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Abergele and Pensarn Urban…

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Abergele and Pensarn Urban District Council. Medical Officer's Report. The "Avenue" Question. Lively Discussion. Forthcoming Marriage Rejoicings. THE monthly meeting of this Council was held on Monday evening in the Town Hall, Aber- gele. The members present were Messrs Thos. Williams (chairman), J. Edwards, J. Pierce, J. C. Knight, Thomas Evans, J. Roberts, Edward Williams, Pierce Davies, and the clerk (Mr E. A. Crabbe). New Plans. The Finance Committee reported that plans presented by Mr Richard Jones for new houses in Rhuddlan-road were not passed, as they were unsatisfactory. Deferred for further consecra- tion.âPlans for structural alterations at the Walsall Seaside Home at Pensarn, plans for a new warehouse for Mr Bushnell, ironmonger, and plans for a new stable for Mr Thomas, the grocer, were passed. Common Lodging-House. The Inspector reported having visited the house periodically, and found everything in good order. Medical Officer's Report. Increase of Infant Mortality. The Cause-Badly Constructed Houses. PROPOSED NEW DWELLINGS FOR WORKMEN. The Medical Officer (Dr Lloyd Roberts) pre- sented his annual report. He said:- DURING the past year 59 births and 31 deaths occurred in the district, as against 49 births and 45 deaths during the previous year. One death occurred amongst visitors. The deaths certi- fied to by medical practitioners were 90.3 per cent., and by coroners 6.4; so that 3.2 per cent. âor one in number-were only unaccounted for. The births were at the annual rate of 28.9 per 1,000 population, and the deaths at the annual rate of 15.2 per 1,000 persons estimated to be living in April of the year, as against a birth rate of 24.1, and a death rate of 21.1 per 1,000 during the previous year. Amongst the causes of death, no one cause has any particular prominence. One death only was due to influenza in June of the year. Twelve of the deaths occurred in the age period -65 years and upwardsâmaking 38.7 per cent., as against 31.0 per cent. during the previous year. But it is to be noted that eight deaths, or 25.8 per cent., occurred during the first year of life, which is a high figure and a higher per- centage than during the previous year. This figure, however, covers the total deaths under five years, as no deaths occurred between the ages of one and five years. The death-rate of infants calculated upon the numbers born is still high at 135.5 per 1,000, though below that for the kingdom generally, and lower than the figure for the previous year. What was said last year must be repeated this, that in the face of there being no epidemic to account for it, this is too high an infant death- rate. The main reasons by which these deaths may be accounted for may be found in the char- acter of the houses in which these infants live and die. They are houses faulty in construc- tion and capacities and design-houses with kitchen and bedroom only, sometimes with only a small back kitchen, confined backs, and per- haps insanitary surroundings. The cases of infectious diseases notified under the Act were but few, and the cases give a rate below the death-rate of the kingdom from such diseases. No deaths occurred amongst these cases. One case was notified as of typhoid, which, upon applying the serum test to it by the Clin- ical Research Association, proved not to be typhoid. A second case notified as typhoid proved by a similar examination to be such. These two cases prove the usefulness of the Clinical Research Association, which the Coun- cil joined as life members last year. This case of typhoid probably contracted the infection away from Abergele whilst at home on holiday. The one death amongst visitors was due to drowning whilst bathing. No cases have re- 'quired to be brought before justices or a court of summary jurisdiction. No new licences have been asked for or granted to common lodging-houses, and no com- plaint has been laid against any already licensed. No new licences have been asked for for slaughter-houses. Existing slaughter-houses have been fairly well maintained in accord with the bye-laws. Shortcomings in the positions and facilities of slaughtering and removal of what become the offensive accompaniments of slaughtering have been detailed to you more than once. It is ex- pedient that the Council should keep this ques- tion in view, whether by the erection of an abattoir or by other measures, to get slaughter- ing done outside the town. It is a leading ques- tion of the day, and applies with particular force to a first-class watering-place and health resort. The many details of tuberculosis are also so intimately involved in it, as well as in the sale of milk, that with the prominence that this subject (tuberculosis) has, as this district can well claim to be one in which this disease in its many phases may be cured by "open- air" treatment. It is essential that it should not be open to suspicion that it may at the same time propagate the disease. j A serious condition of things was brought about in September by the Water Company cut- ting off the water supply to the whole 16 houses in Plas Xèwydd Buildings from the 1st to the 6th dates, and afterwards from the w.c.'s only. It appeared that the agent of the property had for many months been under notice for the waste of water occurring in the w.c.'s due to' defective fittings. Whilst this neglect-must be acknowledged, it is thought that a too high- handed measure was taken, though within the limits of the Waterworks Clauses Acts, !where two other alternatives, of a penalty of (5 in each case of waste, or of repairing and charging the costs, were to be found.