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Aberystwyth Town Council.


Aberystwyth Town Council. A special meeting of the Town Council acting also as the Urban District Council of the Borough was held on Tuesday morning at the Council Chamber, Town Hall. The Mayor (Alderman C. M. Williams) occupied the chair, and there were also present Mr D. C. Roberts (ex-mayor), Alder- men W. H. Palmer, T. Doughton and Peter Jones, Messrs R. J. Jones, T. E. Salmon, J. P. Thomas, G. Croydon Marks, R. Peake, Evan H. James, J. Jenkins, 1. Hopkins, and E. P. Wynne, with A. Hughes (town clerk), C. Massey (assistant cler- H. L. Evans (borough accountant), and Rees Jo 3 (borough surveyor). EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS. After the minutes of the previous meeting 3 been read, Mr I. Hopkins said he objected to e resolution with regard to the exclusion of repc 's from committee meetings. That resolution, he 1- tended, was illegal, because the previous resolu In was still in force, not yet having been rescind d. He had called the attention of the Town Clerk to the matter, and he had also sent him a letter.! The Clerk explained that what was in the minutes was only a record. Mr Hopkins replied that it was against the law to pass such a resolution, and he proposed that it be struck out. The Clerk said that the effect of the resolution Was one thing, and the fact of the resolution having been passed and duly recorded in the minutes another thing. Mr Hopkins But you did put the resolution into effect by not sending the reporters notice. The Clerk: You must rescind the resolution. I cannot do it. Mr Hopkins: Well, the mover of the resolution ought to do it. When anyone wanted anything in the Council, it was always said "you must rescind the previous resolution," and why not do it in this Case. The Mayor: I am afraid the minutes must be Signed as they have been read. Mr Hopkins But you will sign unlawful minutes. The Mayor said they must be signed as a correct record of what took place. He could not say what Was the effect of the previous resolution. Mr Hopkins: It is down in the minutes. The Mayor I can't look that up now. The minutes were then adopted as a correct record of the business of the previous meeting. Mr Salmon again raised the question, and asked Whether the resolution in regard to the explusion of reporters from committees was in order. The Mayor: As far as I can say now it was in Order. But I have not a copy of the original resolution passed three or four years ago before me. Alderman Palmer I gave notice to put it on the agenda, and I supposed it was in order. The Mayor: As far as I am concerned it is in Order. Mr Salmon Is it necessary according to the Standing Orders to rescind a previous resolution when you pass a resolution similar to that adopted at the last meeting ? The Mayor: If you pass a resolution that re- porters be excluded, it is practically rescinding a previous resolution, and if there is a technical omission I have no doubt that if the matter is brought on again, those who voted for the resolu- tion at the last meeting will do so again. Mr Salmon Is it the usual custom ? Mr Hopkins: It is not in order, as you will see by the Standing Orders, which you ought to know .as Mayor of this Council. The Mayor: I know the standing orders, and try to act by them fairly. Mr. Hopkins: No, you carry them out to please yourself. (Cries of Order, order.) LEASE OF LAND. A communication was read from Mr Morris Jones, High-street, withdrawing his application for a lease of a piece of land in Rheidol-terrace, and asking the Council to cancel the terms given him onjgthe 3rd April last. A DISAPPOINTED APPLICANT. Mr. J. G. Rowe, Hendre Villa, Penglaise-road, wrote stating he felt disappointed at the decision the Council bad come to with regard to the lease of his house in North-parade, and was rather certain that if they had more knowledge of the facts regarding the conditions given him, which conditions he had tried to carry out, but had failed without demolishing the old building, be- sides a part of the walls at the back, his applica- tion would have been granted. Mr. Rowe also asserted that the interior of the house had been de- molished, although a member of the Council bad stated to the contrary. He also asked that a visit should be paid to the building, and understood that the Council bad a graduated scale, upon which, in case they did not see their way clear to give him site scale, he hoped they would give him some reasonable reduction. Alderman Palmer said he thought they con- sidered the whole matter at the previous meeting, and decided.that after giving a decision and the value they could not alter it. If the applicant did repairs other than what were required by the Council, he did them at his own responsibility. Mr Salmon thought it was a question which should be referred back to the Finance Committee. He saw there was a motion on the agenda to adopt a graduated scale, and on that ground he thought it should be referred back. Mr R. J. Jones seconded Mr Salmon's pro- position, that the matter be referred back, and this was carried. ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS. The Clerk announced that the annual meetings of this Association were to be held in Dublin dur- Whit week, when the delegates would be entertain- ed by the Corporation of Dublin. He had received a communication from the secretary of the Lord Mayor of Dublin asking whether the Council in- tended sending representatives. The Mayor had informed him (the Town Clerk) that he intended attending the meeting, and this would be the first occasion upon which this Corporation would be re- presented at a meeting of this important body. The Mayor also suggested that the Town Clerk should attend the meeting, Mr Hughes having pro- mised, if he could arrange, to go as well. Mr R. J. Jones What about the expenses ? The Mayor: The Town Clerk and myself will have to defray those ourselves. The Clerk: It is one of those small privileges connected with the office. (Laughter.) The Mayor and Town Clerk were then appointed to attend the conference. REPAIRS IN UNION STREET. A letter was read from Mr Hugh Oliver applying for an extension of time to carry out the repairs necessary at his house in Union-street from November, 1900, to May 1901. The contract bad been let for the building, and the work tfould be proceeded with as soon as possible. Alderman Peter Jones pointed out that they had granted an extension of time in the case of the adjoining house, which would necessitate it in this case also. The Clerk announced that a petition bad been received from several residents in that street asking the Council to defer the granting of such applica- tion until the autumn rather than allow the work to be proceeded with during the season. which would mean a great loss to them as lodging house keepers. The application was deferred, and the Clerk was directed to intimate to Mr Oliver that the work was not to be proceeded with until he heard further from the Council. TIPPING ON THE BEACH. A lengthy communication was read from Mr W R. Hall, Victoria-terrace, complaining that not- withstanding the Council's resolution, lir. John Jenkins bad continued tipping quarry dehris until a few days ago on to the beach at the end of the promenade. He was now tipping at another part which did not belong to him, but he (tle, writer) feared that as soon as the Council meeting was over Mr. Jenkins would continue to cart on to the beach again. Considerable discussion followed, the Clerk stating he had communicated with Mr Jenkins .since the previous meeting of the Council. Mr Salmon asked why had the Council's "esolu- tion not been enforced. There was a talk about the town that a member of the Corporation could get more facilities than any other ratepayer. Mr Hopkins thought it was very ungentleroanly on Mr Jenkins' part to defy the Council in this way. The Mayor said there would have to be a specific xesclution before the Surveyor could take any .special action. Alderman Peter Jones said it seemed to him that practically the resolution had been carried into -effect, and the only question was that a few days' grace had been taken. Mr Jenkins bad been de- barred for about a month's time from taking the debris along the road owing to the Council carry- ing out certain work thereon, and if there had been .an extension beyond the prescribed time, they should take that into consideration. I Mr G. Croydon Marks: Is this not the position- not guilty, don't do it again ? (laughter).. The discussion then ended at this point, but later on. when another matter was being considered, Mr Salmon asked what was the decision in regard to the matter. What was the Council's legal position in the matter. Could they stop it, or had Mr Jenkins given his word that he would not do it again. The Mayor said Mr Jenkins had not been asked. He passed on to the next matter because no one had moved a resolution, and it was quite open for anyone between now and the next meeting to give notice of motion. Mr Salmon proposed that the Council give in- structions to the Surveyor to stop the carting of debris on to the beach from this date to the 1st October unless he said that he did not intend to tip any more, The Mayor said to be strictly legal, it would be necessary that such a resolution should be placed on the agenda. The surveyor could not take action unless he obtained specific instructions, and he was sorry to rule against Mr Salmon. Mr Hopkins considered that their officials should carry out their duty without coming to the Council on every small matter. The Surveyor knew his duty and ought to carry it out, and not come there and speak before them in favour of friends and against enemies and so on. The Mayor again reminded Mr Hopkins that this was a case in which the surveyor must have specific instructions. He certainly thought there ought to be a distinct resolution with regard to a matter of this importance, might involve legal proceedings. Mr Hopkins: It shows we dont give power to our officials to do what is right. The discussion on this matter then ended. PROMENADE EXTENSION. The following letter was read from the registrar of the College May 5th. Dear Sir,—I beg to inform you that I submitted to the College Council at the meeting held yesterday, your letter contain- ing the resolution passed by the Town Council in reference to the proposed promenade extension, and as this resolution conveyed the assurance that nothing would be done in connection with the proposed promenade which would be detrimental to the College, the Council were satisfied with this assurance and passed neiti con the following:— That this Council accepts the resolution of the Town Council conveying the assurance that nothing will be done in connection with the proposed extension of the promenade detrimental to the College." FOOTPATHS PRESERVATION. A letter from the local branch of the Footpaths Preservation Society, signed by the local secret- aries (Messrs J. B. Jenkins and D. Thomas), was read drawing the attention of the Council to the following matters:-I, The footpath leading along the river Ystwyth to Tanycastell is in a bad con- dition, and they considered should be immediately attended to. 2, Two public paths bad recently been closed, one on Constitution Hill, which they had called the Council's attention to, and the other over the Alltwen, near Tanybwlch. They hoped the Council would protect the interest of the public and see that both were restored to the use of resi- dents and visitors. The promised seats on Pen- dinas had