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URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL. TUESDAY. NO CLERK! NO BOOKS! NO BUSINESS! The ordinary monthly meeting of the Machyn- Ileth Urban District Council was convened for Tuesday, when there were present Lord Henry Vane Tempest (in the chair), Mr. Richard Owen (vice-chairman), Messrs Edmund Gillart, J. Lewis, Evan Jones, W. M. Jones, J. M. Breeze, Edward Rees, Richard Rees, D. Davies Williams, John Pugh, John Edmunds, and Joseph Evans, with Dr. Davies (medical officer), and Mr. John Jones (sur- veyor and inspector of nuisances). THE CLERKSHIP. The Chairman observed at the outset that the usual course to pursue at the commencement of business was to read the minutes of the last meet- ing, and if found correct to confirm them. But that day there was no clerk and no books. They could not proceed with the business set forth on the agenda without the books, and he did not know how they could obtain them. He had received a letter from their late clerk, in which he said, I beg to inform your lordship as chairman of the Council that I have continued to discharge the duties of clerk in accordance with the desire of the Council. I think, however, that the proper course for me now to adopt under the circumstances (but without admitting the validity of its proceeding or intending any discourtesy) is not to attend the Council meeting tomorrow. I 'beg to enclose copy notice convening meeting with agenda." Continu- ing, his lordship remarked that the clerkship had been advertised in the local papers, and there was only one application for the post as follows :— "To the Chairman of the Urban District Council, Machynlleth. My Lord,—I beg to offer my services for the office of clerk of the Council in compliance with the advertisements which have appeared in the local newspapers at a salary of nO. If favoured with the appointment I shall at all times endeavour to fulfil the duties of the office to the best of my ability.—Yours faithfully, JNO. Row- LANDS."—Proceeding, the noble lord said he had received another letter from Mr. David Evans, intimating that in connection with the approaching visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Plas Machynlleth it was proposed by the Executive Committee to erect arches and other decorations, and also street carriages on the line of route of their Royal Highnesses from the railway station to Plas and at other places in the town, and he was direc- ted to apply to the Urban District Council for the necessary permission. The committee would also be glad if the Council (as the local authority) would make an order regiilating the street traffic, &c., on the occasion. He would be glad of an early reply in order that the arrangements might be made.- The Chairman intimated that he had read all the correspondence. There were no books and no clerk (a pause).—Mr W. 1. Jones said he thought it would be convenient for them to have the books there in order to confirm the minutes of the last meeting so that they might proceed with the business of the day.-—Breeze remarked that if the last speaker moved accordingly he would second it.—Mr Jones thereupon proposed a resolu- tion in accordance with his suggestion, and Mr Breeze seconded it.—The Chairman said the late clerk could not deliver up the books until another clerk was appointed.—Mr Williams pointed out that the books belonged to the Council and not to the late clerk.—The Chairman But who is to be responsible for the books ? Mr Williams: The books belong to the Council, my lord. The clerk, whoever he is, is only the custodian for the Council. — The Chairman: What is the Standing Order in regard to that ? The Standing Orders, relating to the custody of books, seal, documents, &c., was then read as follows All books, the common seal of the Council, deeds, and other documents, papers, plans, etc., belonging to the Council shall be safely kept by the Clerk, and such books, deeds, documents, &c., shall not be taken therefrom without leave by resolution of the Council, and even then for the temporary use of members or officers of the Council only, and any book, deed, document, or paper so taken shall be returned or demanded by order of the Council."—'Mr Pugh That is the pro- position before the meeting. The Clerk, according to the resolution passed at the last meeting, no longer holds the office, and consequently it is for the Council to say when the books are brought here, in whose custody they shall be kept. Mr Edward Rees: I see we have the inspector's re- port here, the surveyor's, and the medical officer's. Cannot we deal with that work and go on ? We have them bere-The Chairman Yes, but then-Ilr Breeze, interposing, proposed that the surveyor should be requested to go for the books. They must have them there in order to go on with the business.-The Chairman Then do we send down for them for temporary use or what ? We have no clerk. We have one application for the appointment.—Mr Williams enquired what object there was in not putting the resolution to the meeting.—The Chairman replied that he thought the meeting was unanimous on the point. —The resolution was then put to the meeting and declared carried.—The Chairman (addressing the meeting) Will you dictate the terms of the letter to send down to the late clerk. It was again suggested that the surveyor should call for them, whereupon the Chairman questioned the propriety of sending down for the books without a properly written order.