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SANITARY CONDITION OF HOLTON, BARRY DOCK. MEETING OF THE RATEPAYERS' ASSOCIATION. STARTLING STATEMENTS. BARRY LOCAL HOARD CONDEMNED SERIOUS CHARGES AGAINST OFFICIALS. LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD TO BE COMMUNICATED WITH. ALLEGED IMPURE WATER SUPPLY. A meeting- of the Barry. Barry Dock. and Cadox- ton Ratepayers' Association was held at the Welsh Independent Chapel. Holton. on Tuesday night. There was a small attendance. The meeting- had been principally called for the purpose of hearing the inaugural address of the president. Mr. D. Gibbon, but that gentleman was unable to be pre- sent. Mr. D. Lloyd. one of the vice-presidents of the association, took the chair, and amongst those present were the Revs. J. Honey and G. Ll. Wil- liams. and Messrs. J. Milward," De Boer. Price (baker). Smith. Jones. D. Jones, J. Jones. Evans. J. Mciiill. C. H. Campbell (secretary), .c. Messrs. J. Harrison. W. Copp. E. J. D. Irish. W. Harpur. and others came in at the close of the meeting-. after all the resolutions had been passed. The meeting- commenced with the reading of the cir- cular convening and the passing of minutes. The Chairman commenced by saying that on March 14 the secretary, by the instruction of the a.-sociation. wrote to the Local Board urging upon them the necessity of proceeding- with the main roads and the back lanes.' He proceeded to read the reply of the clerk of the Local Board, dated April 14th—exactly one month—to the effect that the matter would receive the Board's attention. Now they all knew what was meant by having a certain board s or a certain committee s attention drawn to a matter everyone knew that letters similar to thr.c they had just received from the clerk of the Local Board were simply j> n> j n r ma. During the last mouth what had been done to make the roads Jjetter or to improve the back lanes. Absolutely nothing, and yet it was having the Board's attention. It was absurd to treat the associ- ation in such a way, but he hoped that with increasing numbers and increasing influence. \vhich ho was glad to say they were securing*, they might some day compel the Board to do their duty, for the members of the Board were the rate- payers' servants. When the whole of the rate- payers had votes, then. and only then. would the Board give them proper attention. In the unavoid- able ab>enee of their chairman, he thought it would be his duty to refer to some of the matters which Mr. Gibbon had intended to touch upon. (Hear, hear.) The first thing- he would comment upon was this. Since their last meeting there had been an inspection of the bye-Iap.es of the Holton dis- trict by the Health Committee of the Local Board. The inspection was certainly one* that ought to be followed by action. But he was bound to say that the Board had shown great inactivity in dealing with the great question which affected the Holton district. He admitted that the whole district had sprung up more rapidly than any other place within the last twenty or thirty years, but he was sorry to say that the Board had not shown itself capable to deal with such a state of affairs. (Hear.) There was too much sentiment and too much per- sonal ambition characterising the member.- of the Board. (Applause.) It was unnecessary for him to mention names. (Hear, hear.) Referring to the question of contracts, he asked if the Local Board really looked after the scavenging, contract. He said they did not. He resided in Graving Dock-street, and certainly no scavenging cart had been through this back lane since he had been there. That was what called carrying out a contract. If the ratepayers' money was to be spent in carrying out contracts on that scale, the sooner the better such contracts were terminated. He understood chat the Local Board were going to promote prosecutions against the wives or again, t the occupiers of houses who dared to put out refuse in the lanes. Well, let them prosecute. First of all. let them give notice that the scavenging carts will bo round- at certain hours, and then he was certain that no rcspectuble or clean women would attempt to place refuse out except in proper box or receptacle. There was another question, and that was the state of the water. They would have noticed that the water was very thick, and very muddy, and discoloured. (Hear.'hear.) Mr. Miiward had informed him that the state of the water was probably owing to the so many con- nections being made. But surely that could not be the cause of the water being green. If thev would look at their kettles, even after one kettleful had been boiled, they would see that there was in it a green sediment. He did not think that that was conducive to the nublic health. What could be done to remedy that. for it was a question for them to consider.' He daresay that if some medical man were consulted he would say that the green colour- ing was highly poisonous. How long. then. were they to drink highly poisonous water. In con- clusion he said that no doubt some action would have to be taken in order to compel members of the Board to do their duty. It was an honour to be on the Board, and members went there and had their names put in the papers. Resolutions were passed, but nothing came of them. What good were they Xone whatever. (Applause.) Mr. bmith-Jones, who was called upon by the chairman. said he had attended to hear Mr. Gibbon's inaugural address, but he was sorrv that that gentleman was not present. Proceeding, he said he did not believe in bullying or browbeating any public body at any time. but still he was ready to come forward, and give expression to what he felt z, was the duty of the public authorities in reference to the interests of the inhabitants. Eossibly a little confusion had been caused by what had fallen from the Chairman in reference to the water question. It was the private water compmy in the district which was responsible for the impure state of the water, and not the Local Board. They had legal means to compel the company to