not yet been placed there. They under- stood there was no difficulty in the way, as the landlord was quite willing to have them placed there. They also suggested that the Council should appoint a committee to look after the interest of the public in the matter of footpaths within the district. They also wished to urge upon the Council to give their immediate attention to the above matters, as the season was close at hand. The communication was referred to the Public Works Committee. COUNCILLOR HOPKINS AND THE PRESS. The Clerk stated he bad received a letter from Mr 1. Hopkins drawing his attention to the fact that the resolution proposed by Alderman Palmer at the previous meeting to exclude reporters from all committee meetings, was quite out of order, as the previous resolution had not been rescinded, and asking him to send notice to the reporters of the dates of the committee meetings. Mr Hughes ex- plained that it was not in his province to sit in judgment upon the resolutions of the Council, and until that resolution was taken off the books he must act on it. He might on the same day have had a letter from Alderman Palmer giving him other instructions. Mr Hopkins: I propose that you look which of the two is in order, and let the Council know. The Clerk I shall be pleased to do that. PROPOSED OUTFALL SEWER. The Clerk reported he had on the previous day received a letter from the Board of Trade in refer- ence to the construction of the outfall sewer works below high water mark in the Aberystwyth Har- bour. The Board asked for an undertaking that in the event of the works being sanctioned the sewer- age should be discharged at ebb tide only, and not less than two hours before low water. The Clerk said he had sent the letter to the Surveyor, who in his reply said, there could be no objection-to the 1st clause, i.e., sewerage shall be discharged at ebb tide only. As to the latter clause, he considered it impracticable to have the sewer sealed up for eight hours out of the twelve hours' tide, inasmuch as the available storage is insufficient, and that the Tanycae and Trefechan branches were not provided with any storage. Therefore, he did not recom- mend the Council to give the undertaking, and he hoped the Board of Trade would sanction the sew- age to be discharged at all times when the tide was receding. Alderman T. Doughton said the main object was to have the force of the current after high tide. Mr R. J. Jones proposed that a communication containing the' comments of the Surveyor be for- warded to the Board of Trade, with a request that the matter be dealt with as soon as possible, as the season was fast approaching. This was seconded, and agreed to unanimously. VICTORIA TERRACE. Another letter was read from Mr. W. R. Hall complaining of the state of Victoria-terrace. The high tides, he said, were over at the end of March, but up to now-the middle of May- the road had not been properly made up, nor had the seats been put back. He also complained of the muddy state of the road, and said that he bad had to scrape up the mud himself, to prevent it being carried into the house. Macadan had recently been put down on the road, but had not been rolled, and had been left to be kicked about. Mr R. J. Jones I take it the surveyor will do his duty at Victoria-terrace the same as in other parts of the Terrace, Mr. Salmon I hope the surveyor is not going to give all his time to Victoria-terrace There are other streets in the town requiring attention as well. The Mayor: I take it the surveyor will give the same attention to Victoria-terrace as other parts. F APPLICATION. An application by Councillor J. P. Thomas for leave to place a bay window to a house belonging to him in Powell-street was referred to committee. PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE. This Committee reported that plans submitted by Mr. William Rowlands of proposed additions to his stables in Portland-street had been deferred. The committee recommended that the Medical Officer of Health be authorised to purchase two Jordan sunshine recorders for testing purposes. The report was adopted. FIRE BRIGADE CAPTAINCY. The Fire Brigade Committee recommended that an advertisement be inserted in the local papers inviting applications for the office of captain of the brigade, the same to be returnable on Monday, the 28th inst., and this was agreed to. ELECTRIC LIGHTING. The Public Lights Committee recommended the payment of a bill for E129 8s 3d to the Aberystwyth and Chiswick Electricity Supply Company for the quarter ending March, 1900, and this was approved of. GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE. This Committee reported that a letter had been received from Mr Denniss respecting the advertising of the town for the ensuing season, and the Committee were glad to find that the Cambrian Railways Company propose to increase the number of views of Aberystwyth and .locality in their carriages and those of other lines. The committee also reported that a letter was read from Mr Jack Edwards, soliciting an increase to the weekly pay of the town band, and the committee recommended an increase of P.2, or LIZ a week instead of F,10, to commence on the 14th July and continue to the end of season. As to the band programme, the committee reported that the matter was considered, but deferred, in order that che Chairman might be able to obtain further particulars. The committee had also instructed the Borough Surveyor to attend the meetings of the National Fire Brigade Union at Cardiff on the 10th inst., and that the sum of L4 4s be voted to defray his expenses. Mr J. P. Thomas remarked in connection with the latter matter, that he did not think it was required, now that their captain was going to retire. It was simply a waste of money to send him