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[~ IOutlines of Local Government

Detailed Lists, Results and Guides

Outlines of Local Government li.-AREAS AND AUTHORITIES. (iv.) The Administrative County is a creation of the Local Government Act of 11888. The administrative and geographical counties do not correspond. For the pur- poses of administration, the three Ridings of Yorkshire arvd the three parts of Lincolnshire have each been treated as a separate county, while Suffolk and Sussex have each been divided into two. The Isle of Wight, the Soke of Peterborough, and the Isle of Ely have Councils of their own, while the Scilly Isles are separated from Cornwall with an independent Council which is in form, although not technically in name, a County Council. The County Council. I The administrative and financial business of each administrative county is entrusted to a County Council, consisting of a Chairman, Aldermen and Councillors. In a county borough the Town Council has the powers, duties and liabilities of a County Council. For the purposes of representation, every administrative county is divided into districts, each returning one County Councillor. The municipal boroughs within its area, other than those which are county boroughs, return one or more Councillors if they are large enough. The number of members depends on the size of the county, and varies from 28 for Rutland to 140 for Lancashire. The Councillors are elected by the county electors and enrolled burgesses for a period of three years, and all retire together. Ministers of religion of all denominations, women, whether married or single, and peers owning property in the county may be members of the Council. But a woman, if elected as chairman, cannot act as a Justice of the Peace. Aldermen .are elected by the Councillors for six years from .among the Councillors or persons qualified to be Councillors. Election is at the annual meeting, one-half retiring every three years. The number is one-third the number of Councillors, although in London the proportion is one-sixth. The Chairman is elected by the Council, and presides over its meetings. The Council holds, as a rule, only an annual meeting and four quarterly meetings. Committees. I The work is principally transacted by Com- mittees, who merely report their proceedings to the Council. Committees are of two kinds: (1) Ordinary, and (2) Joint. (1) Ordinary Committees are of two kinds: I (a) Statutory, and (b) Standing. (a) Statutory Committees include (i.) Finance, under Local Government Act, 1888. To this Committee is entrusted the control of the Council's expenditure. The Council itself cannot order a single payment except upon a recommendation of the Finance Committee. (ii.) Education, under Education Act, 1902. (iii.) Distress, under Unemployed Work- men Act, 1905. (iv.) Small Holdings, under Small Hold- ings and Allotments Act, 1908. (v.) Local Pension, under the Old Age Pensions Act, 1908. (vi.) Public Health and Housing, under the Housing and Town Planning, &c., Act, 1909. (vii.) Shops Act, under the Shops Acts, 1912 and 1913. (viii.) Local, under the Naval and Military War Pensions, &c., Acts, 1915 to 1917. (b) Standing Committees depend upon the functions of the Council, but these usually include:— (i.) Main Roads and Bridges. (ii.) Parliamentary. (iii.) Local Government. The Local Government Act of 1888 gave the County Council a substantial voice in the constitution of any new borough within its county, in the alteration of district and parish boundaries, in the division of urban districts into wards, and in the conversion of rural into urban districts, &c. And the Local Government Act of 1894 gave them still further powers in this direction. (iv.) Weights and Measures. (v.) General Purposes or Executive. (2) The Joint Committees comprise those appointed to administer certain Acts, and in- clude- (a) Standing Joint Committee for County Police, a body consisting of an equal number of County Justices and members of the County Council appointed by the Justices in Quarter Sessions and by the County Council respec- tively. Its duties include:— (1) The appointment and regulation of the duties of the Clerk of the Peace; (2) The control (but not the appointment) of the Justices' Clerks for the Petty Sessional Districts within the county; (3) The control of buildings which the Council and the Justices share in common; (4) The control and management of the County Police (its most important duty) (b) Asylums Visiting Committee, on which private benefactors may be represented, and to which any county borough, if contributing to the cost of the County Asylum, may ap. point two members. (c) Inebriates Act Committee. (d) Sea and River Conservancy, and Hiver Pollution. The County Council appoints representa- tives upon the County Insurance Committee unde. the National Insurance (Health) Acts, 1911 to 1918. Duties of County Councils. Duties are of two kinds, vi.:— (1) The direct functions, indicated by the names of the Committees given above, may be said to include:— (a) Sanitary, Housing and Town Planning; (b) Highways and Bridges; (c) Police; (d) Educational; (e) Registration and Licensing; (f) Economic and Social, including Un- employed Workmen, Old Age Pen- sions, National Health Insurance, &c. (g) Miscellaneous, including management or assistance of Light Railways, Protec- tion of Wild Birds. (2) Control extends to all other Local Authorities in inverse ratio to their powers, and includes the distribution of the sums re- ceived from the Exchequer Contribution Account. Oiffcers. Officers include those:— (1) Appointed by the Standing Joint Com- mittee:- (a) Clerk; (b) Chief Constable. (2) Appointed by the County Council:- (a.) Treasurer; (b) Surveyor; (c) Medical Officer of Health (d) Public Analyst; (e) Coroner; (f) Inspectors to comply with requirements of the enactments; and such other officers as the Council think necessary. I The Judicial County. 1 he County is still used as a national unit ?as well as a local government area. The Crown representative in every County is the Sheriff. He is the chief executive officer of the High Court of Justice in the County. He is un- paid, he has to receive the Judges on As&ize, largely at his own expense, summons juries, enforces judgments, and is returning officer of elections (Parliamentary) in the County. He is appointed for twelve months, and is liable to a fine on refusal to accept office. He appoints an under-sheriff, who is usually a solicitor, holding the office continuously, and paid by fees. This official does practically all the work. Every Sheriff (save the Sheriff of Lancaster and the Sheriff of Cornwall) is appointed—" pricked is the correct term —by His Majesty in person, on the nomina- tion of a court which sits every year on the 12th November at the Royal Courts of Jus- tice. Another official appointed by the Crown, usually for life, is the Lord Lieutenant. who, until 1871, was the commander of the Militia and Yeomanry. Under the Terri- torial Forces Act, 1907, he is the chairman of the County Association for organising the Auxiliary Army. The Lord Lieutenant is almost always (but not necessarily) the Custos Rotulorum-the record-keeper of the county. He is the principal Justice of the Peace, and in this capacity recommends gentlemen to the Lord Chancellor for appointment as magis- trates. < County Finance. "lhe revenue of a County Council is derived mainly from:— (1) The County Rate (part of the Poor Rate) (2) Fines inflidedfor the breaches of by- laws or statutes. (3) A small income from property in the shape of tolls, rents, royalties, &c. (4) A share of the licence duties collected by the Imperial Government in the County, together with a proportion of the estate duty collected in the United Kingdom. These contributions from the Imperial Ex- chequer are carried to a separate account called the "Exchequer Contribution Account," and they must be devoted primarily to the payment of poor-law officers, medical officers of health, registrars of births and deaths, and other statutory officials. They cannot be used for the general purposes of the County until these claims are satisfied. Then by the Local Taxation Act, 1890. (5) A certain portion of the Customs and Excise Duties may be distributed between County and County Borough funds, to be used primarily for payment of the officials men- tioned above, and then for purposes of higher education. I, Loans I I I I tor bounty purposes only are limited to one- tenth the assessable value, and for a period not exceeding thirty years. Other loans as I prescribed by the respective -eiw^tiaBnts. I A ccounts I are made up yearly to 31st March, and are subject to audit by the District Auditor of the Local Government Board. (In compiling the above notes, extensive use has been made of J. J. Clarke's Out- lines of Local Government U).


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