â10 Vic., c. 17, s. S5 :;6. Houses have again to be brought to your notice which ought to be closed against occupa- tion. Houses at the Gele Bridge and houses in two courts off Jenkin-street, the removal of the arch- way leading into Mount Pleasant, as an ob- structive building is again brought to your con- sideration. The Council should themselves erect some working-class dwelling-houses, Under the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890. Not only are such wanted and would they prove remunerative as an investment, but would they serve a better purpose as being model's tJf what such houses ought to be, and a standard up to which all builders of cottages should attain to. Excellent plans of cottages are shown to you, and the Council are advised to provide them- selves with copies of these plans to hang up in their offices for the use of the. public. The Local Government Board enquiry was attended, at which a part of the loan sought for is to be expended upon repairs to the sewers and outlet tanks at Pensari-i. The Medical Officer produced some plans of workmen's dwelling-houses he had received from the Board of Agriculture. He hoped that every house erected in future would not have fewer than three bedrooms, as they were essen- tial to decency and from a health point of view. As he had reported, their death-rate amongst infants was very high, and it was all owing to the faulty construction and design of the houses. The Clerk If it were not for the infant mor- tality figures our death-rate would be reduce1 to a minimum? The Medical Officer It would be very much lower than it is now. The Chairman Then you put it down to the condition of the houses? The Medical Officer I cannot find any other reason for it. The Chairman: A good many have died between the ages of one and five. Mr Thos. Evans: How many have died in Jenkin-street? The Medical Officer: I could not say. Mr Thomas Evans Not one has died there. The Clerk: I know of two deaths which occurred there myself. Mr Thos. Evans Yes, but not owing to the faulty construction of the houses? The Clerk No, I cannot say that. The Medical Officer said some of the houses were so short of accommodation that if a death occurred some of the occupants HAD TO SLEEP WITH THE CORPSE. If there was a confinement it had to be done in the same room as their inmates, and in case of illness there was no possibility of isolating the case. He, therefore, produced these plans in the hope that they would hang them up so that anyone who wished to build houses of that description would have a good plan before them. Mr Pierce What do they cost? The Medical Officer I could not say. The Clerk: About £ 150 each; but if you want cottage property to pay you must build them so that they won't cost you more than /'i io including the value of the land. (Laugh- ter.) Some of the cottages erected in New- street only cost £89 each. The Chairman Then we have to consider the question of getting land. The Medical Officer You are tied here, un- fortunately. The Clerk (looking at the plans) These seem very pretty houses. The Medical Officer: If you can put semi- detached houses up, all the better, as you get mtWre light and air. Mr Thomas Evans: But the land is expen- sive, and it would take more for semi-detached houses. The Medical Officer: Quite so. But if you want to move with the times you must have up-to-date improvements. There is the ques- tion of providing A PUBLIC ABATTOIR. I know it is a big subject, but there are lots of little places going into the matter thoroughly, and providing public slaughter-houses. Pwll- heli is going in for one; in fact, they have quite a model one. The only object I have in bringing these things forward is because I have the welfare of the town at heart. (Hear, hear.) I want to see a little advance made here, although I know what difficulties you have to contend with. The Chairman I think we shall get on by- and-bye; there are signs already that we shall not always be in this backward state. Mr Pierce characterised the report as one highly favourable to the district. It was very encouraging to the Council, and more particu- larly to the inhabitants that such a report could be produced, because in previous years their record had not been so favourable. On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr Pierce, a vote of thanks was,accorded to the