Hide Articles List

17 articles on this Page

THE umilintio. I

Outlines of Local Government

Detailed Lists, Results and Guides
Cite
Share

Outlines of Local Government (iii.) The Borough (Marwell, pp. 90-120). The official definition of a municipal borough is now any place for the time being subject to the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882"; and if any unincorporated town wishes to get itself made into a borough, it must petition His Majesty for a charter of incorporation under that Act, first giving notice to the County Council of its county, and to the Local Government Board. After due time has elapsed, and upon approval of the peti- tion by a Committee of the Privy Council, His Majesty may grant a charter of incor- His Majesty may grant a charter of incor- poration, which may prescribe the boundaries of the borough and the wards (if any), and fix the number of Councillors to be elected for borough and wards. But with the excep- tion of making provision for temporary arrange- ments, the charter can do no more it merely extends to the town the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Acts (Jenks). Constitution. The Municipal Corporation consists of Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses (or citizens in the case of a city). A Burgess is a person enrolled upon the Local Government register of electors. The ma i i The main rights and duties of a Burgess are—(1) That he is entitled to vote at the election of Councillors and elective auditors; (2) that he is eligible for any corporate office, and is liable to a fine if on election he refuses to 6erve; (3) that he is eligible and liable to serve on borough juries. I Council. The governing body of the borough is the Council, which consists of the Mayor, Alder- men, and Councillors. The number of Coun- cillors is regulated by the charter, but may be amended by the Local Government Board. (I) Councillors are elected by ballot for three years on 1st November by Local Govern- ment electors of the borough:- (a) From among themselves; or (b) From persons possessing property:— (i.) Where there are four or more wards, valued £ 1,000 or rated at £ 30 per annum (ii.) In other boroughs, valued at 1500 rated at £ 15 per annum; or (c) from any person of either sex if that person has resided within the borough during the whole of the twelve months preceding the election. (2) The Aldermen, one-third in number of the Councillors, are elected by the latter from their own number, or from persons qualified to be of their number. The Alder- men are elected for six years, but the senior half retire triennially. Aldermen are mem- bers of the Council, but any seats which they occupied as Councillors at the time of their election as Aldermen are thereby vacated, and they can no loager vote in the election of Aldermen. The election of Aldermen takes place on the 9th November in the triennial year, at the quarterly meeting of the Council. Retiring Aldermen, if otherwise qualified, are eligible for re-election. Their only addi- tional function is to act as returning officers for election of Councillors. (3) The Mayor is elected by the Coun- cillors and non-retiring Aldermen from among the Council or from persons so qualified. Election is for one year, and may receive a salary. The Mayor may be re-elected. Meetings. Meetings held by a Municipal Council in- clude :— (a) Four Quarterly as a Borough Council; (b) Twelve Monthly as an Urban Sanitary Authority; (c) Others as summoned by the Mayor or any five members of the Council. Committees. The work is principally transacted by Com- mittees, who are mainly appointed from among members of the Council. The acts of every Committee must be submitted to the Council for their approval, with certain exceptions. Officers. (1) Town Clerk holds his office during the pleasure of the Council, and his salary is fixed -by them. He has the custody of the charters, deeds, records, and documents of the borough, and it is his duty to issue the sum- monses for the meetings of the Council, and to act as secretary to the Council at their meetings and otherwise. (2) The Treasurer, whose duty it is to re- ceive and make all payments on behalf of thfe Corporation. (3) The usual officers required by an Urban Sanitary Authority. t 4) Such others as the Counci l think neces- sary Powers and Duties of Borough Councils may be divided under heads as those of:- (1) A Borough Council, including the making of bye-laws for the good rule and government of the borough. (2) An Urban Sanitary Authority having powers in respect of (a) Public Health; (b) Highways, &c. (c) Housing .and Town Planning (see sec- tion dealing with powers of Urban Dis- trict Councils) (3) Authority under the Adoptive Acts. (4) Trading Undertakers. (5) Authority to