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of Government

the Public

(1) England and

For the purposes of Local Government, in relation General Scheme to health, the British Islands are divided up into in relation to administrative districts. In England and Wales Healththe divisions are-Counties governed by County Wales. Councils; Urban and Rural Sanitary Districts governed by Urban and Rural Sanitary Authorities.

In Ireland, the divisions are Urban and Rural (2) Ireland.
Sanitary Districts, likewise governed by Urban and
Rural Sanitary Authorities.

In Scotland there are counties governed by (3) Scotland. County Councils, the counties being divided into districts governed by District Councils. There are also Burghs and Police Burghs, which are governed by bodies analogous to English Urban Sanitary Authorities.

In England and Wales the Local Government Board supervise, to a certain extent, the whole of the Sanitary administration; in Ireland, the Local Government Board for Ireland; in Scotland, the Board of Supervision for the relief of the poor.



For the present we will confine our attention to English Sanitary law (exclusive of the Metropolitan Sanitary law).

The Urban Districts in England are either (P.H., 1875, sect. 6) boroughs or Improvement Act Districts or Local Government Board Districts. These terms are defined in Section 4

'A borough means any place, for the time being, subject to an Act to provide for the regulation of Municipal Corporations in England and Wales, 5 and 6 William IV. c. 76.'

An Improvement Act District is a district formed before the passing of the Public Health Act, 1875, having no part of its area within the area of a borough, or of a Local Government District, and governed by commissioners, trustees, or other persons invested by a Local Act, with powers of town government and rating.

'Local Government District' means any area subject to the jurisdiction of a Local Board constituted in pursuance of the Local Government Acts: these were the Local Government Act of 1858 and its amendments, which could be adopted by places of an urban character, and conferred powers of local government, the powers being exercised by a 'Local Board.' Besides these Local Government Board ment Districts. Districts, in existence at the time of passing of the Public Health Act, new districts can be formed under Sections 271 and 272.

Formation of
Local Govern-

The first of these Sections gives power to the Local Government Board to constitute by order, any rural district, a local government district, in

pursuance of a resolution by owners and rate


Local Government and Improvement Districts are for our purpose the same thing, viz., districts. containing a sufficiently condensed population to be given urban powers of government.

The boroughs are, for the most part, ancient Boroughs. towns, and in the possession of ancient privileges; not a few, in addition to government by general Sanitary Statute, are also governed by Local Acts; these, not unfrequently, confer sanitary powers in excess of those which are conferred by the Public Health Act.

The governing body itself is, in the boroughs, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Burgesses, acting by the Council.

Act Districts.

Improvement Act Districts, formed in pursuance Improvement of the Towns Improvement Act (10 and 11 Vict. c. 34), are governed by Improvement Commissioners, and Local Government Districts are governed by Local Boards.

The Rural Sanitary Districts are governed by Rural Sanitary Boards of Guardians.

Experience has amply shown that the latter class of bodies is unsuitable; Rural Sanitary Authorities having, as a rule, done little for the improvement of the areas under their charge.



The County Councils have been mentioned as County bodies in which some sanitary authority is vested. The sanitary powers of County Councils are Powers of mainly the following: they may appoint a medical Councils.


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