River Boards Act 1948

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1948 c. 32


River Boards Act, 1948

(11 & 12 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 32.

An Act to provide for establishing river boards and for conferring on or transferring to such boards functions relating to land drainage, fisheries and river pollution and certain other functions; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[28th May 1948]

Be 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:—

Establishment and functions of river boards.

Establishment and functions of river boards.

S-1 Establishment of river boards for areas comprising whole of England and Wales except Thames, Lee and London areas.

1 Establishment of river boards for areas comprising whole of England and Wales except Thames, Lee and London areas.

(1) The Ministers shall, as soon as practicable, in accordance with the following provisions of this Act—

(a ) by order define areas (to be known as ‘river board areas’) which shall between them comprise the whole of England and Wales, except the Thames and Lee catchment areas, the administrative county of London and any area adjoining that county which is not at the date of the passing of this Act included in any catchment area;

(b ) by order establish boards (to be known as ‘river boards’) for the areas so defined, who shall have the functions conferred on or transferred to them by or under the following provisions of this Act, being functions relating to land drainage, fisheries and river pollution and certain other functions relating to rivers, streams and inland waters.

(2) Without prejudice to the duty of the Ministers under the preceding subsection, orders defining river board areas and establishing river boards may be made at different times for different areas.

S-2 Definition of river board areas and constitution of river boards.

2 Definition of river board areas and constitution of river boards.

(1) Each river board area shall consist of an area the drainage of which is directed to a river or group of rivers, together with such adjoining areas as the Ministers consider it expedient to include in the river board area, and the order defining a river board area shall do so either by reference to a map or by reference to the line of any watershed or the boundary of any area of local government or catchment area existing immediately before the making of the order, or partly by one method and partly by another.

(2) An order establishing a river board shall provide for the appointment of such number of members not exceeding forty as may be specified in the order, who shall be appointed as follows:

(a ) one member shall be appointed by the Ministers;

(b ) such number, not being less than three-fifths or more than two-thirds of the remaining members, as may be specified in the order shall be appointed, whether from their own members or not, by the councils of the counties and county boroughs whose area, or any part of whose area, is included in the river board area;

(c ) the remainder of the members shall be appointed by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and shall consist of—

(i) persons appointed, after consultation with the drainage boards whose districts are wholly or partly included in the river board area, to represent those boards, and persons appointed to represent that portion, if any, of the river board area for which drainage boards might be, but have not been, established; and

(ii) persons appointed to represent fishery interests in the river board area after consultation with any association or person appearing to the Minister to represent a substantial fishery interest in that area.

(3) As respects the members of a river board to be appointed by the councils of counties and county boroughs, the number to be appointed by each of the said councils shall be such as the Ministers may determine, having regard to the estimated amounts of the contributions to be made by those councils respectively towards the expenses of the board, and shall be specified in the order.

(4) Where it appears to the Ministers that, owing to the small estimated amount of the contribution to be made by the council of any county or county borough as aforesaid, the council ought not to appoint a member of the river board, the Ministers may provide in the order that that council shall be represented by a member appointed by agreement between that council and the council of any other county or county borough concerned, or, in default of agreement between the councils, by a member appointed by the Ministers to represent the councils jointly.

(5) The councils of counties shall secure that adequate representation is given to the county districts wholly or partly included in a river board area, having regard to the relative rateable values of property in those districts or parts thereof, and in particular, where the total rateable value of property in any county district or part of a county district included in a river board area bears to the total rateable value of the property in the county or part of the county so included a proportion greater than that borne by the number one to the number of members of the river board to be appointed by the council of that county, one or more of the members so appointed shall be appointed from among persons nominated by the council of the county district, and the number of members to be appointed from among persons so nominated shall be fixed having regard to the said proportion and shall be specified in the order establishing the river board.

(6) The councils of counties and county boroughs and the Ministers and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries in making appointments under this section shall have regard to the desirability of including, as far as practicable, among the members appointed by them persons having a practical knowledge of the various matters with respect to which river boards exercise functions, and the councils of counties and county boroughs shall not appoint any officer or servant of the council or of any other local authority:

Provided that the council of a county or county borough shall not thereby be precluded from appointing a member of the council who is also an officer or servant of another local authority.

(7) Where a river board is established for an area which consists of or includes the River Ouse (Yorks) Catchment Area or the River Trent Catchment Area, the order establishing the board shall provide for the appointment of a member by the National Coal Board, and that member shall be additional to the members appointed under subsection (2) of this section and shall be disregarded for the purposes of that subsection.

(8) Any order defining a river board area or establishing a river board shall be made in accordance with Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, and Part III of that Schedule shall apply with respect to the validity of any such order; and Part II of that Schedule shall, in the case of any order defining a river board area, apply for the purpose of making the order subject to special parliamentary procedure in the circumstances specified in that Part.

(9) The provisions of the Second Schedule to this Act shall have effect with respect to river boards and their members, the appointment of committees, the proceedings of river boards and their committees, and the appointment by river boards of officers and servants.

S-3 Variation of river board areas and of constitution of river boards.

3 Variation of river board areas and of constitution of river boards.

(1) The Ministers may, whether before or after they have defined river board areas comprising the whole area mentioned in section one of this Act by order—

(a ) alter an existing river board area, whether by way of extension or reduction; or

(b ) define a new river board area which includes or consists of one or more existing river board areas or any part or parts thereof;

and subsection (1) of the last preceding section shall apply to any order made under this subsection and to the area as defined thereby, subject to the modification that the reference to a catchment area shall include a reference to a river board area:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be taken as authorising the inclusion in a river board area of the whole or any part of the areas excluded from section one of this Act.

(2) An order made under the preceding subsection shall state whether it is to be regarded as altering an existing river board area or as defining a new river board area for which a new river board is required to be established, and in the latter case the Ministers shall by order establish a new river board in accordance with the preceding provisions of this Act, and in the former case the Ministers may, to such extent as appears to them to be necessary in consequence of the alteration of the river board area, by order vary the constitution of the river board for the altered area, but not so as to depart from the requirements of the last preceding section.

(3) The Ministers may by order vary the constitution of any river board to such extent as appears to them to be necessary in consequence of any substantial alteration of the areas of local government included wholly or partly in the river board area or any substantial change in the rateable value of the property in any such area of local government, but not so as to depart from the requirements of the last preceding section.

(4) Any order made under this section shall be made in accordance with Part I of the First Schedule to this Act, and Part III of that Schedule shall apply with respect to the validity of any such order; and Part II of that Schedule shall, in the case of any order altering or defining a river board area, except...

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