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-bester 100 Years aqo.

.Hocal Ontrnmtnt ottings

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Hocal Ontrnmtnt ottings [BY MENTOR.] At some district councils the question of t0^ railway fares as between the large 8 and their suburbs is being very pro- ently discussed; and the question arises whether the subject is not ripe for examination In Chester and its neighbourhood. As a rule the local railway companies are liberal in the fatter of season, market and short excursion tickets, but apart from those who avail them- selves of these there is a class of people who would be travellers to a very much larger extent-especially in the summer and autumn -if they were able to do so at a cheaper rate; and, seeing the many miles people are taken for small sums on the continental railways, I do see why something of the kind should not possible here. Under the will of a Holywell tradesman, who died some twenty-five years since, a board school of that town, as well as four other J8 ricts in the neighbourhood, become possessed 01 £ 10 a year in perpetuity. The money, it appears, is to be applied to giving an annual treat to the children attending the elementary chools, and according to a query put to the er the bequest comes within the jurisdiction Of the Charity Commissioners. At the Rhyl Urban Council the clerk reported the receipt of a letter from the Local Govern- ment Board intimating their willingness to 8anction a loan of £1,400 (or more if required) for the construction of a sea wall and promenade nsion to the Foryd, if made according to J*?gestions by the chief engineering inspector r the Local Government Board. A very good Report waB also made as to the receipts at the arine lake, and it was resolved to provide a mortuary for the town. Then, again, at the recent meeting of the Holywell Rural Council, the subject of the efficient drainage of Bagillt Was discussed, and the services of a competent engineer were ordered to be retained to report on the feasibility of a scheme. The question of the erection of a pier on the new promenade at Colwyn is making fair pro- gress, and there is a probability of the same being erected by another season. Also the sub- jects of lighting the promenade and enclosing a Portion of the foreshore in front of the Colwyn Bay Hotel are receiving attention. Then at the 1 _L "Isu meeting of the Urban District Council Mr. T. Parry announced his intention of presenting another drinking fountain to the town, to be placed on the promenade east of the subway. He said he was proud to see so many visitors in Colwyn Bay and Colwyn too. Colwyn Bay was more patronised than ever, and the visitors evidently appreciated the new promenade. To which I should like to add a reminder that money judiciously spent, and in no niggardly spirit, in the district, is sure to bring in a good return in course of time. Scenes' seem to be the order of the day, more or less-and it seems rather more than "less-at the meetings of local governing bodies gently. Thus at the Altrincham Urban ■district Council an acrimonious discussion took place over the site for a drinking fountain in Stamford Park, when one member ^Used another of having spoken of a third as traitor,' which was, as usual, strongly denied, the chairman had to appeal to the Council to conduct their proceedings in a gentlemanly manner. "^&ain, at the Radcliffe District Council, on lCUSsing the minutes of the Finance Com- th as to an item of £9 odd in the name of a .airman, for deputation expenses to London, thegDificant question was put as to whether The deputation travelled first or third class. ^airman, who is also a member of the Whi B°ard of Guardians, at the meetings of clngs ,ody he is a strong advocate for third- conjg^eUing, on the present occasion, in the o' a quiet wrangle, admitted that he travelled first-class, the excuse being that he followed the example of the other members of the deputation. The chairman, who evidently got ruffled, said he was sorry to see the questioning member' come there to make a fool of himself and the Council, because he con- sidered his conduct nothing short of that;' and so on. The incident was certainly instructive as showing how much even the chairman of a finance committee is sometimes inclined to sacrifice to principle. The Hyde Town Council meeting the other day was notable for a good deal of unseemly conduct of several of its members, one of whom accused another of telling a deliberate lie'; and it is an abominable lie!" and matters proceeded so far that it seemed at one time as though they would end up in a fight-and between magistrates too! The Mayor appealed to the excited opponents with what appeared to be something of grim irony 'to behave in a manner worthy of the high position they occupied.' But all to no purpose, for the wrangle went on even after the Council had adjourned for five minutes to allow the excitement to cool down, one member taunting another with constantly jumping up and down and chirping like a canary'! t, Some time ago a report of a meeting of the Holywell Parish Council appeared in a Liver- pool contemporary respecting the indulgence of some of its members in smoking, and the sub- ject was also commented on jocularly in a leading article in the same paper. I refrained from any eomment myself at the time, because the report seemed to be exaggerated. At their recent meeting both the report and the article were adverted to in anything but complimentary terms by some members, and denounced as exaggerations, the Chairman adding that the greater portion were untruths. But now comes the funniest part of the story. The Chairman complained that he was made to say what he never uttered, and challenged the whole Council to con- firm or deny that he called the Rural Council 'cut-throats!' But he was promptly checked by two members, one of whom said if the chair- man didn't use those words, he was misled entirely; while the other characterised the report as a fair one,' and the leading article as very right and proper.' Now, of course, it is not my province to defend either one or the other, but I know from long experience that members of public bodies, in the heat of dis- cussion, sometimes use terms they never intended, and which in their cooler moments they utterly repudiate. It might have been so here. Technical education seems to be proving itself rather costly in Sussex. At a meeting of the Ore Parish Council, Lieutenant-Colonel Dennett, who presided, observed that last quarter the County Council spent 91,800 on technical education, and he thought that was quite enough. At a meeting of the Finance Committee he asked the number of pupils instructed for this sum, and ascertained that there were seven! These pupils were being instructed in agriculture, but he thought if they gave a good practical farmer C50, he would be pleased to educate one of these young gentlemen, and give him some work to do. It is to be hoped that much so-called technical education is not being carried on at this rate but it would no doubt be instructive to the rate- payers if more detailed accounts were published in other counties.

DISTRICT AND PARISH COUNCILS.

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