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Flintshire County Council.

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Flintshire County Council. Light Railway Scheme: £ 20,000 Contribution. A BRISK DISCUSSION. Lio,ooo Loan and Lio,ooo in Shares. PERSONNEL OF COMMITTEES. "Leave Well Alone." The quarterly meeting 0 fthe Flintshire County Council was held at Mold yester- day, Aid. 1'. J. Gamlin presiding. SELECTIONS COMMITTEE. At an JjILlrJled meeting of the above committee ou edneeday, the 8th April, 1914, the question of the appointment of 1914, the question of tlie appointment of com- mittees was considered. The recommenda- tions ineluded'l) That the number of members be limited on each committee as follows: — Committee, Maui Roads Xo. 1 Sub-Com- mittee to consist or local members; Main Roads -No. 2 Sub-Committee, local mem- bers; Main Roads -No. 3 Sub-Committee, local members; Finance Committee, o; County Rate A*>«e*snient Committee, 10; General Purposes and Executive Commit- tee, 20; Railway Rates and Parliamentary Committee, 20; Mitlwives Sub-Committees, and Old Age Pensions Sub-Committees, re- main as before; Small Holdings, 20; Public Health, Housing and Insurance, 14; River Dee, 14; Education—Medical Inspection, 14; School Management, 20; Higher Edu- cation, 20; Finance, 20; Buildings, 20. (2) That this committee is of opinion that the signing of the County Council cheques by two members of the Council is unnecessary, and they recommend that the practice be discontinued. (3) That the meeting be ad- journed, and that the Clerk present a list of the committees to the next meeting. Mr. ii. U. Evans moved that the whole matter be deferred until 1916. He did not think it was a wis*; policy to interfere with the administration of their work in the middle of a period. They were elected for three years, and almost one half of that period had gone by. He found in going through the list ot committees that one party had a majority on the leading com- mittees. He agreed with the Selection Com- mittee on one point, and that was the link- ing up of committees to prevent over- lapping; but when the committee came to the constitution of the committees they ap- peared to be making for the rocks. At each meeting they had held they came to grief over he one point. He saw that it Wa6 im- possible, except on a party ticket, to come to a right basis. Alderman Alien said he did not think Mr. Evans could rightly say that there was any suggestion of making the committee a party one (hear, hear). Mr. Evans* said the point he wanted to urive home was that it was iinpo-dioie to cany on tne Council except on party lines r -No, no.") Mr. Humphreys (Bagillt): Nonsense Mr. Evans said that all but twu members had come there on the party ticket. it would be far better to leave tiic whole matter until after the next election, wlacti would be the proper time for dealing with the matter. Hie Chairman pointed out that it had a ready been decided by the County Council that a Selections Committee be appointed. Did Mr Evans propose that that resolution be rescinded ? Mr. Evans: Yes. The Chairman said Mr. Evans was out of order. He must give notice of motion to rescind the resolution. Mr. Evans then moved that the confirma- tion of the minutes be deferred until 1916. He appealed to the Council to leave well alone, and said that at the present moment they were working amicably to- gether. There was no seconder. After further discussion the minutes were adopted. THE RIVER DEE PROJECT. At a meeting of the River Dee Committee on May 6tli, the Clerk read to the meeting a communication from Messrs. Martin and Co., solicitors and Parliamentary agents, London, saying they had withdrawn the Bill herein. The Clerk informed the committee that the Joint Committee would meet again immediately on the return of the Chairman, who was abroad. The position of the scheme, etc., was generally discussed. Councillor J. T. Morgans suggested that the Council should engage the services of an independent engineer to report on the whole scheme. Councillor Col. Philips seconded. It being suggested that a notice of motion would probably be sent to the Clerk for the next meeting of the County Council with re- ference to the employment of an independ- ent engineer, the motion was withdrawn. Mr J P. Jones asked how this matter stood at the present moment. He said it was an important question, and affected the best interests of the county. The Chairman stated that a resolution had been passed that they should not pro- ceed with the Bill in the present session, and that a