HC Deb 06 May 1889 vol 335 cc1241-2
MR. PICKARD (York, W.R., Normanton)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether it has come to his knowledge that Mr. William Peed, the paid Deputy Returning Officer for the County Council for the county of Cambridge, has been elected and accepted the position of alderman in that Council; whether he is aware of the fact that since such election he has again acted in the capacity of Returning Officer for the same county, and has been paid for such services; and, having regard to Section 12 of "The Municipal Act, 1882," whether it is competent for such a person to hold office as alderman in that county?


I have made inquiry as to the facts, and I find that, as the High Sheriff of the county of Cambridge was desirous of becoming a candidate for the office of County Councillor, the Court of Quarter Sessions appointed Mr. Peed, who was the Under Sheriff, to act as Returning Officer in the election. At the first meeting after the election, Mr. Peed was elected a County Alderman, and since that time he has conducted the election of two new councillors, considering that he was required to do so by virtue of Section 107 (2), of the Local Government Act, which provides that the person acting as Returning Officer at the first election shall act in the like capacity in any election held to fill a casual vacancy before the appointed day. It does not devolve on me to determine whether or not a member of the County Council is disqualified, but I may say that as Mr. Peed was appointed to the office of Returning Officer by the Court of Quarter Sessions, he has not, in my opinion, by reason of that appointment hold any office or place of profit in the gift or disposal of the County Council, within the meaning of Section 12 of the Municipal Corporations Act. With regard to any election to fill a casual vacancy after the appointed day, it will of course devolve on the County Council to appoint the Returning Officer.