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Local Government Act 1888

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Part IVFinance

Property Funds and Costs of County Council

64Transfer of county property and liabilities

(1)On and after the appointed day all property of the quarter sessions of a county, or held by the clerk of the peace, or any justice or justices of a county, or treasurer, or commissioners, or otherwise for any public uses and purposes of a county, or any division thereof, shall pass to and vest in and be held in trust for the council of the county, subject to all debts and liabilities affecting it, and shall be held by the county council for the same estate, interest, and purposes, and subject to the same covenants, conditions, and restrictions, for and subject to which that property is or would have been held if this Act had not passed, so far as those purposes are not modified by this Act. Provided that—

(a)the existing records of or in the custody of the court of quarter sessions shall, subject to any order of that court, remain in the same custody in which they would have been if this Act had not passed; and

(b)where any property belongs to a charity, nothing in this Act shall affect the trust of such charity, and until otherwise directed by the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales, the trustees or managers of the charity shall be appointed in like manner as if this Act had not passed; and

(c)the justices of any county may retain any pictures, chattels, or property on the ground that the same have been presented to them or purchased out of their own funds or otherwise belong to them, and are not held for public purposes of the county, and any difference arising between the county council and the justices with respect to any such retention shall be referred to and determined by the Commissioners under this Act.

(2)On and after the appointed day all debts and liabilities- of the quarter sessions, or of the clerk of the peace, or any justice or justices, or treasurer, or commissioners, incurred for county purposes, shall become debts and liabilities of the county council, and shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, be defrayed by them out of the like property and funds out of which they would have been defrayed if this Act had not passed.

(3)The county council shall have full power to manage, alter, and enlarge, and, with the consent of the Local Government Board, to alienate any land or buildings transferred by this section, or otherwise vested in the council, but shall. provide such accommodation arid rooms, and such furniture, books, and other things as may from time to time be determined by the standing joint committee of quarter sessions and the county council, to be necessary or proper for the due transaction of the business, and convenient keeping of the records and documents, of the quarter sessions and justices out of sessions, or of any committee of such quarter sessions or justices.

(4)This section shall apply, with the necessary modifications, to the administrative counties of Sussex and Suffolk.

(5)This section shall apply in the case of the property, debts, and liabilities of the justices of all the ridings and divisions of the counties of York or Lincoln at their gaol sessions, or of commissioners appointed by the justices, in like manner as if it were herein re-enacted with the substitution of gaol sessions or commissioners for quarter sessions, and of clerk of gaol sessions for clerk of the peace, and as if the joint committee of the councils of the three ridings or divisions were the council of the county; and the said joint committee shall, for the purposes of the said property, debts and liabilities, and for the transaction of the administrative business and execution of their duties under this Act, be a body corporate, with perpetual succession and a common seal, by the name of the county committee, with the prefix of the name of the county, and with power to acquire and hold land for the purposes of their constitution without licence in mortmain.

(6)The county council of the soke of Peterborough shall be liable to repair the county bridges in the soke, and if any costs are incurred by the county council of the county of Northampton for the benefit of the soke, an adjustment thereof shall be made by agreement, or by arbitration in manner provided by this Act.

65Power to acquire lands

(1)A county council may, from time to time, for the purpose of any of their powers and duties, including those which are to be executed through the standing joint committee, acquire, purchase, or take on lease, or exchange any lands Or any easements or rights over or in land, whether situate within or without the county, and may acquire, hire, erect, and furnish such halls, buildings, and offices as they may from time to time require, whether within or without their county.

(2)For the purpose of the purchase, taking on lease, or exchange of such lands, sections one hundred and seventy-six, one hundred and seventy-seven, and one hundred and seventy-eight of the Public Health Act, 1875, shall apply as if they were herein re-enacted, and in terms made applicable to the county council.

(3)Where the county council, with the consent of the Local Government Board, sell any land, the proceeds of such sale shall be applied in such manner as the said Board sanction towards the discharge of any loan of the council, or otherwise for any purpose for which capital may be applied by the council.