conference with the landowners, etc., should take place at as early a date as possible The Clerk (Mr. H. A. Tilby) said the joint committee decided to appoint a depu- tation to approach the Development Com- missioners with a view of getting better terms than previously offered. Since then a, meeting of the Conservancy Board had been held, and he understood that they had practically approved the recommendations of the joint committee, and agreed to ap- proach the Development Commissioners. MYNYDD BYCHA N LANE. At a meeting of the Main Roads Commit- tee, correspondence was submitted from the Clerk of the Mold Parish Council together with a joint petition addressed to the Coun- ty Council by the Parish Councils of Mold (Rural) and Xorthop. The petition was in the nature of a complaint under Section 16 (1) of the Local Government Act, 1894, with reference to the maintenance and repair of the Mynydd Bychan Lane, which leads from New Brighton to Soughton. The petition- ers contended that it was the duty of the Holywell R. D. Council to maintain and re- pair the lane, but that they had refused to repair same. Resolved that the Clerk com- municate with the Holywell Rural District Council on the subject, and that in the meantime a sub-committee consisting of Alderman F. J. Garnlin and Councillors W. Buckley, G. C. Alletson, C. L. Williams, and Col. Philips be appointed to inspect the lane and report the result of their inquiry with reference thereto. The report of the sub-committee was read, and stated that the petitions of the Parish Councils of Mold and Northop were considered. It was resolved that the Council be recommended to invite a depu- tation from the Holywell Rural Council to meet the members of the sub-committee, such conference to be held at an early date, and that the sub-committee be empowered to act on behalf of the County Council. This was agreed to. MID-FLINTSHIRE LIGHT RAILWAY. At a meeting of the Railway and Parlia- mentary Committee on May 13th, the Clerk reported the receipt of further correspond- ence herein. Messrs Chamberlain and Johnson, solicitors to the promoters, had forwarded copies of communications re- ceived from the Treasury and having refer- ence to the Treasury's offer of financial as- sistance. The Clerk informed the commit- tee that representatives of the promoters were in attendance, if the committee de- sired to hear them. Alderman Allen pro- posed that in view of the terms and figures having been altered that the meeting be ad- journed to further consider the whole mat- ter. and that in the meantime cepie-s of the communications relating to the proposed financial assistance from the Treasury be forwarded to each member of the commit- tee. Col. Philips seconded. Alderman Gamlin moved as an amendment that the deputation be heard. Councillor Clews se- conded. On being put to the meeting the amendment was carried. Mr. E. \Y. Johnson appeared before the committee, and stated the present financial position of tue undertaking. Mr. Johnson added that he had had con- lerences with one of the leading authorities at the Treasury, and the latter had ex- pressed his belief that the undertaking would pay. He (Mr. Johnson) wished to lay emphasis on the fact that the Light Railway Act was passed primarily for the develop- ment of rural districts, and not for the pur- pose of affording facilities for commercial investments. He appealed to the commit- tee to support the scheme. In answer to a question. Mr. Johnston stated that a loan from the Council would rank pari passu with the Treasury's 3-i per cent. loan. Mr. Johnson thanked the Council for afford- ing him an opportunity of further explain- ing the scheme.—It was resolved that the meeting be adjourned until Wednesday, L May 20th. At the meeting of the committee on May 20th, the Clerk read the minutes of the committee at a meeting held on the 13th May. A con munieaion was also read from Mr. E. W. Johnson, together with the fol- lowing statement, viz. "Mid-Flintsiii; e Light Railway—Estima- ted Capital Receipts aliu Expenditure.—Re- ceipts Treasury loan without interest or security, £ 25;0u0; Treasury loan at 3! per cent, interest, to commence 5 years after the opening of the line, £ 20,000; County Council, either in shares or by loan, or part shares and part loan, E20,000; Holy- well Rural District Council, in shares, £ 7,000 Holywell Urban District Council, in shares, £ 3,000; Investment in shares by landowners, promoters and others, including £ 1,000 from Halkyn Mines and E500 from East Halkyn Mines, £ 10,000 total, £ 85,000. Expenditure: Estimated cost of works, ESI,040 06. 