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CHESTER TOWN COUNCIL. »

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CHESTER TOWN COUNCIL. » A quarterly meeting of the Council was held in the Assembly-room of the Town Hall on Wednesday, the Mayor (Mr. B. C. Roberts) presiding. THE POLLUTED DBS. The TOWN CLERK (Mr. S. Smith) said the Local Government Board had written stating that they had received the petition sealed by the County Councils of Cheshire and Flintshire, and also by the Council of the county borough of Chester, requesting them to issue a pro- visional order constituting a Joint Board under section 14 of the Local Government Act, 1888, to put into operation the Rivers Pollution Pre- vention Act, 1876, in the basin of the River Dee, and stating that before deciding upon the application the Board would direct a local inquiry to be held on the subject. The inquiry would take place as soon as the other engage- ments of their inspectors would permit, and due notice would be given of it. LANCASHIRE AND THE DEE FISHERIES THE TOWN CLERK'S VIEW. The TOWN CLERK also reported that he had received since the meeting of the Local Government Act Committee a notice from the Clerk to the County Council of Lancashire that under the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act they intended at the expiration of one month to apply to the Board of Trade for an Order amalgamating the present Lancashire Sea Fisheries District and the Western Sea Fisheries District, calling such amalgamated district by the name of The Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries District,' and extending such district so as to include from the existing limit of the present Lancashire Sea Fisheries District so mueh of the river Dee as is on the seaward side of a line drawn from Burton's Head, in the county of Chester, to Connah's Quay, in the county of Flint.' The TOWN CLERK added that at the conference of the representatives of Chester, Cheshire, and Lancashire in May it was understood that the Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries Dis- trict was to consist of the sea fishery district outside the estuary. This notice, however, not only embraced that, but the whole of the river Dee from the estuary to a line drawn across from Connah's Quay to Burton Head or Burton Point. He understood the application was to be opposed by the County Council of Cheshire and by the Dee Fishery Board, and inasmuch as the application was to be made at the expiration of a month, and as there would be no meeting of the Council till October, it occurred to him that the proper thing to do would be to notify the Board of Trade at once that it was intended to oppose the application. If that were the wish of the Council, probably the Chairman of the Local Government Act Committee would -move that the application be opposed, and that the necessary instructions be given for that purpose. Mr. WILLIAM BROWN, as chairman of the committee, moved that they give the applica- tion their strongest opposition. If Lancashire took the whole of the river from Connah's Quay to the sea, it would be practically taking the whole of the fishing of the lower river, and if that were done, and Mr. Hooley carried out his scheme, they would have no river left. Alderman H. T. BROWN seconded. Alderman CARTWRIGHT thought a month I was a very short notice to give. The TOWN CLERK expressed the opinion that the application would not succeed so far as the Dee was concerned if it was opposed by the three authorities. He did not know how Lancashire was going to get over the 12th clause in the Act, which was as follows :— Where a proposed sea fisheries district will adjoin or overlap the district of a Board of salmon conservators the Board of Trade shall, by the order defining the limits of the sea fisheries district draw a line at or near the mouth of every river or stream flowing into the sea or into any estuary within those limits, or at the option of the Board of Trade at, or near, the mouth of any estuary within those limits, and the sea fisheries district shall not extend into any such river, stream, or estuary above that line. The motion was carried. RACECOURSE COMPANY AND THEIR LEASE. It appoared from the minutes of the Racecourse Committee that the committee has been waited upon by the following deputation of the Racecourse Company, who desire an extension of their lease:—The Hon. C. T. Parker, Mr. John Cullimore, and Mr. F. J. Warmsley (secretary). Mr. Parker stated the company were desirous to have an extension of the lease; that they do not desire to alter the basis of the present lease, but more time in which to recoup their expenditure; that an extension of the lease would enable them to pay the Corporation an increased rent, which they will be prepared to do, but desire it shall be fixed inclusive of rates, in consequence of constant questions as to the assessment with the Assessment Committee.— AfL ■ J LI. J Aiuer uousiuarauie aiscussion, in tne course of which the question was raised of building an improved Grand Stand, affording enlarged and improved accommodation, the deputation promised to report to the directors, take their instructions, and come before the committee g;in:-Alderman. H. T. Brown, in moving the adoption of the minutes said, they were in the middle of negotiations with the Racecourse Company, but at present they had no recom- mendation to make.