Poor Law Act 1930

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1930 c. 17


Poor Law Act, 1930

(20 & 21 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 17.

An Act to consolidate the enactments relating to the relief of the poor in England and Wales.

[20th March 1930]

B E it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Central and Local Administration.

Part I.

Central and Local Administration.

Central Authority.

Central Authority.

S-1 Authority and control of the Minister of Health.

1 Authority and control of the Minister of Health.

(1) The Minister of Health (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the Minister) is, subject to the provisions of this Act, charged with the direction and control of all matters relating to the administration of relief to the poor throughout England and Wales, according to the law in force for the time being:

Provided that nothing in this Act shall be construed as enabling the Minister to interfere in any individual case for the purpose of ordering relief.

(2) Except where otherwise provided by this Act, all powers given by this Act, and all powers given by every other Act, whether public general or local, relating to—

(a ) the building, altering or enlarging of workhouses;

(b ) the acquisition and disposal of workhouses and the sites thereof;

(c ) the preparation of houses for the reception of poor persons, and the dieting, clothing, employment and government of such persons;

and all other powers of regulating and conducting workhouses and of the government, care, and employment of poor persons therein, and all powers auxiliary to any of the powers aforesaid or in any way relating to the relief of the poor, shall be exercised by the persons authorised by law to exercise the powers, under the control and subject to the rules, orders and regulations of the Minister.

Local Authorities.

Local Authorities.

S-2 Administration of poor law by councils of counties and county boroughs.

2 Administration of poor law by councils of counties and county boroughs.

2. The law relating to the relief of the poor shall be administered locally by the councils of counties and county boroughs, and in the administration thereof a member of a county council or county borough council or of a committee or sub-committee of such a council shall not, save as otherwise expressly provided by this Act or by any rules, orders or regulations of the Minister made thereunder, be capable of acting by virtue of his office except at a meeting of the council, committee or sub-committee.

S-3 Power to combine councils for special purposes.

3 Power to combine councils for special purposes.

(1) Where any two or more councils, whether councils of counties or county boroughs, consider that it is expedient that the areas of the councils should be combined for any purpose connected with the administration of their functions under this Act and make application to the Minister for the purpose, the Minister may make an order for combining the areas of the councils for the purposes named therein.

(2) Where it appears to the Minister that the combination of the areas of any two or more councils, whether councils of counties or county boroughs, for any purposes connected with the administration of their functions under this Act would tend to diminish expense or would otherwise be of public or local advantage, the Minister may make an order for combining the areas of the councils for the purposes named therein:

Provided that an order shall not be made under this subsection except after a local inquiry, unless all the councils whose areas are to be so combined consent.

(3) An order under this section may establish for the purposes of the order a joint committee of the councils and may constitute the joint committee a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and with power to hold land for the purposes of their functions without licence in mortmain.

(4) Any such order shall define the functions of the joint committee and regulate the election, meetings and business of the joint committee, the mode of defraying the expenses of the joint committee, and any other matter or thing which it appears necessary or proper to regulate for the better carrying into effect of the order, and may provide for making applicable, subject to the necessary modifications, to the joint committee any of the provisions of Parts I, VII or VIII of the Local Government Act, 1929 (including any of the provisions of the said Part I repealed by this Act).

(5) A council included in such a combination as aforesaid shall, save as otherwise provided by the order effecting the combination, cease to exercise any functions vested by the order in the joint committee.

(6) An order under this section may contain such incidental, consequential or supplemental provisions as may appear necessary or proper for the purposes of the order, and every such order may be altered or revoked by an order made in like manner and subject to the like provisions as the original order.

(7) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament, and if an Address is presented to His Majesty by either House of Parliament within the next subsequent twenty-one days on which that House has sat after the order has been laid before it, praying that the order may be annulled, the order shall be annulled, and it shall thenceforth be void, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder or to the making of a new order.

Local Administration.

Local Administration.

S-4 Public assistance committee.

4 Public assistance committee.

(1) The public assistance committee of the council of every county and county borough shall be constituted in such manner as may be provided by the administrative scheme for the county or county borough, and if the scheme so provides—

(a ) any other committee of the council, or the members for the time being of any other such committee, may act as the public assistance committee; and

(b ) there may be included in the public assistance committee, or among any members of another committee acting as such, persons who are not members of the council, some of whom shall be women,

so, however, that of the whole number of members of the public assistance committee or committee or body acting as such, two-thirds at least shall be members of the council.

(2) All matters relating to the exercise by the council of any county or county borough of their functions under this Act, except the power of raising a rate or borrowing money, shall stand referred to the public assistance committee of the council, and the council before exercising any such functions shall, unless in their opinion the matter is urgent, receive and consider the report of the public assistance committee with respect to the matter in question.

(3) The council may, if the scheme so provides, delegate to the public assistance committee, with or without any restrictions or conditions as they think fit, any of the functions of the council under this Act except the power of raising a rate or borrowing money.

(4) Any of the functions of the public assistance committee may, if the scheme so provides, be discharged on behalf of, and subject to the general direction and control of, that committee by any of the other committees of the council.

(5) Subsections (2), (3) and (4) of this section shall not extend to the county of London.

S-5 Guardians committees and sub-committees in counties.

5 Guardians committees and sub-committees in counties.

(1) Every county shall be divided into such areas as may be provided by the administrative scheme for the county so, however, that every such area shall consist of one or more county districts:

Provided that, where a county district is not wholly comprised within one county, the portion of the district situate within any county shall, for the purposes of this section, be treated as if it were a separate district.

(2) For every such area there shall be a local subcommittee of the public assistance committee (to be called the guardians committee of the area); and every guardians committee shall be constituted in such manner as may be provided by the scheme for the county and shall consist of not more than thirty-six nor less than twelve members, who shall be—

(a ) members for the time being of the council of the county district or of every county district comprised in the area, as the case may be, nominated by the council thereof:

(b ) members for the time being of the county council representing electoral divisions wholly or partly comprised in the area:

(c ) persons (not being elected members of the county council and including women as well as men) appointed by the county council, so, however, that the number of persons so appointed shall not exceed one-third of the total number of members of the committee.

(3) Every guardians committee or a sub-committee thereof shall, subject to such general or special restrictions or conditions as the county council may from time to time impose, discharge, in accordance with the provisions of the scheme, such of the functions of the council under this Act as relate to the following matters—

(a ) the consideration and examination of applications for relief:

(b ) the determination of the nature and amount of the relief, if any, to be given to such applicants:

(c ) the determination of the amount, if any, to be paid by any recipient of relief, or the persons liable for his maintenance, towards reimbursing the council the amount expended by them on his relief:

(d ) the visiting, inspection or management, if the public assistance committee so request, of any poor law institutions in the area for which the guardians committee is appointed:

so, however, that the functions to be delegated under...

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