5d.; add contingencies, £8,102 19s. 7d. total for works, £ 89,143; add land as per estimate, £ 5,000; total, £ 94,143. To which can be added the value of the guarantee of the L. and N.-W. Ry. Co., of S3- per cent. on a quarter of the capital not exceeding £ 25,000 quite apart from the power of the M. F. L. Ry. Co. to issue pre- ference shares, ranking for dividend imme- diately after the loans, to the value of £10,000 and shares probably taken by con- tractors in part payment, and investment in shares by others than those who can be mentioned at the moment. Note.-The prices for land contained in the deposited estimate are such as might prudentlv be expected to obtain where the landowners are unwilling sellers and where, therefore, compulsory powers must be used and the uttermost paid for severance, etc. The prices contained in the estimate arc therefore not the agriculural values which have been agreed to be accepted in shares by owners of about 70 per cent. of the total area required. One effect is that the amount of actual cash required to be raised is i-e- duced by about £ 2,500. Estimated Revenue and Expenditure: Gross receipts at Cl2 per week mile, £ 6552; if the 3 mile charge for the tunnel be put in force in respect of merchandise and minerals only, the gross receipts would be increased to about £8,000 per annum, and the working cost would not be increased by this addition. Working cost at t7 per week mile, C-3822; balance available for the Mid-Flint Company, £ 2730; total, £ 6552. If the County Council would in the event of their making a loan agree to suspend their Sinking Fund for repay'nent of capi- tal until 3^ per cent. was paid on £ 75,000, i.e., £100,000 less the Treasury Free Loan of £ 25,000, then the L. and N. W. Ry. Co.'e guarantee of interest on £ 25,000 would become approximately worth E22,000, ) which would be available as capital over and above the A:85,000 above mentioned. The sum of £ 2,625 represent8 3i per eent. on L75, 000, Alderman Allen considered that the terms of the County Council had not been com plied with, and he therefore moved that the committee recommend the County Council to take no further action at present. Col. Philips seconded. After a lengthy discussion, Alderman Allen withdrew his motion with the consent of Col. Philips. I Councillor J. P. Jones then moved: "That this committee recommends the County Council to agree to lend to the Mid-Flint Light Railway Company the sum of £ 10,000 at the rate of interest at which the County Council can borrow, but in any case not exceeding four per centum per an- num, such sum of £ 10,000 to be repayable in 30 years by equal half-yearly instalments of principal and interest. And also to in- vest the sum of £ 10,000 in. ordinary shares, but such loan of EIO,000 and such invest- ment of shares arc to be conditional upon the company raising the capital sum of £ 100,000 (including the loans from the Treasury and the terms provided by loan or shares, by the Local Authorities) required for the carrying out of the works specified in the Draft Order of the Light Railway Commission." Councillor Col. Philips moved as an amendment that the Council shall take pre- amendment that the Council shall take pre- ference shares and not ordinary shares. Councillor Buckley Jones seconded. On being put to the meeting six voted in favour of the amendment and six against. The Chairman gave his casting vote in favour of Councillor's J. P. Jones' motion. The resolution was then put to the meeting and carried. At yesterday's meeting of the Council, Mr. Buckley moved that the minutes be referred back for further consideration. He said the position had changed very conside- rably since the scheme was first before the Council. At that time they were told that there was a free grant from the Treasury. I There was no free grant. In addition to that the financial position had "been chang- ing constantly, and it seemed to have changed since the committee met. He had received—as he supposed other members had received-a circular which stated that it was proposed to issue preference shares. He thought that if it had been known that preference shares were to be issued, the committee would not have recommended the Council to put in F-10,000 in ordinary shares. In the latest estimate it was stated that the capital to be raised was £ 95,000. The cost of the line was to be over £ 94,000, and they knew that as a rule file experience was not that estimates were kept well within the limits, but very much the reverse. He moved an amendment that the matter be re- ferred