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LLAKTRISAKT SCHOOL BOARD.

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LLAKTRISAKT SCHOOL BOARD. FIRST MEETING OF THE NEW BOARD. The first meeting of this board after the election was held on Friday, at the Parish Offices, Llan- trisant, when there were present:—Messrs J. P. Williams (the only member of the old board who had been returned), Z. A. Cooke, E. M. Phillips, A. H. Sims, M. R. Rowlands, J. P. Gibbon, O. Williams, T. John, and D. Davies; with the clerk (Mr W. John, Brynteg.) On the motion of Mr J- P. Williams, seconded oyMr E. M.Phillips, Mr W. John, the clerk, was elected chairman | jpro tern. "pro tern. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN. Mr John having taken the chair, explained that the first business of the meeting was to elect a chairman for the ensuing three years.—Mr M. H. Rowlands proposed the election of Mr Sims, who was the highest on the poll at the election.—Mr E. M Phillips seconded.—Mr Sims thought it would be better for the board if an older man was put in the chair, for he (the speaker) knew nothing at all of the business of the board, being new to the work.—Mr J. P. Williams said if they would allow him, so long as Mr Sims had made those very wise remarks, and as there was a gentleman present who had been a member of the board before in the person of Mr Cooke, a gentleman of education, and one who was in every way qualified to perform the duties of chairman, he (Mr Williams) would take the liberty to move that Mr Cooke be chairman for the next threejyears.— Mr J. P. Gibbon seconded.—Mr E. M. Phillips moved as an amendment that Mr M R. Rowlands be chairman.—Mr Sims seconded.—Mr T. John -asked would it not be advisable that the chairman of the board be acquainted with the Welsh language. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of Welsh speaking people in this parish, and a case. might crop up when it would be necessary for the chairman of the board to be able to speak both languages.—Mr D. Davies did not exactly agree with Mr John. He did not think it was necessary that the chairman should be able to speak both languages. They would not come in -contact with people referred to except in their deliberations on the board, and in that case all understood Welsh except Mr Cooke. The fact that Mr Cooke stood so high on the poll, considering that he was returned without colliery influence,for he was not connected with a colliery, showed that he was higly respected in the parish, and he fully concurred with Mr J. P. Williams that Mr Cooke would be an admirable chairman.—Mr J. P. Williams thought he was entitled to speak in that matter, but he did not think it would be wise to "discuss the question. He would, however, remark that it would be difficult for them to say anything in Welsh that Mr Cooke did not understand. The Chairman I would not advise anybody to scold Mr Cooke in Welsh. (Laughter).—Mr Cooke: Does the person nominated vote or abstain from voting? -The Chairman I would say he would vote for himself. (Laughter and hear, hear.)-The votes were then taken, when four were found to be in favour of Mr Rowlands, and five for Mr Cooke.— The latter was, therefore declared elected.—Mr C joke then took the chair, and said he was exceed- ingly obliged to the board for the honour done him. Only a short time ago he had no intention of becoming even a member of the board, but now that he had been returned, and elected their chair- man, he would endeavour at all times to maintain the efficiency-he was almost going to say, the dignity—of the board, and he trusted that nothing personal would be introduced, for their object should be the education of the children of the parish, and although those gentlemen had lost the vote in the election of chairman, he trusted that they would be loyal to him, and assist as much as they could in carrying on the work. It had been said that very little work had been done by the last board, and that much was left to do now. He trusted, therefore, that the members of the new board would sympathise with him in the effort to do as much as possible, consistent with efficiency, without fear or favour, with the single hope of doing justice, with the simple desire of raising the character and tone of the schools. They ought as parishioners to endeavour to do that, and as far as possible to raise the moral tone of schools. He knew he was treading on delicate ground, but a high tone of morality in the schools wa, necessary, and schoolmasters, instead of showing bad example, should be called upon to set a good one, and if they did not do that their places should be exchanged. (Hear, hear.) ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN. The Chairman said the next business was to proceed with the election of vice-chairman.—Mr Rowlands proposed the election of Mr Sims, remarking that as that gentleman had refused the chairmanship, he thought he certainly ought to accept this position.