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! PARISH COUNCILS: -,....c,.;.,......---


PARISH COUNCILS: -c, (Interesting Questions and Answers from the Council Gazette") I*; Remuneration for Making Out Valuation List. Jur Assistant Overseer made application to oHI Parish Council for remuneration for making -out valuation list in duplicate form, and they adjournefll it until the new Council was formed, consequently, it; was not paid during last year. The new Council would like to know whether if they now vote two Overseer a sum for making out the said valuation tiB the Auditor would surcharge the same, considiaM ing it was a debt which the old Council should baD paid, and, further, they would be glad to know if tfidjp ought to pay any sum at all for this work ? Answer Unless the Assistant Overseer's salary was fixed ad.. to cover the work of making out a new valuation lid (which is not very likely), there appears to us to be BO objection to a proper allowance being made by t new Parish Council, and in our opinion theAud could not disallow the payment. Infringement of Building Bye-laws.—The Urbfil District Council of H. has recently sanctioned sMd approved plans for the erection of a house and shflfR in direct contravention of Bye-law 54. The premiaflP are now nearly completed, and the owner of t he MP; joining property at the rear of the new building fli, objecting to the erection, which, it is stated, will seriously depreciate the property. (1) Can compeBf sation be claimed for the alleged depreciation; if 4* from whom—the Council, or the person who halt erected the building ? (2) Has the Council power to approve plans which are known to be contrary W the Bye laws, and what is the liabilitj.1 Answer: (1) Clearly no action could be brougyg against the Urban District Council. Them are not sufficient materials to say whether aD action would lie against the building owner. The mere fact of depreciation of adjoining property is not enough. The erection of a public house or at unsightly cottages would seriously depreciate an adjoining mansion, but it would give of itself no cause of action. (2) It is very difficult to say what is the effect ot an approval of sucB plans. THe. Council appear to be liable to no action for datnagm The cnly effective remedy is for the electors to IJ. more careful in electing the District Council. Repair of Footpaths.—There is a public fbotwaft- through a field, and it is also a private riglat-of-caft road for sundry owners, who have the right of usidg it. There is a gate at each end. I do not think that the footway has ever been repaired, or that ailS person has at uny time put gravel on it. "'Can Parish Council repair and put on gravel without tbb landowner's consentp Answer: If putting gravel oti the footpath would interfere with the cultivation ot the field, in the manner in which it has hitherto been cultivated, then we do not think the Parish Council could put the gravel on the land without the con-sent of the landowner. Casual Vacancy on Parish Council-—We have vacancy on our Parish Council, owing to one of tiMi newly-elected members being absent at the first meet* ing on account of illness, consequently not signing the declaration, and no resolution being passed thvs be should sign at a later meeting. There were flftf defeated candidates at the election. What is tlW legal course for the Parish Council to pursue ill order to fill the vacant seat. Answer It is cleer that the member who failed to make the decla-tim, has lost his seat, and that none of the defeated can- didates (as such) are entitled to -it but beyoIHI this nothing is clear. The Local Government Actlï 1894, gives two alternative methods in s. 47, eitheiS of which may apply. By sub-section (4) a vacancy among Parish Councillors shall be filled by the Parish Council," and by Eub-sectiom (1) If at the annual election of Parish Councillor* any vacancies are not filled by election, such number of the retiring Councillors as are not re-elected, ana are required to fill the. vacancies, shall, if willing* continue to hold office. The Councillors net to continue shall be those; who were highere on the poll at the previous election, or if th's- number were equal, or there was no poll, as niap be determined by the Parish Meeting, OR if not so determined, by the-Chairman of the Parisw Council." We despair of finding out which sub- section applies to your case, but you will be safe If you treat the vacancy as a casual vacancy, and Parish Council elect a member to fill it, provided that they elect that one of the retiring Parish Cotincillorw who would be entitled to the seat under sub-secttoi* (1), assuming that section applied. If this cannot bfI managed, then apply to the County Council for M* order dealing with the difficulty, calling the attention to s. 48 (5) of the Act of 1894, and also s. I of the Local Government (Elections) Act, 1896. Liability for Rates.-A. leases a house and Eubletlt- it to B. with an agreement to pay rates. A. has gone* but B. remains as,tenant. To whom am I to lookfoiT payment ? Answer: If B. is the occupier be cannofe get rid of his liability to bo rated by agreeing with Ai: that A. should pay it. You must proceed against- the occupier, and leave him to recover from his land- lord. We have assumed that the house does not comf- within the limited rateable value (£8 in most placfm)- fixed by the Poor Rate Assessment and Collection Acfci 1869, and that no order of the Vestry is in force for compulsory rating of owners instead of occupiers, OB that the house does not come under the order. EYeD, if it does, you can still recover the rate from t occupier, subject to the limitations created by 8.12 of- tbatact. —; Guardian Residing Outside Union:-Can a Guar- 1 dian who has removed into another Union since hi. election still remain in that position of Guardian for the Union district he has left ? Clause 20 of the Local Government Act seems to say no. Answer: If the Guardian continues to be a parochial elector of some parish within the Union, or if during the wholo of the 12 months preceding tbe election he residedin the Union, hiB removal out of the Union does not disqualify him. Election of Parish Council Committees.—At the annual meeting of the Parish Council the V ice- Chairman was elected by show of hands an ordinary member of a committee (he already being, as 'Vice-- Ghairman, ex-officio member of any or all committees of the, Council, as per standing orders), and was elected, so that, be might, as be had already done, take his share of routine work of the committee. The minutes of the meeting at which the election took- place having been passed and signed, would it be out of order to move the election of another ordinary; member on the ground of him (the Vice-Chairman) being an member? Answer? Your proposal appears to be quite in order. Erection of Stile.The footpath in question i* across a meadow adjoining the highway. This foot- path has- been traversed for a great number of years. There is no stile or gate at one end of the footpath at which persons can enter thei;mendow, but they have to climb over. or through some railings, which are the property of a railway company. The meadow ie the property of a large landowner in the parish. At the other end- of, the meadow is a substantial stile, erected by: another railway company. Application has been made to the railway company to put a stile, but they say the owner of the land states that it is not a foot- path. The owner of the land has also been applied to, to allow a stile to be made, but be says be cannot ac- knowledge any right of way, but takes no action against any person for climbing therailinp or going along the path. Individuals in ths neighbourhood state that, to their knowledge,, people have crossed the meadow for more than 30 years. Answer: Assuming that the footpath is a public one, neither the Parish Council nor any other authority can enforce the erection of a stile, instead of a fence, if no stile has ever been there. On the other band, neither the railway company nor the landowner can substitute a fence which is very diffi- cult to get over for a stile which is easy. The facts you mention seem to show that the footpath is < public one, but they are not conclusive.