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Aberdare District Council.

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Aberdare District Council. Monday.—Mr. David Davies, J.P., in the chair. The other members pres- ent were: Mr. T. Walter Williams (vice-chairman), Messrs John Howell, ldwal Thomas, W. Thomas, E. Stone- lake, Thos. Lewis, M. J. Harries, A. P. Jones, J. O. Georgs, Owen Powell, D. Jackson Thomas, Illtyd Hopkins, Geo. Powell, Wm. Rees, it. Llewelyn, J.P., with Mr. D. Llewelyn Griffiths (clerk), Mr. Owen Williams (sur- veyor), Mr. A. S. Morris (deputy surveyor), Mr. A. Watkins (assist- ant clerk), Dr. J. Prichard (medical officer), and Mr. A. J. Abraham (elec- trical manager). Vote of Condolence.-Mr. M. J. Har- ris remarked that since their last meet- ing a member of the Council had suffered a bereavement by the death of his sister, Mrs. Griffiths, Trecynon, who was also the mother of Mr. Gwilym Griffiths, one of the Council officials. He moved a vote of condolence with Mr Williams and Mr. Griffiths.—Mr. John Howell, in seconding, said he had known the late Mrs. Griffiths for many years, and she was a very amiable lady.—Mr. T. Lewis supported, and the motion was carried, all the members rising to their feet. Overseers—Messrs. R. Llewelyn, W. Thomas, L. N. Williams, D. P. Davies, E. Stonelake, and Owen Powell were re- elected overseers for the ensuing 12 months. Hirwain Cemetery There were 3 tenders for the laying out of this ceme- tery. The lowest was that of Mr. D. ryssul Davies, Trecynon, at £1,915 lis., and this was accepted. County Council Stubbornness. The Roads Committee reported that they had inspected the site of the Gwawr Culvert, Aberaman, and they recom- mended (1) That the existing arch be removed, and that large steel curved plates be substituted therefor, strength- ened and made rigid by tee pieces to cover the joints, and thoroughly bolted together. (2) That the work be carried out by the Tramway Contractors, under the Superintendence of Mr. Sellon, as an extra to the Tramways Contract.- The Clerk reported that Mr. Sellon had written to the Glamorgan County Council asking their consent to carry this work out. A reply had been re- ceived from Mr. Mansel Franklen re- fusing consent, unless the Aberdare Council undertook to bear the cost of maintenance.—The Clerk said that Mr. Franklen was taking that attitude pure- ly on a technical point. He (Mr. Grif- fiths) would suggest that they write to all the local County Councillors explain- ing all the facts, and asking them to raise the question at the next meeting of the County Council.—Mr W. Thomas said the local County Councillors, in- cluding those from Penrhiwceiber and Abercynon, would be meeting that evening, and it would be an excellent arrangement if the Clerk would attend and state the facts. The Surveyor might also attend.—The Surveyor and Clerk promised to do so, and the former added that Mr. Sellon would probably attend also. Mr. T. Walter Williams hoped that they would succeed in hav- ing the support of all the local mem- bers. The Tramways.—Appointment of Manager. The Parliamentary Committee re- ported The Clerk read the reports of Mr. Sellon, when it was resolved to re- commend that the post of general manager to the Council's Electricity and Tramways Undertakings be offered to Mr. A. J. Abraham at a salary of t300 per annum, such salary to commence as from the 1st day of May next. Re- solved that a traffic superintendent be appointed.—The report was adopted.— Mr. A. P. Jones said they had now de- cided that Mr. Abraham be appointed tramway manager. It was obvious that they must also have a good man as traffic superintendent. He would propose that they advertise for a man at E175 per annum, rising by annual increments to £ 200.—Mr. E. Stonelake said that judging. from the figures given by the Clerk, Mr. A. P. Jones' motion was near the mark. They could not have a good man under £ 175. Tak- ing Exeter for instance, with a popu- lation of 48,000 and a 5 miles lineage, the expense was £ 625. That was tl50 more than Aberdare. He thought that £ 175 was low enough, especially when they wanted a man with good commer- is cial knowledge as well.—Mr. T. Lewis said they were only starting, and it was easy enough to rise salaries. He believed in keeping the figure-, down. He moved that the salary be £150 to commence.—The Clerk said he had spoken to Mr. Sellon, who suggested £ 200.