Blind Persons Act, 1920

Power of local authorities to promote welfare of blind persons.

51 & 52 Vict. c. 41.

56 & 57 Vict. c. 42.

2.(1) It shall be the duty of the council of every county and every county borough, whether in combination with any other council or councils or otherwise, to make arrangements to the satisfaction of the Minister of Health for promoting the welfare of blind persons ordinarily resident within their area, and such council may for this purpose provide and maintain or contribute towards the provision and maintenance of workshops, hostels, homes, or other places for the reception of blind persons whether within or without their area and, with the approval of the Minister of Health, do such other things as may appear to them desirable for the purpose aforesaid. The Council shall, within twelve months after the passing of this Act, prepare and submit to the Minister of Health a scheme for the exercise of their powers under this section.

(2) The expenses incurred by a council under this section shall be defrayed in the case of a county council out of the county fund as expenses for general county purposes and in the case of a county borough council out of the borough fund or borough rate.

(3) A council may borrow for the purposes of this section in the case of a county council in accordance with the Local Government Act, 1888, and in the case of a county borough council, in accordance with the Public Health Acts, 1875 to 1908, but the money so borrowed by the council of a county borough shall be borrowed on the security of the borough fund or borough rate, and money borrowed for the purposes of this section shall not be reckoned as part of the debt of the council for the purposes of any provision limiting the powers of borrowing by the council.

(4) A council may exercise any of the powers conferred by this section (other than the power of raising a rate or of borrowing money) through a committee of the council, and may appoint as members of the committee persons specially qualified by training or experience in matters relating to the blind who are not members of the council, but not less than two-thirds of the members of every such committee shall consist of members of the council, and a committee established under this section may, subject to any direction of the council, appoint such and so many sub-committees consisting either or partly of members of the committee, as the committee thinks fit.

(5) This section shall apply to the City of London as if it were a county borough and the common council were the council of a county borough, and any expenses of the common council under this section shall be defrayed out of the general rate.

(6) Nothing in this section shall affect the powers and duties of local education authorities under the Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, 1893, or the Education Acts, 1870 to 1919, and local education authorities in the exercise of their duty to contribute to the establishment of a national system of public education available for all persons capable of profiting thereby shall make or otherwise secure adequate and suitable provision for the technical education of blind persons ordinarily resident in their area who are capable of receiving and being benefited by such education.

(7) For the purposes of this section, a blind person who becomes an inmate of an institution for the blind after the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to continue to be ordinarily resident in the area in which he was ordinarily resident before he became an inmate of such institution.