HC Deb 25 June 1888 vol 327 cc1114-5
MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether he is aware that the Vestry of St. Margaret and St. John, Westminster, has recently borrowed two sums, one for wood paving, and the other for asphalte paving, of the Metropolitan Board of Works, and that, having completed the works for which the respective loans were taken up, and having a surplus of several thousand pounds, the Vestry is expending the surplus in reduction of the current rates; whether some of the rating authorities have refused to sign the rate in consequence; and, whether there is any power of preventing current expenses being thus paid for by loans?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

The Local Government Board have no jurisdiction whatever with respect to the loans raised by the Vestry or their application. They have, however, communicated with the Vestry on the subject, and are informed that the late Board of Works for the Westminster District received two loans from the Metropolitan Board of Works last year for the execution of the works in question; that the works have been carried out; and that there is a considerable balance in hand in respect of each loan. The Vestry state that no part of either loan has been, or is intended to be, applied in aid of current rates; but that the balance of each loan remains on deposit with the Treasurer of the Vestry. The Board are further informed that one of the Churchwardens of the parish refused to sign the general rate, and stated his reasons for such refusal when, on the 28th of April last, he attended before the magistrate to object to the allowance and signing of the rate; but that, notwithstanding the objection thus taken, the magistrate allowed and signed the rate. In the case of a Vestry proposing to apply borrowed moneys in aid of current rates, I presume that application might be made to the High Court for an injunction.