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Accounts of
County
Council 1

period, the interest which would otherwise be payable on such securities, or on such part of the loan, must be paid into the sinking fund and invested.

8th. If the annual income of the sinking fund is not less than the annual interest payable on so much of the loan as remains undischarged, the equal annual payments into the sinking fund may cease to be paid.

The accounts of the receipts and expenditure of the County
Council must be made up to the end of each local financial
year, and be in the form for the time being prescribed by the
Local Government Board.
The accounts of the County Treasurer must be made up

halfyearly to such dates as the County Council, with the approval of the Local Government Board, may from time to time appoint.

A return must be made annually to the Local Government Board of the receipts and expenditure of the County Council in such form as the Local Government Board may direct.

The accounts of a County Council and of the County Treasurer, and of the Officers of the County Council, must be audited in accordance with secs. 247 and 250 of the Public Health Act, 1875 (38 & 39 Vict. c. 55), by the District Auditors appointed by the Local Government Board under the District Auditors Act, 1879 (42 & 43 Vict. c. 6).

The County Council must pay a stamp duty for accounts thus audited.

The District Auditor will give notice of the time and place at which he proposes to attend for the audit, and after receiving that notice the County Council must give at least fourteen days' notice of that time and place, and also of the deposit of accounts they are required to make, by advertisement in one or more local newspapers.

A copy of the accounts, duly made up and balanced, together with all rate books, account books, deeds, contracts, accounts, vouchers, and receipts, mentioned or referred to in such accounts, must be deposited in the office of the County Council and must be open during office hours to the inspection of all persons interested, for seven clear days before the audit, and all such persons may take copies or extracts free of charge.

For the purpose of the audit the District Auditor may, by summons, in writing, require the production of all books, deeds, accounts, &c., that he may deem necessary, and may require any person holding or accountable for such books, &c., to appear before him and sign a declaration as to their correctness.

i Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 71.

Any ratepayer or owner of property in the county may be present at the audit, and may make any objection to the accounts before the District Auditor, and such ratepayers and owners have the same right of appeal against allowances by a District Auditor as is given in the case of disallowances.

The District Auditor must disallow every item of account contrary to law, and surcharge the same on the person making or authorizing the making of the illegal payment; he must charge against any person accounting the amount of any deficiency he has incurred by the negligence or misconduct of that person, or of any item which ought to have been, but is not, brought into account by that person. In every case of disallowance or surcharge, he must certify the amount due from such person, and on application by any party aggrieved, must state in writing the reasons for his decision in respect of such disallowance or surcharge, and also of any allowance which he may have made.

Any person aggrieved by disallowance, may apply to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court for a writ of certiorari, to remove the disallowance into that court; or such person may appeal to the Local Government Board.

Every sum certified to be due from any person by the District Auditor, must be paid by such person to the Treasurer of the County Council within fourteen days after the same has been so certified ; unless there is an appeal. If the sum is not paid, the Auditor may recover the same.

Within fourteen days after the completion of the audit, the District Auditor must report on the accounts audited, and deliver his report to the Clerk of the County Council, who must deposit the same in their office and must publish an abstract of the accounts in one or more local newspapers.

CHAPTER IV.

BOUNDARIES.

New powers of Local Govern. ment Board.

In this chapter it is intended to give an account of the boundaries of the various areas of importance in connection with Local Government, namely :

—The parish, the union, the highway parish, the highway district, the borough, the sanitary districts, the county, the wards of boroughs and of sanitary districts, and the electoral divisions of counties.

Before going into details, we may point out that under the Local Government Act, 1888, the Local Government Board have large new powers for dealing with local boundaries. In particular they may, by a Provisional Order, requiring confirmation by Parliament, alter county

and borough boundaries, which it has hitherto been impossible, generally speaking, to deal with by any means short of an Act of Parliament; they may also by such an Order unite counties and county boroughs for all or any of the purposes of the Local Government Act, 1888, or divide counties.

In certain cases the Board may, however, exercise their power, only in pursuance of a representation from a County or Town Council interested. 1

County Councils also are given powers of dealing with local boundaries; in particular they may make Orders, requiring confirmation by the Local Government Board, dealing with parish boundaries and with the boundaries of sanitary districts, and also for converting rural sanitary districts, or parts thereof, into urban sanitary districts and vice versa.2

We now proceed to deal more in detail with each area which we have mentioned above.