—Mr D. Davies seconded.- The motion was unanimously agreed to.—Mr Sims, on taking the vice-chair, said he was sorry that h:: was not possessed of the great flow of eloquence which the chairman evidently had, but as they had elected him vice-chairman, he assured them that nothing would be wanting on his part in endeavouring to follow in the footsteps of the <chairman, and assisting, as far as he could, in carrying out the important programme laid down by the chairman in his opening speech. He thoroughly agreed with the chairman as to the necessity of maintaining a high tone of morality in the schools, and he thought that that was a matter which required looking into,for he believed that board schools were far from jwhat they ought to be in that respect. THE JOINT BOARD MEMBERSHIP. The Chairman asked who had been elected to represent that board on the Llanwonno board.— The Clerk replied that Mr H. Thomas and himself had been elected.—Th Chairman replied that, without any prejudice to Mr John, he did not see why one of the members was not elected.—The Clerk said that at one time it had been so, Mr Ishmael Williams being representative at that time, but the change was made in order to try to get people from the locality. SALARIES OF TEACHERS. I' The amount of salary paid to an assistant teacher was incidentally mentioned, and it being I said that that particular item was lower than that [ usually paid to teachers under the board, Mr Rowlands asked why such was the case. He did not consider it honest oil the part of the board to pay less to one teacher than the others.-The Chairman thought the pre-; nt scale of the board might be high. It was a matter which the whole of the board ought to go into—the question of expendi- ture, not merely the salaries, but the whole of the funds of the board.—Mr Sims said that other boards had not only given figures in their triennial report, but the inspector's reports, per- centages, and other matters of interest, whereas in the report of this board just issued, there was no information of that kind. He thought it was un- satisfactory, but in order to make these things something like understandable they ought to have things such as other boards were giving.—The Clerk said that he asked the last board before taking"tlie copy to the printer, and he supposed Mr Williams would remember, whether he should print the reports of the inspectors, and the board thought it was not necessary. J. P. Williams said they fully expected a much fuller report than they had obtained, but as to the details mentioned bv Mr Sims the board did think it would be swel- ling the book very much and unnecessary, but they left it to Mr John and Mr Lewis, but he thought there were some figures m the book about Cymmer school not exactly coriecu. The Clerk :s:1id that the explanation of that was this—the school year terminated on the 3lst-ot May,whereas the accounts were up to the 29th of September, and of course, in consequence th" reports gave the total grants for the previous year, because the grants for 1888 never came to hanu till July or August.-Mr J. P. Gibbon thoroughly agreed with the Vice-chairman as to the contents of the reports. He would like if something could be done to place the board in possession of the necessary information as to the cost per head,what "was the percentage presented for ex unination, percentage of passes, and grants per head.—The Chairman said that the fragmentary character of the report did not seem to give satisfaction, and it had been explained by the clerk that the last board thought that it was unnecessary to give the details that we now suggested. Very likely the -clerk had been guided by the feeling of the board if jf v in that matter, and that the board at that time did think it unnecessary, but he must say that it showed a want of public spirit and wantof respect to the ratepayers, and if they requested Mr John to furnish them with the figures he would be able to do so now the next board.—The Clerk: Do you require it for the last three years.-The Chair- man Yes.-The Clerk It will entail a great deal of work.—The Chairman: Work, or not, if they require it it must be done, and whether they request it to be done for three years or one year.— Mr J. P. Williams said he must defend the old board. They wanted to get the substance of the resolution passed at the Tonyrefail meeting carried out in the report.—The Chairman: Then you really do lay more blame upon the shoulders of the clerk.-The Vice-chairman: I cannot say that exactly. I must stand in support of the clerk, because if it were the wish of the board he would have carried it out. If it was only a matter of a couple of pounds, I think it ought to have been done, and I think it ought to be done still.—Mr Gibbon: I am prepared to move a resolution to the effect that we get the additional particulars.