Excerpt from London Government Under the Local Government Act, 1888
It will not merely absorb the functions of county authorities, but will succeed to all the powers, duties, and liabilities of the Metropolitan Board of Works. That board came into existence on January 1, 1856, and it will pass away on April 1, 1889, having had a life of thirty-three years and three months. During that period it has exercised an enormous inﬂuence upon the municipal aﬂairs of London. It has constructed a main drainage system at a cost of more than six millions and a half: embanked the Thames: freed most of the bridges from toll: constructed vast arteries of street communication: established and maintained a metropolitan fire brigade: provided and maintained 2603 acres of parks and open spaces free to the public for ever: exercised a controlling jurisdiction over the half-million buildings of London cleared vast insanitary areas: and in many other ways discharged under more than 120 Acts of Parliament important municipal functions in London.
The transfer by a single clause in an Act of Parliament of the powers, duties, and liabilities of an Authority of this kind to a directly elected municipality, is an operation the boldness of which is not less striking than its magnitude.
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