Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1913.djvu/133

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11
LOCAL GOVERNMENT

street improvements, education, and numerous other matters. The City Corporation have powers respecting sanitation, police, bridges, justice, &c. in the City of London. Apart from the City, London is divided into 28 metropolitan boroughs, under the London Government Act, 1899, each with a mayor, aldermen and councillors (women are eligible). The Councils have powers in regard to public health, highways, rating, housing, education, &c.

In all the great towns, including the county boroughs, local business is administered by a municipal Corporation, which derives its authority from a charter granted by the Crown. The County Boroughs are outside the jurisdiction of the County Councils, but in other Municipal Boroughs these Councils have certain powers and duties. A municipal Corporation consists of the mayor, aldermen, and burgesses, and acts through a Council elected by the burgesses—practically by the ratepayers. The councillors serve for three years (women are eligible), one-third retiring annually; the aldermen are elected by the Council, and the mayor, who serves for one year, also by the Council. A municipal Corporation has practically all the powers of an urban district council, and in some cases municipal boroughs have a separate commission of the peace and maintain their own police force. As to Poor Law and Education administration, see 'Pauperism' and 'Instruction.'

Scotland.—By the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1894, a Local Government Board for Scotland was constituted. It consists of the Secretary for Scotland as President, the Solicitor General of Scotland, the Under Secretary for Scotland, and three other members nominated by the Crown. The Local Government Act which was passed for Scotland in 1889 followed in its main outlines the English Act of the previous year. The powers of local administration in counties formerly exercised by the Commissioners of Supply and Road Trustees were either wholly or in part transferred to the new Councils, which took over their duties and responsibilities in 1890. The Act of 1894 provided that a Parish Council should be established in every parish to take the place of the Parochial Boards and to exercise powers similar to those of the Parish Councils in England. Municipal bodies exist in the towns of Scotland, as in those of England, with bailies and provosts instead of aldermen and mayors. There are in Scotland five kinds of burghs—(1) Burghs of barony; (2) Burghs of regality (no practical distinction between these two); the councils of these two classes of burghs ceased to exist in 1893 by statutory enactment; (3) Royal Burghs, representatives of which meet together annually in a collective corporate character, as the 'Convention of Royal Burghs,' for the transaction of business; (4) Parliamentary Burghs, which possess statutory constitutions almost identical with those of the Royal Burghs; (5) Police Burghs, constituted under the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892, in which the local authority are the Police Commissioners. These two latter burghs, by Acts passed in 1879 and 1895, are enabled to send representatives to the convention.

Ireland.—The principal county authority for local government used to be the grand jury, appointed under the Act 6 & 7 Will. IV. c. 116; but, by the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, provision was made for the establishment of popularly elected Councils for counties and rural districts. The councillors are elected for three years, and the Council of each county and rural district, immediately after any triennial election, may choose additional members to hold office till the next triennial election. The administrative business formerly managed by the grand juries and presentment sessions has been transferred to these Councils, and in addition County Councils have now certain powers and functions with regard to the maintenance of asylums and infirmaries. The appointment of coroner is now also vested in the County Council. The business relating to public health and