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THE PLAS MACHWl7LEfH_HOUNDS…

IMaes-y-Meillion.

----------BORTH.

LLANARTH. !

CWMYSTWYTH.

Aberystwyth Council

THE FINANCIAL POSITION.

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MEMBERS OF THE YSTWYTH DRAMATIC COMPANY IN MAES-Y-MEILLION: v Top Ptzw-Mr. Mas. Evans, Mr E. R. Williams, Mr. Tom H. Edwards, Mr. R. Ellis, Mr. E.W. Thomas, Mr. Eben Davies Bottom Row—Mrs John Jenkins, Mr,.P> Jeffrey Daves,1 Mrs. T. J. Samuel, Miss Ceri Williams, Mr. Dewi Morgan. brian Railway which was doing its best for., the bown and the G.W.R. which was one 611 tho strongest in England, witb a view to see- ing what could be dene. The present station J was a positive disgrace to what Mr. Rees Jones called, the "Athens of Wales," and what they called the Queen of Welsh watering places." .Now that the unemployment dole was being discontinued, the" re-bui-ding of the station would create work. He proposed that? the rail- way companies in question be written to. Hr. Hugh Hughes seconded, and said it would be something to relieve the men out cI work.. I Mr. R. E. Williams said the housing ques- tion came firsb and that would create work for the unemployed. Even if the railway com- panies agreed to rebuild the station they could not get the labour to carry out the work. Mr. C- M. William^ asked a question about the erecf'on of houses at Trefechan, and the Town Clerk, in his reply, said the Housing Commissioner had approved of the three sites selected, I.but now wanted to see the p ans of the proposed houses. The Housing Commit sioner had sent to ask the Surveyor to go'ttewn to Cardiff and talk over fhe plans with him. Mr. T. H. Edwards—Why does the Housing Commissioner want our Surveyor got to him? fie ought to come up here. "1: Mr. Q: M. Wrlliams—If there is ah$r' need for conferring. He ought. to come up ^it-re. There are plenty of officials going about the country in connection with their work. A short time ago we thought we were going to ha-,O a. liltlo Tfaraditee cm earth* and it i:' time for the whole country to protest against this sham. It was decided to ask the Housing Commis- sioner to visit Aberystwyth to see tho plans. THE FINANCIAL POSITION. Captain E. Llewellin presented the report of the. Finance Committee. At a meeting of the Finance Committee it was recommended, after considering the esti- mates, that a general district rate of Is. 3d. I'D. the pound be levied for the next half year, and that a water rate of Is. Old. be made for each of the coming two quarters, making a total of 3d. in the pound for the whole of the half-year. Captain Llewellin said that there was P.845 Hichidod in the estimates as compared with kk2, expended in t'ho corresponding half of last year which would allow of the roads be- ing tarred earlieir in the year than hereto- fore. For the footpaths they had estimated for S75 aga ust 921 10s. spent in the previous half year. A sum of E25 lis. 5d.Wä¡{ ex- pended in public lighting last winter and; they now estimated for E630, to include the instal- lation and upkeep for electric lighting and gas, so t'hat the present dark and dreary ap- pearance of the streets and Promenade should come to an end. Notwithstanding these and- other increases caused through higher salaries, Wages, and cost of matenais, it was considered that the rates proposed, namely a Is. 3d. gen- eral district rate and a 3d. water rate, mak- ing a total rate of Is. 6d. in the pound, wonld meet the expenditure and leave a reasonable working balance at the end of the half year. That meant a reduction of 2d. in the pound on the corresponding half or last year, and the total rates for the year ended 31st March nexfc, would be 3s. 9d. in the pound as com- pared with 3s. 8d. last year; 4s. 6d. in 1914; 4s. 2d. in 1915; 4s. 3d. in 1916. The overseers, he understood, wore making a poor-rajte of 2s 6d. for the current hai!f year, so that the total rates for the half year—general district, water, and poor rate-would bo 4s. in the pound as compared with 4s. 2d. last half year. The total rate for the pasft half year' were 5s. 5d., so that the whole rate for the year would amount to 9s. Sd. in the pound. A DIFFERENT STATEME5STra_; Mr. T. H. Edwards miovr-d an amendment tkat the, general Aistriet rate be lid. instead of Is. 3d., a reduction of 4d. At the Finance I Committee he proposed the reduction, out could not get a seconder. Since then he had