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11 & 12 VICT. CAP. 63.

AN ACT

FOR PROMOTING THE PUBLIC HEALTH.

31st AUGUST, 1848.

WHEREAS further and more effectual provision ought Preamble. to be made for improving the sanitary condition of towns and populous places in England and Wales, and it is expedient that the supply of water to such towns and places, and the sewerage, drainage, cleansing, and paving thereof, should, as far as practicable, be placed under one and the same local management and control, subject to such general supervision as is hereinafter provided (a): Be it

(a) The preamble is framed in conformity with the first l'ecommendation of the commissioners for inquiring into the state of large towns, &c. (Second Report, folio, pp. 10, 13.) Lighting, and certain other powers commonly contained in local improvement Acts, are not referred to, inasmuch as they have no immediate relation to the works required for sanitary purposes; but in a subsequent section (10) provision is made for transferring to the local boards to be constituted under this Act all lighting powers granted by any local Act, otherwise than for private profit, and all powers contained in any local Act for “paving, cleansing, watching, regulating, supplying with water, or improving any city, town, borough, parish, or place" to which the statute in the text is applied, or otherwise “having relation to the purposes” of that Act. By a proviso

B

PUBLIC HEALTH ACT

1848.

therefore enacted by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the

lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this Act may be present parliament assembled, and by the authority any part of of the same, that this Act may from time to time Wales, be applied (6), in manner hereinafter provided, to

England and

in the same section, the powers of waterworks companies to supply water for their own profit cannot be interfered with without consent.

(6) The Act is framed with a view to its application to districts to be formed for the purposes of the whole or any part of the Act; and with the exception of one section (50), no part of the Act can be so applied until after an inquiry on the spot by a superintending inspector, nor without an order in council, or an order (called a “provisional order”) of the general board of health specially sanctioned by parliament. But whether an order in council or a provisional order should be resorted to, is not matter of discretion, and the course to be adopted must be decided by the following considerations : If, after inquiry by the inspector, upon petition of one-tenth of the inhabitants, rated to the relief of the poor, of any“ city, town, borough, parish, or place having a known or defined boundary” in which there is no local improvement Act, nor any local Act for watching, or for lighting (otherwise than for private profit), or for supplying water, it appear to the general board of health that a district should be formed having the same boundaries as those of the city, &c., from which the petition proceeded, the Act must be applied by order in council. If, on the other hand, the inquiry has been made without petition (as it may be in places where it appears by the registrar-general's returns that, on an average during seven years, there has been an excess of mortality), or if there be any such local Act, or if it be considered by the general board that a district should be formed having boundaries either larger or smaller than, or in any respect different from, those of the city, &c., in respect of which inquiry has been made, the Act can only be applied by provisional order of the general board of health sanctioned by parliament.

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