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........:. COMPANY MEETINGS.

—<-, +■ .Fishguard Market…

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—< +■ Fishguard Market House Company. Roofing Scheme Abandoned. Slaughter-House Repairs Completed Butchers to Bear the Cost. Attitude of Urban Council Criticised The annual statutory meeting of the Com- pany of Proprietors of the Market Place, Fishguard, was held in the Town Hall on Saturday afternoon, there being present the Rev. J T Griffiths, Vicar of Brawdy Dr. W O'Donnell, Medical Officer of Health and Messrs W George James, J.P., of Llysyronen (treasurer) W G James, J.P., of Panty- philip; Walter L Williams, C.C., T G Bennett, J.P., W Evans (of Tower Hill), and W D Lewis, together with the Clerk (Mr A J Hodges), and the architect (Mr J J Harries). On the motion of Mr Griffiths, seconded by Mr Evans, it was agreed to appoint Mr James (Llysyronen) as chairman of the meeting. THE FUTURE.. The Chairman said they were met that day under very favourable circumstances in many respects. (Hear, hear). They had, during the past year, made considerable alterations to the premises, and the revenue available for those alterations, although it had not yet come into the accounts, would do so during the coming year. He thought that the share- holders might feel quite satisfied that the revenue and interest on their shares next year would be fairly good. That, of course, de- pended upon what they intended carrying out that day, but he believed that there was a feeling that future improvements ought not to affect the revenue, and some hints had been given that, if any great improvements were to be effected, they should be done by means of a loan, the shareholders being paid every year a certain proportion on their share capi- tal. The reason for that was that the share- holders had, for years, been receiving no interest, simply because they had been carry- ing out both improvements and repairs out of revenue. AX ELABORATE SCHEME The next item on the agenda was the con- sideration of plans, specifications and esti- luates for the erection of a new roof over the central market. Plans, elevations, and sections of the scheme were produced by the architect and handed round for inspection. The estimate, as set forth upon the agenda, was as follows :—Taking down existing roof, re-building and pointing walls, providing and erecting roof, and painting same, r540 drainage and floor, £ 130; new doors, &c., £ 28 plastering and distempering, £32 IOS; httings, £ 66 fitting market with gas, £ 14 making a total of £ 180 10s. To this had to be added £ 7 10s for the preparation of the plans, whilst the architect' fees at five per cent. would amount to a further sum of £+0 Ios 6d, bringing the aggregate up to CS58 los 6d. OPTIMISTS AND PESSIMISTS. The Chairman pointed out that the Com- Panv's borrowing powers were limited by Act of Parliament to £500. Mr Griffiths Then we can't entertain this. The Chairman That is for you. to con- sider. Is there any estimate as to what would be the return upon the outlay ? Mr Evans said that, looking into the future he did not think that they would be risking very much. Assuming that the execution of the work cost a thousand pounds, the interest upon the sum would not, at the outside, amount to more than £ 40 a year, and he did not think that they had much reason to fear that their revenue would not increase to that extent once the place had been put in a pro- per state. Personally, he had no hesitation in'.facing the future. Mr Jackson said the Company could not charge more than at present. Mr Evans said complaints had been made by the stall-holders, and he thought that they would rather be outside than in. Mr Jackson said it was only throwing money away. If the market were roofed in it would be necessary to get a person to look after the place, and to light it, merely for children and young persons to walk to and fro in it. Mr Evans said he felt confident in the future of Fishguard. They could not get out of the fact that, day by day, Fishguard was becom- ing a centre, and to meet that advance they ought to move with the times. Unless they did so, they were bound to suffer as a con- cern. Mr Jackson reiterated that it was merely thro.wing good money away for other people. Mr Evans Well, you don't want strangers to do it. A QUESTION OF REVENUE. The Chairman said that, in order to have done with the feelings of the past, and so that they might be united in the future, it should be treated as an open question as to whether it were proper or not. Could any- one, he asked, point anything in the way of tangible revenue to assist them ? Mr Evans said that, had he known that it would be required, he would have taken the trouble to have gone into that matter. He expressed a desire to know what the gross approximate revenue had been during the last year. The Clerk replied that the Town Hall had brought in £ 19 2S od, including a sum of CS from the Petty Sessions, which would be in- creased to £ 20 in the coming year. Various rents from the shops and stalls had realised £ 51 10s gd, whilst tolls from the market house and slaughter-house had amounted to £ 120 us II td, the total receipts for the year being £ 191 4s 8 £ d. The Chairman said £50 was the amount at present derived from the part which it was proposed to cover. Mr James (Pantyphilip) remarked that this would have to be increased to a hundred if the scheme were to pay. The architect, in reply to a question, said the-existing stalls would have to be taken down if the market were roofed. The Clerk said the shops in the central fc market realised £ 18 3s od per annum, other small rentals bringing the total up to £ 19. Mr Williams said that they had thus rough- ly a sum equivalent to the interest on £ 500, which would be lost if the change were effected. The clerk said the tolls averaged about^o a year. The