—Mr Phillips seconded, and suggested that they be pre- pared in the same way as that of Ystradyfodwg.— Mr Rowlands supported, and remarked that both the Llanwonno and Ystradyfodwg reports were much more satisfactory than their report.—After rsome further conversation, it was decided that the report need not give all the particulars for three years, but the general details would do of one year, and the percentage of passes for three years. PLACE OF MEETING TO BE CHANGED. The Chairman said, as regards the time and place of meeting, he should like to elicit the feel- ing of the Board. First of all, dealing with the time, he asked whether the first Friday in the month was the best day. For himself it was not. Tuesday or Thursday would be better.—Mr J. P. Williams proposed that the same hour and day be fixed for the next three years.—Mr Sims: Better leave that alone, for I have a motion to bring for- ward as to the place.—Mr D. Davies thought they would be too selfish in having the meetings alto- gether at Cymmer. He would be satisfied himself if the meetings were alternately held at Cymmer, although there were seven from the upper part of the district, and only two from Llantrisant.—Mr Rowlands quite agread with what Mr Davies had said.—The Vice-chairman said they had taken the words out of his mouth, but he really thought they ought to hold meetings alternately at Cymmer and Llantrisant.—The Chairman thought they should only take into consideration utility, kindness, and justice. He admitted that there were seven to two of the members from the upper part, but he hoped that they would also remember that the meetings had been held here ever since the estab- lishment of the board. The parish offices were here; the books of the board were here; and the clerk was here. To him, of course, there was a little sentiment in the matter as well, and although he could not expect the other members to feel as he did, still he hoped they would deal liberally with the two whojlived afJLlantrisant and he ap- pealed to them to confer a favour upon the two without injuring the seven by making a little extra e.fort to come to Llantrisant. If they could give more than half he would be obliged, but he hoped, at all events, that they would be generous enough to give them half.—Mr T. John was in full sym- pothy with the chairman on this question, and he might remark that he had been speaking to some of the members, and he had every confidence that they would deal liberally with them, and give Llantrisant alternate meetings. The gentlemen who came from the other parts of the parish were in better circumstances than they in Ltantrisant, for they were most of them under companies, who would not begrudge them a horse and trap to carry them to the meetings, but they in Llantrisant had no one to grant them such a boon. (Laugh- ter.)-The Chairman said it would be very pleasant in the summer time for them to come to the old town.-The Vice-chairman said it was not so much the trouble and expense, but that the whole day had to be given to it. Everyday had its work, and if they threw away a day to come to Llantri- sant thsy would have to make it up during other days of the week.—Mr J. P. Williams proposed that every other meeting be held at Cymmer on the same day and time.—Mr Gibbon quite agreed with the chairman and Mr John, and hoped the members would, at all events, fall in with the pro- posal to hold the meetings alternately here, if not altogether. He and Mr John had seen the vicar, and they could have the use of the National School at Cymmer if they wanted it, because it would be more convenient, as the board school was farther from the railway station.—Mr Rowlands wished to pay for the room, and to make it a rule that their rooms should be always charged for.—Mr Gibbon certainly did not object to that. He would himself prefer holding the meetings in their own schoolroom, because they would then be under no obligation, but at the same time the vicar had said that he would give the schoolroom at Cymmer free to the board because the board granted him the free use of their schools.—Mr Rowlands (to Mr J. P. Williams): I an surprised that you did not see that, Mr Williams.—Mr Gibbon proposed that the meetings be held in the class-room of the board school.—Mr Rowlands seconded.—The Chairman saH he was perfectly friendly with everything con- nected with the church friends, but he con- curred with Mr Gibbon and Mr Rowlands and Mr Rowland that if they could adopt their own premises they would be at home, and if they had to furnish the room it would be on their premises, instead of having it on other people's premises, which would be the case if they took the national school.—Mr J. P. Williams said he was not strong upon the question of place, but would fall in with the motion made by Mr Gibbon.