undertake additional functions prescribed by general or local Acts of Parliament, e.g., Local Committee under the N.val and Military War Pensions, &c., Acts, 1915 to 1917. Special Types of Boroughs. There are special types of boroughs, which possess one or more special features in addi- tion to those already dealt with. But it must be remembered that the existence of one feature neither as a rule implies nor excludes the possession of others. The distribution is arbitrary, and often the result of historical accident. Whether a borough does or does not possess such and such a feature is a ques- tion of fact. (1) Counties of Cities and Counties of Towns. A county of a city or town may be defined as a borough which obtained the full organisation of a county before the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835. There are nineteen of these counties or cities or towns; they are wholly independent of the surrounding counties; the county authorities have no jurisdiction within their area. They have their own Commissions of the Peace and Courts of Quarter Sessions, and each year they appoint a Sheriff. (2) County Boroughs. This special class of borough was first created by the Local Government Act of 1888. There are 72 county boroughs in England and Wales; most ot them have a population of not less than 50,000. The same place may be both a county of a city or town and a county borough though most county boroughs are not counties of towns; while a few counties 01 cities or towns, such ai Lichfield and Poole, are not county boroughs. A county borough is practically exempted from the jurisdiction of the County Council of its county, and its Borough Council has most of the powers which were conferred by the Local' Government Act of 1888 upon County Councils, except the powers conferred in connection with Parlia- mentary elections. A County Borough makes no contribution with a few unimportant ex- ceptions) to the expenses incurred for couniy purposes. And this has involved the neces- sity of making an elaborate adjustment of the financial relations between the County Borough and its County in respect of local taxation, licences, and probate duties, which may be revised by the Local Government Board after every five years. (3) Boroughs having a Separate Court 01 Quarter Sessions. The grant of a Court ot Quarter Sessions puts the borough almost on the footing of a county so far as local judicial business is concerned, and the County Jus- tices will have no jurisdiction in the borough, though, by arrangement with the Borough -I i?v may occupy A .5C$310n? House • A I vwuuvm magistrate^. A jointly w?th the ox*  tlte: I Quarter *r?ion. bo-ugh 'w'11 ? ?quire ?.. ?} following additional Gr&ters:— (a) A Recorder, appointed by the Crown, bui paid by the Borough Council. The Recorder must be a barrister of five years' standing, and becomes ex-officio a Justice for the borough. He acts as sole judge of the Court of Quarter Sessions, in all judicial busi- ness, and sits either with or without a jury, as the chairman of a County Quarter Sessions would do. But he does not, as Recorder, undertake the administrative business of Quar- ter Sessions; he does not allow or make rates (though he may hear certain rating appeals), or grant liquor licences, although, in his capacity of Justice of the borough, he may take part in any Quarter Sessions having juris- diction in such matters. (b) A Clerk of the Peace, appointed by the Council, who will have the same powers within the borough as the corresponding official in a county. (c) A. Coroner, also appointed by the Council, to act in the borough as a county coroner does for the county. But in the case of boroughs with a population of less than 10,000 at the census of 1881, the powers formerly belonging to the Borough Council in respect of coroners shall be transferred to the County Council of the 'county in which the borough is situated. (4) Boroughs having a Separate Commission of the Peace. Such a separate Commission does not of itself exempt a borough from the county rate, or deprive the county Justices of their right to act within the borough at Petty Sessions, or in matters concerning the borough at Quarter Sessions. It only enables the borough Justices to act in the borough as if they were county Justices acting in and for a distinct petty sessional division. But, in practice, it is rare for the county Justices to sit in a borough having a separate Commission of the Peace. Such a borough, too, is a separate licensing division. (5) Boroughs having a separate Police Force. Most of our larger boroughs maintain a Police Force of their own, separate from the County. Police. They do this at their own expense. The supervision and control of the Police Force is confided to a Committee of the