|Activity||The Poor Law (Scotland) Act 1845 (8 & 9 Vict., c.83) established parochial boards throughout Scotland and a central Board of Supervision in Edinburgh. The constitution of the boards in rural areas depended on whether or not they imposed a poor rate. If they did not, they would be composed of the heritors and kirk session; if they did, they were required to add to the heritors and kirk session a varying number of members elected locally. Only a minority of parishes were legally assessed for poor rates in 1845 but most were by 1862. The entitlement to poor relief remained unchanged and excluded the able-bodied unemployed. Each parochial board was required to appoint an inspector of the poor who was in charge of the day-to-day administration of relief. Other functions were added to the duties of the boards, in particular those under the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1867 (30 & 31 Vict., c.101), which included the regulation of lodging houses, removal of nuisances, construction of sewers, water supply and the control of infectious diseases. They were given the power to appoint medical and sanitary inspectors and to form special drainage and water districts. The public health powers of boards in the landward area were transferred to county councils by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 (52 & 53 Vict., c.50). Special drainage districts and water districts were transferred to sub-committees of county councils. |
Parochial boards and the Board of Supervision were replaced by wholly elected parish councils and a Local Government Board for Scotland under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1894 (57 & 58 Vict., c.58). The new councils acquired a few additional functions, including the power to acquire buildings for public offices, ground for recreational purposes and the administration of rights of way. They could also take over the administration of some parish trusts. Parish councils were abolished by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 (19 & 20 Geo. V, c.25), which transferred their functions to the county councils, district councils and town councils.