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THE DISTRICT COUNCIL ELECTIONS.…

. Aber Ward Election

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- ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING AT…

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ENTHUSIASTIC MEETING AT HAFOD NO. 8 WARD. On Friday evening a large and influential meeting of ratepayers was held at the Board Schools, Hafod, in support of the candidature of Mr Brooks. Mr Moses Jones, Hafod, pre- sided, and was supported by Mr James Baker, pheckwelgheii. National Colliery; M!r John Rogers, checkweigher, Cymmer Colliery; Mr Evan Evans, grocer, Hafod; Mr Tom Thomas, Tyooed, and Mr William Davies, ex-check- weigher, Cymmer Colliery. Mr Moses Jones, the chairman, in his open- mg address, said it gave him much pleasure at being honoured to preside in that meeting, especially from the fact that he was advocating s a straightforward policy in supporting as it were a friend of the working men. He went on to say that he was sorry to speak of the in- difference of a large number of people who were direct ratepayers in Hafod, who did not participate in a proper franchise. Hafod was lacking in many things, and whatever would take place in tha vicinity it was always hard to induce the people to attend meetings. He quoted several instances of important func- tiens having taken place when excellent pro- grammes were prepared, but those who should interest themselves in it kept away. Mr Jcnes at this juncture gave some interesting figures dealing with the late war between the Ystrad- yfowg and Pontypridd School Boards, and added that it was full time to introduce new blcod upon several of our various Beards. New blood was wanted in the shape of some- one in their own locality. He wanted the people of Hafod to support a candidate who would be near to them-a man of their ow.. calibre, a man who would listen and entertain their grievances, and lastly, a man who was in touch with the requirements of the working man. He always considered when members were elected upon Boards they were public servants, and they were put there to work, to carry out the programme according to the ne- cessities of the public. When people were elected he would call their attention to the say- ing, "that there was nothing so dignified as true service." Dignity itself was simply a position, such as M.E., C.E., and such letters stood for nothing without having regard and equality for the welfare of his or her fellow- beings.He (the speaker),if permitted to say so, would crave and loudly appeal to all present to vote for a man who had the welfare of the working community at heart. In Mr Brooks they had a man of great business capacity, ot a big heart, ,vho possessed all the qualifications that were essential in filling the seat upon the Council. The speaker smilingly went on to say that Mr Brooks had made his pile, and was glad that he intended to stay among those from whom he had sprung, anti that he inten- ded to spend his future spare time in looking after the interests of his Ward if elected. (Loud applause). Mr Evan Evans, Hafod, next addressed the meeting, and said if there was any one present —that had suffered more than he through in- difference of some of the members of the Rhon- dda District Council, he would sympathise with him or them. He said it publicly, that it was a shame how the Hafod district had been treated and misrepresented in late years. All present understood the position of Hafod, and it was through their (the ratepayers)' own fault in not selecting a member that was .,t least a man that could be approached when anything was wanted in the shape of improve- ment. He was sorry to report that during the last three or four years no fewer than seven big floods had visited his cellar; the last one especially had played havoc with everything he possessed as furniture, etc. He measured 4 ft. 7 inches of water in his underground kitchen, and when he wired to the nearest member, the answer was, "Cannot afford time to come down." He (Mr Evans) went person- ally to see Mr Griffiths, and Mr Mathias in order that he should prove toothem the true state of affairs. Their combined answer was they could not come down. After this Mr Evans appeared before the Council, and fully I explained his unfortunate plight, and after a little consultation the Council informed bin. that they had nothing to do with it, and re- ferred him to Mr Beasley, of the Taff Vale Railway Company. However, he went to Car- diff, and saw Mr Beasley, who offered him bit little solace, and told him that the Board was liable for the part of the road where the river overflowed its banks. Now, said Mr Evans, as he appealed to the enthusiastic audience, what could he do under such circumstances? (A Voice: Change some of them."). (Applause). As regards the candidature of Mr Brooks he was sure if they elected him they would have a member who could be prevailed upon to give the ratepayers a hearing. (Cheers). And un- doubtedly, he would be the right man in the right place. He heartily supported him for many reasons, and sincerely hoped that Mr Brooks would be returned. (Loud applause). Mr Brooks, the candidate, was now called upon to address the audience, and to point out his views. Upon rising, he was greeted with au enthusiastic cheer. Mr Brooks said: This is the first time I have had the pleasure and honour of addressing a public meeting. I feel very much obliged to you on this occasion especially to see so many friends from the neighbourhood of Hafod pre- sent. I may say that our chairman, Mr Jones, has just touched upon many points which) I in- tended to lay before you, and has taken a great deal of pith out of me. You are aware that next week a duty will be involved upon you to select three members upon the Rhondda Dis- trict Council. No doubt you are aware of the importance of the Council, as they have now to look after the welfare and comfort of about 120,000 people. So it behoves you, as electors, to think seriously who you return to watch your interest on the Board. The work that the Council is expected to do is to see that the cleaning, paving, stoning, scavenging, watering, and lighting of all streets, not only the main streets, but the bye-streets and lanes, are attended to.I think it a shame that people who pay rates and live in the bye streets should not have proper lights and roads, as well as people who live upon the main street. I find that the District Council have full control, and arc responsible for the carrying out of all sani- tation, such as drainage and sewerage. They havo to employ medical