HC Deb 06 March 1896 vol 38 cc355-6
MR. T. LOUGH (Islington, W.),

in the absence of the hon. Member for East Norfolk, Mr. R. J. PRICE, I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, whether his attention has been called to the fact that parish and district councils are still being publicly invited to subscribe moneys, at the ratepayers' expense, to an association describing itself as the Parish and District Councils' Association of England and Wales; whether the Local Government Board has informed the Secretary of that Association that the payment of an annual subscription to its funds could not be lawfully charged on the funds of a parish or district council; and whether, in the interests of ratepayers and councillors, the Board will give instructions to the district auditors to disallow the payments of all subscriptions to this body out of the rates, and take the necessary step to prevent the publication of the Association's unauthorised statement?


I have no information as to the constitution of the Parish and District Councils' Association, or the statements alluded to in the question with regard to it. But the Local Government Board informed the secretary, in reply to a communication received from him so long ago as June 1894, that the Board did not consider that subscriptions to the Association could legally be charged on the rates. It would be entirely opposed to the practice of the Board to give any instructions to the district auditors as to items to be disallowed by them, seeing that it rests with the Board to determine any appeals which may be made to them against disallowances made by the auditors.


Would the right hon. Gentleman be willing to send notice of the decision arrived at in 1894 with regard to this Association to the Councils, to save them being led into subscriptions?


No, Sir; I do not think that would have a greater effect than the reply I have given.