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SATURDAY, MAY 16. 1914.J ____…

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SATURDAY, MAY 16. 1914. J Topical Tattle. The discussion at the Board of Guardians meeting on the Agricultural Rates Relief Act and the Budget shows that the agricul- turists, who naturally predominate on the Board, are very much alive to their interests as regards rating. The contention of farmers that their position to-day in regard to the rates is worse than it was 20 years ago is only too true, despite the relief granted to the agriculturist under the Agricultural Rates Relief Act. Personally, I am not one of those who is afraid that the tenant agri- culturist is going to suffer under the new proposals. No Government or Cabinet Minister dare propose to make the burdens on agricultural land any heavier, and if there is to be a shifting of burdens it is not the farmer who is going to feel it heavier- the Farmers' Union is too strong for that. But there is no doubt that agriculturists are very keenly alive to any proposals of change in the method of rating, and to my mind the great bugbear of both Unionist and Liberal Governments in the past has been that in granting relief to local rates or allocating taxes collected in a county to that county, there has been a fixed sum. No provision has been made for the growth of rates, with the result that in time the sup- posed relief has disappeared altogether. We have had instances of that in the Agri- cultural Rates Relief Act and local taxation revenue, and what farmers should keep their eye on is that in the forthcoming changes that are to be made due regard should be paid to the future as well as the, present. Writing about rates reminds me that the judgment in the case of the Ledbury Rural District Council v. Lady Henry Somerset will probably mean an addition to the rates, as the costs are sure to be pretty high. There is still, of course, the question of appeal, but if that goes forward and the Counoil again lose in will mean a further increase to the rates. Anyhow, it looks as if there is the material for a right glorious growl on the part of the ratepayers. But these things will happen, and what is won over one extraordinary traffic case seems to be gobbled up quickly by the next. The gathering at Ledbury Kennels on Wednesday on the occasion of the Ledbury Hunt Puppy Show was an extremely interesting one and not less interesting were the speeches at the luncheon afterwards. There is no doubt the prestige of the Led- bury country has improved wonderfully since Sir George Bullough took over the Mastership and everything is carried on in the most thorough manner, from the smallest detail upwards, the result being that the Ledbury has improved out of all recognition during the past few years, both from a hunting and country point of view. In these days of revolutionary changes and a cry in certain quarters against the sport- happily not to be found in this district-it is worth while rejecting 08 the capital out- lay annually on a pack such as the Ledbury Is. Both from a sportiiag and a country point of view the Ledbury Hunt is a necessity to the well-being of the town itself. Resignations continue in regard to teachers at the Ledbury elementary schools, and there have been another couple such recently, though happily neither is con- nected with the recent strike. The scarcity of teachers becomes more pronounced as time goes on, and at Ledbury, following on the recent batch of resignations, temporary appointments have had to be made-certain of them at half as much again as the usual salaries. If money ever was wasted on education since elementary schools were formed, then it has been in Herefordshire this year. The day of reckoning will surely come, and it will not be a pleasant one for the education authorities of the county. How much are they likely to get out of the proposed grant for education under the new Budget ? The recent train alterations are not even known to some of the railway officials, or at least to one of that ilk, who last week bad an experience which has been the talk of the countryside. He is the head-sa-rag of one of those small stations between Led- bury and Hereford, and as it was his turn to be early off-duty last week, he took a trip up to Hereford May Fair on Thursday. He sauntered from the resort of pleasure in time to catch the last train, so he thought, but to his dismay be discovered that the last train for this direction now departs at 8-10 and not 8-25, and that it had departed, leaving him stranded. So there was nothing for it but a taxi. But fancy a railway official forgetting the alteration in the time table Ye gods! f Four cronies had been to a certain recent function which shall be nameless, and wending their way homewards one of the party startled his friends by asking What are more policemen about here for ? One of the party quickly replied, There are not more; it's yc. who are seeing double." f TATTLER. j

I LEDBURY COUNCIL SCHOOLS.…

COLWALL NEWS. I

OUR WEEKLY CALENDAR.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

ALLEGED DAMAGE TO PIANOS.

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LOCAL NEWS. I

THE BUDGET AND TARIFF REFORM.