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Officers of Council.
The town clerk and deputy.
17.-(1.) 'The council shall from time to time appoint a fit person, not a member of the council, to be the town clerk of the borough.
[The appointment should always be ratified under the corporate seal. So many important duties have at times to be performed by the town clerk on behalf of the corporation That this precaution is necessary. ]
(2.) The town clerk shall hold office during the pleasure of the council.
(A resolution of the council rescinding the appointment is sufficient.— Reg. v. Thomas (8, A. & E. 183).]
(3.) He shall have the charge and custody of, and be responsible for, the charters, deeds, records, and documents of the borough, and they shall be kept as the council direct.
[The town clerk cannot establish a lien on corporation documents other than papers used in work done as a solicitor Reg. v. Sankey (5 A. & E. 43).]
(4.) A vacancy in the office shall be filled within twenty-one days after its occurrence.
(5.) In case of the illness or absence of the town clerk, the council may appoint a deputy town clerk, to hold office during their pleasure.
[This power is very limited, and difficult circumstancos might arise by the town clerk not having power to nominate a deputy in case of his illness or absence.]
(6.) All things required or authorized by law to be done by or to the town clerk may be done by or to the deputy town clerk.
[The effect of sections 58 and 65 of the Act of 1835 is preserved in this clause. In nearly all large boroughs the duties of the town clerk are defined in writing, because work is thrown upon them other than that defined by statute. Subject to the provisions of this Act the ordinary luw of master and servant would apply to all officers appointed by a town council.]
18.-(1.) The council shall from time to time appoint a fit person, not a member of the council, to be the treasurer of the borough.
(2.) The treasurer shall hold office during the pleasure of the council.
(By section 68 of the Act of 1835 the treasurer was elected annually. The Oficere of Act 6 & 7 Vict. c. 89 (1843) directed the office to be held at pleasure.] Council.
(3.) A vacancy in the office shall be filled within twenty-one days after its occurrence.
(4.) The offices of town clerk and treasurer shall not be held by the same person.
[The effect of section 59 of the Act of 1835 and section 6 of 6 and 7 Vict. o. 89 (1843) is preserved in this clauso.)
19.—The council shall from time to time appoint such other other borough officers as have been usually appointed in the borough, or as the council think necessary, and may at any time discontinue the appointment of any officer appearing to them not necessary to be re-appointed.
[The effect of section 58 of the Act of 1831 is preserved in this clause. It follows herein that compensation could not be claimed for loss of office if even the office vacated be not actually abolished by the council. It would be enough for the council to determine that, in their opinion, it is not necessary to re-appoint any particular oficer.]
20.— The council shall require every officer appointed by them Security by and to give such security as they think proper for the due execution of otticers. of his office, and shall allow him such remuneration as they think reasonable.
[The effect of section 58 of the Act of 1835 is preserved in this clauso. The town clerk is to be paid by salary, out of the borough fund; but, whether he tas or has not a fixed salarv, he cannot make any claim against the corporation for payment in respect of the duties imposed upon him by this Act, or by the Reform Act. Jones v. Mayor of Carmarthen (8 M. and W., 605). His salary is considered a compensation for all loss of time, &c. But he is entitled to be repaid money actually disbursed for tho preparation of ward lists, &c. Reg. v. Governor of Poor in Hull (2 E. & B., 182). From the principles laid down it follows that he has no claim for charges in respect of revision of burgess lists, ward lists, election of councillors, or auditors, returns to Secretary of State, bye-laws, copying, &c. However, the town council may resolve to pay him, besides his salary, the usual charges for defending and bringing actions, &c. See Thomas v. Mayor and Corporation of Swansea (2 Dowl., N.S., 470); Stevenson v. Mayor and Corporation of Berwick (1 Q. B., 151). See also Keg. v. Prest (16 Q. B., 32).]
21.-(1.) Every officer appointed by the council shall at such Accountalility times during the continuance of his office, or within three months after his ceasing to hold it, and in such manner as the council direct, deliver to the council, or as they direct, a true account in writing of all matters committed to his charge, and of his receipts and payments, with vouchers, and a list of persons from whom money is due for purposes of this Act in connection with his office, shewing the amount due from each.
