|Wellingborough & Kettering News 24/05/1889, transcribed by Peter Brown
COMPLAINT AGAINST THE BOARD OF GUARDIANS
The following letter has been received by the overseers in answer to one sent under the instruction of a vestry meeting respecting the refusal of relief to Wilby:-
Local Government Board, Whitehall,
London. May 16th, 1888.
Gentlemen, l am desired by the Local Government Board to advert to your letter of 16th ult., with reference to the case of William Wilby, and to state that they are of opinion that in deciding whether any particular applicant is so far destitute as to require relief from the poor rate, a Board of Guardians are bound to take into consideration all the means of support possessed by the applicant, from whatever source they may be derived. If, therefore, the Guardians consider that the amounts received by any poor person from other sources are sufficient to provide that person and those legally dependent upon him with all the necessaries which they require, they would not be justified in affording relief from the poor rate.
With regard to the statement in the concluding paragraph of your letter that the Guardians were informed that the action which they wished to take would be against the standing orders of the Board I am directed to point out that the duty of the Guardians as above defined is not prescribed by any orders or regulations of the Board, but is imposed upon them under the General law of the country under which they are only empowered to relieve at the cost of the poor rate, destitution actually existing at the time when application for relief is made. I am to add that the Board are precluded from interfering in regard to individual cases, being expressly prohibited by law from so doing. I am, Gentlemen, your obedient servant.