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COLWYN BAY.

CONGO METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATORY,…

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THE PARISH COUNCILS ACT.

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THE PARISH COUNCILS ACT. On Monday evening, September loth, Mr W. Allen, M.P., who is well-known in Colwyn Bay as an Old Rydalian," addressed a meeting, at Cheadle (Staffordshire), on the Parish Councils Act. He thought that it would be most detri- mental to the fair and right administration of the Act if considerations of creed or politics entered into the question of the election, and it was of great importance that the Act should be well understood, for otherwise it would not be well administered. The first clause enacted that there should be a Parish Council in every rural parish having more than 300 inhabitants, this Council to be elected at the parish meeting, which would be composed of parochial electors, Parliamentary electors, and Local Government electors. The parish meeting's first meeting would be to elect the Parish Council, and it also had the power of adopting five Acts of Parliament, namely the Lighting and Watching Act, the Baths and Wash- houses Act, the Burial Act, the Public Improve- ment Act, and the Public Free Library Act. The Baths and Wash-houses Act was a very useful one, and one which would be put in force in a great many parishes. It provided for public baths and wash-houses being erected in the parish. Proceeding, Mr Allen explained the powers of the Parish Council, which, however, were limited by the circumstance that they could not raise in any one year a larger rate than 3d in £" unless the parish meeting consented, and with that consent the Council could levy a rate of 6d in the 4-, which included any interest on money which might have been borrowed, and no money could be borrowed without the consent of the parish meeting and the County Council. If any of the fiveActs,of which he had spoken, were adopted, a special rate would be levied to meet the expense incurred. The second part of the Act related to District Councils. These would be practically the same as the present Board of Guardians, except that there would be no ex-officio members, and it would be elected upon the system of one man being able to give only a single vote for each candidate. This Parish Councils Act placed the keystone in the arch of our local government. It was the outcome of the recent system of legislation which had been gradually giving all authority into the hands of popularly-elected bodies (Cheers). During the last Parliament County Councils were created, and the management of the counties was given into the hands of popularly-elected bodies. This system was now being completed by the parish affairs and the district affairs being given into the hands of Parish and District Councils, which were popularly-elected bodies. He hoped that this might prove for the good of the country (hear, hear), and he believed that it would, because he had a firm belief in the good commonsense of Englishmen. They had now to administer an Act which revolutionised the whole system of local government. If they approached that Act in a fair spirit, and tried to carry it out honestly, lie believed that it would have a good and beneficial effect 011 every parish in the country (hear, hear). If, on the other hand, it led to strife and discord- in the parish, its effect could not fail to be disastrous (hear, hear). He hoped for the best, and those who promoted the Bill believed it to be for the best. He hoped that in Cheadle they would set an example by administering the Parish' Councils Act in a fair spirit, and by being scrupulously fair in their actions and dealings in relation to it (cheers). He hoped that lie had explained the Act sufficiently to enable the electors to heckle the candidates when they came forward, and he trusted that they would do so. If he came forward himself, he trusted that they would give him as good a heckling as somebody else (Laughter and loud cheers). On the motion of Mr R. P. Smith, seconded by Mr T. S. Godwin, a vote of thanks was passed to Mr Allen, and a vote of thanks to the chairman (Mr H. L. Webb) brought the meeting to a close. For the convenience of any readers desirous of seeing a fuller report of Mr Allen's speech, and especially of those portions explanatory of the Parish Council's duties and powers (with relation to the allotments question), we may state that the above report is abridged from a lengthy report in the Staffordshire Sentinel ot September nth.

CONWAY.

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\- ,- OLD COLWYN. ,

CONWAY.