been looking into things. A iho Finance Committee, after going through the estimates, t was fou'nd that £ 5,U46 lis. 9d. was required. —being £4,410 10s. 6d. general disbricS and £636 ls. 3d. water wOrks fund, which included JE660 transfer in the harbour fund account. A rate of Is. 3d. genei-al district and a water rate of 3d. was decided on which wotz.,d, pro- duce 23,510. That would mean £ 1,536 -to be taken from llhe balance of £3,473 lis. 8d. standing to the credit of tho Council in the bank in September last. The Chairman of the Finance Commrttee said it would leave a bal- ance of abouu £1,700, plus E780 paid out of revenue for capital charges: but {1Q, (the speaker) found that it would leave a balance of £ 1,937, plus £ 1,300- He also found one source of income (Aberystwyth estate ground rents) not brought under the Committee's considera- tion. The ground rents for the year ended March, 1919, amounted to E3,786, and it appeared that the total would be even g-cater in March, 1920. He therefore maintained that the Council was entitled to consider t'bat, and should estimate that half that amount(i;1,900) would be the current, half-year. That- amount, added to the Cl,937 "already mentioned, would leave a credit balance of £ 3,837. The reduction of the rate by 4d. would mean £780, leaving a credit balance of over o, In the courso of his enquiries, he I found that the Finance Committee had paid out of revenue at- diSerent times £ 1,300 that should have been, placed to capital account— i £ 780 for 46, Tho Terrace: £ 450 far another property: and other smail items. Ttia year that 46, The Terrace, was bought, if the busi- ness had been properly attended to, arrange- merits for a. loan might have been proceeded s with at once. If that had been done the rate- payfrs thafc year would have had a rate of 4d. less than whaft they actually paod. Whether | that property was bought for the purpose of making "Winter Gardens" or anything else it | ought to have been pa.rt of a scheme for which the money could be borrowed. In considering 'the credit balances £ 1,300 should be included, making a grand total of £ 4,300. That was highly satisfactory and in asking for a re- ductiou of 4d. in the rate he was only really ask ng for the 4d. overpaid when 46, Marine- tetrace, wasj bought. In his appeal to the electors he said that if ejected he would try to keep the rates as low as possible. Ho was there to do his duty to the ratepayers as 1 promised. Rates should not be made to create lafge balanced but tíO meet expenci-ture. The finances qf thft^Jbbrough were in ah ^excellent position, the* Icital -indebtedness being only about one fourth of the maximum borrowing power. He waspleed to find the Borough Accountant quite conversant with hi work and having a good grip of affairs. To alter the Is. 3d. to lid. on the demand notes would be quite a smail clerical matter. Aberystwyth had had a very good season, but at the same time, with the present high cost of living, every Is. which the ratepayers could save was acceptable. He had not ventilated the matter in anv bickering moofi, but iust to show rates shouid not be made to create large balances. Thev was always a danger in large balances iind -the Council might be tempted to spend money unnecessarily. The Mayor-Will anybody second the amend- ment? Dr. Harries—I 3m not in a position to say I agree with Mr. Edwards beenuso I have not gone into the facts; but the lucid statement t he has given us makes one think that he it t absolutely right. 1 Mr T. H. Edwards—Has DO one got the cour- j age to second it? Dr. Harries—Yes. I will with pleasure. Mr. J. B. Jenkins said the Chairman had told them that £1,700 was barely sufficient to meet expenditure and carry over a workiag balance until the summer rate came in. They only had C700 in hand :n the borough fund, ana all expenditure was increasing every- where. Captain Llewellin, replying, said a little know-edge was a dangerous thing. Mr. Ed- wards told them that a balance of £1900 should bo available. It would have been had everything been successful. It was all very well to talk about ground rents, but PJOther thing to. make an estimate..Nothing had 1 een said about the "white elephant," inown as the harbour. That was costing the rate- payers £2,000 a year. Mr Edwards also said that rates were not made to create large balances, but that showed that he (iid not know any- thing about public bodies. They wi-.i-c trying t> make the rates as low as possible in v.