medical officer for his report. In reply, Dr Lloyd Roberts said the various mortality returns were more favourable than they had been for some time, and a good share of the improvement must be put down to the district nurse. He looked for still better results when the nurse grew more popular amongst the working classes. So far she had accomplished excellent work. If ever he seemed to persist in pushing forward and advocating certain reforms he hoped they would consider he was doing it solely for the good of the place. (Hear, hear.) The Vacant Collectorship." The Chairman It is a very difficult question, took steps to appoint a new collector and sur- veyor. The Chairman It is a very difficult question indeed. For a moment or two no member seemed to take the iniative. At length Mr Pierce said it was now time that something definite should be done to bring the matter to a definite issue. He thought each councillor should have studied it carefully be- fore coming to the Council. At present, however, no one seemed to know exactly what to do, so he suggested that the question be deferred to the next meeting. Mr Thomas Evans said the Council had had its hands pretty well full during the past month. What with the tree question, and one thing and another, he had done nothing at all. (Laughter.) He proposed that the matter be deferred until the next meeting, when probably a definite pro. posal would be placed before the meeting. This motion was carried. Forthcoming Marriage of Mr J. Herbert Roberts' Sister. PROPOSED REJOICINGS. The Clerk read a communication to the effect that as the sister of Mr J. Herbert Roberts, M.P., was to married at Abergele on the 10th of April, it was suggested that a representative Town Committee should be appointed to con- sist of three members from each Sunday School in the district, together with two representatives of the v rban District Council, and that the committee meet next Tuesday in the Welsh Wesleyan Schoolroom, Abergele, to consider the best mode of suitably celebrating the occa- sion. Two members were appointed to act on the committee. District Nursing Association, A letter was read from the District Nursing Association thanking the Council for allowing the members free use of the Council chamber, in which to hold their monthly meetings. In response to their appeal he had also, on behalf of the Council, granted them permission to have the free use of that room for dressing purposes on the occasion of an entertainment to be held there in aid of the association. An Australian Choir from Liverpool. The Clerk produced an application he had received from the Australian Choir, asking for permission to give open air performances on the sands during the summer. Mr T. Evans Do they come from Australia? (Laughter.) The Clerk Their address is Liverpool, and they say they have sang with great success at many of the principal concerts. (Laughter.) Mr Evans We had better go to Liverpool to hear them before deciding. (Laughter.) The appeal was deferred. Shorter Hours for Roadmen. An application was sent in by the Council's roadmen asking for shorter hours on Saturday. The Clerk said it would be all right in winter for the men to leave off at mid-day, but in sum- mer it would not be so easy, as it was necessary to have the streets swept on Saturday afternoon and evening. The application was deferred. Bad Drainage. The Clerk read a letter from Mr J. R. Ellis, calling attention to the condition of the road leading from Peel-street to the St. Asaph main road. Of late it had been an impossibility for pedestrians, owing to the depth of water in the street, to go through it, and the workmen of the Council had also been seriously inconvenienced in going and coming from their work. Pwll Coch Road. ANOTHER STUBBORN LANDOWNER (?). Mr Pierce said he hoped the landowners would let the Council do something to improve the road, by seling them the land. Mr Mill- ward was the proprietor, and the necessary im- provements would have been carried out long ago had he been willing to let them have the land. Example, they said, was better than pre- cept. Therefore, let him offer the land to the Council, so that the nuisance could be abated. At times the road was so badly flooded that people had to walk in it nearly up to their knees m mud owing to an obstruction that had been there for some years. Mr-Ed. Williams said he was knocked up at twelve o'clock one night by someone,who called out asking which way they were to go home. (Laughter.) The drain in wet weather was con- tinually getting blocked, and the water was tre at that moment. Mr T. Evans said if he remembered rightly the Council came to some ARRANGEMENTS WITH MR MILLWARD for the purchase of the land subject to the Local Government Board sanctioning the scheme. He I then proposed that they should go through one of those old cottages, and he (Mr Evans) was sorry they did not accept his offer. But the councillor who lived close to opposed the schemeâ(laughter)âand it had remained in abeyance ever since. Mr Pierce said the objection they had