66Costs of justices to be payable out of county fund

All costs incurred by the quarter sessions or the justices out of session of a county, and all costs incurred by any justice, police officer, or constable, in defending any legal proceedings taken against him in respect of any order made, or act done, in the execution of his duty as such justice, police officer, or constable shall, to such amount as may be sanctioned by the standing joint committee of the county council and quarter sessions, and, so far as they are not otherwise provided for, be paid out of the county fund of the county, and the council of the county shall provide for such payment accordingly.

67Adjustment of law as respects costs ordered by quarter sessions or justices to be paid

Any order of a court of quarter sessions, or of any justices or justice out of session, for the payment by the county treasurer of costs in criminal proceedings or of costs under the Act of the forty-eighth year of the reign of King George the Third, chapter seventy-five, shall be obeyed by the county treasurer in like manner as heretofore, and the county council shall cause the treasurer, or some other person on his behalf, to attend at every court of quarter sessions for the purpose of paying such sums as may be ordered by the court to be so paid.

68Funds of county council

(1)Ail receipts of the county council, whether for general or special county purposes, shall be carried to the county fund, and all payments for general or special county purposes shall be made in the first instance out of that fund.

(2)In this Act the expression "general county purposes" means all purposes declared by this or any other Act to be general county purposes, and all purposes for contributions to which the county council are for the time being authorised by law to assess the whole area of their administrative county, and the expression " general county account" means the account of the county fund to which the contributions so raised are carried, and any costs incurred for a general county purpose shall be general expenses, and all costs incurred by the county council in the execution of their duties which are not by law made special expenses shall be general expenses.

(3)In this Act the expression "special county purposes" means any purposes from contribution to which any portion of the county is ' for the time being exempt, and also includes any purposes where the expenditure involved is by law restricted to a hundred, division, or other limited part of the county, and the expression "special county account" means any account of the county fund to which contributions for special county purposes are carried, and any costs incurred for a special county purpose shall be special expenses.

(4)If the moneys standing to the general county account of the county fund are insufficient to meet the expenditure for general county purposes, county contributions may be levied to meet the deficiency on the whole administrative county, and shall be assessed on alJ the parishes in the county.

(5)If the 'moneys standing to any special county account of the county fund are insufficient to meet the expenditure for the special county purposes chargeable to that account, county contributions may be levied to meet the deficiency on any parishes in the county liable to be assessed to county contributions for those purposes.

(6)Any precept for county contributions may include as separate items a contribution for general county purposes, and a contribution for any special county purpose or purposes, and subject as in this or any other Act mentioned, county contributions, whether for general or special county purposes, which are liable to be assessed on the parishes, shall be assessed on such parishes in proportion to the annual value thereof, as determined by the standard or basis for the county rate, and all enactments applying to such standard or basis or to county rate shall (save as altered by this Act) apply so far as may be, consistently with the tenor thereof, to county contributions, and those enactments shall extend to all parishes within any borough which are liable under this Act to be assessed to county contributions.

(7)The county council shall keep such accounts as will prevent the whole administrative county from being charged with expenditure properly payable by a portion only of the county, and will prevent any sums raised in a portion only of the county being applied in reduction of expenditure properly payable by the whole or a larger part of the county, and will further secure any such exemption as above in this section mentioned, and will prevent any sums by law specifically applicable to any particular purpose from being applied to any other purpose.

(8)In determining the amount of expenditure for any particular county purpose, general or special, a proper proportion of the cost of the officers and buildings and establishment of the county council may be added to the expenditure directly expended for that purpose.

(9)County contributions may be made retrospective in order to raise money for the payment of costs incurred, or having become payable at any time within six months before the demand of the contributions.

