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Rhymney Valley Echoes.

A DAILY NUISANCE.

Proposed Rhymney Valley Water…

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Proposed Rhymney Valley Water Board. ANOTHER CONFERENCE OF AUTHORT. TIES. A STEP FORWARD. A fourth conference between the various authorities of the Rhymney Valley, in reference to the proposed Water Board, was held at the Hengoed Council Offices, on Thursday evening, April 7th, when the following representatives were present:—Caerphilly, Messrs. J. Leigh Thomas, C. S. Goodfellow, J. P. Charles and S. P. Gunn (deputy-clerk); Bedwellty. Messrs. D. Phillips, Lewis Watkins, J. P. Williams, Albert Thomas, and T. J. Thomas (Clerk); Gellygaer, Mr. Ed. Richards (Chairman) and Rev. T. J. Jones; Mynyddislwyn, Messrs. W. S. Naah, J. Boothman and T. Griffiths (Clerk); St. Mellons, Mr. Gomer S. Morgan. On the motion of Mr. W. S. Nash, seconded by Mr. Dd. (Phillips, Mr. C. S. Goodfellow was again elected I to the chair. Each Council having been supplied with a printed copy of the minutes of the former conference, these were taken as read and confirmed. In opening the proceedings, the Chairman said an important letter had been received from the Glamorgan County Council, which he proceeded to read. The letter drew attention to section 35 of the Rhymncy and Aber Company's Act, 1908, and pointed out that if the Council of Caerphilly desired to take advantrge of the terms stated therein, with a view of buying up the existing Water Co., the Company shall not oppose any such purchase," but that to secure the benefits of this provision a Bill would have to be introduced into Parliament by November next, with the consent of the County Council. The Chairman stated that this showed the extreme importance of grappling with the matter at once, for the reason also that the longer it was left in abeyance the greater would be the amount which would have to be paid for the purchase of the Company's under- taking. The Chairman then read the Water Company's last yearly report, pointing out that the Company, which had often been spoken of as bankrupt had now turned the corner, and appeared to be at the end of its difficulties; so that the longer the forming of a Board was deferred the more expensive would be the acquisition of this undertaking become. In his opinion, the water ought to have been in the hands of the local authorities long ago. Years ago he urged the same thing in regard to the gas concern at Caerphilly, but .that matter was allowed to slide, with the result that Caerphilly suffered for it at the present time. He therefore suggested that the principle agreed upon, vi/t: the advisability of forming a Water Board, at previous meeting, should be furthered by approaching the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire County Councils with a view to obtaining their mutual co-operation to, that end The Chair- man then asked Mr. E. Richards (Chairman of the «Geilygaer Counci) whether he was in a position to give any enlightenment on the attitude of tftfc Gellygaer Coune, -whether the matter had been, considered by his Council or not, so they were in the dark concerning the Gellygaer Council. GELLYGAER'S ATTITUDE. Mr. E. Richards said that only two members of the Gellygaer Council were present, and they were without any definite instructions from the Council. The Council had considered the prinpjple of acquiring the wate'r rights, but nothing more had been done. They had only come to take part in the discussion, and get all the information they could. come to take part in the discussion, and get all the information they could. The Chairman: if your Council has adopted the principle that is tantamount to being in favour of forming a Water Board. —Mr. E. Richards: We accept the principle. Rev. T. J. Jones That is the feeling of the Council. Continuing, the Rector said the Chairman, in his remarks, had pleaded some- what strongly on behalf of this measure rather than commenting on the merits of the position. No doubt, Caerphilly—and the Chairman was from Caerphilly—were quite decided in their own minds that thi.4 proposal was the only thing to be done, and that the sooner it was done the better. It was time that Mr. Mansel j Franklen had drawn attention to the limited time now at disposal for taking advantage of section 35 of the Comjfeny's Act, and that by not availing themselves of it the possibility of acquiring the Company's works might be endangered but he was not stricken with any such fear. Under clause 32 of their Act of 1908 the Company were bound to substantially comntence the construction of No. 1 reservoir, and they had- not commenced it. Were the Councils, as bodies interested in the health and welfare of the valley, doing their duty by permitting the Water Company to go on as though this clause 32 were not in existence 1 Ought t,hey not to call upon the Company to fulfil their obligations ? They might be met with the statement that sinbe this Act of 1908 they were having a large sujpply of water from Merthyr but this was limited in extent and amount, which he did not think would be adequate for the future needs of the valley. From the balance sheet submitted the Company appeared to be flourishing, but if they were why did thev not carry out their obligations ? And if the Councils insisted upon their doing this they would not be against permitting the Councils at a future time to bay the concern. He believed that at the inquiry in London the Rhyrtney and Abet- Company did ask a price for their undertaking, but he did not know whether it was high or reasonable. There were two ways of fixing the price. First of all by a company in a position to carry out all its obligations, and then the price of a company in difficulty with regard to the carrying out of its obligations. He did not think the danger apprehended by the Chairman was so great as a on the surface. The more he thought of tfc the more strongly was he convinced of the need of unity of purpose and action; both for this and also the question of sewerage (hear, hear). He did not know whether Bedwellty were going to join or not. He was in favour of unity on equal terms. At the last conference he suggested that all interested authorities in the valley should forsake any privileges possessed and enter into the combination. He could see itf- gfogw «}9gu?