Chairman said the shareholders ought to know where was the additional revenue to pay for that outlay of a thousand pounds. There were improvements which ought to be carried out. The market had been neglected, as had also the collection of tolls in many respects, simply because the shareholders had not been unanimous. He did not care what was the decision, but he did beg of them to make an end of it that day one way or the other, at any rate for some period. ABSENTEES' ABORTIVE APPLICATION. Mr Evans pointed out that one gentleman who had taken some interest in the proposal was, unfortunately, unable to be present that day, and that there were many besides him who were similarly placed. He thought, he said, that, having gone to the expense of pre- paring plans, it was only fair and reasonable to suggest that, before they decided anything definitely, they should adjourn the general meeting. The Chairman said the annual general meeting had been called, and special notice had been given of the matter, which had been adjourned several times before, whilst the es- timates had been printed on the agenda. Mr Williams pointed out that there was no letter asking for an adjournment. I _n- Mr Evans said there were circumstances < which prevented those gentlemen from being present that day. The Chairman said they could easily have given somebody else proxies to vote on their behalf, as was the customary thing to do. He was very sorry, personally, that they had been unable to attend, and would have chan- ged the date had it been possible to do so, but it had not. Mr Evans expressed agreement with the chairman's reference to proxies, but contend- ed that it would be more satisfactory if those gentlemen were present, and argued that they would be in no way prejudiced by adjourning for a fortnight or a month, as they might think best. The Chairman said they had had meetings in the past and gone into the question, and that day's agenda had been sent out to the shareholders asking them to reach a decision that day. Mr Jackson expressed himself as being op- posed to an adjournment. Mr Evans asked if the plan had been con- sidered by any of the members. The Chairman replied that it had been considered by the committee. Asked if that body had made any report thereupon, he said that it simply handed the matter over to that meeting for consideration, without making any comment upon it. Mr Evans characterised it as rather absurd to go to such expense without the committee placing a report before the shareholders. The Chairman said the committee quite approved of the plans as far as it could see, they were correct. Mr Evans respectfully submitted that an adjournment would be the more satisfactory way of bringing that matter to an end, in which objective he was in accord with the chairman. Mr Williams said the matter had been pre- viously threshed out three or four years ago, and had now been under consideration for some six months. He pointed out that pre- vious meetings had not been adjourned be- cause of the absence of members. Mr Lewis said that it might not be con- venient for some of those present that day to attend an adjourned meeting. Dr. O'Donnell asked if it would not be better to adjourn the matter, so that it would not be brought up again. If the proposal were rejected that day there was nothing to prevent it being revived in another three years, if they did not previously hear the other side. Mr Bennett They ought to be here today. Mr Evans They can't. Mr Bennett I don't follow that. Mr Evans If you are summoned you must attend. He contended that proxies were very un- satisfactory, and declared that he did not think that Mr Bennett, himself, would be satisfied to vote by proxy. Mr Bennett moved and Mr Jackson second- ed a motion that the matter be settled that day. Mr Evans moved and Dr. O'Donnell seconded an amendment that the discussion be adjourned for a month. Upon a division being taken only the pro- poser and seconder supported the amendment, and the original motion was accordingly carried. The number of proxies held by those pres- ent having been individually declared, Mr Evans asserted that, whatever might be their number, an adjournment was only fair to those who were absent through no fault of their own. Mr Williams said he did not know that he had ever been considered when he had been absent. Mr Evans characterised the matter as one of vital importance. Mr Williams reiterated that it had been threshed out before. THE SCHEME REJECTED. The Chairman enquired whether or not the meeting was agreeable to carry out the scheme of roofing. Mr Jackson moved and Mr Griffiths second- ed, that it be not proceeded with. Mr Williams said that, provided it were shown to him that it would yeild a return of five per cent, he would be happy to support it, but he could not see at all where any in- creased revenue was to come from. Mr Bennett said he thought that that was the position of most of them. Mr Williams added that he would be satis- fied with five per cent, although some gentle- men who were prominently interested would not support the project unless there were a likelihood of seven or eight per cent being forthcoming. Mr Griffiths remarked that it was for those who advocated that change to show that it would result in increased revenue. Person- ally, he could not see ft. Mr Evans argued that, before the matter was put aside, a committee ought to have been appointed to consider what were the prospects of getting an increased revenue. Neither those in favour of, nor those against the proposition, had any to give in the way of information, and the wiser plan would be to get a sub-committee to report. Mr James (Pantyphilip) Can't you, your- self, give us, some inkling ? Mr Evans: Personally, I base my inclina- tion to favour it as I have such faith in the future. Mr Jackson It doesn't matter as long as we get the money. Mr Williams said there