and-sanitary inspectors and if you return me I will endeavour to see that proper and qualified men fill these posts, and it is very essential in the Rhondda Coun- cil that the chief officers should be experts in their department, and their recommendations should be accepted by the Council. (Cheers). I think they ought to be paid fair salaries to enable them to carry out the work which they are expected to do. (Applause). I find when people are not paid enough, the first opportuni- ty they have to better themselves they leave and go elsewhere, and by their so doing cause a great expense to the ratepayers in finding others to fill their places, and getting them to know the district. The Council should pro- vide suitable buildings, such as Isolation Hos- pitals for infectious and contagious diseases, and the widening and the creating of new roads and bridges. Whenever a demand arises the Council should cause every complaint of nuisance to be investigo.ted and dealt with. Gentlemen, those briefly are the principal ciu ties vested in the District Council with re- gard to improvements. About the Hafod part of the Ward, I would suggest the necessity of altering or causing to be altered the bridge over the Coedcae Colliery incline and the erec- tion of a new bridge across the river and the repairing and lighting of all the bye streets of Britannia and Hafod, and the needs of better and more lights upon the main roads. (Ap- plause). I need not tell you the difference be- tween the two lights of the Pontypridd Board and the Rhondda Board. It would be instru- mental for us. were it possible, to get the mme lighting properties as the Lower Board. Public Companies and landlords speak of being heavy ratepayers, but I say it is the colliers and every other kind of workmen who pay the rates—(applause)—if not directly, they pay i- in rent, and it is about time they should havc- a voice in the management of spending the money, by returning men to the Council who understand the needs of the workmen, and not afraid to agitate for their rights. (Cheers). What we want on the Board is fair play and equality. I think that the man who owns his house should have the same consideration as the rich man who may have a hundred. (Ap- plause). My heart and mind is full of argu- ments in favour of the ratepayer, but I am afraid I am taking up your valuable time, as we have other gentlemen to address you, who are more fluent than myself. I might say that I am a better thinker and better worker than a public speaker. It is for you as electors to tell me any time what you really require, and I promise to do my very best to further your interest at all times, and to make frequent visits over the Ward, and I will, if returned, when any important measure comes before the Council which concerns the ratepayers, endea- vour to call a meeting in order to obtain your views. No doubt, people will say that a big portion of the new councillors would be with- out experience, but for myself, I am fully alive as to the responsibilties resting on the mem- bers of this the greatest Urban District Coun- cil in the whole Kingdom, and there are not many towns outside London with a greater number of inhabitants than the Urban Dis- trict of the Rhondda Valley. Mr Brooks re- sumed his seat after loud and prolong cheering- Mr John Rogers, checkweigher, Cymmer Col- liery, read the following resolution: "That this public meeting of the electors of Hafod. No. 8 Ward., having heard the views of Mr Joseph Brooks upon the District Council mat- ters, we deem him a fit and proper person to be returned as one of the three members for the Ward. Also that this meeting pledges it- self to use every legitimate means for his elec- tion." Mr J. T. Jones, Glandwr House, Porth, in a curt and concise speech, seconded the resolu- tion, which was carried unanimously. Mr James Baker, checkweigher. National Colliery, next addressed the meeting, and said that not very often was he seen in this, the Hafod, constituency, but he came this night to nay a tribute and a conscientious feeling of duty. They were upon the verge of an impor- tant function, and it was his, and every other conscientious man's duty, to place upon the District Council a man of ability, economical, a.nd one who had plenty of time to devote to the duties involved. He did not believe in half of what appeared in several of the addresses prepared by some of the candidates. Some of them went on to say that they would devote their time and would be most economical, etc., etc. He (Mr Baker) argued that in many in- stances public moneys were spent in the wrong direction; Bridges, roads, etc., were public conveniences, but they should turn their faces t- enquire after what was most important, antz that was sanitation. He quite understood that the candidates were perfectly right in using the money of the public economically in the righ way, but there was such a thing as false .ry J economy. He believed r-hat !1" most signifi- cant item was "economy in tlr> living of hu- man life." Sanitation had been lost by several candidates, and it was the constituency's duty to see that they would return a member that owuld influence and endeavour to get first of all perfect sanitary arrangements. It was high time that the lower classes should see that they were represented as it were by someone that was near to them, not only as a member, but as one of themselves, who could meet and arrange their matters and grievances. People complained that they could not approach sever- al of the present members owing to their sta- tion in ftie, but the candidate before them that night was as one of themselves, one who had risen from the ranks, one who had climbed from the bottom rung to the top of the lad- der. Mr Brooks' name he would cherish while he lived, not because be was a candidate for a seat on the Council, but for his "humani- ty" in the recent strule-the great and di- sastrous strike. The saying that "one touch of nature makes an the world akin," stood fixedly before his eyes. Mr Brooks, without any ostentatious display, gave away scores of pounds; he had closely identified himself by alleviating the sufferings of the then poor women and children, and to-day the very populace should reciprocate with interest in his favour. (Loud applause). Mr Brooks had told him that he was prepared to work in the interests of the working men, and Mr Baker appealed earnestly to all present to rally round their candidate, to be true on the day of the election, and return him triumphantly to tho Council. (Loud cheers and applause).

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