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Rhondda District.Council.

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Rhondda District.Council. The late King—Sympathetic References. 1 The Incorporation Question. The Alleged Dust NuisanceuProceedings Threatened.) The monthly meeting of the Rhondda District Council was held at the Council Chamber, Pentre, on Friday last, Coun- cillor Ben Davies, J.P., presiding. Other I members present were Councillors D. C. Evans (vice-chairman), Alderman W. H. Ma,thias, J.P., J. D. Williams, J.P., ThQiS, Thomas, Ed. Jones. W. P. Thomas, H, E. Maltby, Walter Williams, Dr. A. G. Tribe, L. P. Griffiths, Tom Evans, W, H. Morgan D. R. Jones, Dd. Wil- liams, Canon Lewie, Tom George, Tom Harries, James James, Griffith Evans, W ffJ., Thomas, L, W. Llewelyn and Danl. E-ans, together with the Clerk (Mr. W. P. Nicholas), the Surveyor (Mr. W. J. Jones), and the Medical Officer of Health (Dr. J. D. Jenkins). THE ROYAL BEREAVEMENT. The Chairman (Councilor Ben Davies) proposed the following resolution: — That this Council desires to most respectfully tender to His Majesty the King its heartfelt sympathy in the sad loss and affliction by the death of the late King, and to assure His. Majesty of the loyal and sincere devotion of the inhabitants of this district to his Imperial Throne." Councillor J. D, Williams, in second- ing the resolution, said that the deceased Monarch was loved and respected by all. He was a King that loved his people and always desired to do everything he could for them, The country had suffered a serious loss, whilst the cordial relations now existing between Britain and foreign Governments was in no small degree due to the tact and wise diplomacy of King Edward. He (Mr. Williams) could only hope that the present King would follow ia the footsteps of his noble father. Canon Lewis joined in the expression of sorrow and the resolution was passed, the whole Council standing. The following resolution was also pro- posed by the Chairman That this Council desires to tender to Her Majesty the Queen-Mother its heartfelt sympathy in the sad affliction which Her Majesty has sustained by the death of the late King, and to assure Her Majesty of the continued love and esteem of the inhabitants of this district." Councillor D. C. Evans (vice-chairman) seoonded, and the resolution was agreed to. A vote of sympathy was also passed pith Dr. Thomas, Ystrad, in his indis- position, on the motion of Councillor Tom Evans, seconded by Councillor R. S. Griffiths. It was also resolved to suspend all Council business on the day of the late King's funeral on Friday next, and to pay the Council's workmen for the day. WHY GEORGE V. WAS NOT PRO- CLAIMED IN THE RHONDDA. The Clerk informed the Council that he had received no Proclamation or notice to read the Proclamation in the Rhondda, therefore no steps had been taken by this Council to have the Proclamation read. County Boroughs and Corporations re- ceived the Proclamation from the Privy Council, and it did not seem right to him that a large urban district like the Rhondda should be content with seeing it in the daily pap ere. It was only right that he (Mr. Nicholas) should make this statement, as some people considered it strange that no Proclamation had been made in the Rhondda. Councillor Tom Evans: I suppose that :-ome of ffie smaller districts have taken it from the papers? The Clerk said that Under Sheriffs re- ceived a number of Proclamations for dis- tribution. and he had asked the Under- Slieriff of Neath for one, and was informed that they had all been given out. Councillor Walter Williams asked that &ome statement should be made with regard to the Closing Order on the day of the King's funeral. The Clerk: What the Council has vrritten is written, and cannot be revoked. We cannot revoke the Order: it is only the King's Privy Council can do that, THE BLAENCLYDACH DISASTER, ENGINEER'S REPORT. The following report re the Blaen- clvdach Level was received from Mr. H. T: Wales: — Messrs. Morgan, Bruce, Nicholas, and James, Solicitors, Pontypridd, Dear Sirs, BLAENCLYDACH LEVEL. OUTBURST OF WATER. With reference to the short report I sent you on the 18th April last, which described the position of the clearing operations in the level up to 16th April last, I now beg to send you the following additional information and opinion on the matter. I made a further visit and inspected the level on the 7th inst., and I heard the evidence given at the adjourned inquest yesterday. In that evidence, and from the information which I have obtained by inspecting the level on several occasions, the cause of the out- burst of water and the way in which the occurrence took place can be under- stood without difficulty. The working of the level was discontinued in 1903, and falls had since taken place, extend- ing from the msuth at intervals for a distance of sixty yards along the level and in a road adjoining it. For this distance the ground between the roof of the level and the surface varied from 7 feet to 40 feet in thickness, and Consisted of a blue clay with some gravel embedded in it. Beyond this distance the roof of the level consists of hard Pennant rock. The clay is close and tough, and of a kind which would readily form a dam impervious to water. Gradually, the level was sealed by cne or more dams, and the usual outflow of water ceased. Whilst the level was at work there had been a constant flow of water from the work- ings to the mouth of the- level, where a culvert conveyed it towards the Cae Dafydd brook, into which it emptied itself. The volume of water varied with the rainfall, and amounted to about four hundred gallons per minute in the wet season of the year. Upon the formation of the dams arising from the falls, this volume of water was effectually held back and gradually accumulated in the area over which the colliery workings in the No. 2 Jbinondcla beam naa extended. lne clearing operations which were