HC Deb 26 March 1877 vol 233 cc492-3

asked the Vice President of the Council, If his attention has been called to the circumstances connected with the election of a School Board for the united district of Inkberrow, Stock, and Bradley; whether it is true that the returning officer failed to give fourteen clear days' notice of the intention to hold such election, in accordance with section four of the General Regulations for first elections of School Boards in parishes not situate within municipal boroughs, and that in consequence of such neglect on the part of the returning officer certain ratepayers were prevented from nominating candidates within the prescribed time; and, if he will kindly say what remedy exists for the aggrieved persons in any case in which the returning officer may fail to give the requisite notices or so publish them according to the regulations?


Sir, complaints have been made to us by several persons as to the conduct of the school-board election for the district of Inkberrow. In accordance with our usual practice the complainants were referred to the returning officer, whose duty it is to conduct an election. Since the first formation of school beards in 1870 the Education Department has always declined to inquire into the validity of school-beard elections and as to the conduct of the returning officer. For though under Section 33 of the Act of 1870 the Department has power to make inquiries, yet as the decision of the Department is not final, but it is subject to revision by a Court of Law, and as the Department has no satisfactory machinery for the purpose of trying the validity of an election, it has been thought inexpedient to make such inquiries. I cannot, therefore, say whether the facts are such as the hon. Member mentions. The remedy for aggrieved persons in these cases is to file an information in the nature of quo warranto, and this course has actually been followed in some cases.