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MUNICIPAL MATTERS IN DENBIGH- SHIRE. MR. SHONE'S YEAR OF OFFICE. The mayoral year ends to-morrow and on Monday the chain and responsibilities of office will pass from Mr. Isaac Shone to another, and we hope that that other will show similar anxiety to do his duty, similar impartiality in all matters, and similar ability backed by energy, as have characterised the present Mayor. The chief of the Council and the chief of the magisterial bench has not simply to guide public affairs, but to lead and direct them, and therefore upon the personal energy and capacity of the Mayor depends greatly the progress of the town, and the tenour of public business. A Great man overcomes circumstances, but with most men circumstances overcome them, and when a man is encumbered with municipal and legal formalities and the necessarily slow course of public affairs, it would need almost superhuman powers to achieve all that may be desired. Considering all things the mayoral year has been a satisfactory one, but had things gone as Mr. Shone wished them and worked for them, the Local Parliament would have added more to its statute book. For some time previous to 1879 the Mayor worked hard to prepare the way for new streets, and had such been within his power these long talked of improvements would have been carried out during his year of office, and thus have formed a.n everlasting memorial to the Mayor of 1879. This expensive proposal has not the ac. quiescence of a large number in the town, but equal credit is due, neverthless, to Mr. Shone for the labour and time he has given to the subject, the amount of which perhaps is only known to those who are intimately acquainted with him. We have not new streets, but we have the foundation of them, and this has been laid by the Mayor. The year also has to chronicle the settlement of the question of new pavements. After much talk, both wise and foolish, on the matter, the consent of the Local Government Board has been obtained for the carrying out of the works, and a portion of the sum necessary is now being negotiated with the Provincial Insurance Company. The whole of the principal acts of the Council during the year are so well known to those interested in municipal matters, that to name them is sufficient to bring to recollec- tion the circumstnnces attending them and the importance of each. Amongst the principal acts may be placed the partially successful effort made to revivify the Grammar School, the leasing of the local Smithfield, the provision of a public mortuary, the effectual adoption of the Libraries Act, an im- portant decision which in all probability will finally settle the sewerage difficulties of Stansty and Chester-road, the purchase of a steam roller, and extension of the tram line into the town. Such a list of acts as this shows most creditably to the progress which has been made during the year in matters which particularly appertain to the Council. At what expense has this been done ? may be asked, and in reply it may truly be said that on this point there is credit due also. The district rate stands at 11'1. 61. in the pound, which is lower than it has been known for many years, and the borough rate, though high, will bear favourable comparison with previous years. The tenour of the Council meetings during the year has been satis- factory, and the Mayor has shown himself a good general president, acting on the principle that whilst all have a right to speak no one has a right to obstruct, and on a few occasions when obstruc- tion on the part of one or two became very apparent, the Mayor summarily disposed of it by at once put- ting the matter to the vote. There is one thing which will commemorate the year of 1879, and that is the change of Town Clerks. Mr. James intimated his intention of retiring early in the year, and at the last meeting of the Council his successor was unanimously elected. All we need now say on this subject is that Mr. Thomas Bury will prove a worthy successor to a most worthy and amiable Town Clerk. In those matters which are not closely connected with the Council the Mayor has shown himself quite equal to the office. He and the Mayoress have been most ready in assisting, by their patronage and presence, all meetings and entertainments tending to the iteneral good, p.nd in this depart- ment of the chief magistrate's work we need only mention the relief to the poor during the winter (in which Mrs. Shone was also most active and liberal), and the large sum handed to the In- firmary by the performance of Leah," with which Miss Beirne's name will ever be associated. The Mayor must have felt much responsibility, and had much anxiety in reference to the distress which revealed itself so soon after his election, and having taken a deep interest ourselves in that sad affair, and visited every alley, court, and back place in the town, we can say, with confidence, that the Mayor and Mayoress discharged their duties in a most creditable and praiseworthy ma.nner. With the office of Mayor, Mr. Shone also leaves the Council, and he will retire from both with that honour which is due to one who has laboured anxiously to do his duty, and who has n:et with a large share of success. MR. ALDERMAN GEE'S YEAR OF OFFICE. The first act of the