back to the committee for further consideration, and that no further action be taken by the Council until certain stated conditions had been complied with, includ- iiig an undertaking that the contract for the construction of the line be let to open com- petition, and that the contractor should not be required or expected to take any shares in part payment. Col. Philips, in seconding, said he hoped that the County Council would consider this matter very carefully. lie did not think there was a single member of the Council who had the smallest idea as to the real financial position of the scheme. He was speaking to a member of the Council the other day, who said it was "worth the gamble." They had no right to gamble, there was not a single member of the Coun- cil who would personally put a halfpenny into the scheme under the present circum- stances. Aid. S. Perks said he did not think the Council were justified in committing the ratepayers to expenditure on a scheme of this kind, when they considered that the general expenditure of the Council was in- creasing. It was stated that Mr. E. W. Johnson, of Llandudno, solicitor to the promoters, was present, and on the motion of Mr. Elford H. Roberts he was asked to answer certain questions relating to the project. In reply to questions, Mr. Johnson said he understood the Council's offer was to con- tribute E20,000 subject to E100,000 being raised altogether, and he was prepared to accept that offer on the conditions that no preference shares be issued, and that the contractor should not be required to accept shares in part payment of his contract. Mr. W. Y. Hargreaves asked Mr. John- son if he would be willing to go on with the Bill if the Council decided to advance the whole of the money by way of loan. Mr. Johnson replied that it would make his road more difficult. Mr. Frank Jones, supporting the scheme, said he thought that was not too big a price to pay for the development of the county. Mr. E. G. Evans said there were certain members of the Council who wanted to block every scheme for the development of the county. He asked them to take a broad view of this matter—not to look at it each from his own little cockpit, as most of the members were doing (laughter). They had I wasted far too much time. The course was clear, and the County Council ought to help J forward a scheme which would ultimately I develop the internal part of the county. Mr. Elford Roberts remarked that they were not there to allow certain gentlemen to oppose, by all manner of subterfuges and pretences, a scheme of vital importance to the county. Was it not time to look at the matter seriously and stop trifling with it? The amendment was defeated, only 15 members voting for it. Ald. R. Allen moved a further amendment that the minutes be confirmed, with the ad- dition of the conditions mentioned in Mr. Buckley's amendment, and which had been agreed to by Mr. Johnson. This amendment was seconded by Mr. Elford Roberts and carried. The following minutes of committees were adopted:— PROPOSED RAILWAY STATION AT FFYNNONGROEW. Report of the chairman of the interview with Sir Robert Turnbull, the general manager of the London and North-Western Railway Company, on April 16th. The de- putation expressed thanks to Sir Robert Turnbull for his courtesy in receiving the deputation, and for his kindness in afford- ¡ ing facilities for travel, and proceeded to urge the need for a railway station at Ffyn- nongroew. The deputation represented:— (1). That there had been a widespread and long continued demand by the inhabitants for a station. (2). That recently 1,000 adult peisons had petitioned the company to erect a station. (3). That the neighbourhood shows growth, and it is estimated that de- velopment would be at a more rapid rate if railway communication were more satis- factory. (4). That the population of Ffyn- JHflgroew lies right along the side of the railway line, and that there is no place Le- tween Eustou and Holyhead with so large a population which is not served by a railway station. (5) That the engineering difficul- ties were not serious enough to prevent a great Corporation agreeing to comply with the obviously reasonable request of the in- habitants. (6) That they were not prepared to admit that Mostyn and Talaere Stations could be said to reasonably serve the wants of the locality. In conclusion, your deputation ventured to remind Lie London and North-Western Kailway Company through Sir Robert Turnbull—that the late Sir Frank Ree, when opening the railway to Dyserth and Cwin, stated "That it was part of the settled policy of the London and North-Western Railway Company, that they should give to those districts which were entirely depend- ent upon them for means of travelling—to give them at least as good a service as the most competitive district on the line had." The members of the deputation fully be- lieved that the same policy still prevailed and therefore, with confidence, they asked that the L and N.