HC Deb 10 March 1884 vol 285 cc1025-6

asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, If by "The Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878," Town Commissioners acting under "The Towns Improvement (Ireland) Act, 1854," have been deprived of all power to borrow for purposes of public improvement unless they are also urban sanitary authorities; whether, in that event, their borrowing powers are limited to the purposes of the Sanitary Acts; whether these purposes include the providing of a Town Hall or the repair or improvement of a Town Hall already existing; and, if he purposes to take steps to restore to Town Commissioners in Ireland the borrowing powers of which they have been so inadvertently deprived?


Sir, the effect of the Public Health Act, 1878, has been to deprive Town Commissioners who are not also the urban sanitary authority, of all power to borrow on the security of their rates for purposes of public improvement; where Town Commissioners are the sanitary authority, their borrowing powers are limited to the purposes of the Sanitary Acts, but those purposes include the providing, repair, or improvements of a Town Hall. Where Town Commissioners are not the sanitary authority, and do not, as they may, become such by application to the Local Government Board, the rural sanitary authority, which in such case is the sanitary authority over the town, has power to borrow for most of the purposes for which powers of borrowing were by the repealed section of the Towns Improvement Act, 1854, given to Town Commissioners, but those purposes would not include a Town Hall It is worthy of consideration whether Town Commissioners, not urban sanitary authorities, should not be restored to their powers of borrowing on rates for the purposes for which the rural sanitary authority cannot borrow, and if the opportunity for legislation arises I shall bring the matter before the Local Government Board and Treasury.