—Mr. Williams (alluding to the surveyor) He is an officer of the Council. —The Chairman The late clerk cannot be justified in giving up the books without a proper order.— Mr. Edward Rees said he had no doubt that Mr. Evans would deliver up the books if the Chairman sent him a note intimating that a resolution had been passed. It being stated that there was no stationery on the table, some of the members offered the Chairman half sheets of note-paper, torn from the agenda notices. —The Chairman did not feel disposed to write on the back of agenda papers. He thought an official communication to the late clerk, under the circum- stances, should be written on the Council's paper. —Mr. Williams said it appeared to him that they could not proceed any further with the business of the Council that day, although copies of the agenda had been circulated among the members. He therefore proposed that the meeting be ad- journed for a week.—Mr. Evan Jones We may be in the same position then.—Mr. Pugh said that seeing the Council had already passed a resolution he saw no objection to the Chairman sending a note to Mr Evans requesting him to give up the books.— The Chairman pointed out, that he had no proper nwe paper; besides, Mr. Evans might happen to be away.—Mr. Edward Rees rose to leave the meeting, for the reason that he said there was no work to be done.—Mr. Eva,n Jones Sit down.—Mr. Edward Rees What for ? Mr. Evan Jones: Let us all go together (laughter.) Mr Edward Rees said he was of opinion that they could not enter into the clerkship or anything else until the minutes of the lsst meeting had been read and confirmed. As the Chairman refused to send for the books he saw no use sitting there looking at one another doing nothing.—The Chairman I cannot condescend to communicate with Mr Evans on half sheets of paper.— Mr Evan Jones: Can you give us some advice, my lord ?—The Chairman, replying, said he was unaware of the absence of the books until that morning.—Mr Evan Jones asked if they could go on with some of the most important items on the agenda ?—Mr Williams moved that the meeting be adjourned until Tues- day next, and that the late clerk be requested in the meantime to send in the minute book and other books in his possession to the next meeting.— Mr Wiliiam Jones seconded.—Mr Pugh, referring to the last part of the resolution, said that had already been agreed to. The Council had paid for a lot of stationery but seemingly there was none there that day.— The Chairman: Can anyone put down the motion on paper?—Mr Williams Here it is, my lord.—The Chairman Do you not sign it ?—Mr Williams It is unnecessary. It is simply a reso- lution. If it was a notice of motion my signature would then be necessary.—The Chairman Who is to send the notice ?—Mr Williams: If the Chair- man does not put the resolution to the meeting I will ask the vice-Chairman to do so.—The Chairman then read Mr Williams's resolution, where- upon the latter stated that the last two words should be adjourned meeting."— The Chairman: There you are! You are putting in a resolution which is apparently not worded properly.—Mr. Evan Jones asked who was to re- cord the votes for and against the propositicri.- It was suggested that Mr. Gillart be asked to do so. —Mr. Richard Rees intimated that if the meeting was adjourned to Tuesday he would not be able to attend, as the Methodist Cymanfa was to be held that day.—Mr. Williams said he had no objection to naming Monday, and this was carried, Messrs. Pugh, Williams, R. and E. Rees, Breeze, W. M. Jones, H. Lewis, and Owen voting for it, while the other members remained neutral.—The Chairman What is to be done with the resolution ?—Mr. Williams: Will the Chairman undertake to convey it to the late clerk ?-The Chairman: I hardly think it the chairman's duty to take notes (laughter). Mr. Williams 1 do not think I said take notes." Then I propose that the vice-chairman be asked to take the resolution to the late clerk.—Mr. Breeze having seconded, it was put to the meeting, when the following voteiJ for it Messrs. Pugh, Breeze, Wm. Jones, H. Lewis, and Edward Rees, the other mem- bers remaining neutral.—The Vice-Chairman, in reply to a question, said if it was any convenience to the Council he would convey the resolution of the meeting to the late clerk.—The discussion then ended, and the members rose to go, when there came on A MATTER OF IMPORTANCE. Mr. Richard Rees said he wished to mention one matter. The steam roller was in the town doing some very good work, and once it left the neigh- bourhood he was afraid they would not see it again for three years or so. But they could not get on so fast as they wished because stones were wanted. —Mr. Evan Jones: Where is our power ? I am very thankful to Mr. Rees for bringing the matter forward, but, I take it, we cannot go into that question or other important matters which require our consideration until the next meeting.—Mr. W. M. Jones: We cannot do it, and therefore cannot help it. Mr. Richard Rees: I think it a serious thing for the steam roller to leave the neighbour- hood before the roads are completed, because we cannot settle a quarrel among ourselves. THE AUDIT. The rate collector attended the meeting with the general district rate books with the purpose of getting the accounts passed in view of the Govern- ment audit which takes place to-day,. but had to leave without their being passed.—The Council then rose.