Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

10 articles on this Page



CWM PENMACHNO WATER- WORKS. DISTRICT COUNCIL APPLY FOR A LOAN. LCCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD INQUIRY. A Local Government Board inquiry was held to-day week at tne Rhydymeircn bchcolroom, Cwm Pei.machno, by Major J. Stewart, R.E., into the application of tho Geinonydd Rural District Council for sanction to borrow a furrier sum of £ 470 in respect of the Uwm water under- taking. Amongst those present were Mr R. R. Owen (clerk of the Council), the Rey- J. Gower (chairman). Messrs J. Lloyd Morris, E. W. Ro- berts and Ed. Robem (councillors), Mr P. Mclntyre and Mr T. Griffith (engineers.), Mr R. H. Williams (inspector), Mr John Hughes (iato engineer), and tne Rector of Penmacnno. The Clerk stated that the population of the Cwm ward was 619, and the Penmacluio ward 1067, making a total of 1686. The population of the area of the supply at Cwm was 500. The rateable value of the parish was L5710, and the present rates in the £ per annum wore: Poor rate 3s lOd, special sanitary rate Is, water rate 6d, lighting (Penmachno only) 2 £ d, making a total of 5s 6^d. The outstanding loans amounted to 21107 16s. The estimated cost of renewing the water mains in the village of Pemnachno was 9296 10s, and the cost of the Cwm water scheme B790 12s 3d, making a total of L1087 2s 3d. The amount of loan obtained was i,10531 the Local Government Board having deducted the sum of J335 in respect of debt outstanding on work to be superseded in the village of Pen- machno. The Clerk wont on to state that the ques- tion of providing a water supply had occupied the Attention of the Council for seven years, and no fewer than five different schemes were submitted, but the first four were abandened. The present scheme was adopted, and a loan of B1053 was obtained. The tender of Messrs Fred. Mitchell and Sons,Manchester, was accepted at £ 880, but this firm afterwards wrote staling that they had discovered that bn error of £100 had boon made in adding up the tender, and asking the Coun- cil whether they wou)d allow it to be altered, or they would withdraw. The Council resolved to invite fresh tenders, and that of Messrs Mitchell, at £ 960, was accepted The contract was signed on tho 25th August, and the works were to be completed within three calendar months. On the 11th July, 1905, the Council appointed Mr Jones Evans clerk of works, at a salary of 35s per week, and he entered upon his duties on the 28th August. At the Council meeting on the 26th September the clerk of works reported that the contractors were not proceeding with the works according to specification, and instructions were given to wire the engineer and contractor. This was done, and at a subsequent meeting the engineer appeared and explained the circum- stances under which he authorised the contrac- tors to deviate from the specifications as regards the depth of the trenches at Cwm. On blue 25th October correspondence between the engineer and the contractors was submitted regarding the size of the reservoir, from which it appeared that an error had been made by the engineer in the de- tailed drawing of the reservoir, the scale being marked as 4-ft. to an inch instead of 8-ft., thus reducing the size of the reservoir to half. The contractors afterwards gave a written under- taking to construct the reservoir according to the 8-ft.'scale for an extra payment of 950, on condition also that the thickness of the walls be reduced to an averago of 4-ft., which was agreed to. The work was being driven to winter, and eï'y little progress could be made owing to the inclemency of the weather. The clerk then went on to refer to certain matters in dispute between thej Council and the contractors, which culmina- ted in the Council offering JB150 to the contractors in full discharge of all their claims agamst the Council, and at a subsequent meeting it was reported that the contractors were prepared to accept such offer, and a cheque for F,150 was drawn in their favour. The balance of contract money amounted to C210, claim for extras B53 10s, and damage for delays i:52 16s, making a total claim by the contractors of £ 316 6a. THE ADOPTED SCHEME. Replying to the Inspector, Mr Owen said they had n.J estimate of the present population. The total rate in Penmachno was 5s 6td, and Cwm 4s lOd. A water rate had not yet been levied on Cwm. The loan was required for a period of 30 years. Mr Hughes prepared four schemes, and Mr Mclntyre one. The usual percentage was paid for the abandoned schemes. The ob- jection to the first scheme was by the quarry owners, as the Council intended taking water from springs which fed the stream. The Inspector: Why was this scheme thought better than the rejected ones? The Rev., J. Gower: Because it was the choice of a certain person, and that person had chosen the engineer. The Inspector: I suppose the public knew the amount of the first tenders received? Mr Owen: Yes. i Why was the amount of the tenders published in the newspapers?