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Rural District Council.


Rural District Council. Mr. John Morgan, Cwmrheidol, presided at the monthly meeting of the Aberystwyth Rural District Council held on Monday morning at the Work- house, when there were also present—Messrs. Edward Jones, Ceulanymaesmawr; Lewis Richards, Cwmrheidol; William Morris, Cyfoethybrenin; J. B. Morgan, Cynnullmawr; Richard James, Henllys; W. A. Miller, Issayndrc; James Jones, Llanbadarn Lower; David Morgan, Llanfihangel Upper; Evan Richards, Llanfihangel Lower; Daniel Morris, Llanilar; Chas. Davies, Llanychaiarn; J. E. James, Melindwr; Thos. James and Richard Davies, Trefeirig; Richard Thomas, Tirymynach; with Hugh Hughes (clerk), and J. C. Davies (deputy-clerk.) DRAINAGE OF BORTH. The Clerk reported he had received a communi- cation from the Local Government Board enclosing copies of communications from residents of Borth and visitors thereto, making serious complaints as to the drainage of that place. The Clerk said these people were now beginning to wake up, but why bad they not asked for an inspector to come down from London before the present law suit in reference to the drainage was commenced, and not put them to the expense of getting a magistrates' order. Mn Richard James It is evident that the people who cause the nuisance are those who complain. They want to make all the ratepayers pay for taking their nuisance away. r. James Jones: Are these complaints correct 1 Mr. K. James: JNo. Mr. James Jones: Well you must get it chapter and verse to disprove those charges. If it is true it is a very serious matter; if not, let us have something to disprove it.—The Chairman said even if the assertions contained in the communications were correct, it was not the time for them to take action when law proceedings were pending.—Mr. James Jones said they ought then as a Council to report that the place was not in a sani- tary condition. He would not like to go and live there knowing that a death trap existed at the place.—The Clerk said he had an instance to prove the hollowness of the whole thing. When Mrs. Fielding's letter to the Local Government Board was received, he sent to Mrs Fielding and informed her that if she would only sign an agreement to pay the cost of cleaning out the drain trough in the event of the law suit being decided against her, that the Council would have the work carried out. The outlet was now filled up, but the cost of cleaning it out would only be about 30s.—Mr James Jones proposed that they report the place as not being in a sanitary condition.—The Clerk said that they had bad an order against these people.—Mr- James Jones: But perhaps that will not take effect until next September.-Mr Richard James said a lot of the complaints made were untrue. It was stated in one communication that a visitor came there and died after a few days' illness. That had to be looked into.—Mr J. B. Morgan said that that person was almost dead before she came to the place. He would like to be informed whether, if the District Council did anything in the matter, it would injure the legal proceedings pending.—The Clerk replied in the affirmative.—Mr J. B. Morgan said they all knew there was a nuisance at Borth, and a nuisance they could do away with very soon. But it was too bad that these people who caused it should send to the Local Government Board in -order that the whole cost should be placed on the latepayers generally, when they themselves were responsible. It would mean a great cost to Borth to have to lay down a drainage system simply because the hotel people and a few people living on the Terrace refused to have the present drain trough cleared out. The District Council had done things in the past, when, in truth, these people .should have done it and borne the cost.—The Inspector said the hotel people were willing to have the work done.—Mr. James Jones said if there was a nuisance the Council ought to report it and say the place was unhealthy.—Mr. J. B. Morgan thought that the best course would be to get an inspector -down.-The Clerk suggested that he should reply to the Local Government Board stating that they were prepared to open the outlet if the residents of the locality would pay the costs.—Mr. J. B. Morgan proposed that they authorise the Clerk to write to the Local Government Board explaining the Council's position, and then the Board would see they had nothing further to do. He knew the present state of things was too bad to be allowed -daring the summer.—The Clerk said it seemed to him that there were statements in the letters which, to say the least, were exaggerated.—The resolution that the Clerk write to the Local Government Board explaining the position of matters was then unanimously agreed to. CORRESPONDENCE. A communication was read from the Local 4Governinent Board requesting that the plan of the Talybont water works be returned.