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9■•' Gellygaer Bricklayer…

--Gellygaer District Council…

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Gellygaer District Council Election. THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE LONG HEADS AND SHORT HEADS. Many try to associate municipal or district councils with politics. It is done mainly to lead people off the scent. It is a game which has been playe<^so long that, happily, it is los- ing its power to gull people. Inasmuch as a jus- tice o[ the peace, be he Radical or Tory, has to administer justice according to laws laid down, and as his Toryism or Radicalism is an impotent force on the Bench, so, in the same way, and for the same reasons, councillors in administering the pow srs entrusted to them, caii neither be Liberals nor Tories. If municipal af- fairs are to be run on party lines then the vari- ous candidates might well fall into the two suitable denominations of Short Heads and Long Heads, or short-seeing and far-seeing. existing .Gellygaer Urban District Qotut- "ifornS eijiBttifrit SMi "djiptf1 '■devoted'Vuhgrudgingly thieiir tirhe' and* get'things''oiraii' ih't^lli- gent and just basis that the administration might work smoothly. It has taken a lot of tima, of thought, and of courage. There are amongst them men who clearly have not the gifts of administrators—but they are in-they were put in and will remain in until put out. But taking the Council as a whole, it does not average the ability of Caerphilly. I proclaim this fact publicly, for the press has a public duty as well as a Council. I proclaim it because, in the interests of the district, I want the good made better. And I mention it also because I see every sign of the danger that the present Council may not be succeeded by a better, but by a much inferior one. Inferior in experience, and inferior in ability. SURVEY OF THE CONTESTS. Let me give a breif survey of the contests for seats wliicb are taking place. The Labour Party have already secured one seat by the un- opposed return of Mr. T. J. Williams, for Bed- linog. Mr. Lewis Jenkins, who has held that seat for just eighteen months, being in South Africa, could not contest it. Mr. T. J. Williams secured the seat at the first District Couneil election, but lost it the following March, being defeated by Mr. George Evans. Thus, Laboor, so far, has gained one seat. At Bargoed, there are two vacancies caused by the retirement of Mr. D. S. Jones and Mr. Walter Lewis. The retirement of Mr. Walter Lewis has come as a surprise to most people. It was thought that he would sever his connec- tion with the Dstrict Council in the event of his being elected to the County Council, but it was not understood that he would also retire from the former if unsuccessful in his contest for the County. The withdrawal of Mr. Walter Lewis is more than a Labour loss, it is a general one, and is to be regretted from the standpoint that of the two candidates now being run by the Federation, neither of them has anything like the ability of Mr. Walter Lewis. The conse- quence must be recognised, therefore, as a weakening to that extent of the business in- telligence and experience on the District Coun- cil, and a loss to Bargoed. I am. not an advo- cate of sectional Labour representation, but I hope I can appreciate an intelligent and good representative, and value him as a force for the public good, whether he be run by a Feder- ation, or by Nonconformists, Liberals, or Con- servatives. and, therefore, from the public point of view-from a regard for the interests of the Gellygaer parish as a whole—I regret that Mr. Walter Lewis has not again come forward. The Federation have pretended to take the view that their agent, Mr. Walter Lewis, has enough to attend to without being on Councils, and that it was for this reason they appointed a sub-agent to assist him. Now they have put the sub-agent oil the County Council as well as on the District Council of Bedwellty. For the vacant seats of Mr. W. Lewis and Mr. D. S. Jones they are now running two candidates, whilst there is a third candidate who is connected with colliery work, but not, I understand, a nominee of the Federation. This candidature may possibly have the effect of dividing to some extent the full support that would be given to Mr. Gus Jones. Whether this candidate has been put up with a view (by dividing the support of Mr. Gus Jones) to further the interests of the two Labour candidates, I cannot say, but I view it as an unfortunate circumstance, and hope that all who do not support, from principle or or- der the candidature of the Labourists, will plump on polling day for Mr. Gus Jones, who has proved himself a wholesome and an intelli- gent force in the affairs of Bargoed, and has qualities which should make of him a good, sound ndministrator of local affairs. The Vicar of Pontlottyn having retired—I re- g-ret to learn by ill-hcalth-Mr. Morgan, of the Picton Hotel, and Mr. J. Williams (Labour) are to contest the seat. At Tirphil, Mr, Reea Davies has escaped op- position, although up to the day of nomination there were rumours that he would be opposed. Tirphil, I think, has done well to leave things alone. Mr. Rees Davies has proved himself to be a really good -member of the Council—regu- lar in attendance, impartial in judgment, and a good advocate of anything which he takes up. At Hengoed, Mr. Sidney Jones is opposing the Rector of Gellygaer, and, possibly, more interest will centre round this part of the con- test than any other. From wnat I have said in regard to some of the other wards it would seem as if there were a dearth of suitable men in some p!aoes or at any rate of men caring for municipal honours, so-called. The ques- tion arises why some wards do not invite men from other wards than their own to represent them. The smaller the ward, possifely the greater in number comparatively are the prejudices to be contended against. A good man taken, say from the Hengoed Ward to contest Pontlottyn, I be- lieve would be a gain to that place. The nar- rowness that limits the area of selection i§ a barrier against efficiency of the highest kind. The electorate needs educating on this point. ELECTORS MAKE COUNCILS. There is this fact to bear in mind—a strong and, in a certain sense (the sense of publio in- terests) good man on any public body, however carefully and prudently he may act, is bound, when he seeks re-election, to find much that he intended for the good of all made to tell against him by a few. This will no doubt be verified in the case both of the Rector and his oppo- nent, Mr. Jones. I will give an instance or two. One of the first things which called for the urgent attention of the newly constituted District Council was the overhauling of official departments. Officialdom had been the blight of Gellygaer. Had Gellygaer been a district of London, or any other large city, it would have had its wings clipped long ago. But whether by Parish, Rural, or Urban Council, the elec- tors have always had the product of their own handiwork. They made the Councils, and hav- ing made them, had to bear with them. Look at the men who were sent to administer the affairs of the parish as they appeased before the Auditor at Merthyr, and before the Government Board Commissioner at Hengoed. Now, when the Urban Council came-into bein!r- there were three or four men on the Council who sought to get the permanent departments on an efficient and organised basis. Much of their way was barred by reason of the action of their prede- cessors—who, before they ceased to be the au- thority, hurriedly made permanent arrange- ments respecting certain officials. This prov- ed a great obstacle, and required much effort and tact to surmount. Both the candidate# had an honourable part in carrying out this work, and the electors must vote for them upon their individual merits from past experience. Never was there a time when it was more ne- cessary for the electors to be more prudent and careful in their choice of representatives to serve on the District Council of Gellygaer than to-day. Why?- Because of the great, import- ant and costly matters' which have to be car- ried through—the sewering of the valley, the water question* the isolation hospital, and the matters of a main road—the carrying through gs of things to which the Council is committed. These are questions -which require long-heads. Without in any way disparaging the Rec- tor's opponent so far as his work as chairman of the last Parish Council or anything he may have done in the past, are concerned, the ablest men on the Council have recognised and do recognise that tho Rector has been a great and weighty help in the deliberations of' the

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