69Borrowing by county council

(1)The county council may from time to time, with the consent of the Local Government Board, borrow, on the security of the county fund, and of any revenues of the council, or on either such fund or revenues, or any part of the revenues, such sums as may be required for the following purposes, or any of them, that is to say;

(a)for consolidating the debts of the county; and

(b)for purchasing any land or building any building, which the council are authorised by any Act to purchase or build and

(c)for any permanent work or other thing which the county council are authorised to execute or do, and the cost of which ought in the opinion of the Local Government Board to be spread over a term of years; and

(d)for making advances (which they are hereby authorised to make) to any persons or bodies of persons, corporate or unincorporate, in aid of the emigration or colonisation of inhabitants of the county, with a guarantee for repayment of such advances from any local authority in the county, or the Government of any colony ; and

(e)for any purpose for which quarter sessions or the county council are authorised by any Act to borrow,

but neither the transfer of powers by this Act nor anything else in this Act shall confer on the county council any power to borrow without, the consent above mentioned, and that consent shall dispense with the necessity of obtaining any other consent which may be required by the Acts relating to such borrowing, and the Local Government Board, before giving their consent, shall take into consideration any representation made by any ratepayer or owner of property rated to the county fund

(2)Provided that where the total debt of the county council, after deducting the amount of any sinking fund, exceeds, or if the proposed loan is borrowed will exceed, the amount of one tenth of the annual rateable value of the rateable property in the county, ascertained according to the standard or basis for the county rate, the amount shall not be borrowed, except in pursuance of a provisional order made by the Local Government Board and confirmed by Parliament.

(3)A county council may also from time to time, without any consent of the Local Government Board, during the period which was fixed for the discharge of any loan raised by them under this Act or transferred to them by this Act, borrow on the like security such amount as may be required for the purpose of paying off the whole or any part of such loan, or if any part of such loan has been repaid otherwise than by capital money for re-borrowing the amount so re-paid and for the purpose of this section," capital money " includes any instalments, annual appropriations, and sinking fund and the proceeds of the sale of land or other property, but does not include money previously borrowed for the purpose of repaying a loan.

(4)All money reborrowed shall be repaid within the period fixed for the discharge of the original loan, and every loan for reborrowing shall for the purpose of the ultimate discharge be deemed to form part of the same loan as the original loan, and the obligations of the council with respect to the discharge of the original loan shall not be in any way affected by meaus of the reborrowing.

(5)A loan under this section shall be repaid within such period, not exceeding thirty years, as the county council, with the consent of the Local Government Board, determine in each case.

(6)The county council shall pay off every loan either by equal yearly or half yearly instalments of principal, or of principal 'and interest combined, or by means of a sinking fund set apart, invested, and applied in accordance with the Local Loans Act, 1875, and the Acts amending the same.

(7)Where a loan is raised for any special county purpose, the council shall take care that the sums payable in respect of the loan are charged to the special account to which the expenditure for that purpose is chargeable.

(8)Where the county council are authorised to borrow any money on loan they may raise such money either as one loan or several loans, and either by stock issued under this Act, or by debentures or annuity certificates under the Local Loans Act, 1875, and the Acts amending the same, or, if special reasons exist for so borrowing, by mortgage, in accordance with sections two hundred and thirty-six and two hundred and thirty-seven of the Public Health Act, 1875.

(9)Provided that where a county council have borrowed by means of stock they shall not borrow by way of mortgage except for a period not exceeding five years.

(10)Where the county council borrow by debentures such 'debentures may be for any amount not less than five pounds.

(11)The provisions of this section which authorise advances in aid of the emigration or colonisation of inhabitants Of the county, and borrowing for those advances, except the provisions respecting the total debt, shall extend to the councils of boroughs mentioned in the Third Schedule to this Act.

(12)Nothing in this section shall be taken to empower the Cheshire County Council to borrow on the security of any revenue estimated to accrue from the surplus funds of the River Weaver Navigation.

70Issue of county stock

(1)County stock may be created, issued, transferred, dealt with, and redeemed in such manner and in accordance with such regulations as the Local Government Board may from time to time prescribe.

