MR. E. GRIFFITH (Anglesey)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, with reference to the Order made on 13th February 1897, dividing the parish of Chesham so as to constitute the ecclesiastical parish of St. John, Ashley Green, a separate parish for all civil and secular purposes, by which it was provided that the School Board of Chesham should cease to have jurisdiction within the area, of the new parish of Ashley Green, whether he gave notice to the Chesham School Board before making this alteration; (1) whether he is aware that the School Board had raised six different loans upon security of the rates of the whole parish before it was divided; (2) whether in dividing the parish he made any arrangement for adjusting the then existing debts and liabilities of the undivided parish, and in what form, and by whom, and on what basis that adjustment is to be made; (3) and who is liable for the portion of the old debts of the Chesham School Board which is secured upon the rates of the new parish of Ashley Green, and how that liability is to be enforced?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. CHAPLIN, Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
In reply to the first paragraph, the parish of Chesham was divided into Chesham and Ashley Green by order of the Bucks County Council. That order in itself took Ashley Green out of the Chesham school district. We have no power, in the absence of petition, to prevent such an order taking effect, although we may modify the order so as—in the words of the Act—to give effect to its objects. No petition was presented, and it was incumbent on the Local Government Board to make the confirming order accordingly. In this case the Education Department suggested that for educational purposes the two parishes should be a united district, but both the county council and Ashley Green represented to us that this was neither the purport nor the intention of the county council order, and we were requested to make this quite clear in the confirming order—which we did. We had no authority to do anything else. We were in communication with, and gave notice to, the Education Department, but not directly 1308 to the school board. The reply to the second paragraph is in the affirmative. In reply to the third paragraph, no request was made for the adjustment of liabilities in the confirming order, and no provision for adjustment was made. I have no authority to determine the point which is raised in the last paragraph, but I presume that the Chesham School Board is liable for all the debts it has incurred.