Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page

. THE OMNIBUS. I

.Outlines of Local Governmeiit…

Detailed Lists, Results and Guides
Cite
Share

Outlines of Local Governmeiit I II.-AREAS AND AUTHORITIES. I GENERAL TABULAR VIEW OF THE I AREAS. The Local Government Acts of 1888 and 1894 have swept away most of the local authorities previously existing for special pur- poses, such as Highway Boards and Burial Boards. Their general object was to abolish ail areas and bodies existing outside the stan- dard organisation of the country, and so to reduce all local government to a uniform system. To this end the country is in the first place divided into: (a) The Administrative Counties, each with its own County Council. These are divided into (b) County Districts, which may be either (1) Urban or (2) Rural. Each district has its own District Council. These districts are further sub-divided into (c) Parishes. In Urban Districts the Parish occupies an insignificant position in the system of government. In Rural Districts, on the other hand, each Parish is invested with more or less important self-governing functions. All Rural Parishes have (1) Parish Meetings, and the larger Rural Parishes have (2) Parish Councils of their own. (d) Boroughs stand outside the general system. County Boroughs are entirely self- contained and self-governed. Non-County Boroughs largely, though not entirely self- governed. They have Town Councils of their own. (i.) The Parish. (Maxwell, pp. 1-24). Civil and Ecclesiastical Parishes. The civil parish is the unit of local government, which for this purpose is defined as "a place for which a separate poor rate is or can be made, or a separate overseer is or can be ap- pointed." An ecclesiastical parish is a unit for purposes of religious organisation. Originally such units were chosen as the poow- law units, but now many of the larger ecclesiastical parishes have been sub-divided for the ends of civil government, and also split up on a different system into smaller ecclesiastical parishes. Hence the civil and ecclesiastical areas are now by no means necessarily identical. I THE VESTRY. I This was the old meeting of the ratepayers of the parish, presided over by the clergy- man, and held in the vestry of the church or some other convenient room. The Vestry elected the parish officers, including church- wardens, assessors, way-wardens, and -col- lectors, and, after the introduction of the poor- law system, the overseers and assistant over- seer, and transacted a considerable amount of parish business. All its powers over civil matters have, by the Local Government Act, 1894, passed to the Parish Council and Parish Meeting, but it may still have to be called occasionally in those urban districts and boroughs which have not obtained the powers of a Parish Council to appoint overseers, &c. Vestries are either (a) Common, or (b) Select. The common parish vestry is not a representative body; it is merely "the rate- payers of the parish in vestry assembled"; that, indeed, is its full title. Every rate- payer, whether male or female, whether a Churchman or a Dissenter, whether resident in the parish or not, is entitled to attend and vote, unless his or her rates are in arrear. In some parishes the right of all the rate- 1 payers to attend the Vestry may be restrained by immemorial custom to a select number, who are then termed a select vestry.. Select vestries were also created by Hob house 's Act, 1831. This Act is permissive, and can I only be adopted by parishes having more than 800 rate-paying inhabitants. It must be adopted after due notice to the parishioners by a majority of two-thirds of the ratepayers voting; and the whole number of persons voting must be a clear majority of the rate- payers of the parish. I PARISH MEETINGS AND COUNCILS. in every rural parish there is a parish meet- ing. This is an assembly of the parochial electors, who are simply the persons regis- tered in such portion either of the local government register of electors or of the par- liamentary register of electors as relates to the parish." It meets at least once a year, and cannot be held before six o' clock in the evening, a provision which is of importance to the labourer. I I 'I' (a) In all parishes with at least 300 inhabi- tants there must also be a Parish Council; (b) In parishes where the number of inhabi- tants js between 100 and 300, the County Council must establish a Parish Council if the parish meeting go desires; and (c) Where the population is below 100 it may establish one if it thinks fit. Where, however, a rural parish is co- extensive with a rural district, the District Council acts as a Parish Council also. Parish Meeting where there is no Parish Council. Where there is no Parish Council, a Parish Meeting must be held twice a year at least, and it may be called at any time by the chairman or by six electors. It cannot directly levy a rate. Its expenditure is limited to the proceeds of 6d. rate, inclusive of the Adoptive Acts, and is met by pre- cepte, the amounts of which are collected as part of the Poor Rate. Its duties are: (a) Appointment or Overseer; (b) Approve disposal of parish property; (c) Veto stopping or diversion of highway; I (d) All or any powers of a Parish Council. 1 he chairman and overseers form a body corporate for the holding of parish property, and the chairman conducts whatever adminis- trative business there may be. PARISH COUNCILS. I t-Onstitution.