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C0H.li.hj8lJ0N DBA Ob.



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WHY THE POOR RATES ARE HIGH IX THE TOWYX PARISH. A SERIOUS MATTER FOR THE RATEPAYERS. THIRD ARTICLE. [SPECIALLY CONTRIBUTED, j The articles I have written on the above subject aud the paper read by Mr R P Morgan at the last meeting of the Towjn Debating Society (as pub- lished in extenso in your last issue) have served to bring the matter of the exceedingly high poor rate paid by the Towyn parish to the seiious notice of the ratepayers, and already some of our most prominent men are seeking some means to bring about a retorin. It will be remembered that the contention I have made is that Towyn parish pays -F £291 in poor rate more than the paupers receive, in other words we maintain our own paupers and assist other parishes to maintain theirs. In my last letter I promised to give some sug. gestions as to how to bring about a reform. This I will now proceed to do. In my opinion the in- justice lies in the assessment of the different parishes in the Machynlleth Union. In order that ali the ratepayers may he abie to follow me it is necessary for me to state that the poor rate is fixed on the assessable value of the different parishes, Therefore it follows as a matter of course that if tlie assessable value of a parish is high then the poor rate will also be high in consequence. If on the other hand the assessable value is low then the rate will be a low one. The rateable value of Towyn has increased from X16,113 in 1889 to £19,144 in 1899 whilst that of Mach- ynlleth was zE6,189 in 1889 and £7,096 in 1899. Following upon that fact I find that Towvn contributed £1,586 9s 7d in 1889 and £ 1,676 18s 6d last year. Looking at the case of Machyn- lleth, I find that parish contributed zE769 Is 8d in 1889 and X665 13s 5d last year. Why should Machynlleth pav CI03 8s 2d less in 1899 than ten years ago ? While I will acknowledge that the population of Machynlleth has been stationary, I cannot acknowledge that the place has decreased in value. On the other hand, I feel certain a slight increase should have been shown. Let me now proceed to show how matters are worked in regard to the Towyn parish. I have found out that almost every house in Towyn that was valued bv the over- seers and submitted last June to the Assessment Committes has been raised. The clearest way for me is to put my figures in tabulated form :— II" As sent by Increased by Houses. Overseers. Assessment Com. £ s. £ No. 1 25 C 32 „ 2 18 0 25 3 7 0 9 „ 4 5 0 6 „ 5 16 0 20 „ 6 16 0 20 „ 7 27 10 35 8 27 10 35 „ 9 16 0 18 ,,10 30 0 35 ,,11 30 0 35 ,,12 150 0 150 „ 13 40 0 70 „ 14 10 0 10 The above figures show how Towyn is increasing. It shows an increase of about JE600 in the Towvn sub-district alone; but what I want to point out and to emphasise as much as I can is the fact that the additions made to the overseers' valuation amounts to about 20 per cent. Even in the matter of small houses of J55 or £ 7 value the Assessment Committee had no hesitation in addir.g to our burdens at Towyn. It is reasonable to ask why should Towyn and Aberdovey, who are struggling to work themselves to the front of watering places, be penalised like this by the Machynlleth Assess- ment Committee. I have three alternative schemes to suggest to- wards rectifying matters. The first is that recom- mended by t,he Clerk to the Dolgeilev Union in regard to the pauper parishes—or parasitef- as Ali R Price Morgan calls them—in that Union. Mr Davies advised the members for these parishes which contributed more than they received to care- fully investigate and watch over the expenditure of the parasite" parishes. This scheme is one that our present, representatives can attend to. To do this they wiil have to spend a whole day at Mach- ynlleth, and not let the members for the "parasite" parishes do as t hey like in their absence. The cost per head of out-door paupers in the following parishes is so hijrh that a remedy could easily be made:—Caereinion Fechan C7 12s, Cemmes £ 5 9-. lltd, Isygarreg JE5 13s 9d, Llanbrynmair £7 Is 8d, Llanwrin ES 3s 5d, and Scuborycoed iE 12s lid. The next scheme is that the Union, or at least some parishes in the Union, should be valued by a competent valuer. The system adopted by the Board has been to base its figures on the rent, especially is this the case in the rural parishes. Now it so happens that rente are comparatively low in Montgomeryshire, and particularly is this the case on Sir Watkin's estate. Therefore ratepayers in those parishes pay small rent and very little rates for perhaps large and commodious houses. Coming to Towyn and Aberdovey we find that big rents are asked for small Louses, and to pile on the agony of the occupier he is called upon again to pay large rr.tes for the support of "parasite" parishes. I believe if the other parishes were so heavily assessed as Towyn is and taking the houses, &c., into consideration, there would be no need for lowyn parish to pay nearly C300 in excess of what its paupers receive. The third scheme is that an effort should be made to separate Towyn and Pannal parishes frcm the Union and to form a contributory Union. This is the best suggestion of all. These two parishes are in Merioneth while all the ot hers are in Montgomery or Cardigan. Mr R Price Morgan clearly explained this scheme at the last meeting of the Towvn Debating Society. There would be no extra ex- pense in any branch The same salary as we now contribute (about, £ 30) would be enough for the Clerk the same relieving officer would be trans- ferred from the Machynlleth Union, and the Work- house would still be at our command. The result would he a nett gain to the parish of X300. I I trust that other ratepayers will write their opinions upon this matter.