being carried on at the time of the accident, with the object of tapping and drawing off the accumulated water, had gradually reduced the resisting power of the dams until they could no longer withstand the pressure upon them, and a serious outburst of the water then occurred, which resulted in the unfor- tunate loss of life and much damage to property situate near the mouth of the level. In order to prevent a recurrence of the same kind, it will be necessary to carry out such works as will entirely remove the possibility of falls again taking place which would prevent the free flow of water from the workings to the surface at the mouth of the; level. It has already been agreed that the nature of these works shall be settled between Mr. W. Forster Brown (agent to the Estate on which the mouth of the level is situate) and myself, and in case of our failure to agree, Mr. E. M. Hann, mining engi- neer, of Aberdare, has been appointed arbitrator. The details of these works will be settled as soon as the clearing operations, now in progress, have been completed. Meantime, I am clearly of the opinion that no possibility now exists of a further outburst, and that the safety of the neighbourhood will be permanently and entirely secured by the execution of the works agreed-upon. —Yours faithfully, HENRY T. WALES. The Clerk: The only thing now is to get the children back to the school. Councillor Tom Evans said he would like to know something as to what was proposed to be done outside the level so as to prevent a recurrence of the dis- aster. Would it not be better for them to secure plenty of place for the water to run into the brook at all times out of the level? The Chairman: I take it that that is the view of the Engineer. Councillor Evans: If that is what he means, I am prepared to wait and see what it is. Councillor R. S. Griffiths That is pre- cisely what is being done. From a cer- tain part of the workings inwards the roof is said to be first-class. The portion where this disaster occurred is about 60 yards from the mouth of the level. The ground there is pretty disturbed, .but I understand that they are going to con- struct permanent works from that point back to the solid roof. If a greater quan- tity of water than usual should run it will be continued to the brook and not broadcast. These are the works that the Estate has agreed to carry out, and fail- ing an agreement between Mr. Brown and Mr. Wales, we have agreed to accept Mr. Hann as arbitrator. The position is clear; there could be absolutely no danger in getting the children back to school the day after we received Mr. Wales' last report. The whole indications of the volume of water inside the level have totally disapeared since the outburst, and I have not the least hesitation, as a resi- dent in the locality, to give instructions to the officials of the Council to do every- thing that is necessary towards preparing for the opening of the schools at the end of the present holiday. Councillor J. D. Williams: Is there not another fall inside the level now? Councillor Griffiths: I rely on the report that has been read and my local know- ledge that there is nothing keeping back a storage of water. Councillor Leonard Llewelyn seconded Mr. Griffiths' motion, and remarked that the Council officials should see that the present flow of water from the level was maintained. There might be a possibility of falls containing clay again damming the water back, but if it were seen to that the present flow was maintained, there could be no danger. Councillor Griffiths: It can easily be made one of our officials' duty to report to us upon the flow of water month by month. In reply to a question as to whether any loss in grants would follow as the result of the closing of the school, the Director said he had had a communication from the Board of Education assuring the Council that as far as the Board was concerned the grants would not be deducted. The motion was agreed to. ALLEGED DUST NUISANCE. MORE COMPLAINTS FROM PORTH. The Clerk read correspondence which had passed between him and the Rhondda Tramway Company re nuisance which was said to be caused by dust emitted from the Company's generating station at Porth. He also received a letter from Mr. David Jenkins (Messrs. Chas. Jenkins and Son, timber merchants, Porth), who alleged that the dust had already ruined his house, and unless abated, would ruin his business. He enclosed a bag of dust which had been deposited upon an area 20 yards square in his yard between Sun- day and Monday mornings. The Clerk also read the following letter from Messrs. Ed. Williams and Co., Pontypridd: — Pontypridd, 12th May, 1910. Sir,—We have to call the attention of your Council to the fact that certain nuisances are being caused to the public generally, and in particular to our client, Mr. David Jenkins, formerly of Glanffrwd House, Porth, by the dust. vibration and noise which are being emitted from and caused by the work- ing of the generating station of the Rhondda Tramways situate at Troedy- rhiw, Porth. We have to inform you that unless such nuisances are abated within seven days from the date hereof, we propose to apply to His Majesty's Attorney- General for his fiat authorising the said David Jenkins to use his name as plain- tiff in an action against your Council, and the Rhondda Tramways Company, Ltd., and the Rhondda Tramways Elec- tric Supply Company, Ltd., for (1) a declaration that the possession and working of the generating station by the above-mentioned Companies are not authorised by the provisions of the Rhondda Urban District Council (Tram- ways, &c.) Act of 1902; (2) a declara- tion that your Council were not em- powered to grant a lease of the generat- ing station to the Rhondda Tramways Company, Ltd., for the purpose of supplying electric power to the Rhondda Tramways (3) an injunction to restrain your Council from permitting the said generating station to be used in such a way as to cause a nuisance by dust or otherwise. In addition to the relief above men- tioned, the action will claim relief by way of injunction and damages against the above-mentioned Companies.