-A Parish Council consists of a chairman and such a number of councillors, not being less than five nor more than fifteen, as the County Council may fix from time to time. They are elected for three years by the local government electors at annual meet- ing. Councillors must be local government electors, or any person, male or female, resi- dent on or before the 25th March of pre- ceding year within the parish or within three miles of the parish. Parishes may be grouped under one Parish Council. A Parish Council is a corporate body with perpetual succession, but without common seal. Chairman may be elected from outside the Council, but must be qualified to be a Councillor. A person becomes a candidate by handing to the Chairman at the annual parish meeting a form signed by two electors, which form may be obtained of the overseers ten days beforehand, and contains full directions. If more candidates are nominated than there are seats, the Chairman must take a show of hands on the names. Any five electors, or one-third of the meeting, whichever is least, may (in the meeting) demand a poll, which will be taken. The candidates may hold meetin-gs to advocate their claims in any school receiving public grants, on paying the expenses of preparing the room and re- arranging it afterwards. Powers and Duties of Parish Councils. (1) Miscellaneous: (a) To appoint annually a chairman and overseers of the poor, and appoint and revoke appointment of assistant overseers. (b) To appoint trustees of civil charities. (c) To provide parish books, offices, &c. (2) Sanitary: They have, certain limited powers in reference to drainage and water supply. They may use any well, spring, or stream in the parish, and provide water supplies from it, so long as they do not inter- fere with the rights of any company, person, or corporation. Ponds, ditches, open drains, and other places where filth collects, so as to be dangerous to health, may be drained, cleansed, covered, or set right by the Coun- cil, so long as they do not interfere with any private right, or the sewage or drainage works of any other Council. (3) Highway: They maintain and repair footpaths; maintain rights of way, and may veto stopping or diversion of highways. (4) Education: May be minor Education Authority. (5) Land: May provide public walks and recreation grounds. (6) Small Holdings and Allotments Acts: They may hire land for allotments. (7) May, if approved by Parish Meeting, administer parochial Adoptive Acts, viz.:â (a) The Lighting and Wqtching Act, 1833, which enables a parish to pro- vide or enter into contracts for the provision of lighting the roads, streets, &c. (b) Baths and Washhouses Acts, 1846 to 1899, may be adopted upon the re- quisition of ten electors for the pro- vision of baths, gymnasia, and wash- houses; (c) Burial Acts, 1852 to 1906, provide for the Parish Council to be represented upon the Burial Board. These Acts have been largely superseded by the Public Health Acts (Interments) Act, 1879; (d) Public Improvement Act, 1860, makes provision for village greens and recrea- tion grounds, &c., limited to a rate of 6d. in the £ (e) Public Libraries Act, 1892 to 1901, provide that any ten electors may demand a poll, upon the result of which, by a bare majority, Reference and Lending Library and Museum may be provided at the* maximum expen- diture of a penny rate. Expenditure of Parish Councils. These Councils are not allowed to spend much money. The following restrictions are imposed upon them:â ( I ) rarish Councils cannot incur expenses involving a rate of more than 3d. in the £ without the consent of the Parish Meeting. (2) They cannot incur expenses involving a loan without the consent of the Parish Meeting and the County Council. (3) No year's expenses may exceed a rate of 6d. in the £ but in calculating this sum the expenses of carrying out any adoptive Acts (see above) are not reckoned. 1 he annual expenses are to be paid out of the poor rate. The clerk to the Council sends a precept to the overseers, and the latter must shew on their demand note the proportion required by the Council. The rates for the cost of lighting, fire engines, and libraries are charged on land at one-third only of its valuation. The special expenses for sanitation and similar matters are charged on land at one-fourth of its valuation. Borrowing Powers of Parish Councils. With consent of Parish Meeting, the Coun- cil may raise loans for the following pur- poses:â ( I) Buying such land or erecting such buildings as are within their powers. (2) For any permanent purpose under the adoptive Acts. (3) For permanent works, the expense of which the County Council and the Local Government Board allow to be spread over a term of years. The period within which a loan in each case must be repaid is deter- mined by the sanctioning authority, but must not exceed thirty years. 1 he County Council and the Local Government Board must both approve of every loan, under any of the three headings, before the money can be legally accepted. The mortgage securing the loan is upon the poor rates of the parish, and the limit of loans is one-half the assessable value of the parish. A loan for the purposes of an adoptive Act is secured by a mortgage of the rate raised under that Act, and not on the poor rate. Note tkt a Parish Council must first get the consent of the parish meeting and the County Council to the expenditure, and then the consent of the County Council and the Local Government Board to the loan. Accounts and Audit. I 1 he accounts of a Parish Council or Parish Meeting must be kept in the form prescribed by the Local Government Board, and must be made up yearly to March 31st. They are audited by the District Auditor. Rights of Parochial Electors. I f I) To demand a poll in the case of a I resolution respecting many important matters, such as: the appointment of a chairman, over- seer, &c. (2) The right to inspect and take copies of, and extracts from, all books, accounts and documents belonging to or under the control of the Parish Council or Parish Meeting. QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION. I What changes in Local Government were effected by the Local Government Acts of ? !888 and 1894? How has the Representation of the People Act, 1918, affected Local Government Franchise? What steps would have to be taken in a village to secure a Free Library or Public Baths? How do Parish Councils meet their expenses? What restric- tions are imposed upon them in respect to expenditure? For what purposes may Parish Councils acquire land? Have they compul- sory powers in respect to the acquisition of land? What powers are conferred upon them in respect to civil charities? With whose consent and for what purposes may they raise loans? What is the limit of such loans? What are the highway powers of Parish Councils? What authority creates new urban districts ? ⢠--J.

AT EIN GOHEBWYR AC ERAILL.

[No title]

[No title]

- Cymru a'i Pheryglon.

IPONTARLLECHAU.

LLANSADWRN.'

YR ASYN.

Advertising