&tJy and he did not wonder at that because Rhymney was in a position of considerable advantage. If Rhymney would not forsake its preferential position that position should be taken as a standard of the cost of supplying water in bulk, according to the distance of the place of delivery from the source of supply, owing to the greater expense of laying the mains to places lowerI down tho valley so that there would be a difference in the pr ice of water in bulk according to the distance of the place from the reservoir. He was suggesting this in order to arrive at equal terms in view of the factor that Rhymney was not likely to forego its present preferential position. Gellygaer, on such a basis, would be in a more favourable position than Caerphilly. If Rhymney would forego its preferential position, then, of course, the price would be the same for every place. RHYMNEY AND NEW TREDEGAR. Mr. W. S. Nash epitomised the position of Rhymney, and said he could understand their holding aloof from a scheme unless compensated in some way or other for the expense they had been at to secure that position. The position of New Tredegar was altogether different. Mr. T. J. Thomas New Tredegar take no benefit under the Rhymney and Aber Company they are the owners of their water. They are quite independent. Mr. Nash They supported the Bill under the understanding that they could get water at a reduced rate. Continuing, Mr. Nash said the Rhymney and Aber Company's position, as the Rector had suggested, was not to be deter- mined merely by a recent dividend paid, but rather, in his (Mr. Nash's) opinion, by the wealth of the undertaking and its prospective value. He agreed, up to a certain point, with the Rector that the Company should be com- pelled to fulfil its obligations. They had tried to do this in the other valley, but as long as a Water Company allowed water to trickle through the mains, however small the quantity, it was said to ftilfil its obligations. If anyone could suggest how they were to be made to fulfil their obligations the question would be solved. Such companies seemed to have the sole ambi- tion of making dividends, and this was one of the reasons why the water supply should be in the hands of authorities interested in the welfare and health of the, community. The letter communicated by the Chairman seemed to him very important, and it was evident that if the time elapsed the terms would not be reduced, and everything demanded of the Company which the Company performed would ultimately be brought into the price asked. The Chairman said he looked upon the matter so ably put by the Rector and Mr. Nash as details to be threshed out by a committee, which should be appointed for that purpose, and also that an engineer should be engaged to prepare a report on the subject. If a general principle were agreed upon progress could be made. It was far better to go on upon a general principle and then difficulties could be surmounted as they proceeded. The Western Valley had set them an example in this matter. So long as the Company supplied the present needs of the valley he thought there would be considerable difficulty in making them start an additional 1 reservoir, and if they were compelled then the Board would have to pay an additional 10 per cent, on the outlay. He believed, moreover, that they would have to go outside the coalfield in order to obtain an adequate supply to meet :;h8 needs of the future population. So far as Rhymney was concerned, he believed they were I in favour of the Water Board, and would not! oppose, but that they would require some con- cession. All these points were matters of detail for a oommittee. He felt strongly that the longer the matter was delayed the more they would have to pay. Mr. Lewis Watkins The Company have not fulfilled their obligations, and I should like to know what steps the Board would intend to take in order to obtain an efficient supply. I think we should have an understanding as to what other sources will be obtained. Other possible sources were then discussed at great length, and the desirability of taking certain action in regard to the obligations of the Company. THE MERTHYR SUPPLY. Mr. E. Richards said that the Gellygaer Council opposed the county scheme, not from a hostile spirit, but because they were not satisfied that it would give an additional supply. They met in conference three or four times, and were not yet in possession of the essential thing, nor could they go back to their respective Councils and say where they proposed going for a satis- fying supply. The Chairman If we form ourselves into a j Water Board and engage a water engineer his report will give us such information as that. Mr. A. Thomas There would be no harm in advising our Councils to consent to an engineer being engaged to report upon the whole thing, including possible sources of supply. Mr. E. Richards We are all satisfied that the Rhymney and Aber Company is unable to supply the demand of the future without constructing reservoir No. 1. We are receiving a supply from Merthyr, and there is a probability of that supply being stopped, and then the Rhymney and Aber Company would find it necessary to construct reservoir No. 1. I see the probability of our being left, presently, to the mercy of Merthyr, and I cannot see my way to support any resolution that does not point out a source of relief. The Chairman I suggest going back to our Councils (so far as Caerphilly is concerned it is not necessary, we have done it), and ask them to pass a resolution in favour of forming a Water Board for the Rhymney Valley, and authorising us to engage the services of an engineer to report on all the points raised. The Rector: There is one thing in connection with this valley, is is not a part of Glamorgan the district of Merthyr intervenes, and the questino arises, supposing we form a Board, would the resources of Merthyr supply the whole valley, supposing Merthyr constructed a reser- voir. Is the altitude high enough for all parts of the valley. I think so. It seems to me that MeKhyr has better facilities than the Western Valleys, so far as this valley is concerned. Finally, the Chairman put to the meeting a j resolution recommending the respective Councils to approve of engaging an expert water enigneer to report on the matter before taking further steps in forming a Board. This was seconded by Mr. J. Boothman, and carried unanimously it also being agraed that the costs of this should I be borne by each Council, pro rata. The next conference was arranged for May 5th. The Rhymney Council was not represented. CAERPHILLY COUNCIL REPORT. At a meeting of Caerphilly Council on Tues- day night, Mr. J. B. Matthew presiding. The Clerk submitted a report of the conference held in regard to the proposed Joint Water Board for the Rhymney Valley. Mr. C. S. Goodfellow said that the members of the con- ference were practically unanimous on the question of the necessity of the Board being formed; the only differenoe of opinion being as to whether it would not be better to let matters stand for a while or proceed at once. Some members thought that if they allowed the matter to stand over for a while, they could buy up the existing water company, He, however, explained to them that the cost of the undertaking would increase as time weht on. A recommendation, added Mr. Good- fellow, that the Councils jointly secure the services of as engineer to make a report on the possible sources and supply was carried. The report was adopted.,

NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.I

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