Council for 1878-9 was to re- elect Alderman Thomas Gee to the office of Mayor, he having, during the previous year, taken an active part in carrying out those important town improve- ments commenced ander his predecessor in the mayoralty, Alderman T. J. Williams. The year has been one of the greatest possible anxiety to the Council in consequence of the obs'aelos tint ap- j peared to the carrying out of the first portion oc the drainage. Mr. Clough, the Borough Surveyor, who had drawn out the and specific tione, j severed his connections with the Council, and aft or the appointment of Mr. J. H. Jones, Rhyl, as hi", successor, the cont-net was final1;? signed with Mr. Jeffreys, and the work coram; nc.d. AHr going on for several week the work was stopped, and it was then found that the drains were, in the estimation of the Council, defective as also ths tanks at the outfall. Our readers are familiar with the details j of the anxiety and trouble the Council had in con- eluding the contract with Mr. Jeffreys, paying him off and taking the work upon themselves. This was done after the matter had been referred to the arbitration of Mr. W. M. Clarke, of Kinmel. A good deal of misconception appears to exist in the minds of the ratepayers that they have suffered great loss by this change of contractor, but it seems clear that, notwithstanding the J6500 paid to Mr. Jeffreys by way of compensation, the work will be finished for less than it would have cost under the original contract. The Council had intended carrying out an im- provement that would have been specially apprecia- ted by the farmers and others using the Ruthin- road, namely, to raise the road near Captain's bridge. This was prevented by the opposition of two owners of land—one a. member 0" the Council— who demanded a large pum of money as compensa- tion. The foresight of some of the members of the Council suggested an appeal to the Local Govern- ment Board to allow the plans to be so altered as to avoid the raising of the road to the extent contem- plated, and the Mayor having had an interview with Mr. Smith, the engineer of the Government, the plans were altered, and the ratepayers thus saved several hundred pounds demanded as com- pensation. The works are now progressing satis- factorily, and the present contract will in a few weeks be completed. There seems to be an impres- sion abroad that some of the members of the past two years' Council are responsible for this outlay on drainuge, but this is not so, for the report of Dr. Thorne, Local Government Board medical officer, shewed that the drainage of the town was absolutely necessary, and had the Council refused to carry it out, the Government would undoubtedly have done it at much greater cost. During the year the contract has been signed for the land at Glas Meadows for the Smithfield, a movement originated during Alderman Williams' mayoralty. This has been a source of much trouble to the Council, the price has not yet been definitely fixed, being left to Messrs. R. Lloyd Williams, and R. C. B.Clough, valuers for the Council and owners. Though an expensive it is likely to be a remunera- tive concern. During the year Dr. W. Griffith Roberts, a member of the Council, resigned office, and was unanimously and most cordially appointed Medical Officer of Health of the borough, in succession to Dr. Hughes, who had to resign, as he was already Medical Officer under the Local Government Board. The sanitary condition of the town has been well attended to, and must be improving rapidly, though plenty of energy is needed by the inspector to ensure the removal of nuisances piomptly. One step taken early in the year was of importance to an agricultural borou?h like Denbigh, namely the appointment of Mr. Lloyd, veterinary surgeon, as inspector under the Contagious Diseases (Animals) Act. A few months ago attention was called to the composition of the fire brigade, and with a view of making it more effective, and of more use to rate- pavers, the charge of the engine, equipments of the | brigade, as well as the appointment of officers and members thereof, was placed under the control of the Council, the existing officers and members being elected. This was a step in the right direc- tion, and was originated by the Mayor, Councillor Lloyd lending n:uch aid thereto. The year has been a most eventful one, both as regards the work done and the incidents that have occurred in the Council Chamber. As regards the former there have been some 54 meetings of the Council and committees, above one a week, and many of these have lasted for hours, some extend- ing to midnight. As regards the latter a painful incident occurred which was a discredit to the borough. What a great matter a little fire kind- leta." A workman having been suspended a motion was made to reinstate him. A discussion arose which became at first warm and • then bitterly personal and discreditable. Language was used which astonished even the residents of our courts and alleys, the result being that the Mayor, not being able to put down the scene, left the Council Chamber in disgust, and tendered his resignation. This aroused the more thoughtful members to the gravity of the position, the result being that a deputation waited upon the mayor, and after con- siderable difficulty induced him