4 MINUTES OF EVIDENCE TAKEN BEPOEE SELECT COMMITTEE Mr.
28 April 1B76.
Cha irma nâ€”continued dealing with 1 uinous buildings, the prevention of smoke nuisance, carrying party walls to roof, ventilation, regulation of lodging-houses and slaughter-houses, the sale of unwholesome meat, the sale of adulterated food, the sale of gunpowder, the prevention of obstruction in the streets during processions, bathing machines and bathing and hackney carriages ; and then there are a whole lot of sewer provibions.
I should like to have something, if it were possible, which should show the Committee more clearly precisely what those two Acts were; a mere statement of the fact that one conferred the power of lighting, cleansing, and so on, and another added powers such as you have mentioned in your answer to this question, does not exactly show the Committee why the towns preferred the latter Act to the former one ?â€”That
is a mere enumeration ; but taking a general view of the matter, it can be explained in an instant.
In 1828 certain towns in England and Scotland were in the habit of getting certain powers of managing their affairs of pa\ing, lighting, and cleansing, which appeared to them the most important subÂ¬ jects in those days.
Then the Act of 1828 gave the Irish towns, without expense, exactly the same powers as a town in England or Scotland would have to pay for a local Act to get.
The Act of 1854 simply gave Irish towns all the imÂ¬ proved powers that a town would get in EngÂ¬ land or Scotland by a private Bill, and gave it to them without expense.
I am now speaking merely of powers.
The general idea is extremely simple.
The Act of 1854 was to give Irish towns the sort of power that you would get in England at the expense of a local Act; the provisions were very like what would be in a local Act for a town in England.
In fact, the Act of 1854 represented the powers which were considered necessary in the higher state of civilisation at the time ?â€”Yes;
but not confined to Ireland.
The one was the notion of what a town government should be in 1828, and the other was what was thought necesÂ¬ sary for town government in 1854.
How many towns are now under the Act of 1854 ?â€”Seventy-six.
I have mentioned 16, wdiich are urban sanitary authorities; the rest are all set out in the Census Report; and I will read them in the order of the population :
was adopted in the -Yes, the 16 that I
Killiney and BalJybrack.
* Strabane, changed from Act of 1828 to Act of 1854, after Census Report was printed, and is here introduced.
Some of those 76 a,re above the limit of
6,000 inhabitants which Public Health Act, 1874 ?
Can you quote any of them with a very small population ?â€”Yes,
the lowest population is Tanderagee, with 1,240 ; and the next lowest is Auchnacloy, with 1,465.
They would not now get commissioners, because they would require 1,500 to have them ; but they had 1,500 at the time they got them, and they do not lose them.
Is it the Act of 1854 which limits comÂ¬ missioners to towns of 1,500 ?â€”Yes
; the Act of 1828 had no limit.
Have any towns adopted the Act of 1854 onlv to a limited extent ?â€”Yes,
a very considerÂ¬ able number have adopted it only to a limited extent; of the 16 principal urban sanitary authoÂ¬ rities I may mention that four have adopted it only to a limited extent, and the principal point that they limit it to is with regard to water, and that has become a nullity, because as an urban sanitary authority under the Sanitary Act they are compelled to have water.
They are compelled to have powers for supplying the town with water ?â€”Yes,
and they may be compelled to exercise them under the Sanitary Act.
You told the Committee that only four town councils have adopted the Act of 1854; have any done so to a limited extent?â€”Water-
What exception was made by Waterford?
â€”They did not adopt it for anything that pracÂ¬ tically affected the rating; they adopted it for provisions relating to regulation of towns, obstrucÂ¬ tions and nuisances in the streets, suppression of vagrants, and as to hackney carriages.
You have told us of the powers conferred by the Acts of 1828 and 1854 ; what powers were conferred on town councils by the Municipal Corporation Act of 1840 ?â€”The
principal powers of town councils under the Act of 1840 was with regard to the management of corporate property; it was not properly an Act for town government; it was simply an Act for the management of corÂ¬ porate property, and the chief additional power that they got was for lighting.
They might adopt the Act of 1828 for that.
And they also got power for making bye-laws.
In the earlier legislation the notion wTas that a great number of nuisances and matters of that kind should be regulated by the town bye-laws, and not by direct legislation.
Under that notion they got power to make bye-laws; but except the power of making bye-laws and the power of lighting, they got no other power.
Most of those councils were, however, in towns where there were city grand juries which had charge of the roads.
Several of them were under special Acts by which they had special powers.
Were there also powers of appointing officers ?â€”Full
power of managing property and appointing officers, but as to direct powers of town government it did not confer them further than I have stated.
Since the passing of the Act of 1854 have any towns preferred to come under local Acts to the adoption of that Act?â€”Yes;
it is not so much that they preferred to come under the local Acts, a few townships in Dublin have, but very few even of them have not adopted it in part.