—The Clerk said he had replied informing the Board that the plan was now being considered by the Parish Council, who intended making certain improve- ments in the scheme.—The Clerk announced he had now been supplied by the assistant overseer with a list of persons liable to payment of water rate in the Uchayndre and Issayndre parishes.—A letter had been received from the chief engineer of the Cambrian Railways asking for a water supply at Borth, and the Clerk intimated that the com- munication had been referred to the Parish Council. GOGINAN DRAINAGE. Another letter was read from the Melindwr Parish Council as to the proposal of the District Council to extend the drain at Goginan from the main road down to Pistyll, explaining that they had received no communication as to what the sub- committee proposed to do. The opinion of the Parish Council was that this extension was noth- ing but throwing money away, and would only mean another extension down to the river. The Parish Council was satisfied that the drain running down into the field was in a satisfactory state.- A lengthy discussion ensued on this question, the Surveyor pointing out that the bottom of the trench where the main was laid was higher than the level of the houses. Consequently the drain- age soaked into the ground, and eventually worked its way into the houses.—The Chairman said the only remedy was to open the trench running in front of the houses, and lay pipes there.—Mr Evan Richards said the Parish Council asserted that the Medical Officer had not condemned the present drain. He would propose that the Medical Officer and the Inspector visit the place and report as to its sanitary condition.—This was seconded and unanimously agreed to. LLANBADARN ROAD. In accordance with instructions received at the previous meeting, the Clerk presented the contract and specification entered into between the Council and Mr William Edwards as to the laying of water mains to Llanbadarn, the County Council having written complaining of the unsatisfactory state in which the pipe-track had been re-laid. He also read the certificate given by Mr Roderick Lloyd, which stated that the work had been completed in a satisfactory manner, and in a manner credit- able to the contractor. The Clerk added he had had a conversation with the Contractor, who in- formed him that he had filled the trench, and rammed the stones down, making it level with the other portion of the road. He had been requested to leave the heap of stones on the road by Mr Roderick Lloyd.-On the. motion of Mr W. A. Miller, it was decided to write to the County Coun- cil giving the contractor's version of the affair. CWMYSTWYTH BRIDGE. Mr. David Morgan, in accordance with notice given, moved that the Council contribute £ 10 toward the repair of the bridge across the River Ystwyth at Cwmystwyth. The mover said the Tregaron Board had agreed to contribute £10, pro- vided this Council did likewise, and that Z10 was also collected locally. There was great need for this to be done, as owing to the instability of the bridge, a funeral had been unable to cross it the previous Saturday, the coffin having to be taken through the river on a cart.—Mr. Morgan's propo- sition was, after a little discussion, agreed to with- out a dissentient, and a committee, consisting of Mr. Morgan, Mr. Powell, and the Surveyor, was appointed to confer with the Tregaron Board. MEDICAL OFFICER'S ANNUAL REPORT. Dr. John James, as medical officer of health for the northern division of the Council's district, sub- mitted his annual report for 1899, which was as follows:—" According to the last census the population of the district is 8,021, and my results are based on this census, but it is my belief that the number has considerably increased in the mean- time owing to the revival of the mining industry and of the building trade in North Cardiganshire, .and if my opinion is correct the death-rate and the ;birth-rate will be correspondingly lower. Dividing ,the district into three sub-districts, viz., Aberyst- wyth, Geneurglyn, and Rheidol, each has a popula- tion of 1656, 3621, and 2744 respectively. The number of births registered during the year was 178 (males 92, females 96), giving an annual birth-rate of 22 per 1,000 of the population. This is less by 18 than last year's number of births, and 8 below the average of the last four years. The births in the different districts were as follows,:— Aberystwyth, 43; Geneurglyn, 83; Rheidol, 52. The "number of deaths during the year was 188 (males 86. females 102), showing an annual death- rate of 23 4. This number includes the death of six persons not belonging to the district, who died in the Union Workhouse. The reduced number is 182, and the death-rate is 22-6. This is the highest rate since