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(52.) Sanitary Acts in force in Scotland. There is no inconsiderable body of sanitary legislation common to England, Wales, and Scotland; the Housing of the Working Classes Act, the Rivers Pollution Prevention Acts.. the Factory and Workshops Acts, the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, the Margarine Act, the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Acts, and the Infectious Diseases (Notification) Act, are in force from Penzauce to John o' Groats. On the other hand, the Public Health Act, 1875, with its various amendments, the Canal Boats Acts, and the Infectious Diseases (Prevention) Act,1 do not apply to Scotland.
Scotland, by the passing of the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1897, now possesses a general health-code in advance of even the Public Health (London) Act. Burghal (i.e. urban) populations are also governed by the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892, save the large towns, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Greenock, which, under their respective local Acts, enjoy excellent sanitary codes.
(53.) Sanitary Areas. The County is primarily the ana of jurisdiction for Landward (i.e. rural) Sanitary Authorities (Local Government Scotland Act, 188).
The various Burghal (urban) Districts are comprised under the general appellation of Burghs. There are several kinds of Burghs. such as royal, parliamentary, and police, but the varieties of the Burgh are, so far as sanitary government is concerned, of minor importance.
(54.) Local Sanitary Authorities. If a County contains six or more Parishes, the County Council is obliged to divide the County up for the purposes of sanitary administration into Districts, each District to contain a group of Parishes. This power is possessed by all County Councils. In each divided County there are on the average about four Districts, each District containing eight Parishes.
The Local Sanitary Authority for the District is a District Committee, consisting of the county councillors for the electoral divisions comprised within the District, and of one representative from each Parochial Board within the District. The District Committee has, however, only partial authority, as the County Council reserves various powers, such as the power of appointing county medical officers and county sanitary inspectors, of making statutory representations to the Local Government Board for Scotland on matters relating to the sanitary state of a District, of making by-laws, and of making general regulations for the government of a District Committee. It has also power to enforce the Rivers Pollution Prevention Acts, and to hear certain appeals.
1 Although the Infectious Diseases (Prevention) Act does not apply to Scotland. its provisions (considerably amended) are embodied in the Public Health (Scotland) Act, 1897.
In eight Sottish Counties which are not divided, the Sanitary Authority is the County Council, and there are of course no District Committees.
In those Burghs which are subject to the provisions of the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act, 1892, the Local Authority consists of the provost, magistrates. and town council, acting as Burgh Commissioners. In other Burghs, the Town Council or Board of Police (as the case may be) is the Local Authority.
(55.) The Local Government Board for Scotland. The old Board of Supervision has given place to a Local Government Board for Scotland (Local Government Board for Scotland Act, 1894). The Scotch Local Government Board is presided over by the Secretary of State for Scotland; it includes among its members the Solicitor-general for Scotland, a vice-president, an advocate, and a medical man, and has a staff of clerks, inspectors, and officers. Its powers and duties are analogous to those exercised by the English Local Government Board. It therefore has to do with the administration of the Poor Law, besides the administration of the Public Health and other Sanitary Acts, and certain new duties arising out of the operation of the Local Government Act of 1894.
(5G.) General Duties of Local Authorities. As under the English General Act, so under the Scotch Public Health Act (Section 17), it is the duty of the Local Authority to make from time to time inspection of their district so as to secure the proper sanitary conditions of all premises within the district. The 149th Section also gives power to abate nuisances in adjoining districts when necessary. "Where a nuisance is situate in a District, the Local Authority of which does not cause the same to be removed, and which nuisance is offensive or injurious or dangerous to another District, the Local Authority of the latter District may call on the first-mentioned Local Authority to take all competent steps for removal of such nuisance, and the said first-mentioned Local Authority shall be bound to do so accordingly, and any expense thereby occasioned to the said second-mentioned Local Authority shall be reimbursed by the first-mentioned Local Authority, the amount of such reimbursement in the case of dispute to be finally determined by the Board.
(57.) Procedure in the case of a Local Authority neglecting to carry out its Statutory Duties. If a Local Authority neglects its duty, the following may give written notice to the Local Authority of the existence of such matters requiring attention: -
Any ten ratepayers,
The Parish Council,
The Procurator Fiscal (Public Prosecutor) of the Sheriff Court of the County.
The Local Government Board for Scotland.
Should the neglect be that of non-enforcement of any regulation or direction of the Local Government Board, under Part IV. of the Public Health (Scotland! Act, then in two days, in other cases fourteen days, - if the matter is not remedied, an application may be made to the Sheriff by summary petition, and the Sheriff shall thereupon inquire into the same, and may require the removal or remedy of the nuisance or the performance of any duty incumbent on the Local Authority, and may enforce his decree at the expense of the Local Authority or of others.