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L' or °. WHO ARE THE SCHOOL BOARD? FURNISHING ORDERS FOR THE NEW SCHOOLS. HOW ARE THEY SERVED OUT? Another remarkable incident showing the Tooley-street methods of conducting the Barry School Board business was disclosed at the last meeting, on Thursday in last week, held under the Wresidency of Captain R. Davids, the others present being the Rev W, Williams, Dr P. J. O'Donnell, Messrs John Reea and Peter Wright—a bare quorum. The following report was preaeuted by the "Furnishing Sub-Committee Present—Mr John Lowdoo (in the chair), aud Dr W. Lloyd-Edwards. (1) ''The requisitions for furnishing Hannah-1 street Schools were examined and passed, and the clerk was given the necessary orders to supply. (2) Dr Edwards and the clerk were authorised to order pictures for the schools, to the value of not exceeding 96 for each Department." Dr O'Donnell Besides wanting to know why the information given in the Sub-Committee's report was so very meagre, also wanted to know when such a committee was appointed. Captain Davies This is a very old committee. It was appointed before the fnrniahiug of Romilly- road Schools. Dr O'Donnell: I understand there was only one member present with the clerk, while there" ere six members on the former committee. Captain Davies: No, no. Dr 0 Donnell Well, sir, I have looked up a minute of this Committee, and I find that they are not emp >v:ered to spend any money or give any order, and I also looked up the minute of the last Furnishing Sub-committee, and then we invited tenders from various firms before making the selection. Captain Davies All the furniture ? Dr O'Donnell Yes. Captain Davies Have you any record of it ? Dr 0 Donnell: Yes, it is in the minutes. Mr John Rees said the tenders were examined by The Committee and afterwards submitted to the Board, who confirmed their recommendations. Dr 0 Donnell: We have ne account to whom these orders are given to, and there was a great difference between the prices last time. I claim that these orders have been given without any confirmation of the Committee's action. Mr John Rees and yourself are members of the Committee, besides Air David Lloyd and Mr Peter Wright. Captain Davies: Did they all have notice to attend ? « Mr John Rees I had notice, but could not attend. The Rev W. Williams said by the Standing Orders two members formed a quorum conse- quently, be did not see how they could do anything in the matter. For his own part, he happ> n-d t » be at the offices one day in the previous week whe he met Mr Legard, and he toll him they must Imv.■ two class-rooms furnished in the new schools at once. In fact, the inspector had even goue so far as to enter it on the log-book, and lie wanted to b., 1 satisfied that the Board had done, or attempted to do, all that he required of it. As for the Fu. roll- ing Committee, he believed, as a member < f ti e Board, he had had no voice in the question of furnishing the other schools. Dr 0 Donnell You are referring to Palmers. town-road Schools. There was a committee then. Captain Davies: The Committee has done all th work of selection, and it is the fitult (,f the members if they do not attend. Dr 0 Donnell: W hat Mr Williams says is allright, but this committee is appointed for several months, and now within three weeks or a month of openit g the schools they are in a harry and sprend tl-e whole thing over several furnishing firms. I don't know what is ordered, or from what firms. I have no information in the report. The Clerk said the Chairman asked him to call a meeting of the Committtee to make arrangenies.ts for furnishing. The Rev W. Williams asked if this Committee bad been appointed a 1< ng time ago, why they hai not gone into the Matter before ? Dr O'Donnell What I object to is that a Com- mittee of one should have power to purchase the whole of the requirements for a large school like Hannah-street, and after having do e so to men- tion it to the Board, without the requisition- beIng examined by the Board and assented to. This i» done, too, in the face of the face that thf 1-ist time we saved a lot of money in connection wi'h Palmerstown-road Schools. Th-n what I Is. object to is that a committee appointed to select furniture, with no power to spend money, shoul come here with this meagre report after Ilavi, I exceeded those powers. Captain Davies Dosn't; it amount to this these two members attended and the others did not and now you object. I think it haroly fair to blame them for doing their work afterwards. Dr O'Donnell I don't blame them. I object to the minutes. Captain Davies: You want detailed lists of prices. Dr O'Donnell: Certainly. The Clerk said he had distributed the orders, as the responsibility was thrown upon him of picking out the best prices. It was regarded as an nl gent matter, and he spent a good many days in the interests of the Board and in the interests of economy, and he claimed to have done his best under the circumstances. Mr Legard came to him personally and gave him to understand that they must proceed at once with the opening of Hannah- street Schools. He had copies of correspondence with the various firms. aal their prices were stated on the duplicate orders for every article. Captain Davies: The Committee made the selection. Dr 0 Donnell: No, sir. The Clerk tells us now that he has had to use his discretion in the matter. Captain Davies put the matter as to whether the Board were in favour of adopting the minutes, and three voted in its favour, viz., Captain Davies, Rev W. Williams, and Mr John Rees. Dr 0 Donnell: I object to this, air. They should be referred back for re-consideration. Captain Davios (to the clerk): Take a note of Dr O'Donnell's objection. Mr Peter Wright I must agree with Dr O'Donnell. Captain Davies. You are out of order. We have passed the minutes. Mr Wright I am against it. I don't like to criticise the action of the committee, as only tw, attended. I agree that these two are perf. ctly honest in the transaction, but at the same time you must admit with Dr O'Donnell that there is not sufficient information in these minutes to justit) the Board in passing them. And if (as Dr O'DoDneil says) there was only one member present, it makes matters still worse. Captain Davies That is wrong. I have it ou the authority of the Chairman that there wen; two there. Dr O'Donnell Where was the meeting held ? The Clerk I can explain the circumstanc. a Dr O'Donnell: Can't the clerk say where the meeting was held ? I cl Captain Davies (to the clerk) Where was the meeting h^ld ? The ( ierlj In Mr Lowdon's offices. Dr O'Donnell I thought so. Captain Davies: There is nothing wrong in that. Dr O'Donnell What took place was this A eommittte meeting was called. Dr Edwards and the clerk" ere present, and they went afterwards to Mr Lowdon's office, and they got him to consider n' the business with them. The Clerk •. Dr O'Dounell's statement i. not correct. Dr O'Doiziell: I accept the clerk's statement. The Williams desired to speak, but the Chairman ruled bim out.of order, and the motion was then put for the adoption of the Sub. Committee's report, the. sam three memb ra vntiug in its favour as before, Dr U Bom,ell and Mr Pettr Wright-constituting the minority.of two.

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