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body, or the inhabitants of some other area, may, however, by statute, custom, or by reason of their tenure of land, be liable to repair a public bridge, and in particular the inhabitants of a hundred are often by custom chargeable with the repair of bridges within their hundred.
If a person or body or the inhabitants of a district liable to repair a public bridge fail to do so, their failure is a criminal offence, and will render them liable to an indictment. An indictment of this kind is generally only made use of, of course, as a legal fiction for trying the liability to repair.
Public bridges repairable by a county or hundred practically looked after by the Quarter Sessions of the county, who pay for the repairs out of the county rate or the hundred rate as the case may be.
Borough bridges, i.e., bridges repairable by the inhabitants of a borough, are in the same way looked after by the Town Council, and the expenses are paid out of the borough fund.
On the appointed day the County Council will succeed to Charges under all the powers and duties of the Quarter Sessions with regard to Government bridges. A County Council may also purchase or take over existing bridges not being county bridges, and may erect new bridges and maintain and repair the same. They will also be liable to repair bridges on which main roads are carried. The County Council of the Soke of Peterborough will become liable to repair bridges within their administrative county. All bridges within a county borough at present repairable by a county or hundred will become repairable by the Town Council.
Local Stamp Act, 1869 (32 & 33 Vict. c. 49).
This Act provides for the payment of local fines, fees, and penalties, in certain cases, by means of stamps. The Local Authorities under the Act are the Quarter Sessions of every county at large or liberty with a separate Court of Quarter Sessions, and the Town Council of every borough. The Local Authorities make regulations for carrying out the Act and provide dies, &c., for making the stamps. The County Council will succeed to the powers under the Act of the Quarter Sessions of their county, and of any liberty therein, and in the latter case will have to consider the advisability of bringing the
1 Local Government Act, 1888, secs. 3, 6, 34, 64.
2 Ib., sec. 3.
Expense of maintaining a pauper lunatic.
regulations in force and stamps in use throughout their county into uniformity. Any question arising as to the application of this Act, must be referred to the Standing Joint Committee of the County Council and the Quarter Sessions.1
Lunatic Asylums (Pauper).
The law on this subject is somewhat intricate, and it may be well to go shortly into its history. Pauper lunatics are provided for in two distinct ways; first, as " paupers" they are maintained by the union or parish to which they are as paupers chargeable, except where it cannot be ascertained to which union or parish they belong, in which case they are chargeable to the county, or in some cases to the borough in which they were found. Secondly, as "lunatics," asylums must be provided for them by the county, or in some cases the borough to which they belong.
The expense of maintaining a pauper lunatic maintained in a county or borough asylum is divided between the union or parish and county or borough as follows:
(i.) The union or parish must pay to the authority maintaining the asylum a sufficient sum to defray the expense of the lunatic's keep, medicine, clothing, &c., and in addition, to provide for the salaries of the officers of the asylum. The Treasury make a grant to the union or parish of four shillings a week towards the maintenance of each lunatic chargeable to that union or parish.
(ii.) The county or borough is chargeable with the cost of providing and repairing the asylum and the necessary furniture. Where a lunatic is chargeable to a county or borough owing to the impossibility of discovering to what union or parish he belongs, the Treasury make a grant of four shillings a week for his maintenance to the county or borough.
After several Acts of Parliament had been passed enabling counties and boroughs to erect public lunatic asylums if they thought fit, an Act was passed, in 1845,2 rendering the erection of lunatic asylums compulsory. This Act was repealed by The Lunatic Asylums Act, 1853 (16 & 17 Vict. c. 97), which is still in force and which is on the same lines as the Act of 1845. The Act of 1853 has been amended in detail by subsequent Acts, but not materially altered.
Under that Act, every county and, with certain exceptions, every Quarter Sessions Borough, is bound to provide either
1 Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 30. 28 & 9 Vict. c. 126.
independently or jointly with other counties, boroughs, and Asylum bodies one or more lunatic asylums sufficient for the pauper for pauper lunatics of the county or borough.
Asylum accommodation for the county is provided by the Quarter Sessions for the county, who may either provide an asylum for the county alone, or enter into an agreement with the Quarter Sessions of other counties, Justices or Town Councils of boroughs, and subscribers to hospitals for the joint maintenance of an asylum.
Asylum accommodation for a Quarter Sessions Borough is provided usually by the Justices of the borough, who for that purpose may either—
(i.) Provide an asylum for their borough alone; or,
(iii.) Contract for the reception of their lunatics into some
The Town Council of any Quarter Sessions Borough were empowered by the Lunatic Asylums Act, 1853, to take over the duties of the Justices with regard to lunatic asylums.