—Mr D. Davies agreed, and the motion was agreed to unani- mously. THE ELECTION EXPENSES. The Clerk reported that the returning officer's bill for conducting the recent election was £ 1231/3. -Some of the items were criticised, Mr T. John being of opinion that the previous board had boen able to reduce the presiding officers' fees from two guineas to 25s.—The Clerk referred to the bill for previous election, which showed that Mr John's contention was not correct. It was also stated by the clerk that the Education Department had sent out rules as to the charges which could be made for conducting these elections; and on Mr Sims checking some of the amounts, it was found that the charges were in accordance with the circular. -The bill was, therefore, ordered to be paid. SCHOOL MANAGEMENT. Mr Gibbon said he objected to what was termed single member management of schools, and he thought it would be well to leave the control of the cleaning, lighting, and heating of the schools to the local managers, but that those managers should be a committee, and not simply members from the locality.—It was then decided that Gilfach Goch, Williamstown, and Dinas should be under the management of Messrs Phillips, e. Williams, and M. R. Rowlands. Cymmer Schools, Messrs D. Davies and Sims. Penrhiwfer, Messrs Gibbon and J. P. Williams. Beddau and Miskin, Messrs Gibbon, John, and the Chairman. [ PAYMENT FOR THE USE OF SCHOOLS. In reply to Mr Rowlands, the chairman said it had been the custom at this board to let the parishioners have the free use of the sshools for certain purposes.—Mr J. P. Williams said there was a resolution on the book that no school be let to anybody for more than six months, and if wanted for a longer period that it must be applied for again.—Mr Rowlands said he wished the schools to be paid for whenever let. Williamstown School had been let for religious services on Sun- days and week days for a long time; and Dinas School had been used by the churchpeople for over 14 years. He did not object to it at all, but pro- pose that all schools used for religious and other purposes be paid for.—Mr Sims: Do you in- clude in that the holding of concarts?—Mr Row- lands: Yes.—Mr Gibbon: Or meetings?—Mr Rowlands Yes, everything to be paid for.—Mr T. John thought that was rather hard lines. The schools were the property of the parish, and he thought the parishioners had a right to use them in a respectable way. Supposing they wanted to hold a concert in Tonyrefail for any charitable cause, he thought it would be rather hard to charge. —Mr Rowlands Everything will come to the 11 same place exactly if all have to pay.—Mr J. P. Williams: I am strongly against the principle of paying at all. I should be in favour of giving three months' notice to all religious parties that "), I are holding their meetings in our schools, that in ) future the schools shall not be given for such pur- poses, but any party in the neighbourhood asking for the loan of the schools for a concert or meeting at night, I think it would be rather hard to refuse. -Mr Rowlands: We are only adopting the same principle as other boards; of course if we come across a case where we should be lenient, we need not make the charge more than 5s.—Mr J. P. Williams I don't think it is a custom in other parishes. It may be in Ystrad.—Mr Rowlands said in such a case as he had quoted, where one party had had the use of the school for fourteen years, it was unfair to others who had had to build chapels and churches that such concessions should be made to one denomination.—Mr J. P. Williams said he was against holding religious services at all in the schools.—Mr Rowlands I am not against holding them when it is a conveni- ence, but let them pay for the use of the schools. Take that chapel of yours at Tonyrefail, it cost you £1200, and the interest, at 5 per cent. would come to dE50, and if these had not our schools they would probably have to pay the same, and why should they have it ? There is money col- lected in all our localities towards the chapels, and while others are allowed to use the schools in this way they will never build.—Mr D. Davies The place is overburdened with chapel debts really.—Mr Rowlands The ratepayersjof Llan- trisant are overburdened too.—Mr D. Davies said if they could allow the use of the schools for Sunday school classes, they must consider that they were all working for the common good.—Mr Sims thought it was rather hard to have to pay for a concert which might be held for a charitable purpose, but he thought that any religious sect which was allowed to hold services in their schools ought to pay, and would pay if it were put to them. He thought the rule should be applied, whether they were church or nonconformists, that they should pay a fair rental for the use of the rooms.—Mr Williams proposed that the matter be put down for discussion at the next meeting.— The Chairman said that all they had to to do was to act kindly and considerately. He was against Mr Rowlands in some things, but he felt that the points he had advanced were of such importance that they must be fully ventilated on some future occasion.