1820 Act preamble.
Preamble to 1820 Act

Bury St Edmunds Improvement Act
Number 2, 1820


Picture Page of complete Act of Parliament

Pages 1 to 10

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First page - preamble. This acknowledges that the first Improvement Act has been carried out up to its financial limit, but more now needs to be done.

Page 2. Existing commissioners given powers under this Act. It becomes a criminal offence to fail to maintain highways. Commissioners will collect a rate based on the annual value of property in the area.

Page 3. The rates must stop when the commissioners have 2,000 in a sinking fund to repay debt. Accounting on Oath no longer required. The office of Clerk cannot be held by the same person, or relative of, the Treasurer.

Page 4. The Treasurer is required to keep Accounts and make them available for inspection. Commissioners have powers to build or contract for a Gas Works, and to lay mains for lighting highways and public places. Also power to supply gas to private buildings.

Page 5. Commissioners may cut sewers and ditches to drain the gasworks, but none of this may drain into the rivers Lark or Linnet. Public may bring actions for malfeasance by the Commissioners. Repeal of previous penalty for breaking street lamps.

Page 6. There is a new 10 fine plus restitution for breaking street lamps, backed up by up to 6 months in gaol for non payment. Repeals previous penalties for obstructing the highways.

Page 7. Describes a whole range of nuisances and obstructions on highways which become subject to a fine of up to 2. Market stalls are exempted from this provision. Also describes what shall be considered a nuisance or obstruction to a footway or pavement.

Page 8. More footway nuisances described including open cellars, cock fighting, discharging a firearm or firework, with the penalty set at between 10/- and 2, and 5 for repeat offences.

Page 9. Also nothing to be exposed for sale except in the market places. Persons breaking gas lamps and gas apparatus may be arrested, and penalties set between 2 and 5 per lamp plus restitution.

Page 10. If the fines are not paid the offender can be gaoled with hard labour for 2 months for a first offence and 6 months for further offences. All other provisions of the earlier Act are still valid. This Act is a Public Act, not a Private Act, and may be followed by all judges and justices.
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Last updated 15th September 2014
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