was against allowing Mr Millward to do the work himself. He had every opportunity of letting the thing go through, as he had a good offer. Mr Williams As long as it was his property he had a right to make any proviso. The Clerk said he thought Mr Millward's offer was a fair one, and it should have been accepted. The pipes were to run through building land, and, therefore, he wanted the work done in such a way that his land would not have been affected at all. If his offer had been accepted the nuisance would have been abated long ago. The question was deferred. The "Avenue" Dispute. The Truth about the Water Street Improvements. LIVELY DISCUSSION. Mr Ed. Williams said probably many of them had heard the report that some of the ratepayers did not think the Council had treated the Castle people properly with regard to the widening of Water-street. As a councillor, he should very much like the clerk to read the letter which was sent to the Castle concerning the question, so that the public could be acquainted with the truth. The Chairman said with regard to that matter he was the only one present who was on the Board at that time. Plans were submitted to the old Local Board showing proposed altera- tions to the stone houses in the street, the idea being to set them back a little. The Board thought they saw a chance of widening the foot- path, and politely asked Mrs Hesketh if they would give the Council a few inches to carry out the desired improvement. However, some- thing happened, and the plans were suddenly withdrawn. The Clerk said he had the letter before him, and it was written on the 20th of December, 1892, by his predecessor, Mr J. Wallis Davies, to Mr Inglis, the estate agent:- "Dear Sir,âThe plans and specification sub- mitted by Mr Evans, of Rhyl, for the RE-CONSTRUCTION OF MR HESKETH'S PROPERTY in Water-street were laid before the Board at their ordinary meeting yesterday, when they unanimously approved of the plans generally, and expressed their pleasure at the proposed improvement, more especially as they show an intention to carry out an improvement long desired by the Board and the public, namely, putting back the parapet so as to widen the street, which is much needed. Unfortunately, it appears that a provision is made for occu- pying the enclosure and the vacant space, and I am instructed to say that the desired extension cannot be carried out unless this is abandoned, and before the Board finally approve of the plans, I have been requested to write you on the subject of the parapet. After consultation with Mr Hesketh, will you give me a call, so that we can discuss that question, and probably arrange matters?" There never was (continued the clerk) an answer to that letter. The Chairman: No; the plans were with- drawn, and they did not give us the chance of refusing. The Clerk There was nothing wrong in that letter. I believe some people say that we should have passed the plans, and let them have the gardens in front of the cottages, and that as soon as the gardens were completed we should have given them notice to treat for the purchase.- But that would be A PIECE QF "SLIMNESS," which no honourable public body would coun- tenance. (Hear, hear.) We have been per- fectly straight and above board all through the controversy, and a more courteous letter than Mr Wallis Davies's could not possibly have been written. (Hear, hear.) Mr Pierce But there was a series of letters written about that particular thing. The Chairman We never had the option of refusing, because the plans were withdrawn. Mr Pierce: I state emphatically that every house was coming down, and that the plans showed a big open space in Local-lane, on wlvch it was never intended to build. The Clerk That does not affect the position in the least. The question is whether there was any want of consideration or discourtesy tried to intimidate my client. Neither has ne shown proper respect to the court. Mr Bromley: I don't think it was intended for the ears of anybody. Mr Hatherley Jones then got up, and said: "I may say that I did not call this man a d- liar. I am in a position to prove that he worked with Johnson in getting this petition up, and I am prepared to go into the box and prove what I say. I can prove that THE MAN IS A LIAR, and if he likes to take action against me he can do so. Mr Davies He called me a d- liar. The Chairman: It is scarcely a proper ex- pression to use, and under the circumstances we think you owe the court an apology. Any- thing else is a matter for you and Mr Davies. Mr Hatherley Jones I certainly respect the Bench, and to the Bench I apologise. But I certainly decline to^ apologise to Mr Davies, because I can prove what I say at the proper time. The somewhat painful incident then termin- ated. Mr Gamlin called another witness named Mr Booz. The pronunciation caused a titter in court. The evidence of this gentleman was to the effect that the licence was not required. The Bench granted the transfer after a feW moments' deliberation.

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