—Mr Rowlands then gave notice of motion to bring the matter forward at the next meeting. SCHOOL ATTENDANCE. The school attendance officers (Messrs W. Davies and J. Davies) presented their reports, and several summonses were ordered to be taken out against parents who neglected to send children regularly to school. THE NEW RATE. The estimate for the cnrrent half year, pre- sented by the clerk, was £ 2,700.—The Chairman asked whether it was necessary to issue a precept at this meeting.—Mr J. Morgan, assistant over- seer, was called in, and said that it was advisable to do so as soon as possible. He could, perhaps, wait until the next meeting.—The Chairman said the rates were very high, and the ratepayers were expecting a reduction. Sevenpence in the £ was decidedly high, and if they could reduce they should do so. There was no need to demand a higher sum from the parish than was absolutely necessary. Could they defer making the precept until after they had gone' fully into the financial position of the board, so as to see if they could make any reduction ?—Mr J. P. Williams said it would scarcely do to make a small rate this half- year, and double it the next half-year.— The Chairman quite agreed that it would not do to make a 31d rate to-day,and then this day 6 months a 7d one.—Mr T. John said that the last board reduced it to 51d and then had to go up to 7d the next half-year, and it only made people grumble. -The Clerk suggested that £1,000 was absolutely necessary, but if they wanted to equalise the rate, it would be advisable to make a call for more.- Mr Gibbon proposed £ 1,500.—Mr J. P. Williams seconded.-The Chairman suggested £ 1200.—-Mr Rowlands agreed with the mover and seconder, because if they made a great reduction this half- year, and went up next half-year,people would say that they were showing off.— The Chairman moved that a f 1,200 precept be issued.—Mr J. P. Williams: If you do that you will have to make one for £ 2,000 next time.—The Vice-chairman hoped that by the next half-year they would be able to make some reduction in the expenditure.- The Chairman Yes, and raise the amount of the earnings.—Mr Rowlands was afraid it would be £2,500 next time if they only had JE1,200 now.- Mr D. Davies suggested £ 1,300.—Mr Gibbon said £ 1,500 would be only 4Jd in the £ as the rateable value had increased lately.—The Chairman's amendment was not seconded, and Mr Gibbon's proposition was, therefore, agreed to. A COMPLAINT. A lengthy letter was read from Mr David Davies, Cymmer, complaining of punishment to which his boy had been subjected at school.—The matter will be considered at a special meeting of the board to be held at Cymmer for another purpose. THE NEW EDUCATION CODE. The Vice-chairman drew attention to the necessity fer holding a conference of the board and their teachers to discuss the new code, and pro- posed that the same be held.—Mr J. P. Williams seconded, and it was carried, a special meeting to be held at Cymmer. A SCHOOL WANTED FOR DANCING. Mr O. Williams said he had been requested to bring forward an application from some people who wanted the use of Williamstown school for a dance.-A somewhat amusing discussion followed, some of the members jocularly supporting the application, while others strongly objected, and ultimately the aplication was refused. CONTINUATION SCHOOLS. A memorial re continuation schools (which has been presented at other boards) was read by the Chairman.—Mr Sims objected to it on the ground that it was a hardship on children to refuse to allow them to work until they were 13 Years of age.—Mr O. Williams, Mr J. P. Williams, and Mr D. Davies concurred, and the matter was deferred. APPOINT MEXT OF COMMITTEES. Mr Rowlands pointed out that a great deal of time was wasted by the board in going into details which could be dealt with effectively and expedi- tiously by committees. In the Ystradyfodwg board, for instance, where there was a great deal of work to do, they dealt with all the business in two hours or two hours and a half, whereas here they had been six hours already.—Mr 0. Williams considered that the time taken was unreasonably long, and if they could expedite matters, he thought they ought to.—Mr Rowlaods proposed, and Mr Sims seconded, that a finance committee, school attendance committee, and school management committee be appointed.—The Chairman said this was their first meeting, and he did not think they would be so long in future.—The Clerk feared it would be impossible to carry on the work in that room if they had three committees sitting.—Ulti- mately, it was decided to appoint only two com- mittees, namely, finance and management, the board being divided into two committees to sit at the same time. This concluded the business.

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