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ment of its Rules, etc., and the following publications can be obtained from
(35th Thousand.) Library Edition, 61-; or, direct from the Secretary for Cash, 4/6 (postage, 4td.). Cheap Edition, Paper cover, 1/-; plain cloth, 2-. At all booksellers, or post free from the Secretary for 1/- and 2/- respectively.
FABIAN TRACTS. 1.-Why are the Many Poor? 100th thous. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; 1/- per 100. 5.–Facts for Socialists. A survey of the distribution of income and the con.
dition of classes in England. 7th edn.; revised 1895. 1d.; or 9d. per doz. 7.-Capital and Land. A similar survey of the distribution of property. 4th
edition ; revised 1893. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. doz. 12.—Practicable Land Nationalization. Revised 1894. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; 1/- 100. 13.-What Socialism Is. 80th thous. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 14.—The New Reform Bill. 15th thous. 20 pp., 1d.; 9d. per doz. 15.-English Progress towards Social Democracy. By S. WEBB. 1d.; 9d. doz. 16.--A Plea for an Eight Hours Bill. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; 1/- per 100. 17.-Reform of the Poor Law. By SIDNEY WEBB. 20 pp., 1d.; 9d. per doz. 19.-What the Farm Laborer Wants. (Revised 1894). 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100.
Questions for Poor Law Guardians. (Revised 1894). 6 for 1d.; or 1/- 100. 21.- Questions for London Vestrymen. (Revised 1894). 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 22.—The Truth about Leasehold Enfranchisement. 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 23.—The Case for an Eight Hours Bill. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. per doz. 24.-Questions for Parliamentary Candidates. 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 25.-Questions for School Board Candidates. (Revised 1894). 6 for 1d.; 1/- 100. 27.- Questions for Town Councillors. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 28.- Questions for County Councillors (Rural). Revised 1895. 6 for 1d.; or
1/- per 100. 29.-What to Read. A List of Books for Social Reformers. Contains the best
books and blue-books relating to Economics, Socialism, Labor Movements,
Poverty, etc. 3rd ed.; revised 1895. Paper cover, 3d. each; or 2/3 per doz 38.- A Welsh Translation of No. i. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 39.-A Democratic Budget. 16 pp., 1d.; or 9d. per
doz. 41.-The Fabian Society. By BERNARD SHAW. 32 pp., 1d. each; or 9d. per doz. 42.-Christian Socialism. By the Rev. S. D. HEADLAM. 16 pp., 18. 9d. per doz. 44.-A Plea for Poor Law Reform. (Revised 1894). 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- 100. 45.—The Impossibilities of Anarchism. By G. B. Shaw. 28 pp., 2d. ; 1/6 per doz. 46.-Socialism and Sailors. By B. T. HALL. 16 pp., ld. each; or 9d. per doz. 47.-The Unemployed. By JOHN BURNS, M.P. 20 48.-Eight Hours by Law. 16 pp., 1d. each; or 9d. per doz. 49.- A Plan of Campaign for Labor. A detailed scheme for Independent Labor
Representation. 36 pp., 2d. 1/6 per doz. 50.-Sweating: its Cause and Remedy. 16 pp., 1d. each ; or 9d. per doz. 51.-Socialism: True and False. By SIDNEY WEBB. 20 pp., 1d. ea.; 9d. doz, 52.—State Education at Home & Abroad. By J. W. MARTIN. 16 pp., 1d.; 54.- The Humanizing of the Poor Law. By J.F.OAKESHOTT. 24 pp., 1d.; 55.- The Workers' School Board Program. 20 pp., 1d. ; or 9d. per doz. 56.-Questions for Parish Councillors. 4 pp., 6 for 1d. ; or 1/- per 100. 57.- Questions for Rural District Councillors. 4 pp., 6 for 1d.; or 1/- per 100. 58.-Allotments and How to Get Them. 4 pp., 6 for id.; or 1/- per 100. 59. - Questions for Urban District Councillors. 4 pp., 6 for 1d. ; 1/- per 100. 60.-The London Vestries. Including a complete statement of the changes made
in London by the Local Government Act, 1894. 1d.; 9d. doz. 61.-The London County Council: What it is and what it does. 1d.; 9d. doz. 62.–Parish and District Councils : What they are and what they can do.
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FABIAN MUNICIPAL PROGRAM (Tracts Nos. 30 to 37). 1. The Unearned Increment. 2. London's Heritage in the City Guilds. 3. Municipalization of the Gas Supply.. 4. Municipal Tramways. 5. London's Water Tribute. 6. Municipalization of the London Docks. 7. The Scandal of London's Markets. 8. A Labor Policy for Public Authorities. Each 4 pp. The eight in a red cover for 1d. (98. per doz.); or separately 1/- per 100. ® The Set post free 2/3. Bound in Buckram post free for 39.
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PARISH AND DISTRICT
What they are and what they can do.
PUBLISHED AND SOLD BY
THE FABIAN SOCIETY.
PRICE ONE PENNY.
PUBLISHED MARCH 1895. REVISED AUGUST 1901.
PARISH AND DISTRICT COUNCILS: What they are and what they can do.
With a Postscript embodying recent alterations in the Law.