—Mr. Geo. Powell seconded Mr. Lewis' motion. By starting on £150 they would be erring on the right side. ]f they hit upon a good man it would I;1 the easiest thing in the world to give him an increase. The question was put to the vote, when four voted for £ 150 and 10 for £ 175.—It was then resolved to advertise at once for a traffic super, at a salary £ 175, the Par- liamentary Committee to prepare a short list of applicants. 'Nli Cost of installation. W. Rees said that the cost of installation of electric light was very dear, and tended to discourage would-be consumers. Would it not be well to ask the various Electric Companies to reduce the charge of installation in order to have more consumers.—Mr. Abraham said that the 15s. per lamp was charged because it was on the hire system. The sum, if paid in cash, was 13s. 6d. per lamp. The cost was rather high. — Mr. W. Rees: Can we make a recommendation to the Electrical Companies to reduce their charges? — Mr. E. Stonelake: I would rather propose that we do the work ourselves. We have the power.— Mr. Geo. Powell: We should do it, then, as soon as possible. College Street Improvements.-The month's notice of provisional apportion- ment re the above expired on February 22nd, and a petition has been received signed by 29 out of the 31 owners of property affected, asking that the works should not be proceeded with at present.—Mr. T. Lewis moved that they proceed with the next street. He understood that the next streets were David Street, Frederick Steert, and Hall Street.—It was stated that the owners of David Street and Frederick Street intended carrying out improve- ments themselves.—Mr. Lewis moved that Hall Street be proceeded with.- Mr. Thomas said it was he who had moved that improvements be carried out in College Street. If it was the wish of the owners of College Street that no improvements should be carried out, then he did not want to press the matter. Had it been a street with an opening at each end he would not with- draw, because then the improvements would be not only for the residents of that particular street but for the pub- lic in general. Possibly the owners of houses in Hall Street would object to improvements in that street. It was a I shame that improvements were being frustrated in this manner.—Mr. George Powell said that not only was the time of the Councillors wasted but the time of the officials in taking preliminary steps to carry out improvements, and then withdrawing the same. Mr. T. Walter Williams asked whether College Street would be taken in its proper turn. He had been approached by people who wanted the Council^to leave certain streets alone. If the Council were going to listen to everybodv no improvements would be carried out at all.—The Surveyor said that College Street was a cul-de-sac, and for that reason it was not urgent to carry out improvements there. Chapels at the Cemetery.-The Sur- veyor reported :—I have inspected the two chapels at the cemetery. What may have appeared as dampness is really the colour of the cement work. There is some amount of dampness, but this I am afraid will be very difficult to entirely cure, as the buildings have been erected without any damp courses. I beg to recommend that the existing colour be removed and the whole inter- nal surfaces covered over with coats of petrifying liquid, and then coloured with distemper.—Adopted. Maesydre Flooding.—The Surveyor submitted a lengthy report dealing with the flooding of Whitcombe Street and Gloucester Street. In the course of his report he stated "In my opinion the time has come when the Council should seriously consider the question of re- constructing the whole of the main sewer, making it of a considerable larger capacity, or to construct a system to deal with storm and surface water en- tirely separated from the sewer. The existing main sewer was constructed in 1880-1881, when the population con- nected thereto including Mountain Ash did not exceed 40,000, and the number of water closets were comparatively low and baths practically unknown. To-day the population served by the main sewer is between 80,000 and 90,000, obviously what was large enough under the conditions in 1881 can scarce- ly be considered sufficient under the conditions of to-day." The Surveyor added that he thought he could remedy the state of affairs in Maesydre, at any rate for a time.