—We are, sir, your obedient servants, ED. WILLIAMS & CO. The Clerk said he was rather afraid the Council would be held liable for this. Councillor Leonard Llewelyn: Is the Council liable? The Clerk: I am not prepared to dis- cuss the question in open Council. He had been informed that an action had been brought against some people- whether it was the Rhondda Tramways Company or the Rhondda Constrrltion Company he could not say-by Mr. Dd. Jenkins, and he had heard that Mr. Jenkins had been advised that the right parties had not been joined. If the Council was to be made liable in the matter, it was better that they should not discuss the matter there, but send the letter to the Tramway people. On the motion of Councillor J. D. Wil- liams, this course was agreed to. THE INCORPORATION MOVEMENT. CLERK ADVISES CAUTION. A deputation of the central organisa- tion which has actively concerned itself with this movement for the past six months waited upon the Council with a view of obtaining their assistance in the matter. The deputation was introduced by Mr. D'. S. Thomas chairman of the Mid-Rhondda Chamber of Trade. Mr. J. T. Jones, Porth, who acted as spokesman for the deputation, vsaid that the committee had been in existence for six months seeking information as to whether it would be to the advantage of the Rhondda becoming a County Borough such as Merthyr. The movement was initiated by the Mid-Rhondda Chamber of Trade as the result of an address delivered by Mr. F. Sidney Simons, who had taken a leading part in the move- ment at Merthyr some years ao. The committee had met half a, dozen times since then, and the matter had been thoroughly discussed, and they had now decided to approach the Council for their assistance in getting certain facts and figures which were necessary for Their case. The committee understood that the Council could not take up the matter officially as a body, and they would, there- fore, like the Council to appoint half a dozen of their members to act upon the committee and to give it every assistance in their power. They would also like to appeal for the assistance of the learned Clerk. The committee were of the opinion that the dignity of the Rhondda would be enhanced if it were incorporated, and that it would also result in a consider- able monetary advantage to the district. The Pontypridd district were also seeking a Charter, and the Urban Council there had requested the Municipal Association to take up the matter. Mr. E. C. DavieSj Treorchy, said that the committee had decided to engage an expert to go into the financial part of the question, and the committee would pro- ceed upon the recommendations of that gentleman. The expert in question had been recommended to them by Mr. Cave, the editor of the Municipal Journal," as a gentleman who had had considerable experience in matters of this kind. Councillor J. D. Williams said that in the interests of the sceheme it was very important that the expert, whoever he might be. should be a practical one. Councillor Tom Evans asked the depu- tation in what way would they like the assistance of the Clerk. Mr. J. T. Jones: If and when-we ap- point an expert, there are certain figures he will want; we might want some figures from your books, and the assist- ance of Mr. Nicholas would be very help- ful in going through these. Councillor Tom Harries: Do I under- stand the deputation to believe that the monetary advantage to the Rhondda, if it is incorporated, will be a reduced rate? Mr. Jones: That has been the case at Merthyr. It has been stated in public that we are paying to the County far more than we get in return. The Chairman: The Council will now consider the question, and I can guaran- tee you that we will do what we can to assist you. The deputation then thanked the Coun- cil for giving them a hearing, and with- drew. Discussion on the matter was opened by Councillor R. S. Gri ths. who re- marked that the Council had no power to spend the ratepayers' money in the appli- cation for a Charter. If they succeeded in their application, they could charge the cost upon the rates, but if they failed they could not do so. What the Council had to consider was whether the time had arrived for them to take up this matter. The course suggested to them that day by the deputation was not the course that suggested itself to him, if the Council came to the conclusion that they had a case. He would like the matter largely discussed by the Council, and if they, were convinced that the time had arrived to make the application, it was the Council that should take the reins, and not play a subsidiary part by assisting or supply- ing material to another body. He was relieved to understand that the commit- tee had not actually engaged an expert, as it was a most vital part of the ques- tion as to who the expert should be. If the Council were going to associate them- selves with the movement, they should, as it were, form the nucleus, and ask others to co-operate with them. It was important that nothing should be done in the initial stages of the movement which would retard the ultimate success of the application if Incorporation was deemed on complete investigation to be desirable. Councillor D. R. Jones: I think that if a request comes for the assistance of our Clerk, we should consult him first of all. If the figures only are required, these are published annually. Councillor J. D. Williams: I under- stand there is a feeling throughout the district that the Rhondda should be in- corporated. With regard to the depu- tation, I wish to say respectfully that I don't believe that what they suggest to us is the Droper course to adopt. If we think that it would be to the advantage of the Rhondda to be incorporated, then

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