HC Deb 27 April 1948 vol 450 cc341-3

Amendments made: In page 166, line 8, leave out "retirement," and insert "election."

In line 13, leave out "election," and insert "retirement."—[Mr. Younger.]

Mr. Butcher

I beg to move, in page 166, line 35, to leave out from the beginning to "and," and to insert: on the fourth day after the day of election. In moving this Amendment, I should like also to speak on the following Amendment in my name and that of the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling), because they deal with the same subject. In the past it has been the custom for borough councillors to go out of office on election day and for their successors to come in on that day. I understand that that system has worked well, but county councils have been accustomed to a different system whereby the day of retirement is subsequent to the day of election. The new councillor does not come in until after a short period, and that system, I understand, has also worked well. But these dates of retirement should, we think, be brought into line.

Paragraph 2 (2) of this Schedule states that the retirement of borough councillors shall take place at the commencement of the annual meeting, and it is rather unfortunate that a defeated member of a borough council should remain a member of that council up to eleven—or possibly eighteen—days after the election, during which time he will, presumably, be able to attend meetings, and during which time the town clerk will be able to summon him to meetings. He would, of course, go out of office immediately the annual meeting started, but the victorious candidate could not participate in the work of the council until the annual meeting, although much useful work, such as the setting up of committees, and so on, is done before that meeting takes place. I hope that the Home Secretary will see his way clear to bring the practice for county councils and borough councils into line, so that the successful candidates shall take office on the fourth day after election. So far as county councillors are concerned, that is provided for in paragraph (1) of the Schedule.

Mr. Younger

My right hon. Friend is prepared to accept this Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendments made: In page 166, line 36, leave out "at that time," and insert "on the said fourth day."— [Mr. Butcher.]

In line 37, at end, insert "and."

In line 17, at end, insert: (5) In a borough having a sheriff, the appointment of a sheriff due to take place at the annual meeting in the year nineteen hundred and forty-eight shall be postponed till the annual meeting in the following year and subsequent appointments shall, notwith- standing anything in section one hundred and seventy of the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, be made at the annual meeting; and in relation to sheriffs going out of office at the annual meeting in that or any subsequent year the interval between two consecutive annual meetings shall be deemed to be a year for the purposes of section five of the Sheriffs Act, 1887 (which provides that the same person shall not be appointed twice in three years if he has served a full year)."—[Mr. Younger.]

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.