Parish.
A parish is generally, as we have explained, either an old

Powers of County Council.

Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 54.
1b., sec. 57

ecclesiastical parish or a township, or some equivalent area.? The boundaries of ancient parishes and of townships, &c., never were definitely determined, but were matters of tradition ; and so far as the boundaries of parishes have not been definitely laid down by, or in pursuance of, recent statutes they still remain matters of tradition. Where a dispute arises as to the position of a parish boundary which has remained unaffected, the question must be decided by the Courts upon such evidence of tradition as is brought before them.

The following is a brief account of the recent legislation and of the places in which records of the changes consequent upon such legislation have been kept.

Until recently certain places were extra-parochial, i.e., not Extra-parochia! in any parish. By an Act of 1857 (20 Vict. c. 19), such extraparochial places as were entered as extra-parochial in the census returns for 1851 were made parishes.

The Justices of the Peace were also empowered to make other extra-parochial places into parishes by simply appointing Overseers for them. The owners and occupiers of an extraparochial place might, with the consent of a parish, annex such a place to a parish. The annexation was effected by an Order of the Quarter Sessions of the county or borough in which the parish was situated, and such an Order might probably be found in the records of the parish or of the county.

By the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1868(31 & 32 Vict.c. 122) 2 all remaining extra-parochial places were incorporated with the adjoining parish with which they had the longest common boundary, or in case of an equality of boundaries, with the parish of the lowest rateable value. The next general Act affecting parish boundaries, dealt Detached parts

of parishes. with detached portions of parishes. Large numbers of parishes had formerly, and many have still, outlying portions completely detached from the main body. These cases had, before 1882, been dealt with in considerable numbers by the Local Government Board, under certain powers that we shall discuss subsequently.

By the Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act, 1882 (45 & 46 Vict. c. 58), those portions of divided parishes which were wholly surrounded by another parish became part of the surrounding parish, and where two or more isolated parts of different parishes adjoining each other were wholly

1 Ante, p. 34.

2 Sec. 27.

Tithe
Commissioners
and Inclosure
Commissioners.

surrounded by another parish they in the same way became part of the surrounding parish. An opportunity was however given to the inhabitants of such a detached part of a parish, containing a population over 300, to apply to the Local Government Board to have such detached part made into a separate parish, but that provision had to be taken advantage of before the ist December, 1882.

Thus apart from awards, orders and statutes dealing with particular cases, a parish retains its traditional boundaries, but it may contain additional places that were extra-parochial in 1857 or 1868, or which were detached parts of other parishes in 1882.

We now deal with the orders and awards that may have affected or defined parish boundaries.

The Justices, as we have seen, had formerly power to annex extra-parochial places to parishes, and their Orders may be found among the records either of the parish or county. This power is of course obsolete.

The Tithe Commissioners and the Inclosure Commissioners have power in certain cases to alter, define, and straighten parish boundaries. The records of these bodies in connection with parish boundaries may probably be found among the parish records of the parishes affected. These powers still exist, but are not of very general importance.

Under the Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act, 1876 (39 & 40 Vict. c. 61), the Poor Law Act, 1879 (42 & 43 Vict. c. 54), and the Divided Parishes and Poor Law Amendment Act, 1882 (45 & 46 Vict. c. 58), the Local Government Board may deal with any parish :: (i.) which is divided so that some portions are completely

detached from others; or (ii.) which is divided so that part of it is divided from

another part by the boundary of a municipal borough or of a county or by a river estuary or branch of

the sca; or (iii.) which has a part nearly detached from the rest of it or

otherwise so situated as to render the administration of the relief of the poor, in such part, or its local

Divided
Parishes Acts.

1 The powers of the Tithe Commissioners are contained in-6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 71, sec. 12; 1 Vict. c. 69, secs. 2, 3 ; 2 & 3 Vict. c. 62, secs. 34-36 ; 3 & 4 Vict. c. 15, sec. 28; 9 & 10 Vict. c. 73, sec. 21. The powers of the Inclosure Commissioners, in-41 Geo. III. c. 109, sec. 3; 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 115, sec. 28 ; 3 & 4 Vict. c. 31, secs. 2, 3; 8 & 9 Vict. c. 118, sec. 39 ; 12 & 13 Vict. c. 83, secs. 1, 9; 15 & 16 Vict. c. 79, sec. 28.

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