-inter and summer. No ratepayer wou.d thank them for reducing the rate if they w6re obliged to pay a heavier rate the following half year. Mr. Edwards had attempted to play to the gallery." The estimate was only fair and rea- sonable. The balance was necessary to carry them over until the season started. On bung put to the vote, only the proposer and seconder votped for the amendment. PUBLIC LIBRARY. The Mayor presented the report pi the Public Library Committee. At a meeting of tho "Public Librar? Com- mittee, Alderman Daniel Thomas was ap- pointed to replace Captain David James and it was resolved to p ace on record the sincere appreciation of the valuable services rendered by Captain James as chairman- and a'so Mrs. A. E. Jones who had resigned. The Mayor, commenting on the report, said the Committee regretted losing the valuable services of Captain James and also Mrs. Jones who was being succeeded by Miss Johnson. The report was received. GENERAL PURPOSES. Mr. B. T, Lloyd presented a report of the General Purposes Committee. At a meeithg of the General Purposes Com- mittee it was resolved that subject to the sanction of the Chief Constable (since obta ned) P.C. David Thomas Richards be appointed in- spector of hackney carriages, pleasure boats, et-c., and that application be invited by adver- tising for other inspectors. It was resolved that) an honorarium of £2 be granted to Mr. J. D. Spencer in considerat-on of additional labour and expense in advertising juring the past season. Mr. T. H. Edwards said he expected to hear something about the pubtic baths. There v. as a feeling in the town that they should be- come the property of the Council. It was a very important matter, especially for tbose persons lodg ng students. There wdre hund- reds of houses in the town without baths and it was very desirable that the Council should have public baths for their convenience. ISOLATION HOSPITAL. Dr. Harries, in moving "that in future patients permanently resident in the borough be admitted into the Isolation Hosp tal free I of charge," said that for many years he had held this view that isolation hospitals should be free, especially no the poor. With that contention he had been supported by practi- cally every medical man in the civilised world. It was a well-known fact that isolation was the only effective weapon they had against {-he spreading of disease. At present they I charged for admission and because of this when a child became infected its parents kept him out of sight so that it should not be taken to the hospital. Many of the children who attend the isolation hospitals come from hove s. After s'x weeks they .return home to the hovels again where they are greeted by empty cupboards. Then comes a demand for the parent to pay up. It was scandalous. They provided free hospitals for expectant mothers and persons suffering from certain diseases. Indeed, practically all sections of the community ware provided for except in- fected children. In the matter of expenditure it would only mean a few extra pounds and this grant was a greater necessity than most of the things which the Corporation spent money on. He had asked the Bo-ough Account- ant to get him some information of what was done in other towns. When he subsequently. asked the Borough Accountant whether he had any replies, he Raid Yes, but you are not to have them" He told the Accountant that the information was needed for the public, but he still refused to let him have it, saying: "1 have been tod not to give it you." He did not know who to!d the Accountant, such a th'ng; but he wis quite satisfied it was not the Town Clerk who was too much of a gentle- man. Whoever it was, he was guilty of a dirty. low, mean, trick. Probably he was one of those men who snent hours and hours; wasting the time of the Town Clerk and Bor- ough Accountant. However, he vas able to get the information which showed that the practice of allowing persons to enter the iso- lation hospitals free of charge was generally adopted. The cos4 wou'd not be more than Efo a year. Mr. Hugh Hughes, in seconding, said IJe: could not go into the medical side of the question; but he could say that there wag a general feeling that the cost of maintenance in some cases comes very hard on the poor parents. The speaker quoted instances of hardship and said this compelled the children to go into hospital and then compelled them to pay for it. It was iiitli time to make the, Institution frer- of charge. Mr. T. H. Edwards-Does this pe.