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IN the preparation of this handbook on the Local Government Act, 1894, I have had but one object in view, namely— to 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.
General effect of the Local Government Act, 1894, as regards
parochial and other local authorities.
CHAPTER I.-LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1894
Commencement-Definitions-Sundays and Holidays--Effect on
Parishes in more than one Sanitary District.
Constitution of Notices of Assembly of-Proceedings-Polls-
Parish Meetings for parts of Parish-Powers of Parish
Meeting in Parish with a Parish Council-Powers of, in
Parish without a separate Parish Council.
Establishment of-Constitution of-Meetings and Proceedings
-Grouped Parishes-Provisions for change in population.
CHAPTER IV.-POWERS OF PARISH COUNCIL
Appointment of Overseers and Assistant Overseers-Other Parish
Officers-Transfer of Powers of Vestry, Churchwardens, and
Overseers-Parish Property-Additional Powers of Parish Council
-Borrowing Powers-Expenses-Custody of Parish Books and
Documents-Parochial Charities-Place of Meeting for Parochial
General Provisions as to Adoption and Execution-Transfer of
By Parish Council by Agreement--Compulsory Acquisition by
Parish Council, and for purposes of Allotments, by District
Council-Hiring for Allotments by Parish Council.
Constitution, Term of Office, and Proceedings of Place of
Meeting-Committees of Parish and District Councils.
CHAPTER VIII. -- POWERS AND DUTIES OF DISTRICT COUNCILS
Transfer of Sanitary and Highway Powers to Rural District
Councils-Urban and Rural Councils, Additional Powers-Ex-
penses of District Councils-Urban Councils and London
Authorities, Power of Appointing Overseers and other Powers of
CHAPTER IX.-ACCOUNTS OF DISTRICT AND PARISH COUN-
CHAPTER X.-GENERAL PROVISIONS RESPECTING TRANSFER
Savings-Determination of Questions-Adjustment of Property
and Liabilities-Existing Bye-laws-Transfer of Powers of De-
faulting Rural District Councils to County Councils-Existing
Boundary Commissions-Duties and Powers of County Councils
-Application of Powers to different cases-Names of Parishes
and Districts-Division of Parish into Wards- Constitution of
new Urban Districts-Copies of Orders-Expenses of Local In-
CHAPTER XII.—REGISTRATION AND ELECTIONS
Register of Parochial Electors-Registration Proceedings-Dis-
qualification of Candidates and Members of Local Authorities
APPENDIX B.-FULL TEXT of those sections of the following Enactments
which are incorporated with or referred to in the Local Govern-
Order County Councils-Regulations and Notices under Section
57 of the Local Government Act, 1888, dated 14th September,
Circular, re the Local Government Act, 1894, to Guardians
and Urban Sanitary Authorities other than Town Councils,
to Highway Boards in England and Wales, dated
to Metropolitan Vestries and District Boards, and the
Local Board of Woolwich, dated 19th March, 1894
Order County Councils-Regulations as to Inquiries and
Notices during 1894, dated 22nd March, 1894 ...
Circular, re the Local Government Act, 1894, to County
Councils, except the London County Council, dated 24th
to Clerks to County Councils, Town Clerks, or Returning
to Boards of Guardians, dated 3rd April, 1894
to County Councils, dated 30th April, 1894
to Town Councils of County Boroughs, dated 30th
Information and Directions as to the mode in which Application
for the Regulation or Inclosure of Commons under the Inclosure
Acts, 1845 to 1882, are to be made to the Board of Agriculture;
with Explanations respecting the Law relating to the Regulation
Instructions as to the mode of Appealing to the Local Government
Board against Disallowances and Surcharges by a District