(2)Without prejudice to the generality of the above power, such regulations may provide, for the discharge of any loan raised by such, stock, and in the case of consolidation of debt for extending or varying the times within which loans may be discharged, and may provide for the consent of limited owners and for the application of the Acts relating to stamp duties and to cheques and for the disposal of unclaimed dividends, and may apply for the purposes of this section, with or without modifications, any enactments of the Local Loans Act, 1875, and the Acts amending the same, and of any Act relating to stock issued by the Metropolitan Board of .Works, or by the corporation of any municipal borough.

(3)Such regulations shall be laid before each House of Parliament for not less than thirty days during which such House sits, and if either House during such thirty days resolves that such regulations ought not to be proceeded with the same shall be of no effect, without prejudice nevertheless to the making of farther regulations,

(4)If no such resolution is passed it shall be lawful for tier Majesty by Order in Council to confirm such regulations, and the same when so confirmed shall be deemed to have been duly made and to be within the powers of this Act, and shall be of the same force as if they were enacted in this Act.

71Audit of accounts of county council

(1)The accounts of the receipts and expenditure of county councils: shall be made up to the end of each local financial year as defined by this Act, and be in the form for the time being prescribed by the Local Government Board.

(2)The provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, with respect to the return to the Local Government Board of the accounts of a council of a borough and to the accounts of the treasurer of the borough, and to the inspection and abstract thereof shall apply to the accounts of a county council, and of the treasurer and officers of such council, and the said provisions respecting the return to the Local Government Board shall extend to the return to that Board of a printed copy of the abstract of the said accounts.

(3)The accounts of a county council and of the county treasurer and officers of such council, shall be audited by the district auditors appointed by the Local Government Board in like manner as accounts of an urban authority and their officers under sections two hundred and forty-seven and two hundred and fifty of the Public Health Act, 1875, and those sections and all enactments amending them or applying to audit by district auditors, including the enactments imposing penalties and providing for the recovery of sums, shall apply in like manner as if, so far as they relate to an audit of the accounts of an urban authority and the officers of such authority, they were herein re-enacted with the necessary modifications, and accordingly all ratepayers and owners of property in the county shall have the like rights, and there shall be the same appeal as in the case of such audit. Provided that the First Schedule to the District Auditors Act, 1879, shall be modified in manner described in the Second Schedule to this Act.

72Adaptation of Part V of 45 & 46 Vict. c.50 as to corporate property and liabilities

After the appointed day the Local Government Board shall exercise, as regards any county borough, or other borough, the powers conferred by Part V. of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, relating to corporate property and liabilities, as respects the approval of loans and of the alienation of property, and other matters therein mentioned, and that Part shall, as respects any transactions commenced after the appointed day, be construed as if "Local Government Board" were throughout that Part substituted for

Treasury.

Local Financial Year and Annual Budget

73Fixing of local financial year and consequent adjustments

(1)After the appointed day, not being more than three years after the passing of this Act, the local financial year shall be the twelve months ending the thirty-first day of March, and the accounts of the receipts and expenditure of every county council' shall be made up for that year, but until the appointed day the local financial year shall be the twelve months ending the twenty-fifth day of March, and the said accounts shall be made up for that year.

(2)All enactments relating to accounts of local authorities, or the audit thereof, or to returns touching their receipts and expenditure, or to meetings, or other matters, shall be modified so far as is necessary for adapting them to the provisions of this section, and the Local Government Board shall from time to time give such orders and make such arrangements as appear to the Board to be necessary or proper for effecting such adaptation, and giving effect to the provisions of this section

74Annual budget of county councils

(1)At the beginning of every local financial year, every county council shall cause to be submitted to them an estimate of the receipts and expenses of such council during that financial year, whether on account of property, contributions, rates, loans, or otherwise

(2)The council shall estimate the amount which will require to be raised in the first six months, and in the second six months of the said financial year by means of contributions.

(3)If at the expiration of the first six months of such financial year it appears to the council that the amount of the contribution or rate estimated at the commencement of the year will be larger than is necessary' or will be insufficient, the council may revise the estimats and alter accordingly the amount of the contribution or rate.

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