-manently rodent" include i-lie students in the town? The Medical Officer-The students are in- eluded in thp statistics. Mr. R. E. Williams—It should be under- stood that only ratepayers could be admitted free of charge. Mr Samuel said fiho matter required a good deal of consideration. If they were going to make it a free hospital why chaf-ge visitors? The question had bfen before them for many years. The Comm ttee had never insisted on | anybody paying if they coul" not afford to do so. The only people who had been sued in the County Court for tlie fr"" were those who always wanted everything for nothing. In one instance parents sent thp children to the hos- nital and were most nxious to ret rid of them because thev had the house full of visitors. The cost, did not matter at that. time because they were making money: but when they were asked to pay they refused and said the hos- n'tal was a town affair and ought to be free. Tf the ratepayers were prepared to go into further expense it was entirely a matter for them. The Council was only the public trustee. ¡ The Committee, had reduced the charge to 7s. 6d. and he would defv any person outside the Jhospital to keep a child for 7s. 6d. a week. Every case that./came before the Committee was deailt with on its merits. He r«ronosed' that the mattor be referred to the Sanitary Committee. Mr. Rhys Jones said 7s. 6d. meant a great deal for some families. A man w>h a. Inree family did not earn 7s. 6d. to keep each child. They forrot. also, that in addition to paying for mainten°nee pt the hosr>Ual they had to pay "fl;(' \1t.l>'n! ^fforft <?ovie. Re- garding the remark that the Committee was T, r not hard, he knew the case of a man who was told he would be put in the County Court, whilst he was in a sanatorium Mr. T. H. Edwards said the proposition was supported by all the medical men in Aber- ystwyth. Infected persons were made to go to the hospit'al and had to sign a form promis- ing to .pay. The Committeo were asked to advise in fixing the fees payable and if a per- son has a friend or two on the Committee the chances are that the fees that case would be much iess. Mr. C. M. Williams, in seconding that the matter be referred back, said they ought not to be carried away by sentiment. Dr. Harries had enough eloquence to make them believe almost anything. People seemed anxious to go to the hospital now and a good many rich people were amongst those. They only charged 7s. 6d. which was a very small amount. Mr. Llewellin said that by making the hos- pital free t would not add much to the bur- den of the town. Dr. Harries—It seems to me that underlying the remarks of Mr. Samuel and Mr. Williams^ the whole objection resolved itself into a ques- tion of "filthy Jucre"- Mr. Samuel—Over point of order, sir; .4b^j is a matter which ought to go into Cotit- mittee. Dr. Harries-Yes, certainly. Have it xfei cussed in a "hole and corner" meeting. Mr. Samuel-I maintain you have no right to speak further unless you reply against óLll adjournment. The Mayor-Please allow Dr. Harries to proceed. He is quite in order. Dr. Harries, continuing, said he objected to an adjournment on the groands of urgency. Unless the hospital was mado free they might find the town putrd with disease. Sooner or later they wou.d bo obliged to make the hos- pital free. It was agreed to send the matter' to the Sanitary Committee. RECREATION GROUNDS. Councillor G. Fossett Roberts moved "that a Committee of five members be appointed to consider the question of recreation grounds for the town and report thereon." In doing so he urged the necessity of having a recrea- tion ground for the boys and girls of the town. They should go into the matter seri- ously and appatet» a strong committee. Similar commiti-eos had been appointed before but nothing had become of their delibera- tions. Dr. Harries agreed with the proposer, but said that when a previous committee were in- vestigating near the Smithfield the res dents there hoped they would not make a play- ground there for children to make a no;se. Mr. Samuel expressed the hope that the matter would be dealt with thoroughly. Messrs. C. M. Williams, J.B. Jenkins, Capt. Llewellin, Capt. Lloyd, and Major Fossett Roberts were appointed as a coin mittee.

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