the year 1891. Of the deaths, 44 occurred in the Aberystwyth district, 81 in Geneurglyn dis- trict, and 63 in the Rheidol district. The deaths were as follows :—Under one year, 30; ore year and under five, 8; 5 years and under 15, 10 16 and under 25, 14; 25 and under 65, 53; 65 and upwards, 73. The high mortality among children under one year is nearly one-sixth of the total number of deaths, and 168 6 per thousand of the registered number of births. Many of these deaths were caused by convulsions and stomach disorders, due largely, as pointed out in my last year's report, to improper food, which consists of all kinds of in- digestible stuff, intended for the nourishment of babies a few weeks, and even a few hours old. The natural food is the mother's milk, and the best substitute for that is diluted cow's milk. Many of the deaths among infants under one year were due to whooping cough indirectly. The principal causes of death were as follows :-Diphtheria, 1; whooping cough, 2; diarrhoea, 1; rheumatic fever, 1; phthisis, 30; bronchitis, pneu- monia, and pleurisy, 29; heart disease, 23; cancer, 9; all other diseases, 91. Dur- ing the year 27 cases of infectious diseases were notified, consisting of 24 cases of scarlet fever, 2 of diphtheria, and one of typhoid fever. The number of infected houses were as follows:- 10 with scarlet fever, two with diphtheria, and one with typhoid fever. The case of typhoid occured at Maesbangor Arms, and I was unable to trace its origin. Enforced isolation and the extensive use of disinfectants successfully arrested the spread of this disease. The two cases of diphtheria occurred at Goginan, where I found the drainage in a bad state and the foul air emanating therefrom was sufficient to account for the origin of the disease. One of these cases ended fatally. As to sanitary progress in the district, Llanbadarn village has now been provided with an abundant supply of pure water from the Plynlimon main, and this has been conveniently distributed throughout the entire village, a boon which will be of inestimable value to the villager in future. Tynllidiart also gets its water from the same main. The Borth water supply was made adequate to the demand, and last summer the supply was satisfactory. The construction of a new drain at Goginan undoubtedly adds to the health resources of the place, but in my opinion the drain is not yet perfect. Pwllhoby, Llanbadarn, has also been improved, and the District Council has succeeded in improving the sanitation of Borth by compelling the inhabitants to cleanse. the Mill Leet, and it has also endeavoured to abate the nuisance created by the wooden trough which deposits obnoxious matter on the beach at Borth. Bye-laws have been promulgated by the District Council with a view to the sanitary inprovement of the architecture of dwellings, and if these bye-laws are carefully observed insanitary habitations will ultimately vanish from the district. It is to be hoped that the officers appointed to inspect plans and specifications of new buildings will strictly enforce these new regulations, so as to achieve the desired results, i.e., dry, well-ventilated and smoke- less houses. Reverting to the subject of the crowding of small houses at Wylnosau, I beg to state that results have justified my remarks of last year. There is a decided improvement in this respect. The custom is fast be- coming less fashionable, and we can contidently expect further beneficial results from its discon- tinuance, as it behoves us all to discontinue the habit. There is also an apparent falling off in the pernicious habit of visiting those persons suffering from acute illness to the detriment both of the visitant and the patient. A great deal of igno- rance seemingly exists as to the actual cause of diseases. Providence is regarded by many as the sole and only cause of disease and death. In the opinion of not a few there are no contagious dis- eases, and the fates which unravel the threads of their destiny ward off all evils, no matter how im- pregnated with poisonous germs the air they breathe. A clergyman once entered a house in my district for shelter, when he heard a child cough- ing violently. He asked the mother if the child had whooping cough. She answered Yes." No sooner did he hear the reply than he and his child- ren speedily made their exit. When outside he heard the mother of the little sufferer exclaiming What a fine clergyman you are, don't you believe in Jesus Christ" (loud laughter). These remarks are intended to impress on the public mind the fact that though many diseases are contagious, the contagion can be avoided, and also that con- sumption, which claims one-sixth of the total num- ber of deaths during the year as its victims, is con- tagious. The report was considered a very satisfactory one, and was unanimously adopted.