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A POOR LAW UNION FOR BARRY.

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A POOR LAW UNION FOR BARRY. Thanks to the efforts put forward by the Barry Dock District Chamber of Trade the question of the advisability of establishing a Poor Law Union for Barry has been well dis- cussed. The meeting at the Victoria Hotel Assembly Rooms was one that will long be remembered by those who were present. It was a meeting the result of which has been awaited, and not without some feeling of anxiety, by the members of the Chamber of Trade, but the result, we think, does credit to all who have in the slightest decree assisted in working up the case, so to speak, for Barry. As a public official, Mr. Harris, Cierk to the Cardiff Board of Guardians, has shown that he is entitled to the respect of every ratepayer. He has enabled those who have taken an interest in the question to obtain mo-st valuable information, without which the task would have been practically a hopeless one. With the Chamber of Trade Mr. D. T. Alexander has worked with a will, while the time and attention bestowed upon the con- sideration of the question by Mr. O. H. Jones calls for the thanks of everyono who is at all connected with the district. The figures placed before the Wednesday's meeting plainly showed that the four parishes of Barry, Cadoxton, Merthyrdovan, and Sully if formed into a separate Poor Law Union would at present benefit materially. It was clearly shown that at least £2,300 per year is given to the other parishes of the Cardiff Union from this district, and that being the case it is the duty of every friend of Birry to put his shoulder to the wheel and assist in severing—and the sooner the better—the connecting link which binds us to the Cardiff Union. There was never a better case for Home Rule ever made out. Not only is it shown that we pay jE2,()00 more than we should, but it is a notorious fact that the money is spent out of the district. We are contributing to and helping to push forward some other part of the Cardiff Union. As one of the speakers very rightly and well pointed out we have enough on hand already in Barry, and cannot afford to bear someone else's burdens and especially when we do not share in the spoil. Whether Barry and the three other parishes are joined with the other portion of the No. 5 District one thing is clear that we much take steps to separate ourselves from the Cardiff Union. THE LOCAL RATES. The estimate for the half-year has been pre- pared and approved of by the Local Board and the Finance Committee has deemed it advisable to recommend that a rate of hi. 6d. in the £ be made. According to the calculations made the sum realised will be just s-ufficient to carry out the work of the district to the end of next September, and will leave no balance in hand. There are some persons here who question whether the amount realised by a Is. 6d. rate will be sufficient to meet the demands upon the public purse as held by the Local Board. In fact it was suggested that the rate should have been increased by twopence in the pound. No doubt it would have been considerably to the advantage of all concerned if this had been done, but the feeling which prevails in the district in consequence of the depression which is prevalent against increased burdens made itself plain. The Chairman of the Finance Committee has made known his views upon the question in a very straightforward manner, his advice being that if the district is to pay its way and put itself on Sgood financial basis the I rate should have been more. The sound reasoning.in this argument must be plain to all who have looked the matter squarely in the face from a financial point of view. This district has advanced in its improvements with astounding rapidity, and the people who will have to repay the money borrowed will feel the benefit of it. The strain just now is heavy, but we shall one and all feel in the future that the prompt action of the Local Board in the past has been for the benefit of the ratepayers generally, and when the cloud which has hung over the district so long has passed, there is a bright future ahead. It requires some courage on the part of the members of the Local Board to face the financial difficulty, but it will have to come, and their action in recommending the call of just enough money to meet the current ex- penses is but putting off the day, and we question very much whether it will not be found that it would have been better to have, ( nee for all, made a demand that would have made the carrying out of the necessary work safe in the future. A PUBLIC QUESTION. AT the last meeting of the Barry (U.D.) School Board a question of public importance was raised. The Burial Board applied to the School Board for the use of the Board-room. It was urged that the Burial Board had no proper meeting place, and that the Holton Schools being situated in the centre of the district a more suitable place could not be secured. The School Board were by no means to ready to loan their Board-room to the other public body, and only consented to do so upon the understanding that certain conditions were complied with, or, in other words, a little more red tape had to be unwound before it could be brought about. At the present time we are surrounded on every hand by that unwielding I monster Officialism," and where one body are prepared and anxious to act in the best interests of the ratepayers, they are handicapped by having first to go through a sort of routine work with another. We claim that the schools under the control of the School Board are the property of the ratepayers, and not only is the I School Board an elected body but that the Burial Board is also elected—although the way in which the members of the latter body are I returned is one of the most faulty system that could be adopted. The School Board have at J the expense of the public provided a Board-room of which any public body might be proud, but we think that they should have been more willing to help their homeless brethren. We may be considered too advanced in our views, but we think that it would be well for the community at large if there were not Ro many public bodies. Now, in a district with a population of only 15,000 we have a Local Board, School Board,, and Burial Board, to aay nothing of the Public Library Committee, or representation on the Board of G uardians and each of these have their own particular work and set of officials, but all has to be paid for directly or indirectly from one source-the pockets of the ratepayers. Of course, the money has to go through many channels before it is finally handed over to the particular object for which it is collected, but unlike the snowball it does not gather more to itself as it rolls along. It is the other way about. Could not the work of each of these boards be done by one central body ? Perhaps not just now, and it would require a radical change in our constitution to bring it about. But it could be done, and with less expense. In that case the work would be practically carried out by committees, and the idea is rapidly gaining ground in larger towns. With the rapid progress with which reforms for the benefit of the people are being brought about nothing is improbable. Does not the pro- posed Parish Council take to its. arms more than any one could ever have dreamed of ? If there was one central body there would not have been so much discussion as to whether the School Board should allow the Burial Board to have the use of its Board room, and the farce of one public body paying another public bodv so much for the gas used during a Board meeting would never have occurred. It is time ail such foolish notions of taking money from one pocket and putting it into another were done away with, and by the various Boards acting in unity help to fulfil the promise given by every candidate for election honours that he will work for the benefit of the ratepayers.

LOCAL NOTES.

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