Local Governmentnt Act of 1894 was primarily designed to establish Parish and District Councils as public authorities, supplementing that of the County Council; incidentally it introduced changes greatly affecting the administration of the Poor Law. "The desire to make local government more directly representative of the people was strong, and it was ... in sufficiently recognised that the administration of the Poor Law differs from the administration of other services. In effect the business of the Poor Law is the expenditure of the money of the ratepayers on the needs of one section of the community alone, and it had therefore seemed desirable that the class which alone was to benefit directly should not have a preponderant voice in determining the amount and nature of the benegits. Already the amount of the qualification for candidates for the office of the Guardian had been reduced to 5 pounds a year; under the new Act no qualification but a residence of twelve months was required. The franchise was also extended, to include indirect ratepayers and lodgeres; and it was feared by experienced administrators that the change would lead renewed laxity in administration. ... the Council [of COS] ueged that the clauses affecting the Poor Law shoul be omitted until a Royan Commission had reported on the whole question of Poor Law relief" [272-273]. See Annual Report for 1893-94. HB on Poor Law administration. COS urged "a competent ad impartial Commission".
COS also opposed the Out-door Relief Friendly Society Act of 1894: "in principle, an inducement may now be held out to members of these Societies to apply for relief as members of a priviledged class rather than to abstain from applying for help and preserve their independence".