The public affairs of every Parish, Town, and Poor Law Union in England and Wales are now managed by Councils and Boards popularly elected. Almost all adult men and most women who are householders are electors for these bodies, and are therefore responsible for their doings; and every man and woman and child in the kingdom is to a greater or less degree affected by the manner in which they do their work. This tract does not deal with London* nor with County and Town Councils. It treats of the following local governing bodies created or affected by the Local Government Act of 1894, namely : 1. Parish Councils, together with Parish Meetings in the larger
Parishes. 2. Parish Meetings without Parish Councils in the smaller
Parishes. 3. Urban District Councils in smaller towns and thickly popu
lated districts. 4. Rural District Councils, which have control in all places where
there are no Town Councils nor Urban District Councils. 5. Boards of Guardians which cover the whole of England and
Wales. I The powers and duties of these bodies, and the rules governing their election and proceedings, are far from simple, and many people do not yet fully understand 'them. This tract is intended as an attempt to explain them as clearly as possible to working men and women. But space does not allow everything to be stated as fully as might be desirable, and a large number of details have been put
* For London Local Government see Fabian Tracts No.61, “The London County Council," id., and No. 100, " Metropolitan Borough Councils," id.
† Many handbooks to the Act have been published. Among the cheaper of these may be mentioned the Practical Guide to the Parish Councils Act (Ward and Lock), price is.; and the Ready Reference Guide to the Parish Councils Act (G. Philip and Son), price 6s.; an excellent larger book is Haddon's Handbook (Haddon, Best & Co.), price 9s.
| This tract does not deal with the Poor Law, but only with the manner of electing Boardsof Guardians, and such of their duties as are not connected with the Relief of the Poor:
into very few words. If any part of the tract is not clear to any reader, or any point is omitted on which he wants information, he can write to the Secretary of the Fabian Society, 3 Clement's Inn, Strand, London, W.C., who will send him a full and clear answer free of charge.
PART 1. METHODS OF ELECTION,
Who are the Electors. One set of rules decides who can take part in the election of all these bodies, that is to say, who can attend the Parish Meeting, and who may vote for Parish, Urban, and Rural District Councillors and Guardians. The persons who are entitled to vote in these elections are called “ Parish Electors" ; and they can vote at all of them, and no one else can vote at any of them, or has the right to attend and take part in the Parish Meeting. A Parish Elector is any person, man or woman, married or unmarried, who is on the list of registered voters, either for Parliament or for the County Council ; or, in the case of married women, on the special list for the Parish. It makes no difference whether or not a person pays rates, or whether or not he has received poor relief." Those on the register can vote, and those not on it cannot. A person can be registered as an elector in every parish for which he is qualified ; and he can vote at the Parish Meeting and for the Parish Councillors in every such parish. But he can vote only in one ward of any one parish or urban district for Parish Councillors or Urban District Councillors; and only in one parish of any one union for Rural District Councillors and Guardians. In other words, he can vote only once in the election for any one Council.
Who can be Candidates. Any person who is an elector for any of these bodies may be a candidate for it. And any person, man or woman, married or single, who has resided within the parish or district for twelve months before the date of nomination, may be a candidate. The rules as to residence are as follows :--For Urban District Councils it must be within the Urban District. For Guardians and Rural Districts it must be within the Union of which the Rural District forms the whole or a part. For Parish Councils it must be in the parish or within three miles of its boundary. Residence cannot be exactly defined ; this, however, is certain, that any person who has had a bedroom which he generally uses, and always can use, for a year before the date of nomination, is a resident in that place.
Who cannot be Candidates. No one may be elected a Councillor who is under twenty-one, or who is not a British subject, or who has, within the last year, received poor law relief (even if only medical relief), or who has within the last five years been made bankrupt or imprisoned with hard labor for any crime (mere imprisonment as alternative to a fine
But of course persons who have received poor relief (other than medical) will be lable to have their names struck off the register at the next revision.
or for non-payment of rates, or of contribution to the Poor Law Guardians, does not disqualify), or who is concerned in any contract with the Council, or who holds any paid office under it. But a person holding a paid office from the Guardians or District Council can be elected a Parish Councillor, or a paid officer of the Parish Council can be elected a Guardian or District Councillor. And a paid officer of the Guardians can be an Urban District Councillor, and vice versa.
Moreover, a contract for letting or selling land does not disqualify. Therefore, persons who lease allotments to or hire them from a Council are not disqualified from being members of that Council.
How Candidates can conduct Elections. There is no limit to the expenses which candidates at these elections may incur for election addresses, meetings, &c. but all such expenses will have to be paid by themselves. Only the official expenses of the election will be paid out of the rates.
In Urban Districts, at elections of Councillors or Guardians, no meetings must on any account be held in public-houses, or Clubs with licences to sell intoxicants, or even in places where refreshments of any sort are sold. A candidate for whom or by whom a meeting is held in such premises can be unseated for illegal practices.
But this rule ducs not apply to Rural Districts. In elections of Parish or Rural District Councillors, public meetings may be held in any place whatever ; but rooms in licensed premises or places where refreshments are sold must not be hired or used as Committee Rooms.
No money must be spent on hiring carriages or bands, or for flags, ribbons, torches, &c.
Every bill printed must bear the name and address of the printer and publisher.
Polling Agents. For Parish Council Elections one-third or more of the candidates, but no less number, may appoint one joint polling agent to look after their interests in the polling booth and to prevent fraud. For District Council and Guardians Elections, each candidate, if there are only two, or one-third of them or more if there are more than two, may appoint one agent. He may be paid or unpaid, but, if paid, he cannot vote. A candidate may be appointed polling agent.
Every polling agent must be appointed in writing, and the appointment must be sent to the returning officer two clear days before the poll.
No person may go into the polling place except the Presiding Officer and his clerks, policemen on duty, polling agents, and persons about to vote.
The use of School Rooms by Candidates. In Rural Districts, candidates for District or Parish Councils have the right to use for election meetings any schoolroom which receives a Government grant, or any suitable room maintained out of the rates. But it has been decided that the Parish Meeting is the only body which can demand the use of schoolrooms for this