HC Deb 15 November 1888 vol 330 c1233
MR. STEPHENS (Middlesex, Hornsey)

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether lie can state to the House what is the proportion of the whole number of County Council Districts in which, during the January elections, 1889, effect will not be given to the principle of single member representation; whether to prevent the disappointment, confusion, and misrepresentation which must arise from divided votes in oases of two, three, or more members sitting for one district, he will use the ample powers conferred by section 108, sub-section 4, of "The Local Government Act, 1888;" and, whether, if the powers of section 108, sub-section 4, cannot satisfactorily be applied in time for the County Council elections of January, 1889, he will consider the expediency of postponing them for one year, that is to January, 1890, having regard to the entire dependence of the general functions of County Councils upon the decisions yet to be obtained when deliberation upon the scheme, as a whole, is resumed by Parliament?

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

The total number of Electoral Divisions for the election of County Councillors in boroughs and districts other than boroughs is 3,400. Of this number 265 divisions will, by orders which have already been issued, or are in course of preparation, be combined for the purpose of returning more than one member. I am advised that section 108 (4) does not confer on the Board any such powers as suggested. The Electoral Divisions in the cases referred to have been duly made, and the combination has been rendered necessary by the fact that there are not separate lists of voters for those divisions. I must take exception to the suggestion that disappointment, confusion, and misrepresentation must arise in connection with the combination of districts, and also to that as to the general functions of County Councils being dependent entirely upon decisions yet to be obtained. I see no reason whatever for the postponement of the elections for another year.