SIR WALTER POSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
I beg to ask the hon. Member for Penrith whether he is aware that, under the Enclosure Award of that parish in 1787, four acres in Upper Brailes, Warwickshire, were allotted to the vicar, churchwardens, and overseers, and their successors, to appropriate the same to raise fuel for the use of the honest poor of the township; and that this same land has been let to an adjacent farmer in defiance of the provisions of the Commons Act, 1876, which enacts that itShall not be lawful to use such lands for any other purpose than that declared, in the award,save and except for field gardens; whether complaints have reached the Charity Commissioners that the said vicar, churchwardens, and overseers have declined to allot the above lands under the Allotments Extension Act, 1882, but persist in such illegal letting, and to evade terminating the same sent their resignations as trustees of the above fuel lands to the Charity Commissioners on quarter day; whether the trusteeship of the fuel lands having been made a duty attached to their offices, the said vicar, churchwardens, and overseers can resign the same without resigning their respective positions as vicar, churchwarden, and overseer; and whether the Charity Commissioners propose to take action to enforce the Law?
MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith)
The land in question is held upon the trusts and has been let in the manner mentioned. Complaints have been made from time to time to the Commissioners by certain labourers that the land in Upper Brailes has not been set out in allotments. On July 10, 1889, the Commissioners were informed by the trustees that they refused to do this, and that they sent in their resignation of office. The trustees cannot resign their office except under the authority of a scheme to be established under Section 19 of the Commons Act, 1876. Proceedings with a view to the establishment of such a scheme are in progress.