42, s. 14.

By 15 & 16 Vict. c. 42, s. 14, the word "year" shall, for the Year defined. purpose of the election of Local Boards of Health acting in 15 & 16 Vict. execution of the Public Health Act, 1848, be taken to mean the interval between any day of election of any such Board and the day of election next ensuing.

32 & 33 Vict. c. 41, § 19. Overseers to insert names

With regard to the qualification for election as a rate-payer Qualification it is enacted by the Poor Rate Assessment and Collection Act as rate-payer. 1869 as follows:-The overseers in making out the poor rate shall, in every case, whether the rate is collected from the owner or occupier, or the owner is liable to the payment of the rate instead of the occupier, enter in the occupiers column of the of all occurate book the name of the occupier of every rateable here- piers in the ditament, and such occupier shall be deemed to be duly rated rate. for any qualification or franchise as aforesaid; and if any overseer negligently or wilfully and without reasonable cause omits Penalty for the name of the occupier of any rateable hereditament from the Ib.

Ib.

omission.

Saving of franchises.

32 & 33 Vict.

c. 41, s. 19.

Ib. § 7.

Receiver not an owner.

Construction

of owner.

rate, or negligently or wilfully misstates any name therein, such overseer shall for every such omission or misstatement be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding two pounds; provided that any occupier whose name has been omitted shall, notwithstanding such omission and that no claim to be rated has been made by him, be entitled to every qualification and franchise depending upon rating, in the same manner as if his name had not been so omitted.

The following are the provisions of the same Act with regard to the franchises which depend upon the payment of rates :Every payment of a rate by the occupier, notwithstanding the amount thereof, may be deducted from his rent (as provided in s. 3 of the Act), and every payment of a rate by the owner, whether he is himself rated instead of the occupier, or has agreed with the occupier or with the overseers to pay such rate, and notwithstanding any allowance or deduction which the overseers are empowered to make from the rate, shall be deemed a payment of the full rate by the occupier for the purpose of any qualification or franchise which, as regards rating, depends upon the payment of the poor-rate. The provision as to the payment of rates will apply to the year so computed, and a person continues rated to the poor-rate until a fresh rate is made from which his name is omitted.

It has been doubted whether a receiver, appointed by the Court of Chancery, is an "owner" within the meaning of 11 & 12 Vict. c. 63, s. 2; (1) which, however, gives a different definition of the word owner.

With reference to the construction of the word "owner," the following case may be referred to, which, however, arose under the Metropolitan Building Act, 1855 (18 & 19 Vict. c. 122). By sect. 73 of that Act, if the owner or occupier of a dangerous structure fails to comply with the order of Justices for taking down, repairing, or otherwise securing the same, the Commissioners of Police may do what is necessary, and all expenses incurred by them shall be repaid by the owner. By sect. 3, the term "owner" shall apply to every person in possession or receipt of either the whole or of any part of the rents or profits of the land or tenement, or in occupation of such land or tenement, or in the occupation of such land or tenement other than as a tenant from year to year, or for any less term, or as a tenant at will. The appellants being seized in fee of a building used as a chapel, leased it for 21 years to I, N., who was then in possession of it. I. N. was held to be the "owner" within the meaning of the Act, and therefore an order made upon the appellants for expenses incurred by the Commissioners under sect. 73 was bad. Semble, therefore, an order could only be made upon the last statutable owner. (2)

(1) Eddleston, App., Francis, Resp., 7 C. B. 568.

(2) Mourilyan, App., Labalmondiere, Resp., 7 Jur. (N. s.) 627; 30 L. J. M. C. 95.

S.

As regards the first election of a Local Board of Health, Avoidance of constituted under the Local Government Act, 1858, for a place constitution containing a population of less than 3000, according to the of district, if no election then last Census, and in which the Local Board is required to take place be elected by the ratepayers, it is necessary to bear in mind within time that if no election of a Local Board takes place within three limited. months from the date of the constitution of the district, or if in 26 Vict. c. 17, any such district the Local Board makes default in appointing s. 5. fit and proper persons to the following offices, or any of them, that is to say, to the office of Surveyor, Inspector of Nuisances, Clerk, and Treasurer, within two months after the election of the Local Board, then upon the happening of either of the above events the adoption of the Local Government Act in the district shall be void, and the Local Government Act, 1858, shall cease to be in force within the district, and the district shall revert to the same position as it was in before the adoption of the Act; so nevertheless that any contracts that may have been entered into by or on behalf of the Local Board of any such district may be enforced in the same manner in all respects as if the Local Government Act had continued in force in the district, and, so far as may be necessary for the enforcement of such contracts, the Local Board and all their powers of levying money shall be deemed to be continued.

The full net annual value shall be taken to be the rent at Net annnal which the property might reasonably be expected to let from value defined. year to year, free from all usual tenants' rates and taxes, and 11 & 12 Vict. c. 63, s. 2. tithe-commutation rent-charge (if any), and deducting therefrom the probable average annual cost of the repairs, insurance, and other expenses (if any) necessary to maintain them in a state to command such rent; which is the net annual value for the purposes of the poor-rate. See 6 & 7 Wm. IV. c. 96, s. 1, and the column to the schedule of that Act headed "rateable value," and the schedule to the Union Assessment Committee Act, 1862.

Corporations aggregate, joint stock and other companies, or Corporations. any body of proprietors or undertakers, are to be deemed one 11 & 12 Vict. c. 63, s. 20. owner for the purpose of voting under the Public Health Act, 1848, and are to vote by proxy, appointed, in the case of a corporation, under their common seal, and in the case of a company, under the hands of three directors. It is expressly provided that no person shall vote individually as owner in respect of corporate property, or property belonging to any such company.

Both ratepayers and owners are entitled to vote at the elec- Voting in tion; and owners who are bonâ fide occupiers of the same respect of property may vote both in respect of ownership and occupation. ownership and As regards any qualification or franchise which depends upon Ib. rating or the payment of rates, see 32 & 33 Vict. c. 41, § § 7, 19, and p. 40.

occupation.

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