Local Government Board
From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
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This article is from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Medical science has made many leaps forward since it has been written. This is not a site for medical advice, when you need information on a medical condition, consult a professional instead.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD, a department of the administration of the United Kingdom, constituted in 1871. It is the successor of the General Board of Health, established in 1848 pursuant to the Public Health Act of that year. The General Board of Health continued in existence until 1854, when it was reconstituted. Its existence under its new constitution was originally limited to one year, but was extended from year to year until 1858, when it was allowed to expire, its powers under the various acts for the prevention of diseases being transferred to the privy council, while those which related to the control of local authorities passed to the secretary of state for the home department, to whose department the staff of officers and clerks belonging to the board was transferred. This state of affairs continued until 1871, when the Local Government Board was created by the Local Government Board Act 1871. It consists of the lord president of the council, the five principal secretaries of state, the lord privy seal, the chancellor of the exchequer and a president appointed by the sovereign. The board itself seldom meets, and the duties of the department are discharged by the president assisted by a parliamentary and a permanent secretary and a permanent staff. The president and one of the secretaries usually have seats in parliament, and the president is generally a member of the cabinet. The salary of the president, formerly £2000, was raised in 1910 to £5000 a year. The hoard has all the powers of the secretary of state under the Public Health Act 1848, and the numerous subsequent acts relating to sanitary matters and the government of sanitary districts; together with all the powers and duties of the privy council under the acts relating to the prevention of epidemic disease and to vaccination. The powers and duties of the board have been largely added to by legislation since its creation; it may be said that the board exercises a general supervision over the numerous authorities to whom local government has been entrusted (see England: Local Government). A committee presided over by Lord Jersey in 1904 inquired into the constitution and duties of the board, but made no recommendation as to any change therein. It recommended, however, an increase in the salaries of the president and of the parliamentary and permanent secretaries.