-W. TIly. Co. should frank- ly face the geographical or other difficulties and supply a station at this part of their line where there is so large a population. Sir Robert Turnbull in reply stated that the question had been before the company on several occasions, but 60 far, the com- pany have felt that it was not economically wi-e to undertake the expense involved in the construction of a station. He was pre- pared to try a road motor service, passing from Mostyn to Dyserth, through Ffynnon- groew, and serving some of the outlying parishes, but as the members of the depu- tation did not appear to welcome the sug- gestion, Sir Robert Turnbull stated that he would again ask the company's engineers to report as to the practicability of the erec- tion of a railway station at a moderate out- lay and would submit same for decision, but pending the erection of a station, he was inclined to temporarily try a road motor service. Thanks to Sir Robert Turnbull— expressed by the Vice-Chairman and myself —concluded the interview. (Signed) F. J. GAMLIN, Chairman of Flintshire County Council. ISOLATION HOSPITAL. At a meeting of the Public Health and Housing, and Insurance Committee, cor- respondence was submitted from the Holy- well Rural District Council, stating that before they could commit themselves to any proposal they desired to be informed of the outline of the scheme, the probable cost, the proportion in which the expense will be met and any further information bearing on the subject. The Medical Officer reported that the owner of the property he had in view was not prepared to sell same as a hospital. After discussion, Alderman Gamlin pro- posed, Alderman Allen seconded, and it was resolved that the Medical Officer, in conjunction with the County Surveyor, be requested to prepare alternative schemes for three and four localities, and submit same, with a full report and provisional estimate, to this committee. ROAD BOARD GRANTS. At a meeting of the Main Roads Commit- tee, the Clerk reported that he had com- municated with the Chairman and Vice- Chairman of the County Council, and the Chairmen of the Main Roads Committee, Sub-Committees, and Finance Committee stating that as a result of further corres- pondence the Road Board had agreed to make an additional grant of £ 817, and in order that the Surveyor might take advan- tage of all fine weather he (the Clerk) re- quested that the Surveyor be authorised to accept contracts for tarspraying. The chair- men had all agreed to this suggestion. Re- solved that the action of the Clerk be ap- proved. The Clerk also reported the result of the interview of Councillor Peel and himself with the Road Board officials on the 20th April. The Board had promised a sum of £ 6,000 grant (and would probably make a loan free of interest) towards the Rhyl to Gronant road proposed improvement. The Clerk had made an analysis of the grants given by the Board for road reconstruction to other counties, and he was of opinion that this Council should receive larger grants. With regard to the Holywell- Northop road, the Board were not prepared to make a further grant. Resolved that the committee regret the decision of the Road Board, and that they be asked to reconsider the question, and, if necessary, to receive a deputation consisting of the Right Hon. J. Herbert Lewis, M.P., Mr. T. H. Parry, Esq., M.P., and Alderman F. J. Gamlin, Councillor Hugh Peel, the Clerk and Sur- veyor. The Clerk informed the Main Roads Committee that the grants promised for the year 1914-15 would now be as follows:—Tar spraying, estimated cost E4366, Road Board grant, £ 3000 improvement of Manor Bridge E230, £ 115; improvement of Bangor Bridge, £ 320, £ 160; improvement at Penypalment, £ 61, £ 30; total, £4977, £ 3305. Alderman F. J. Gamlin proposed, Coun- cillor E. G. Evans seconded, and it was unanimously resolved that this committee desire to express their appreciation of the services rendered by Councillor Hugh Peel and the Clerk in obtaining an increased grant from the Road Board in respect of I tar spraying, and that the thanks of the committee be recorded on the minutes.

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