supply pure water. He thought the association should call upon the private company to remedy the beds of the reservoir which had now quite" failed to purify the water which they supplied. Xo doubt the numerous connections which Were constantly being made caused the muddy state of the water, but the superfluous quantity of poisonous lime that was allowed to mix up with the water was quite unjustifiable, and he thought a resolution should be passed upon the subject that night. Some little consideration should be given to the Board .in reference to the resolution they had received. He noticed with satisfaction that at their last meeting a step had been taken to proceed to connect all closets with the sewers. and thus do away with what were generally known as soil pans. He did not think that they as reason- able men could expect the Local Board to accom- plish very much all at once. The step having been adopted in the ordinary course of their business, the only thing for that meeting to do was to acquiesce in the good work the Board had done. and to move the Board to their full responsibility. Indeed, he thought it would be rather unjust and discourteous not to give to the Board full recog- nition for all genuine efforts which they did to alleviate their present condition, and he thought it had been a commendable feature on their part to put upon the owners of the various properties the expense of the connections. (Hear, hear.) The Chairman said that he had drafted the fol- lowing resolution, which he was prepared to move That this association emphatically condemns the lethargic manner in which the Local Board deals with the frightful state of the backlanes of the district, and calls upon the Board to at once proceed with the same, so that they may be finished be- fore the hot weather comes on." (Applause.) If the meeting approved of that he would move that it should be adopted. The Secretary (Mr. G. H. Campbell) suggested that the following resolution should be put to the meeting instead That this meeting of ratepayers deplore the filthy and disgraceful state 'of the back lanes of Holton, in which streams of filth tind pools of excrement are to be found, causing disease and misery in the homes of the inhabitants, and urges upon the Local Board to take steps to remove the nuisance." (Applause.) He said the matter would not have been prominently before the ratepayers as it was at the present time had it not been for the editor of the Jlttmj The speaker proceeded to narrate some grievances which had been laid before him. One was from Mr. Ince. who resided at 15. Graving Dock-street, and whose closet pan was not emptied for a month. (oo Shame.") The inspector of nuisances called, and when he was toid about it and requested to com- municate with the scavenger. he became rather insolent to the good lady of the house and told her to go and empty it herself. (" Shame.") That was the report given him from Mr. Ince. The next w&s from 21. Evan-street, where the closet pan was not emptied for three, four. five, and six weeks. The result was so serious that the man and his family were obliged to leave the premises in con- sequence. He exhorted those present to lay all nuisances before the association, who would endeavour to do what they themselves had found difficulty in doing. He concluded by moving the I I D us e. resolution he had read. (Applause.) The Rev. J. Honey seconded, as he did not think that the resolution was too strongly put. He recognised himself the difficulty of the Board, and he believed they were not in a position that any of these present might readily envy. One young fellow had told him that day that he had had eight months' experience in sewage work in a large town—a by no means agreeable occupation, as they might imagine—but he said he had been so upset by the state of affairs at the rear of his lodgings at Holton. having to empty the soif-pan himself, &c.. that he had been sick and ill in consequence. (" Shame.") Public bodies did not altogether care for associations of that sort. but they might feel sure that the association would be- come a power. Let the association consider well their pians. let them be sure of all charges made. and let them be modest in their statements. Re- ferring to the charge made by the previous speaker against the inspector of nuisances he said he thought it was possible that the good ladv miy-hi have been excited, and she might have spoken too freely and unguardedly. But no man occupying a position under a Local Board was justified in tell- ing an occupier to empty the soil-pans. If the charge could be justified, even though the inspector spoke under strong provocation, his action was verv much to be condemned. If the utterance alleged was actually made. then they ought to express their strongest condemnation of it. (Applause.) There was very little and scant courtesy on the part of the officials who had to administer the orders of the Board. (Applause.) He wished to be mode- rate. and he hoped to be so always, but it seemed to him that matters demanded that they should take a firm stand to secure proper attention from the officers who carried out the orders of the Board. (Applause). Mr. De Boer supported the resolution, and re- ferred to the disgraceful and filthy condition of the backlanes in Station-street. If they could not get any satisfaction from the Local Board, let them strike and leave the place. (Laughter.) Mr. J. M-Hill also supported the motion. He said the district of Holton was the worst it had ever been his misfortune to be placed in. If the Local Board were up in London. and had nothing to do with Barry, it would be all the better for the ratepayers of the district, (Applause.) He did not blame them altogether, and he would tell them why. They were on the Board, and had vested interests, and they were fools if they did not stick there. (Laughter and applause.) It was the working men who were to blame for permitting them to remain there. He hoped by the time of the next Local Board Election to have a vote, and