—There were reporters pre- sent at the meeting, and they reported it. Why didn't the Council go into oommittee and turn the reporters out? Everybody tendered the second time with his eyes wide open. Mitchell a must have tendered well knowing that they would get the job at. £ 980? Mr Owen: I think so. How did you get Mitchell's down from 2980 to :C 960 ? Mr Gower: We offered him that sum. The Inspector: I gather from the upshot of your remarks that! it is not the reporters we dis- trust (laughter)! It was owing to the plans not being ready that the contractor was given a month's grace? That is so. f What ex-sus3 did the engineer make for them not being ready?—He did not make any excuse. He wrote to say that they would be forwarded, and they were not. Replying to further questions, the Clerk said that Jared Evans was paid altogether JB74 19s 2d for his services as clerk of works. At this point Mr John Hughes, the late en- gineer, entered the room, and, replying to the inspector, eaid that the plans and specifications v ere on the job. The contractor pointed out an error ;n the marking of the plan. The intakes were drawn to a scale of 4-ft. to the inch, and by a mistake the reservoir was left the same, where- as it should be 8-ft. to the inch. He agreed to allow the contractor to lay the mains at a less depth on condition that he built the reservoir the proper size. The Insrector- You have repented bitterly that you made suoh an agreement with the con- tractor. You must see it. is quite a wrong thing to do to put one wrong right by doing another wrong. The end of it was that the con- tractor took jE50 more?—Yes. And he got that S50 for your clerical error?— Yes. And now the Council have to pay for it?— Yes, but I think they have paid a little also for their own errors. Further examined, Mr Hughes alleged he did not get the assistance the expected from J. Evans. He never had half-a-dozen letters from him during the whole time. He (Mr Hughes) visited the work about eight times. When he was first engaged he was not to supervise the works. It was after the plans were completed that he was engaged. He got three per cent. on the works carried cut, and if he had superintended he would have expected five per cent. The con- tractor was allowed another concession in making the walls 4-ft. in thickness instead of 6-ft. 3-in. You were instructed to supply amended plans and specifications. Where are they?—1 hey^ were supplied because the job could not go on without t.hem.. Mr R. H. Williams: They were never supplied to the clerk of works, and the latter denies having received them. Has this amended plan been seen by anybody but Mr Hughes?—No answer. THE STORAGE RESERVOIR. How did that great diminution in storage come to be authorIood Mr Mclntyre: I did not see the reservoir until it was finished. The works were completed, and the overflow fixed up. Would it be possible to increase the storage by isising the ovpraow ,-y oo, it could be increased bv about efght inches. That is one of the principal deviations from tne sanctioned plans? Mr Mclntyre: I did not interfere with the overflow. The reason, in my opinion, is that the contractors did not- go to the proper depth. They came to rock and stuck there. In some plaoes they had only a covering of two inches of CCThe''inspector • It is difficult to imagine that the amended plan never existed. I wish I could 6^M^Mclntyre: Jared Evan3 or the contractors mThehI*nspector (to Mr Hughes): What authority had you to allow the contractors to lessen the depth? Mr Hughes: They were grumbling. But why give away ratepayers' money in this way? It is your fault that this trouble arose. Tho next contract you draw up I hope will be carefully done? # Mr Hughes: My intention was to retain 8-ft. of water. The, Inspector: Is there plenty of water running waste there?- Yes. Mr McIntyre: It ihad not been in uqo. I am afraid you will be short of water. Mr Lloyd Morris: There was plenty of water during the dry September month. Reference was then made to the work carried out by Messrs Callandar in putting down the bitumen sheeting. Mr Hughes said that the first thing he heard about the shewing being out. was a report in the "Pioneer," in which Mr R. H. Williams reported the majfcter to the Council & month previously. The contractors' men swore that Jared Evans cut the sheeting, and they further said that Mr Wil- Owen instructed him to do so. On the day of his I visit it was covered up, and he ordered it to be laid bare. He found the sheeting had been cut from one corner of the floor almost diagon- ally to the other. He came to the conclusion that that was causing the leak. He (Mr Hughes) after hearing both sides came to the oonclusion that the contractor cut it. The Inspector: You knew Mr Mitchells very well? You must take men at their word. The Inspector: Take nobody at their word. You will get yourself into every trouble in this world if you do. It is because of the want of accuracy that all troubles come. Mr Mclntyre said that he was satisfied that the work had been left in a workmanlike manner, and that the damage was done by the contractor or his men.







[No title]