—Mr. George Powell suggested that the work be carried through as early as possible. Mr W. Thomas remarked that the residents of that part of the town would be glad to know that the Surveyor had solved the difficulty. "Scaring the Ratepayers." The Surveyor, adverting to his re- port, said the Council would have to undertake, sooner or later, the recon- struction of the main sewer, and that contract would cost anything from £ (50,000 to £ 80,000. They might bo able to defer it for u few years. Mr. E. Stonelake: Don't scare the ratepayers of this district. Surveyor: If I did not call attention to the matter to-day I should be failing in my duty. I have hinted it for the last two years in committees. Two things are most important-water and sewage—and it did not matter what they were going to,cost. Mr. T. W. Williams Have we repaid the whole of the loans obtained in 1880- '81 for the main sewerage scheme- Mr. Beddoe: There is about £2,800 left. Spirit and the Letter.—The Surveyor said that plans had been received for the conversion of the Three Bells Inn into two cottages. There was a slight contravention of the byelaw.—Mr. J. O. George: Treat this the same as you treated Hirwain.—Mr. J. Howell: There is no addition here as there was in Hirwain.—Mr. T. Lewis It is a dis- tinction without a difference. Some of us know the difference between the letter and the -,pirit.Afr. J. O. George moved that the plan be rejected, hut the majority favoured its adoption. Mr. George: I see the byelaws can be twisted to suit the convenience of Coun- cillors.—Mr. T. Lewis: The names should be taken. A Footpath. Air. Idwal Thomas asked the Surveyor to report on the state of the footpath between Powell's Pit and the Cwm. SUNDAY CINEMA SHOWS. Strong Fight For Seven Day Licences. Referendum Suggested. Mr. W. Haggar, Aberdare; Mr. L. S. Clarke (Aberdare Cinema), and Mr. W. W. Price, Secretary of the Aber- aman Hall, wrote applying for seven day cinematograph licences. There was a letter from Mr. Price expressing the hope that the restrictions placed on them last year would be removed. He further asked the Council to receive a deputation. Rev. T. Eli Evans, on behalf of the Welsh Section of the Aberdare Free Church Council, enclosed a resolution passed at a meeting in Siloa Hall, urging the District Council to adhere to their last year's decision. Messrs. Tom Jiowen, J. H. Parring- ton and Willie Davies then appeared as a deputation from Aberaman Hall. Mr Bowen said they asked for a 7 day licence not because they wanted to make additional profits, but because Sunday concerts were the only method they had of raising funds to relieve the poor and destitute. For some reason the privi- lege of making collections at the various collieries had been stopped. During 1911—12 they held 43 Sunday concerts and picture shows, and realised a sum of £ 300 for charitable purposes. Since April, 1912, when the 7 day licence was refused, they bad held three sacred concerts, as a result of which they had not been able to hand anything to chari- ty. The people would not attend unless pictures were shown. Someone had said that Cinemas were demoralising. In answer to this he would point out ) that there was less drunkenness and crime in the country last year than in previous years, and this was attributed to the good influence of the Cinema. If pictures were demoralising on Sundays they were demoralising on week-days. He felt certain that if the people had a ballot on this question the majority would be in favour of Sunday opening. Mr. J. H. Parrington said that great care was always taken that the pictures were of an elevating character at Sun- day concerts. There were rehearsals every Sunday morning, and Councillors could come and inspect them. Councillor J. Howell What time do you propose holding the concerts? Mr. T. Bowen At 8 o'clock, after the religious services are over. Mr. J. O. George: And do you rnn them strictly for charitable purposes? Mr. Bowen: That is what we have al- ways done. Mr. George If we grant you a licence we must gramt the same to all, and the others may not be so charitably dis- posed. Mr. J. H. Parrington: The workmen have the hall under their control at Aberaman. Mr. T. Lewis: It is the same at Tre- cynon. Mr. Parrington: But you have a Park at Trecynon. (Laughter.) Mr. J. Howell said he voted against 7 day licences last year, but experience had taught him that he was wrong. j nere was nothing wrong in the pictures, and young people wanted to go somewhere instead of walking about the streets, which were very congested on Sunday nights. He moved that 7 day licences be granted. Mr. D. Jackson Thomas seconded. Last