(2.) Every such officer shall pay all money due from him to the treasurer, or as the council direct.
(3.) If any such officer-
list which he ought to deliver, or any voucher relating
(“Wilfully" means intentionally." See Taylor v. Vergette (I.. J., N. S., Ex. 401). For interpretation of “ wilful,” see 17 & 18 Vict. c. 102, s. 14.]
(6.) After three days' notice in writing, signed by the town
clerk or by three members of the council, given or left at his usual or last known place of abode, refuses or wilfully neglects to deliver to the council, or as they direct, any book or document which he ought so to deliver, or to give satiefaction respecting it to the council
or as they direct; a court of summary jurisdiction* having jurisdiction where the officer is or resides may, by summary order, require him to make such delivery or payment, or to give such satisfaction.
[By this subsection, is even the officers bo living within the borough, and the borough have a commission of the peace of its own, county magistrates may determine complaints against corporate officers by virtue of their jurisdiction under subsection 1 of section 154 of this Act. See also Baylis v. Strickland (1 M. & G. 591).]
(4.) But nothing in this section shall affect any remedy by action against any such officer or his surety, except that the officer shall not be both sued by action and proceeded against summarily for the same cause.
[The effect of section 60 of the Act of 1835 is preserved in this clause. See Mayor and Corporation of Lichfield v. Simpson (8 Q.B., 65).]
Meetings and Proceedings of Meetings and Proceedings of Council ; Committees. Council, Committees. Quarterly and 22.-(1.) The rules in the Second Schedule shall be other meetings of council; observed. appointment of committees, minutes, &c.
* As to the Court of Summary Jurisdiction see 42 & 43 Vict. c. 49, 8. 20, subsection 10.
The Schedule is as follows:
Meetings and 1. The council shall hold four quarterly meetings in every year for the Proceedings of transaction of general business.
Council ; 2. The quarterly meetings shall be held at noon on each ninth" of Committers. November, and at such hour on such other three days before the first of November the next following as the council at the quarterly meeting in November decide or afterwards from time to time by standing order determine.
3. The mayor may at any time call a meeting of the council. [It is not necessary that the notice of such meeting contain a statement of the business to be transacted. This, however, applies only to meetings called by the mayor on his own initiative and authority.]
4. If the mayor refuses to call a meeting after a requisition for that pur. pose, signed by five members of the council, has been presented to him, any five members of the council may forthwith, on that refusal, call a meeting. If the mayor without so refusing) does not within seven days after such presentation call a meeting, any five members of the council may, on the expiration of those seven days, call a meeting.
5. Three clear days at least before anyt meeting of the council, notice of the time and place of the intended meeting, signed by the mayor, or if the meeting is called by mem' ers of the council, by those members, shall be fixed on the town hall. Where the meeting is called by members of the council, the notice shall specify the business proposed to be transacted thereat.
6. Three clear days at least before any meeting of the council, a summons to attend the meeting, specifying the business proposed to be transacted thereat, and signed by the town clerk, shall be left or delivered by post in a registered: letter at the usual place of abode of every member of the council, toree clear days at least before the meeting.
7. Want of service of the summons on any member of the council shall not affect the validity of a meeting.
8. No business shall be transacted at a meeting other than that specified, in the summons relating thereto, except in case of a quarterly meetingt
business prescribed by this Act to be transacted thereat. [The question as to what particular business would fall within the description of business prescribed by this Act to be transacted thereat," would seem to afford opportunities for occasional difficulties which would have to be determined with reference to special circumstances.]
* The date of the November quarterly meeting for county councils under the Local Government Act, 1888, is the severth.