he intended not to vote for any man who was on the Board at present. He intended working tooth and nail to also induce working men not to vote for the present members, and if they could not select from the whole population of the district one honest, industrious, working man who would study the interest of workers, then let them go into the wood and cut one out of a stick. (Laughter.) He suggested that a deputation should convey the resolution to the Local Board, and tell them plainly that if they did not bestir themselves up. the inhabitants would write to the Local Government Board and get a Government inspec- tor down to look into the whole matter. (Cheers.) Two or three other ratepayers then particular- ised nuisances which existed in proximity to their residences. Mr. Smith-Jones remarked that as he had said before, the Local Board had decided to take action in regard to the serious nuisance which had been referred to that evening, but it was a very indefi- nite one. He supported the resolution, althouo-h the Board were moving, but they were mo vino- In a happy-go-lucky fashion. ° Mr. J. R. Llewellyn volunteered a few remarks. and recounted his experiences in visiting the Hol- ton back lanes. He said that reference had been made to the officials of the Board. They ought to make some reference to the officials. and they ought tb see that the rights and interests of the inhabitants were looked after. (Applause.) Mr. Evans mentioned an instance in which mor- tar had been mixed with liquid taken from the cesspools. (Shame.) Another ratepayer said no wonder that a portion of the ceiling had come down upon himself, his wife. and child while. they were in bed. (Laugh- ter.) However, he went to the landlord and refused to pay his rent until the ceiling was properly repaired, and the work was ° done. (Applause.) Mr. Smith-Jones said that after the astounding statements they had heard, he would move the fof- lowing rider to the motion, That we call upon the Local Board to deal with this matter, other- wise that we take steps to communicate with the Local Government Board." (Prolonged applause.) Rev. J. Honey, as seconder of the resolution consented to the adding of the rider. Mr. G. H. Campbell also consented, and pro- ceeded to draw the attention of the meeting to the report of the Local Board meeting contained in the last issue of the South Walr.s- Star. At that meet- ing Dr. O'Donnell was reported to have made use of the following remarks :— He said that the death resulting from typhus fever a few days ago was not due to the drainage nuisance. It was owing to another cause altogether." He main- tained that the death in question was due to the drainage nuisance, and he quoted a report of Dr. Xeale's. the medical officer of health, in confirmation of his statement. He admitted that the other nuisance added to the want of drainage, because they found that the flow of filth was°so great in the back lane between Evans-street and Regent-street that it actually flowed down into Mr. Baker's (the jeweller's) house, filth accumulating to the depth of fifteen and eighteen inches in the kitchen. (Sensation.) The "result of this accumulation in the house and kitchen had been so great, that there had been a considerable amount of sick~iess in Mr. Baker's family. The resolution, with the rider added, was then put to the meeting, and carried unanimously. L Mr. Baker then came forward and substantiated the remarks of Mr. Campbell, in reference to the nuisance existing on his premises caused by filth flowing into them. He said he had written to the Local Board threatening to disconnect some drain pipes so as to prevent the nuisance continuing on his premises, but he had received a reply to the effect that if he did so he would be liable to a severe penalty for interfering with d-ains which did not belong to him. Mr. Lewis Where is the inspector of nuisances ? (A voice, I- He's retired," and laughter.) Who pays the inspector The Chairman The Board, I suppose. Mr' Lewis What Board The Chairman I decline to enter into a long argument at this hour. (Laughter.) He pro- ceeded to apologise for having blamed the Local Board for the state of the water, and moved the following resolution. That this association call upon the Barry and Cadoxton Gas and Water Com- pany to immediately take steps to supply this dis- trict with pure water, and at once prevent the green sediment which is now so prevalent in it." Mr. Smith-Jones seconded the motion on condi- tion that it was draw A up a little milder. Mr. Price said he would support the motion on condition that it was left as it was—(laughter)— as he had drawn the attention of the company to the state of the water a fortnight ago. Tne Rev. J. Honey also supported the resolution. He said h's wife had called his attention personally to the matter, and they never under any consi- deration used a drop of water until it had been thoroughly boiled. The sediment remaining in the kettle was perfectly green. The Chairman then altered his resolution as under, and it was then carried:—" That this association calls the attention of the water com- pany to the impure state of the water, and urges upon them the necessity of immediately taking steps to improve it." Mr. E. J. D. Irish asked who was responsible for the public lighting. He noticed that at Cadoxton the lamps were alight after six o'clock in the morning. That was unnecessary, and was a waste of the ratepayers" money. The Chairman said lie supposed it was owing to the negligence of the man whose duty it was to extinguish the lamps. Mr. Smith-Jones said he believed the Board paid for the public lighting- at so much per lamp, and consequently it would be the gas company who were the sufferers in the event of the lamps being kept lighted to long. Several persons then enrolled themselves as members, after which it was decided on the motion of Mr. Smith-J ones, seconded by Mr. De Boer, that the next meeting- of the association should be held at Cadoxton. This was all the -business and the proceedings concluded.