Local Government Act 1894 - First Elections and "appointed Day"

First Elections and "appointed Day"

The act specified that the first elections to the district councils and reconstituted boards of guardians would take place on 8 November, or such other date that the Local Government Board should fix. In the event, the electoral register was not complete until late November, and elections did not take place until December.

The first parish meetings were held on 4 December. Nominations for parish councils were made on that date, and elections for contested seats were held on (or about) 17 December: the exact date being fixed by the relevant county council. Elections to urban and rural district councils, and for urban poor law guardians took place on the same date as those for parish councils. There were no elections in 1895, with the electoral cycle beginning on 15 April 1896.

The Local Government Board issued circulars declaring the appointed day for the coming into office of the newly elected authorities: parish councils on the Thursday following the election, boards of guardians and rural district councils on 28 December and urban district councils on 31 December. The district councils came into their powers on the date of their first meeting, so that the act came into force in late December 1894 or early January 1895 in different areas.

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    Have We not made the earth as a cradle and the mountains as pegs? And We created you in pairs, and We appointed your sleep for a rest; and We appointed night for a garment, and We appointed day for a livelihood. And We have built above you seven strong ones, and We appointed a blazing lamp and have sent down out of the rain-clouds water cascading that We may bring forth thereby grain and plants, and gardens luxuriant.
    —Qur’An. “The Tiding,” 78:6-16, trans. by Arthur J. Arberry (1955)