to rescind his resignation and return to the chair. This painful incident delayed business somewhat, but sub- sequently it has been pushed forward, and it may be safely affirmed that during no previous year has so much hard work been doue by our representa- tives as during the year just closed. We cannot enter into details of work and improvements effected, both as regards the public buildings, the roads, the lighting of the town, &c., &c., but have only glanced at the most striking features of the year's work. This brief record would be incomplete if it omitted mentioning the vast labours perfomed by the respected Town Clerk, Mr. J. Parry Jones, junr., whose legal skill and assiduous attention to all the details of the Council work are readily recognised by all the members of the Council from the Mayor downwards. Whilst readily recognising the fact that the labours of the Council have been great, it cannot be denied that there are some things they have not done. For several years the Assembly Room has been in a state not at all fit fcr a public room of the kind. Fancy the entertainment room of a borough like Denbigh having only 50 chairs in it, and only a corresponding number of benches; the result is that public performers have to spend a large sum of money in seating the room. for which they are charged a goodly sum. We believe it was ordered months ago that this should be at- tended to. Who is to blame for the delay P Oae other matter, amongst several others, we will men- tion. A little more attention might be paid to the cleanliness of the streets. Occasionally pedestrians can only get about with the greatest difficulty, and to ladies the streets are positively a nuisance and a danger. The streets, when cleaned, have lying at the sides great heaps of mud some feet deep, into which people step in the darkness of the evening, and their only relief is to offer a prayer for the Council and the Surveyor. A prompt use of the cart bought last year, at some expense to the town would remedy this evil. In making these com- plaints we must candidly admit that the Council and Surveyor have been busily employed with weightier matters. The new Council, with a successor to Alderman T. Gee at their head (who it is to be hoped will be a practical business man), have important work before them; and the spending,of several thousands of pounds on the drainage and Smithfield to under- take, and it is to be hoped they will sink personal feelings and work harmoniously for the good of the town. MR. LOUIS' YEAR OF OFFICE. The municipal year opened with a storm of the most furious description, but ere the close its fury had expended itself, and the year closed, as Artemus Ward says, in "a dead calm." Our readers will remember that the Council Chamber was, on the 9h November, 1878, turned into a complete bear garden, and that for several hours a wrangle ensued as to the election of Mayor; Mr. Louis, eventually, being carried by one vote. Then ensued a scene impossible to describe, in which charges and recriminations were made of the most personal character. For months afterwards "a row" had generally to be recorded in our re- ports of the Council meetings. At length the Mayor, tired of the collisions with the Council, refused to call the monthly meetings, and the expedient had to be resorted to of five members signing a docu- ment demanding meetings, which were called in legal form by the Town Clerk. Daring the latter months of the year meetings have been obtained by adjourning one meeting after another, so as to avoid the uecessity of an appeal to the Mayor to call a meeting. Of course, amid such painful scenes, little practical work could be done, yet the working portion of the Council have managed to carry on the usual routine business as well as to develope and complete the improvements to the town, such as the flagging of the pavements, covering the brook at Llanfwrog, and in other ways; and work of that kind is progressing steadily. During the year the Council lost its oldest member, Dr Thomas Jones, who had been alderman and councillor for over 25 years. Dr. Willirtll Jones (the future Mayor) was elected in his place, and worthily fills it. In the sanitary department, Dr. J. Lloyd Roberts, Denbigh, was elected Medical Officer, and he and the inspector seem to be removing seme of the fever spots so prevalent a few yectrs ago. At a bye electien, early in the year, Mr. W. Jones was returned to the Coancil un- opposed. We cannot give a satisfactory record of work done, and yet the marvel is not that so little practical work has been done, but that so much hat been got through, and the ratepayers' interests so well attended to, considering the unsettled, excited, and volcanic condition of the Council during the year. We bupe brighter and better things are in store for 1879-80. The Town Clerk (Mr. W. Lloyd) has had a delicate and difficult task during the year, but his shrewdness and foresight, combined with his legol acumen, has guirJ "d the Council through ma-ay kept thein out of legal troubles; one important ae~io?i threatened by the c^nrr-iotcs for the Assembly-room ;L1:ention1 against the Council, iu consequence oflIn raisun.l erst endings fjilnded to, having oeen avoided by the firmness and skill of the Town Clerk, backed by the uujorifcy of the members.