HC Deb 09 August 1901 vol 99 cc292-3
MR. MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the Tyrone County Council, shortly after its entrance to office, considered the claims of its assistant surveyors for increase of salaries, and decided on giving an increase of 25 per cent., that this action of the council received the sanction of the Local Government Board in September, 1899, and that at the bidding of the assistant surveyors and against the wish of the council the Local Government Board sent an inspector to Omagh last month to hold an inquiry into a matter settled and sanctioned in September, 1899; is he aware that the county council at the annual meeting in June last passed a resolution requesting the Local Government Board to allow it to hold half-yearly instead of quarterly meetings in future, and that in case the request is granted the duties of surveyors will be reduced to what they were under the old grand jury system, and will he direct the Board to deal with the resolution in respect to half-yearly meetings before deciding the claims of assistant surveyors for still further increase.


In August, 1899, the county council passed a resolution increasing the salaries of the assistant surveyors from £80 to £100 a year. These officers made no protest at the time, and the Local Government Board expressed its concurrence in the arrangements made, on the assumption that an agreement had been arrived at between the council and the assistant surveyors. The latter subsequently protested against the salary proposed, and as it was clear that no agreement had been, or was likely to be, arrived at, the Board was under a statutory obligation to determine the matter. The local inquiry has been held, but the inspector's report has not yet been received. In reply to the second paragraph, the Board has no power to reduce the statutory meetings of the council from four to two in each year. Under the Amended Procedure Order a council may arrange to make half-yearly payments to contractors, but under the Local Government (Application of Enactments) Order four quarterly meetings must be held in each year.


Did the Local Government Board sanction the arrangement without examining it?


I have given a full account of the matter. No protest was entered, and the Local Government Board understood that the assistant surveyors had entered into a reasonable arrangement.