winter, he said, was very wet, and young people had no place to go to except kicking and swearing about the streets. Mr. Haggar had given several charity concerts on Sunday and realised t20 or £ 25, and the Empire had done the same. If Sunday concerts were held they would have less people going to Clubs, and less harm done all round. Porthcawl, who had refused once, were now granting such licences, and they seemed very religious and not so obstreperous as we were. (Laugh- ter.) Mr. Lloyd George and his wife —(Mr T. Lewis No politics)-had been to see "From Manger to Cross," and if the people who made the laws could go, surely people who had to obey the laws should be able to go. Mr. T. Lewis said they would not blame Mr. John Howell for being in- consistent. They were all open to coti-, viction. He (Mr. Lewis) did not be- lieve in opening these places on Sun- days. He was not opposed to Cinemas, foi he attended them often. He was surprised at the statement of Mr. Jackson Thomas that the people had nowhere to go on Sunday nights. Could they not go to train their voices by singing ? All the vestries were open for them. Mr. Jackson Thomas: But I cannot sing. (Laughter.) Mr. T. Lewis: Somebody ought to take you in hand and teach you to sing. There are people wasting their fra- grance on the desert air, when we could get choirs of 200 to 300 to perform ora- torios. He objected to Sunday con- certs also from a Trade Union point of view. The men employed in Cinemas were entitled to a day of rest. It is Sunday Closing in Wales—pubs, and cinemas. I move a direct negative. Mr. J. Howell: Chapels and all? Mr. E. Stonelake remarked that this question was coming up once more. He wished the chapels' deputation were present, because he wanted to ask them a few questions. He had heard that a prominent man who had opposed 7 day licences had been selling tickets or a concert hold the previous night. And there was a Councillor present, tell. (Mr. G. Powell: "Name.") (Laugh- ter.) He had moved last year in favour of a referendum, the cost of same to be borne by both sides equally. One side, however, withdrew, on the ground of conscience, and yet those were the people who once shouted for Local Op- tion. He would move again that the question be settled by referendum. He understood that the proprietors of the various halls would 'bear the cost. (Mr Tom Bowen shook his head.) Mr. Stonelake: Then I have been misinformed, and I drop the question there. Mr. J. 0. George seconded Mr Lewis' motion. He objected to 7 day licences on moral and Christian grounds. All the talk about charity was a sprat to catch a mackerel. He objected to Jr. Stonelake's suggestion, too. The Coun- cil ought to be in the forefront, educat- ing the public, and Mr. Stonelako want- ed the public to educate the Council. He objected to Cinemas not only on Sundays but on week-days. The owners pandered to the tastes of the people, with the result that a great part of the pictures consisted of cowboy hunts and bloodcurdling scenes. Mr. T. Walter Williams moved that the question be now put. Mr. W. Thomas said they should know whether all the halls would run their shows for charitable purposes. The Italian Opera Co. had held a sacred concert on a Sunday evening and charged top prices, ana next day left the town. The Council ought to stop such a thing as that. Other men, who were ratepayers in the town, and who employed local labour, were lenied thio. Mr. Idwal Thomas moved that the question be postponed for a month, nxid that the Clerk ask the various show pro- prietors whether they would bear the expense of a ballot. Mr. W. Thomas seconded. The Clerk, replying to Mr. Thomas, said it was his opinion that sacred coi. certs held under a theatrical licence were illegal. Therefore the Italian Opera concert and the sacred concert held at the Market Hall the previous night, were illegal. The Council had no inspector to enforce the law. Mr. Geo. Powell remarked that it was getting late, and it looked as if they were going to have a "field night." It was a pity to waste a lot of time over this subject, which was not so import- ant as other Council work. The drown- ing of Aberdare owing to an inadequate main sewer was infinitely more import- ant than the question where a man should spend Sunday night. (Laugh- ter.) lie was anxious to settle this matter once for all, and he did not mind which way it went. For postponing the question, 8 voted for granting 7 day licences, 3. Mr. h. Andrews asked leave to hold a series of benefit sacred concerts (by the Aberdare Orchestral Society) at the New Theatre on Sunday evenings.