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The Full Text OF THE ACT; THE INCORPORATED SECTIONS OF THE LOCAL
OTHER STATUTES; TOGETHER WITH
AND OTHER OfficiaL INFORMATION.
Local Government Publishers.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
In the preparation of this handbook on the Local Government Act, 1894, I have had but one object in view, namelyto produce a work which, whether it is consulted hastily or studied at leisure, will provide a ready answer to any of the numerous problems that present themselves in the carrying out of the new Act. The book is primarily designed to meet the convenience of members of county, district, and parish councils, and of boards of guardians, as well as of officers of those authorities; but it will, I hope, be of equal value to every other person interested in local administration. It is intended to form a practical and concise guide to the statute and its numerous incorporated enactments. Many of the provisions of law are exceedingly intricate, and are scattered about in several sections of the statutes. An endeavour has been made in dealing with each particular subject to gather the scattered threads together, so that the reader may find in one place the information which he requires, without having to make troublesome cross references from one part of the work to another. A long experience in the administration of the law relating to every branch of local government, convinces me that this arrangement will be found particularly useful at meetings and on other occasions when any knotty point that demands solution must be settled then and there, and that the plan of this work will contrast most favourably with the ordinary arrangement adopted by other text-book writers.
To take, for an instance, such a simple matter as the chairmanship of the parish meeting, references to at least four sections and a schedule of the Act are required to discover who is empowered to take the chair at an assembly of the parish meeting ; and other provisions must be consulted to determine when the chairman of a parish meeting for a parish without a parish council is to be elected, and for how long he holds office. The whole matter is dealt with once for all on pages 15 and 16 of the handbook. In more complicated matters, such as the adoption and execution of the adoptive Acts, to which a separate chapter is devoted, the advantage of discarding
the artificial arrangement of the statute, which is determined more by the exigencies of parliamentary debate than by convenience in administering the law, is much more striking.
Difficulties must always arise in the administration of a new statute dealing with so complicated a subject as the local government of this country, and such questions as the right of the parish council or parish meeting to meet in the vestry room or church (see pages 81 and 82) or the right of the chairman of an urban district council elected from outside the councillors to give an original vote (see page 134), must be confronted when the newly constituted bodies come into existence. My constant aim throughout the work where any difficulties of this character have presented themselves, has been to offer such solution of them as is possible, and I trust that my efforts in this respect will be of service to my readers.
Special care has been taken to secure that the index should be full and complete. Its plan is based upon the principles advocated by the Index Society, and I have every reason to believe that its method of arrangement will materially enhance the value of the handbook.
In conclusion attention may be drawn to the Appendix, which contains the full text of the Local Government Act, 1894, and its incorporated enactments, together with the circulars and orders of the Local Government Board, and all other official information issued up to the date of going to press.
THE AUTHOR. May, 1894.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
The issue of a second edition of this handbook has been found necessary, not by reason of any further official information on the new Act having come to hand, but by the rapid sale of the first edition. Whilst, under these circumstances, comparatively few alterations of the text have been made in the present edition, the opportunity has been taken to add such further notes and explanations as seemed desirable, and some paragraphs have been re-written. The author is indebted to several correspondents for hints and suggestions, and to the public press for numerous appreciative notices.