chapter  23
9 Pages

'The Accounts of Urban District Councils', J.A.Eckersley, Supplement to the Financial Circular, May 1905, lxi-lxix

The Sixth Meeting of the I 9().1.5 Session of the Lanca. ehire Students' Society Wl\8 held on Satm·day, :March 25th, 1900, in the School of Technolol!y, Mnnchester.

After a few brief worcls of introduction by the chair· mnn, )k Ecker> ley delive•·ed his Lechu·e, as follows :

The nccounts of an Urban District Council :u·e •·egu. lated to a great extent by the Publie Health Act, IS'j.i, and by the General Orders of the Local GO\·ernmen t Board. The p•·odsions with regard to accounts contained within other Acts of Parliament, ,·iz., The Electl'ic Li,rht· ing Act, 1882, The Gas \\'orks Clauses Act, 1811, The Public Libraries Act, 1892, The Housing of 1\'orking CIMses Act, 1890, Private Street \Yorks Act, 1892, The Burial Act, 18fJO, The Local Go,·ernment Act, 1894, District Auditors Act, 1Si9, and probably a host of other Acts of Parliament, adopth·e and otherwise, too nume•·ous to mention. In this paper it is propooed to ende:wour to elucid~<te the legal points from an accountancy point of view, and, although there are .many fallacies to expose, it is not my intention to enter into an elaborate criticism of those fallacie~, but. to endeavour to explain the system of account~ of an Urban nistrict Council, a.o prescribed by Ia"··

The accounts of an Urban Distl'ict Council diller from those of a .Municipal Corporation in one of, if not the most particular and important, and, if I may be allowed to say so, the most elementary pointo. It is po•sible for Corporation accounts to be kept on p10per lines, namely, Income and Expenditure, but the accounts of an Urban District Council must, by the provisions of the General Orders of the Local Government Board, be kept on the system of Receipts and Payments. I need not, before an audience of the kind here assembled, enter into a des· cription of the difference of the two systems, but I am sure if it is not in accordance with the principles of

accountancy for the accounts of 11 small pro,·ision dealer to be kept on the principle of receipts and payments, to be compelled to keep the accounts of Urban District Council~. whose annual receipt> exceed £8,000,000, about half of which i• receh·ed f1·om trades undertakings, on thitt ba•is i> nothinl! short of criminal, and if we, having due •·eg:u·rl fm· the majesty of the law no propounded by the Local GO\·ernment Board, refmin from referring to the pro,·ea·bial " a~;~,'~ we can at lea8t criticise it as being somewhat ignorant of account~.