was nothing to prevent outsiders from forming a company for the purpose of iloating a similar scheme. The Chairman said there was an Urban Council: would not it be prepared, he asked, to buy the shareholders out. Mr Evans characterised the suggestion as being not a bad idea." He was proceeding to refer to complaints made during the last month by stall-holders, when the Chairman said he did not think that he could go into that question unless he could quote a concrete case of complaint. Mr Evans asked if there had not been a letter sent. The Clerk said he had received a petition. Mr Evans: Then we are dealing with that now. The Chairman: Certainly. Proceeding, he said the petition was simply a document favourable to the movement of the promoters of that scheme. All those com- plaints had cropped up only at the present moment. He had been chairman and honor- ary treasurer for ten or twelve years, and, during the whole of that period up to about a month, or six weeks ago, there had not been a single complaint. Was not it, he asked, very strange that those complaints and those grievances should occur just at the present moment, more than in the past ? Mr Evans, speaking as a new shareholder said he had never heard an insinuation that the complaint at the last meeting had been got up for the purpose. The Chairman No-one said that. Please don't put it in that form. I said we have had no complaint in regard to the condition of the Market House for the last thirteen years, until the last few months. Mr Evans: I don't know whether you in- tended it, but you made it out to be so. I know nothing of it. He added that if that proposal were rejected nothing would be done to remedy the condition of the floor. The Chairman said that very possibly the committee, who were the managers, would go into the question. Mr Bennett said it was not necessary to spend a thousand pounds in order to remedy a few pools of water. Mr Griffiths said it came within the scheme. Mr Lewis said that the petitioners had known that the shareholders were considering the matter, and had taken advantage of the opportunity, for which he did not blame them. The shareholders must, however, look after their dividends. Mr Williams said the premises were very extensive, and required a large amount of repairs. They could not spend all in one year, and during the last few years the ex- penses had been astounding. Since the Chairman had taken office the market had done very well, aifd they could not do better than continue as at present. The motion rejecting the proposal was carried, the chairman describing the voting as having been fairly unanimous. A MODIFIED SCHEME. There also appeared on the agenda a modi- fied scheme providing for extending the pres- ent roofs in the centre market, repairing the lloor, placing the drains in order, and provid- ing a new door at the corn market, at an estimated total cost of £ 45. The Chairman suggested that, at its next meeting, the committee should reconsider what was really necessary to be done, and that the matter be adjourned in the mean- while. Mr Williams moved, Mr Lewis seconded, and Mr Bennett supported a resolution, which was unanimously adopted, embodying this suggestion and endowing the committee with power to act without limitation as to the extent of the cost. FINANCIAL STATEMENT. The Clerk submitted the annual statement of account, which had been audited by Messrs Williams and Bennett, and from which it ap- peared that the year had commenced with a credit balance of £ 111 8s ol-d, which had been reduced during the twelve months to £ 38 18s 8d. Mr Griffiths remarked that they had had a large revenue, but were left with a very small balance. The proper way to do repairs was out of capital, and not out of revenue, as was at present the case, because under the latter system the shareholders every year lost their dividends. He supposed that the £45 which might be spent by the committee under the resolution just passed would also be taken out of revenue. The Chairman replied that it would unless there were some resolution to the contrary. He pointed out that the Company possessed no reserve fund. People said that they were making a lot of money, and were a very rich Company. They kept on paying a- fair rev- enue, but a certain amount ought to be placed to a reserve as a provision against loss, &c., and to meet outgoings. The Chairman remarked that nearly Cioo had been spent, out of revenue for improve- ments during the past year, but that it would not occur again. He further pointed out that a five per cent. dividend had been paid last year. Mr Lewis expressed the opinion that they might come to an end of their expenditure before long. URBAN COUNCIL'S LACK OF SYMPATHY CRITICISED The Chairman said that those connected with the undertaking were not considering the inter- ests of the town entirely, but in combination their own interests. The town itself, as far as its public authorities were concerned, had not shown that nice feeling towards the undertak- ing that they should have done. The Council had fought the Company upon the question of whether it had a right to collect tolls or not in the town. The Company had shown them the Act, and proved beyond question that it was entitled to take toll from every person who sold anything within the market area. That having been explained, the committee of the Urban Council had been convinced that the Company had proved its rights, vet it had not reported in any paper nor said one word that it had found out that Company was correct. That was a public company inside the Council's area carry- ing on a business, and if the Council harmed the Company it was harming itself, because it harmed the Company's ratepaying abilities. It was rather unfair that the Company should be burdened with opposition when it ought to be fupported. Therefore, he thought that it was full time that the shareholders