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Conway and Llandudno Petty…

Correspondence.

CONWAY SCHOOL BOARD.

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CONWAY SCHOOL BOARD. THE RECENT VOTE OF THE CORPORA- TION. SIR,-At the last meeting of the Corporation, a resolution was proposed, by the Mayor, in favour of making an application to the Education Depart- ment to dissolve the Conway School Board. This course was adopted by his Worship in fulfilment of the pledge given to the ratepayers that at the proper time such a resolution would be proposed under section 4t of the Elementary Education Act, 1876, which empowers the Education Department to dissolve School Boards when it is the clearly expressed wish of the petitioners that such a dis- solution should take place. The words of the Act are as follows Where application for the dis- solution of a School Board is made to the Educa- tion Department by the like persons and in the like manner as an application for the formation of a School Board under section 12 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, nevertheless, by a majority of not less than two-thirds of those who shall vote upon the occasion, it shall be the duty of the Education Department to take the circumstances of the case into consideration, and if they shall be of opinion that the maintenance of a School Board is not required for the purposes of Education to the District, it shall be lawful for the Education Department, after such notice as they thiols sufficient, to order the dissolution of the School Board. Provided always that no application shalj be made for the dissolution of a School Board except within six months before the expiration the period for which the School Board has been elected. At the meeting above referred to, it appears that fifteen out of the sixteen gentlemen comprising the Council were present, of whom eight voted for the resolution, while the remaining seven refused to vote at all, the Town Clerk giving it as his opinion that it was not necessary to do sa, inasmuch as a majority of two-thirds had not been obtained. Now, considering that the words of Act are "a majority of not less than two-thirds o| those voting upon the question," it may be asked whether the Town Clerk was right in his opintOO, and whether, in point of fact, the Mayor's resolu- tio may not be regarded as carried nern. cony inasmuch as the seven members did not give thetr votes, or exercise their right to defeat the resolu; tion. It often happens at various meetings tha some members decline to vote for some reason of other, and thus forfeit their opportunity 0 influencing the decision of the meeting. In fact, their refusal to take part in the vote, not only deprives them of the power to affect the ballot, but places them in the same position as if they were absent from the meeting. Their refusal t0 vote, however, does not affect either the legality or the regularity of the proceedings. The meeting proceeds to its decision without their aid. F0\ suppose the case of a meeting of one hundred persons, duly convened for the purpose, let u- saY' of. deciding whether they will ask for the forma- tion of a Parish Council under the Act which vV', soon be in force, or for any other purpose, at] that a resolution which requires for its success'1' passing a majority of not less than two-thirds those voting on the question, is proposed aild suppose sixty vote for it, and thirty against tt, while ten persons abstain from voting,—Wouj not the resolution be declared duly carried, spite of the ten abstentions ? Or suppose si*ty voted for, and thirty-five against, while five persons declined to vote,—Would not the resoe tion be properly declared to be rejected, in ot the five who preferred not to take part in tfl voting ? But, once more, to put an extreme ca$e> suppose at such a meeting of one hundred pefs°n'j duly called for a definite purpose, fifty-five vote for the resolution, while, for some reason or °the > forty-five declined to take any part in the P oceSue ings. Would not the resolution be deem jd to *> duly and properly carried ? And is not this I.tle, case on all fours with that under consideration* The members of the Corporation who were agfa'/1 g the Mayor's resolution should have voted, and thl given effect to their wishes. Otherwise conduct, according to the words of the C ,the appears to recognise only those "voting upon At occasion," was without effect and valueless. R C least, such is the view taken by an INQLTIrE