—The minutes were adopted. THE PROPOSED BOUNDARY EXTENSION. IS IT WORTH THE CANDLE ? ALDERMAN CHURTON DISSATISFIED. It appeared from the minutes of the Local Government Act and Parliamentary Committee that at a meeting on the 7th inst. the Town Clerk reported that queries had been sent to the several local authorities whose areas will be affected, to elicit the detailed information required, and that conferences had been invited with the following :—Cheshire County Council, Flintshire County Council, Hawarden Rural District Council, Chester Rural District Council, Hoole Urban District Council, Newton Parish Council, Great Boughton Parish Council, Saltney Parish Council, and Sealand Parish Council. The replies so far received included a resolution of the Newton Parish Council, as follows:—" That the intended action of the Corporation of the city of Chester to extend its boundary be opposed by this Council, so far as any portion of Newton township is concerned," and a subsequent letter from the clerk to that.Council, as follows:—" In answer to yours of yesterday's date, respecting the queries that you wish me to answer, I beg to say that at the meeting of the Newton Parish Council I was distinctly requested not to answer them. Therefore, for the present, I must decline. —Yours truly, JAB. PBINCE." It appeared that the Committee had reselved that the chairman (Mr. W. Brown), Alderman H. T. Brown, and Mr. J. G. Holmes be the representatives of the Corporation, for conference with the several county and local authorities, and thafr it be left to the Town Clerk (1) with the approval of the chairman and deputy chairman, to retain counsel; (2) to prepare the necessary memorial to the Local Government Board, prepare for the inquiry to follow, and do whatever may be necessary in furtherance of the application. The minutes were formally adopted on the proposition of Mr. WILLIAM BROWN, and immediately afterwards, Alderman CHUBTON asked if the Council were thus pledged to retaining counsel, preparing for the inquiry, &c. He had yet to learn that the Committee had obtained the information they were asked to get before the matter was proceeded with further. He some time ago proposed in the Council and it was carried, that the Committee should obtain from the different authorities in- formation as to what the probable loss would be to them in respect of any ratable value. He objected to the matter going on until the Council knew what they were doing, and what the probable cost would be, else they would be having the same experience as the Liverpool Corporation who thought they were doing a nice thing in extending the b6undaries, but afterwards they had large claims for compensa- tion. He contended that this was a sentimental question, as regarded the city. Brighton and Hove were close together, and they got on very well with one another. The MAYOR pointed out that it would have been more convenient if Alderman CHUBTON had raised the point before the minutes were passed. Alderman CHURTON said the matter had been brought forward in its wrong place. He wanted to know if they were pledged to retaining counsel, &c., because if so he should bring it iorward at the next meeting in order that it might be rescinded. He could not gather from the minutes if the resolution of the Council with regard to obtaining information had been rescinded. If not, he ventured to say the Council had no right to go on with the matter. They ought to have some information from the chairman of the committee as to what they were going to do in the matter. There was a reso- lution about employing counsel and applying to the Local Government Board for an inquiry, but they did not know anything about the cost. That was a very important item, and he thought the chairman of the committee ought to get up and tell them what the cost was likely to be, and what proceedings were to be taken. They ought to know whether the game was worth the candle. (Hear, hear.) He did not think it was. The people outside were opposed to the extension of the boundaries, and it seemed to him they should know what Chester was to gain by it. Hoole was very well governed at the present time, and very well policed too. He did not not think Chester would gain anything by the proposed amalgamation, and if they were going to spend money in fighting hostile authorities he should vote against it. Mr. WM. BROWN said it was not possible to give an idea of the cost. He believed Mr. Churton was engaged professionally to oppose this Bill. Alderman CHURTON: I beg to say no; I am not engaged professionally for anybody. Mr. WM. BROWN If he says not, of course I withdraw it. I said I believed so. Alderman CHURTON: You were the first to object to Captain Davies at the last meeting. I am simply engaged as a member of this Cor- poration. Alderman H. T. BROWN said it seemed to him that the discussion was irregular. Everybody knew perfectly well, and nobody better than Mr. Churton, that whatever was proposed to be done, whether there was opposition or not, could not be done without an inquiry by the Local Government Board. Until the inquiry came. he should be very sorry to give any sort of idea of the cost, and he was sure if Mr. Churton were in his position and partly respon- sible for the committee, he would be equally unwilling to pledge himself as to what the cost of the inquiry would be. It all depended on the amount of opposition There was sure to be opposition, but in all probability the threats of opposition were much stronger than the oppo- sition would prove. With regard to the information Mr. Churton required, he had already pointed out that it was impossible to arrive at any definite conclusion with the different authorities as to what they would accept in the event of amalgamation with the city. Mr. Churton had spoken about Brighton and Hove, but it was useless to compare places of that description with a place like Chester. In conclusion, he remarked that the Council had from time to time adopted the recom- mendations of the committee, and he hoped their present recommendations would be allowed to stand, and that they would be allowed to go on with the proceedings. Alderman CHURTON quite agreed with a good deal of what Alderman Brown said, but he thought the Council should have been taken into confidence, that there might have been a proper debate on the subject. The city might be involved into an expenditure of thousands of pounds to say the least, and unless the com- mittee could give the Council an idea of what it would cost, they ought not to go any further. He gave notice that at the next meeting of the Council he should propose that no application be made to the Local Government Board until the committee could furnish this information, and until the matter had been properly debated by the Council. The ratepayers ought to know what the Council were going to do, and that they were not going blindly forward. They ought to know what the proposed extension was going to cost, and whether it would do any good or not. He doubted whether it would. The Town CLERK explained that some of the different authorities had refused to give