† At an adjourned quarterly meeting it was held that notice must be given of any business which was not actually begun at the quarterly meeting; but of business actually commenced no notice was requisite.--Reg. v. Grimshaw (10 Q.B., 747); but the mayor of C---- ruled at a quarterly meeting, under this Act, that only business named on the agenda could be taken. This ruling was objected to on the ground that an agenda for a quarterly meeting can only be regarded as an assistance to the members with respect to business which it is intended and desired that the council should be made acquainted. It was maintained that the principal object of the law in requiring the council to decide at the first quarterly meeting the dates of the three succeeding quarterly meetings, is that the members of the council may have those dates in their memory and be aware that business may be brought forward at the meetings on those dates without any other notice. If the mayor calls a meeting on requisition the summons comes unäer the provisions of Rule 6 and notice of the agenda must be given. In a case recently submitted for the opinion of council, it was advised that an agenda for a quarterly meeting was now necessary and that only business "prescribed by the Act,” could be transacted thereat without notice, but in face of the ruling quoted above, and which thereafter settled the practice under the Act of 1835, and the fact that the present schedule does not clearly abrogate that practice, it must be admitted that doubts may be reasonably entertained of the necessity of an agenda for quarterly meetings. Notice of a quarterly meeting, if given, must of course be given in the manner directed.
# This is an addition to the requirements under section 69 of the Act of 1835.
Meetings and 9. At every meeting of the council, the mayor, if present, shall be Proceedings of
chairman. If the mayor is absent, then the deputy mayor, if chosen* for Council ;
that purpose by the memters of the council then present, shall be chairman. Committees. If both the mayor and the deputy mayor are absent, or the deputy mayor
being present, is not chosen, then such aldermen, or in the absence of all the aldermen, such councillor, as the members of the council then present choose, shall be chairman.
10. All acts of the council, and all questions coming or arising before the council, may be done and decided by the majority of such members of the council as are present and vote at a meeting held in pursuance of this Act, the whole number present at the meeting, whether voting or not, not being
less than one third of the number of the whole council. [At a town council. meeting, where there were thirteen members present besides the chairman, on a question being put six voted for and four against and three besides the chairman did not vote, though they remained in the room. This vote was questioned on the contention that, according to section 69 of the Act of 1836, it was not good, as it was not a majority of the members present, who voted for it. The generally received view of this section was that a majority of those present was required for a resolution to be valid. This rule (10), which takes the place of section 69, effects a substantial change, or, at all events, clears up a doubtful point. Under the section named was not certain if any members present at a meeting abstained from voting and a resolution was carried by a number less than a majority of those present it was valid).
11. In case of equality of votes, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
12. Minutes of the pr ceedings of every meeting shall be drawn up and fairly entered in a book kept for that purpose, and shall be sighed in manner authorized by this Act.
13. Subject to the foregoing provisions of this schedule, the council may from time to time make standing orders for the regulation of their pro
ceedings and business, and vary or revoke the same. [The effect of section 69 of the Act of 183.), and section 3 of 36 & 37 Vict. 6. 33 (1873), is preserved in the foregoing schedule).
(2.) The council may from time to time appoint out of their own body such and so many committees, either of a general or special nature, and consisting of such number of persons, as they think fit,t for any purposes which, in the opinion of the council, would be better regulated and m'naged by means of such committees; but the acts of every such committee shall be submitted to the council for their approval.
(With reference to the subject of committees the following statement of a case for opinion can be advantageously noticed here :—"The town council of 8 are in the habit of appointing (on the 9th of each November) the whole of the council as a committee for finance, watching tand urban sanitary purposes, each member of the council, in fact, being a member of three important committees. The council also appoint other committees not composed of the whole number of memb:'rs of the council, and it is the practice for these small committees to report at pleasure to one or other of the three large com. mittees. Objection being taken to this procedure it was decided, with the tacit concurrence of the town clerk, that a report to one or other of the committees composed of the whole of the council can make no difference, seeing that they are really the council. Is this method irregular or illegal, and can the council properly appoint a committee of' and not 'out' of the council ?" From inquiries iustituted upon this statement it was elicited that the small committees
* This sentence of the paragraph would imply that the deputy mayor should be chosen unless some good reason exists for passing him over.
+ The Watch Committee must not, however, exceed one-third of the Council. Seo section 190, sub-section 1.