should endeavour to do their best to carry the work on. He did not want to lose sight of the interests of the town, but they must take care of their own in- terests as well. The accounts were formally adopted, and it was decided, on the motion of Mr Lewis, sec- onded by Mr Jackson, to declare a dividend of 2s 6d per share. Mr Griffiths suggested that, thenceforth, any profits remaining after the payment of a five per cent dividend should be devoted to the creation of a reserve fund. PROSPECTS FOR THE FUTURE. Mr Evans moved, Mr Bennett seconded, and it was unanimously agreed to re-appoint Mr James (Llysyronen) as hon. treasurer for the en- ■ suing year. Mr James said he was pleased, under the pre- sent circumstances, to fall in with the proposi- tion and accept office, although, at the same time, there were some things connected with the affair which were not always pleasant, but he hoped that, for the future, matters would be carried on on more busrness lines, and that every one would take an interest in the Com- pany's affairs. It was a good business under- taking, and was improving with the town, but he thought that it was cautious, correct and right that they shoule not go before the town. They should wait until the town had developed to such an extent as to demand an outlay upon the building. Recently, whilst in the Shire Hall( he had been consulted by the Standing Joint Committee of the County Council which had agreed that the shareholders of that Com- pany could not be expected to take less rent for the use of the Hall as a sessions court than they at present charged. At the same time, how- ever, the Committee had pointed out that, in the near future, th ere would be a sessions house built at andthesessionsmoved to Goodwick Nevertheless, the Chairman pointed out, this would be a matter for the local justices to de- cide, and it must be borne in mind that Good- wick was only one side of the area, whereas Fishguard occupied a central position. If, however, the Hall were retained, the share- holders would have to build a retiring-room. Mr Evaus Hear, hear I think it is abso- lutely essential. The Chairman said he was very glad that Mr Evans did think so, adding that, if they con- sidered those things which were essential, he thought that that little business could be made a great success, and when any gentleman could show a way to increase their revenue the share- holders would be very foolish if they did not adopt it. MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS. On the motion of Mr Jackson, seconded by Mr James (Pantyphillip), the auditors (Messrs T G Bennett and W R Williams) were re-elec- ted. The Chairman in presenting an account of £ 5 ns iod in respect of income tax, said that every improvement which the Company execu- ted was treated by the authorities as an addi- tion to its capital, and consequently increased the amount of the assessment. Mr Jackson pointed out that the authorities did not allow for all that the Company lost through failure to collect toll's—a, loss aggre- gating between £ 20 and £ 30 a year1. The Chairman endorsed Mr Jackson's re- marks, and it was decided, on the motion of Mr James (Pantyphilip), seconded by Mr Griffiths, that the committee be requested to take steps to put the matter in form. THE SLAUGHTER-HOUSE. I The Chairman said they had had a complaint with regard to the Slaughter-house from the Urban Council, and there had been a minimum amount of requirements demanded by the Medical Officer of Health, which they had carried out. The Medical Officer was present, aqd he did not refer to him personally, but he desired to know if it were the shareholders' wish that he should get from him a certificate that these requirements had been fulfilled. Mr Evans It would be on record then. Mr Williams: Particularly after the last de- bate in the Council Chamber. Mr James (Pantyphilip) Is it in a satisfac- tory state now ? Dr. O'Donnell I don't know whether the floor has been finished or not. The Clerk Yes it has, and been paid fcr- 2s lid it cost-(Iau-hter)-for cement and time. The Chairman (to Dr. O'Donnell) Can we expect a report of that kind from you ? The Dr. Yes. I On the suggestion of Mr Evans, it was deci- ded that a formal request be made to the Coun- cil for a certificate to the effect that its require- ments had been complied with. PAYING THE PIPER. The Chairman announced that the commit- tee recommended that the tolls levied in the slaughter-house be increased from is 6d to 2s in respect to beasts, and from 2d to, 3d in respect of sheep and pigs. After the improvements which the Company had been obliged to carry out, together with the introduction of the town supply of water, the Committee had felt that the shareholders would not be justified in that thing without having some extra revenue to put against it, and he thought that the feeling was that, if the butchers refused to pay it, the slaughter-house should be closed. Mr Jackson Yes, that was it. Mr Evans suggested thaf, before taking that extreme step, some means ought to be adopted of coming to some amicable settlement. The Chairman replied that that would be done the Company was only stating its pow- ers. The Doctor had once threatened to close the building and -the committee could have allowed that to take effect had it so chosen. He added that they were losing Y12 a year as a result of the substitution of a water supply from the well, and at present the butchers were contributing nothing towards that expense. The proposal was agreed to, and it was di- rected that the revised tolls should come into operation on February 1st. It was decided that the committee should re- consider the terms upon which the collector was at present employed. The proceedings terminated with a cordial vote of thanks to the Chairman, which was passed upon the initiative of Mr Jackson.

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