answers to the questions. When, however, they came before the Local Government Board Inquiry, the Inspector would make them give the answers. Capt. J. P. DAVIES said the Town Clerk had asked the different bodies what the ratable value of their property was, and some of his friends in Flintshire wanted to know why Chester should interfere in a matter of that kind. (Laughter.) The TOWN CLERK said that was the informa- tion the Local Government Board would require. CORPORATION PROPERTY IN THE MARKET. Alderman JOHN SMITH (chairman of the Improvement Committee) moved the following recommendation of his committee:—" That the committee be authorised to sell by auction the property in George-street, late Campbell's leasehold." Alderman CHARLES BROWN, in seconding, said the property consisted of four cottages in a very dilapidated state, and had a large front- age. He suggested that it should be a stipula- tion that the property when sold should be re-built. The motion was carried. NEW WEIGHING MACHINE. The following recommendation at the Improvement Committee was adopted:—' That the Committee be authorised to purchase an additional weighing machine, for use in the cheese market, at a cost not exceeding £9: THE ISOLATION HOSPITAL. A CONTRACTOR-S COMPLAINT. The Isolation Hospital Committee recom- mended: That the Committee be authorised to accept the tender of Mr. W. W. Freeman, for the erection of the pro- posed Isolation Hospital for the sum of £ 14,400; that the Committee be authorised to accept Messrs. Hughes and Lancaster's tender to provide and fix an Ejector Chamber, Shone Pneumatic Ejectors, Air Receiver, Air and Sewage Mains, &c.,for the sum of £ 1,75316s.; that it be arranged that Mr. A. E. Jones' appointment, pursuant to the resolution of the Council on the 7th instant, as Clerk of the Works at the Town Hall, embrace also the duties of Clerk of the Works at the Infectious Diseases' Hospital, at the salary (for both) of 93 10s. per week." It appeared that there were two tenders lower than that of Mr. Freeman, namely, £13,967 and 914,347. The TOWN CLERK said he had received the following letter from Mr. John Mayers, Queen- street :— Having through the public press learned that the tender for X14,400 of Mr. W. W. Freeman is to be recommended to-morrow to the Town Council by the Public Health Committee for acceptance, and my tender of X14,347 being lower and not accepted, I cannot comprehend why this should be so. For on the one hand tenders were advertised for in the local press, and on the other being a Chester tradesman of quite as long standing as the one recommended, and considering myself quite as capable of carrying out the works, as not only works previously done by me, but also what I am now doing will show. I therefore trust that the letter will be brought before the Council, and that my tender will receive further consideration, other- wise I do not see why tenders should be asked for or contractors put to the expense of making them out. Dr. ROBERTS, in moving the adoption of the recommendation of the committee, said they took the general course with regard to the tenders. Of course they left that matter to the architect, and they selected the tender they did on his recommendation. The tender was not adopted unanimously but by a majority of the committee. Mr. Freeman promised that the building should be com- pleted by November 30th, 1898, and Mr. Mayers promised it for May 20th, 1899, practically six months later. The committee considered the building would be a model of convenience and comfort, and thoroughly up to date, and that opinion had been practically confirmed by the Local Government Board, judging from the few suggestions for altera- tions they had made. Dr. STOLTERFOTH, in seconding, said the hospital would be of very great use indeed. The architect had spared no pains or trouble, and with regard to the tender he thought the Council would agreed that it was of importance the building should be finished as soon as possible. A difference of six months was something to be considered. Alderman GEORGE DICKSON was not quite sure whether Dr. Roberts made it clear that it was owing to the length of time Mr. Mayers wanted to build the hospital that his tender was not accepted. It was only fair to state that, because, in his opinion, Mr. Mayers was as capable of executing the work as Mr. Freeman. Alderman BIRD raised the point of whether this six months was a second consideration or not. He had known Mr. Mayers for many years and in his opinion he was as capable of carrying out the work as anybody in the city. He did not think the Committee had done what was right in the interests of the ratepayers. Mr. J. J. CUNNAH replying to Alderman Bird contended that the tender of Mr. Freeman was the lowest the Committee had before them, taking into consideration that he would do the work in less time than Mr. Mayers. He did not know Mr. Mayers, but he knew Mr. Freeman. He did not think it was fair for gentlemen to come to the Council and make the reflections that had been made. He thought the Committee were to be complimented for the pains they had taken for threshing this out in a satisfactory manner. j Alderman CHAS. BROWN pointed out that Mr. Freeman's tender which the architect selected, was very near the estimate made originally by Mr. Beswick, Ald. CARTWRIGHT inquired what penalties would be incurred if the contract was not com- pleted on the precise date. The TOWN CLERK The penalty is;620 a week. Alderman CHURTON If you get it. (Laughter.) The motion was carried. HfNT TO THE GAS COMPANY. Alderman CHURTON said he noticed from the papers that the price of gas was to be lowered. He thought they had a good deal to thank the Electric Lighting Committee for that most desirable result. The only question was whether they might not ask the Gas Company to adopt the plan of Liverpool, and give them 20 candle-power gas instead of 16. He saw that the price of gas in Liverpool was 2a. 9d., the same as in Chester. —(Mr. R. CECIL DAVIES: The price is 2s. lid. in Chester),—but in Liverpool the candle-power was 20 instead of 16. If the Gas Company wanted to keep to the front in the race with the electric light in Chester, they should consider the question.

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