HC Deb 11 May 1899 vol 71 cc337-8
* MR. EVELYN CECIL (Herts, Hertford)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that the London School Board keeps its accounts in an aggregate form which makes it impossible for a ratepayer to object to any specific item which he believes to be illegal or which the auditor can disallow; whether the Local Government Board will take steps to ensure that the accounts shall be kept in such a form that objection can be taken to illegal items, as provided in the Education Act of 1870, Section 60, Sub-sections (5) and (6); and whether, during the present audit, any instructions can he given to the auditor by which the School Board may be required to remedy the difficulty which it has caused.


I am informed that the accounts of the London School Board are kept in the prescribed form, and as a general rule in such a way as to enable ratepayers to object to any specific items which they may believe to be illegal. Possibly my honourable friend's question has special reference to the expenditure on account of science and art schools and classes, to which objection has been raised. I understand that part of the expenditure on these schools and classes has not been incurred exclusively for that purpose, and consequently that it has not been separately shown in the accounts. But I am informed that some items of expenditure have been incurred exclusively for such purpose, and that at the inquiry now going on before the auditor no great difficulty has been found in specifying certain items of this kind, on which the objections of the ratepayers can be, and are being, based. It does not appear to be necessary that any instructions should be given to the auditor in this matter with regard to the accounts now under audit.