— Deferred. No Sale.—Mr. F. J. Twissell wrote protesting against a sale of china (by auction) taking place in Aberdare after 7 p.m., when china shops had to close at 7 under the Shops Act.—The Clerk was of opinion that such a sale would contravene the Act, and lie was in- structed to write to Mr. J. H. James prohibiting any sale after 7 p.m.—Mr. Stonelake remarked that it would be very unfair to hold such a sale. Shops Act.—Mr E. H. Evans, Secre- tary of the Chamber of Trade, wrote asking the Council whether they could suspend the operation of this Act for three days prior to public holidays, ow- ing to the rush of business.—The Clerk said they could not suspend the Act, but they could ask their inspector to take no notice of what was going on during those three days.—It was re- solved to reply in these terms. Conference.—The Clerk was appoint- ed to attend the annual conference of the U.D. Councils' Association, to be held this year in Llandrindod Wells. The Prize Fight.-The Free Church Council wrote thanking them for their resolution against the Prize Fight. Trade Union Rate.—Mr Owen Powell said he-was informed that Messrs. Griffiths and Co., the Tramway Con- tractors, were not paying the trade union rate of wages to navvies. The rate paid was 5d. or ;j}d., instead of 2 6d.—The Clerk said he had made in- quiries, and had failed to discover any standard rate.—Mr T. Walter Williams suggested that the secretary of the Nav- vies Union be communicated with. — Carried. Double Marriage.Mr. T. Lewis moved: "That this Council do tender a request to His Most Gracious Majesty the King, that, as a memento of his visit to the town, he should present to this Council two female Swans as mates to the male Swans at present in Aber- dare Park." Mr. Lewis added that it had been said, "It is not good for man to live alone." The same thing should apply to a swan. (Laughter.)—Mr. T. W. Williams suggested a slight varia- tion in the words—"That this Council do humbly petition, etc." Mr. 0. Powell: I move that Mr Lewis approach the King through Mr. John Burns. (L,- ug lite r.)-I%fr. A. P. Jones seconded Mr. Lewis' motion.—-Mr. 0. Powell: I move we do not take any action. The King has enough worries already with- out searching about for female swans. (Laughter.)—Mr. Lewis' motion was carried. Cwmaman Bridge.-Councillor Owen Powell moved "That this Council pro- ceed with the construction of a bridge across the river Aman, by the Glyn- hafod Schools."—The Clerk said he was in communication with Lord Aberdare concerning this matter. Mr. Powell deferred his motion. Council and the Market.—Councillor William Thomas moved "That the Par- liamentary Committee consider the ad- visability of the Council acquiring (at the expiration of the lease to the pres- ent lessee) the rights and privileges vested in the Aberdare Market Com- pany, by the Aberdare Markets and Town Hall Act, 1880, and report to the Council thereon."—Mr. Thomas dealt at some length on the powers acquired by the Market Co., and how they had neglected those powers. They simply looked for their dividends, and took no interest in the matter at all. Aberdare was now the fourth town in Wales in point of population, and should be served better.—Mr. T. Lewis seconded. —Mr. T. Walter Williams said that Mr. Thomas had omitted to mention the Cowbridge Arms, which would go with the Market. This would afford the Council a unique opportunity of putting in force "disinterested management," as advocated by Lord Grey. Councillor Jackson Thomas might be appointed manager of the house. (Langhter.)- Mr. Jackson Thomas: You would not have any dividend if I were there. (Renewed laughter.)—Mr. A. P. Jones said the Council were committed to huge expenditure already. They would not be able to borrow money very short- ly.—Mr. Jackson Thomas said there was no harm in referring it to a committee. —Mr. Jones agreed, and Mr. Thomas' motion was carried. Correspondence A motion by Mr. W. Thomas that correspondence be sub- mitted first to committees was agreed to. Health Committee.—This committee recommended that Dr. Prichard be per- manently appointed medical officer of health at £ 500 per annum.—Adopted. Park.—Resolved to obtain further seating accommodation at the Public Park to the extent of C35, this sum to include a rustic seat for Llwydcoed Park.

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