Under the Act of 1845, those Quarter Sessions Boroughs for which there were not more than six Justices acting were annexed to counties, and under the Act of 1853 and subsequent Acts it has accordingly been provided :(i.) That every Quarter Sessions Borough, in which, on the 8th August, 1845, there were not six Justices besides a Recorder, should be annexed to a county.2
(ii.) That if a Quarter Sessions Borough with a larger number of Justices failed to provide a lunatic asylum in proper time, it might be annexed, by Order of a Secretary of State, to a county.2
(iii.) That all Quarter Sessions Boroughs having become such since the 20th August, 1853, should be considered as annexed to the county in which they were situated.3 Both under the Act of 1845 and 1853 power was given to a Secretary of State to rectify the boundaries of a county for the purposes of the Acts, and it is provided that every Act. 4
1 Lunatic Asylums Act, 1853, secs. 2-5,; 18 & 19 Vict. c. 105, sec. I.
2 Lunatic Asylums Act, 1853, secs. 9, 10.
3 18 & 19 Vict. c. 105, sec. 7.
4 Lunatic Asylums Act, 1853, secs. 131, 132.
Meaning of term "County" under Lunatic Asylums
Costs of maintaining lunatic asylums.
city, town, liberty, parish, place, or district not being a Quarter Sessions Borough shall, for the purposes of the Acts, be annexed to and treated and rated as part of the county in which the same is situated, or if such city, town, liberty, parish, place, or district be situate partly in one county and partly in another, then to and as part of such one of the same counties as such city, town, liberty, parish, place, or district may have been annexed to under the Act of 1845, or if not so annexed, then to and as part of such one of the same counties as one of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State shall, by writing under his hand and seal, direct, and the term county is defined to mean county, riding and division bounded in accordance with the above provisions.
The expenses of providing and maintaining a lunatic asylum
(1.) In a county, by a rate levied over the whole county in accordance with the above definition.
(2.) In a Quarter Sessions Borough, out of the borough fund and borough rates.
Where a Quarter Sessions Borough does not maintain an asylum independently, it contributes to the expense of the asylum to which its lunatics are sent as follows:
Where an agreement has been entered into with counties, other boroughs, &c,—according to the terms of the agreement.
Where the borough contracts for the reception of its lunatics into some extraneous asylum-according to the terms of the contract.
Where the borough is annexed to a county-a sum fixed by the Quarter Sessions of the county in proportion to the population of the borough.
The actual management of the erection of a new asylum or of the maintenance of an existing asylum is always vested in a "Committee of Visitors," who are appointed as follows:
Where a county or borough maintains its own asylum
independently, by the Quarter Sessions of the County, or the Justices of the borough; or where the Town Council of a borough acts in the matter, by the Town Council; and in the last case the Town Council may discharge the duties of the Committee of Visitors themselves, delegating, however, such powers as they think fit to a Committee who will not be technically the "Committee of Visitors."
Where an agreement between counties, boroughs, &c., has been entered into, the Committee of Visitors are appointed, so many for each authority interested, according to the terms of the agreement.
Where a Quarter Sessions Borough is annexed as above mentioned to a county, the Recorder of the borough may appoint two members of the Committee of Visitors of the county. It does not seem clear whether, if the county to which a borough is annexed has itself entered into an agreement with other counties, &c., for the maintenance of a joint asylum, the Recorder has a right to appoint two members of the Committee of Visitors of that asylum.
The provisions of the Local Government Act, 1888, with regard to lunatic asylums are as follows:
The County Council succeed to the powers and duties of the Quarter Sessions of the County, and of the Justices or Town Council of a Quarter Sessions Borough, the population of which, according to the census of 1881, was under 10,000. No such borough, however, maintains an asylum independently.
Where such a borough maintains an asylum jointly with any other body, the County Council will succeed to the powers of the Justices or Town Council, to appoint members of the Committee of Visitors, and will have to pay the borough's share of the expenses. The borough will be rateable to county expenses in connection with lunatic asylums.
Where such a borough contracts for the reception of its lunatics into an extraneous asylum, the provisions of the Act are as follows ::
(i.) If the asylum is the county asylum, the contract will
be determined, and the borough will be rated to the
(ii.) If the asylum is not the county asylum, it seems that
If such a borough is annexed as above mentioned to the county, it seems that the borough will become rateable to the expenses of the county, and so contribute in proportion to its rateable value, and not, as heretofore, to its population.
1 Local Government Act, 1888, secs. 3, 32, 34, 38, 86.