Council, called the Watch Committee. This Committee must not exceed in number one-third of the whole Council; the Mayor must always be a member of it. (6) Boroughs which according to the census of 1881 had a population of less than 10,000 are distinctly encourage to petition Her Majesty in Council to revoke the grant to it of a Court of Quarter Sessions, and also the grant of a separate Commission of the Peace. If it does not, it must pay the salaries of its own Recorder, Clerk of the Peace, and Clerk Peace to the borough Justices, and yet contri- bute to the cost of the County Sessions as well. It caitoot have a Police Force of its own. Nevertheless, the town remains a borough; it has still a Mayor and Corpora- tion it still audits its own accounts; it still has power to manage its own municipal affairs in its own independent fashion. (7) A Stipendiary Magistrate may be ap- pointed in any urban district with a population of 25,000, or in any municipal borough. He must be a barrister of seven years' standing. A Stipendiary Magistrate is empowered to do alone all that may be done by two Justices, and, when sitting in a court-house, he is deemed to be a Court of Summary Jurisdiction. (8) A Borough Civil Court. In a few cases (about twenty in all) a borough pos- sesses its own local court of civil jurisdiction, whose powers have not been superseded by the County Court Acts. These courts are always survivals of ancient institutions, and are not looked upon with favour by the Legis- lature. Examples may be seen in the Liver- pool Court of Passage, the Tobzey Court of Bristol, the Provost's Court of Exeter. Unless a local Act makes a contrary provision, the Recorder acts as judge, and the Courts are held four times a year. Borough Finance. This subject may be considered under the ( three heads of Expenditure, Loans, and Accounts. All moneys received by a borough in the ordinary course of its affairs (e.g., all rates, fees, and the rents and profits of the corporate property) are paid into a fund called the Borough Fund, and out of this fund is drawn all the money necessary for the ordi- nary expenditure of the borough. If, as is generally the case, the fund is not sufficient to meet the expenditure, the Council has no power to contract any temporary loan; it must from time to time cause a rate to be levied in the borough to make up the deficiency. This is called the Borough Rate. The Council assesses the amount to be contributed by each parish, and the overseers of each parish are responsible for the collection of the rate. All payments to the Treasurer of a borough are paid into the borough fund all payments to and out of the borough fund are made to and by him. Some payments may be made out of the fund without an order of the Borough Council; other payments may not be f made without an order of the Council, which must be signed by three members of the Council, countersigned by the Town Clerk. Loans for borough purposes nutt be repaid withia a period not exceeding thirty years. Other loans as prescribed by the respective enact- ments. Money may be raised by the issue of Stocks under Part V. of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1890, under the Loans Act, 1875, and under local Acts. A muni- cipal Corporation may not now pay the costs ot promoting any Bill in Parliament out of the borough fund without the consent of an absolute majority of the whole number of the Borough Counc 11, and also of a public meet- ing of ratepayers convened for the purpose. Accounts. The Treasurer s accounts are made up half- yearly to such date as the Council, with the approval of the Local Government Board, may decide. Accounts are audited, unless there are provisions to the contrary, by the Borough Auditors, i.e.:— (1) Two elective auditors elected by the burgesses on 1st March from among persons qualified to be, but not being, members of the Council. (2) Mayor's auditor, being a member of the Council nominated by the Mayor. This does not apply to Accounts under the Education Acts and Unemployed Workmen Act. Some boroughs have a professional auditor in addition to the Borough Auditors, while others have an audit by the District Auditor in lieu thereof. A full abstract of the accounts murt be published yearly. A serious defect in our municipal system is the absence of anything in the nature of a town budget, shewing its f i nancia l Do?itio'l? (I e financial position- u-1 ill financial requirements for the year to come. J

Golden Wedding at Cwynfe.

" Victory" Bazaar at Ammanford.

AT EIN GOHEBWYR AC ERAILL.

Advertising

I Y CAISAR. I

I GORSEDD GRAS. I

I DUDENI'R GWERINWR.

ETHOLlAD UNDEBOL GLANAMAN.

I -ATGOFION MEBYD.I

ICAN LLONGYFARCHI

GAIR 0 GYSUR MEWN YSTORM

PARCH. L. BERIAN JAMES A'R…

CARMEL A'R CTLCH.

GARNANT.

Advertising