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LLANDUDNO RATES AGAIN II REDUCED. THE RETIREMENT OF MR. JOHN BELLIS. A ESmEKABLE! RECORD. THE OVERSEERS. AND THE PIER COMPANY. The annual meeting of the overseers for the parish of Llandudno-cum-Eglwys- rhos was held at the Parish Offices, Town Hall, on Tuesday afternoon, when there were present Messrs William Williams (chairman), John Roberts. Bryn C'elyn; J. O. Thomas, H. Wilson. John Bellis (assistant overseer), and Walter Wood (assistant overseer for poor rate purposes'). THE OVERSEERS AND THE PIER COMPANY. The principal business was to fix the poor rate for the ensuing twelve months, but before this wa.s entered upon Mr Bellis said that as that was the last occasion for him to have anything to do with the rate he would like to testify to the great trouble the overseers had taken in exam- ining property and fixing the assessment. The overseers for many years had been men who knew the value of property, and no trouble had been too great for them to take. They had tried to deal justly and fairly to all.—(Applause.) He made those remarks because of the many unkind things which had been said about the overseers. Many had come to him with complaint?. If he was unable to satisfy the complainants he asked them to sub- mit their grievance to the overseers in writing, and the matter was discussed at their next meeting. If they were still not satisfied they could appeal to the assess- ment committee at Conway. That room was generally filled with people who wished their assessment reduced, but dur- ing the last few years there had been only two appeals from Llandudno. One of :hose, continued Mr Bellis. was made by the Llandudno Pier Company. About three years ago the overseers arrived it the conclusion that the Pier Compa,ny-a most prosperous concernc- was not paying its proper share of the rates. The matter was very carefully considered and eventually the assessment increased by JBIOOO. T'he Pier Company refused to pay on that basis, and eventually an expert was agreed upon to value the property. The expert decided that £ 300 should be added to the old assessment. The Pier Company refused to pay on that valuation, and maintained that they had been paying too much be- fore. After further negotiations he in- structed Messrs Chamberlain and John- son in the matter, and asked them to get a copy of the Board of Trade Order authorising the erection of the Pier. They failed to get a. copy, but sent two clerks to copy the copy at the Pier. From that Order it was found that the whole of the Pier was to be considered within the parish. The whole of the Pier was then revalued, and the company had to pay in full. The additional- amount of poor rate paid by them was £ 192. and £ 235 urban district rate, or a total of £ 427. A RE MAR:: ABLE RECORD. With regard to the collectorship, Mr Bellis said that he had collected the poor rate for twenty-eight years, and had always considered himself the servant of blic—the servant of the very poor as of the very rich. He had en- ed to treat all equally, but if any .ation was to be given he tried to to the po-r.-(Hear, hear.) He eceved many kindnesses from the yet during his term of office, and ot think he had ever had any un- it words with anyone. On retiring d say that he had never distrained ied a distress warrant on a single —(Applause.) With regard to the icial position he could only say that penny due by the overseers to the inty and guardians had been paid, and that there was a balance in the bank of £ 1163 16s. 10d. on account of the new rates.—Hear, hear.) Nearly the. whole of the rates had been collected, the re- coverable arrears being only about £ 60. During the twenty-eight years the amount to be collected ha.d risen from £,3037 in 1880 to £ 13408 in 1907.—(Applause.) WELL DESERVED TRIBUTES. Mr John Roberts said he considered it his duty to propose a vote of thanks to Mr Bellis for the work he had done. In doing so he thought he voiced the opinion of all the overseers.—(Hear, hear.) Mr Bellis had been one of thejbest servants the ratepayers ha.d ever had. He had treated the rich and the poor with the same courtesy, and he wished Mr Bellis a long life to enjoy the well-earned rest. -(Applause.) Mr J. O. Thomas, in seconding, said although he was unable to say to what ex- tent, he knew that Mr Bellis had paid to rates of poor people out of his own pocket and advanced the money to others until they were in better circumstances.— (Applause.) He felt certain that it would be impossible to find a, man who would do his work in a more satisfactory manner than Mr Bellis had done. Mr Henry Wilson added his tribute to the retiring collector, which was supported by Mr William Williams, who for the last eight years has been one of the overseers. He trusted that Mr Wood would follow on the same lines and extend the same sympathy to those who at the time were unable to meet the calls on their purse.— (Hear, hear.) Mr Bellis, in a brief reply, said he had done nothing but his duty. For many years he had regarded the ratepayers as if they were his own brothers and sisters, and felt it, to 'be his bounden duty to act accordingly.—(Applause.) THE NEW RATE. After the inspection of rate books dat- ing back to 1873 the new rate was con- sidered. Mr Walter Wood prefacing the estimate made by himeelf with; Mr Bellis, by stating that he was pleased to follow as far as he was able on the same lines as his predecessor.—(Applause.) Having regard to the new rate a sum of 213,200 was required, towards which there was a balance in the bank of £ 1163. A rate of 2s. 7d. in the £ would be sufficient to pro- vide the balance or a penny in £ less than last year .(Applause.) During the discussion which ensued, it was elicited that the demands of .the County Council amounted to Is. 8d. in the £ but as the County rate basis made no allowance for empty houses the demand would really amount, to Is. lOd. in the C. It will thus be seen that out of every pound collected the County takes 12s. 6d. The proposed rate was unanimausly agreed I



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