there. The Mayor It is over now, Mr Thomas. Mr Hopkins: Suppose I propose that the members who voted for this should be asked, to pay. (Laughter.) Mr J. P. Thomas: I second that. The Mayor: It is quite open for you to do so. The report was then adopted. PROPOSED NEW BYELAWS. The General Purposes Committee reported that the Town Clerk had been instructed to take the necessary steps for submitting to the Local Govern- ment Board the amended bye-laws for their ap- proval. Mr I. Hopkins desired to know whether those bye-laws were not to be submitted to the Council before being sent to the Local :Government Board. He knew nothing about them, nor who had made them. The Clerk, however, assured Mr Hopkins that they would come before the Council before being sent to the Board. ADVERTISING. A letter was read from Mr Denniss stating they were advertizing somewhat extensively in -1 Man- chester Faces and Places," and this month's issue would contain some interesting matter about Aber- ystwyth, and thought it would be an advantage if a paragraph were added, a copy of which was appended, to the Council's advertisement with reference to through carriages. Mr Denniss had also seen Mr Reynolds, of the Birmingham Adver- tising Agency, and he approved of the arrange- ments made by him for advertizing the town. The General Purposes Committee reported having also at their meeting on the 5th May last carefully considered the advertisement of the town for the coming season, and the matter was further discussed and considered, subject to a formal con- tract being entered into providing especially for the space given for the advertisement and the position in which it. shall appear in the several newspapers, the Committee recommend that the advertising be entrusted to the said Agency which J is prepared to insert the advertisements of last I year in the seven newspapers at a cost butjlittle in excess of that which was incurred by the Council last year, notwithstanding an increased number of insertions, and in an additional number of news- papers. Inasmuch as the Cambrian Railways Company have for some years undertaken the bulk of the advertising arrangements and have kindly undertaken to telegraph the weather reports, your Committee recommend that the Company be further instructed before the above recommendation is acted upon, and that they be asked to continue the weather report to the various newspapers. Then followed a list of the newspapers. The Committee were shown a specimen souvenir and guide of a fashionable watering place and recommended the Council to accept the offer of the said Agency to publish an official guide containing twelve views of the town, etc., to be first approved, and twelve pages of letterpress to be also approved, and to be called A Souvenir of Aberystwyth," at a cost of L10 per annum for the next three years, the pub- lishers delivering to the Council 1,000 copies yearly gratis, for distribution, the remainder of the ex- pense of this publication to be defrayed by those who advertize therein. Your Committee further recommend that the approval of the views from photographs and printed matter for insertion in the Souvenir be entrusted to the Mayor, Councillor Wynne, and the Town Clerk. As to the official guide, Mr R. J. Jones proposed as an amendment that the number be increased to 1,500 atla cost of £15. Mr Wynne seconded, and the amendment was adopted. FINANCE COMMITTEE'S REPORT. Alderman Palmer proposed the adoption of this committee's report which recommended the pay- ment of bills amounting to £ 494 3s 5d. It also recommended that in cases of renewal of leases applied for after the 5th December last, where the terms and conditions imposed by the Council include demolition of existing buildings, either wholly or in part, it is desirable that a basis should be arrived at, and after consideration the committee recommended that in addition to existing abatement of 15 per cent from rateable value, the following abatements from rateable value should be made Where total demolition of buildings is involved abatement not exceeding 15 per cent; where partial demolition only of building is required an abatement varying from 5 per cent tc not exceeding 10 per cent, according to the extent of demolition. Upon this, Mr Salmon said he wished to move an amendment. He thought more careful consdera- tion should be given as regards the limit of abate- ment allowed on rateable value applications for renewal of leases. He thought 15 per cent was most unreasonable after the discussion carried on in the Finance Committee. And he was under the impression then that what they would have was a graduated scale, and take every application on its merits. He thought it would be most unfair to such applicants as those from Poplar-row, Skinner- street, Cambrian-street, and other streets that they should be treated the same as Terrace-road, the Terrace, Portland-street or North-parade. His amendment was that they should have a limit, but should treat each application on its merits. Mr Hopkins seconded, and said if they went on as proposed, they would have monuments like that in Terrace-road in every part of the town. Alderman Peter Jones said he would like to see the 15 per cent which it was proposed to fix in case of total demolition increased to 25 per cent, and that would obviate stipulating the other portion of the committee's recommendation. He hardly thought that 15 per cent would give them sufficient elasticity. If Mr Salmon would propose, where total demolition of buildings was involved, a maximum of 25 per cent, be would support him. Mr R. J. Jones: Do you consider 25 per cent would be sufficient in all cases 1 Alderman Peter Jones 15 per cent in some in- stances would be rather small, but I think a max- imum of 25 per cent would meet all cases. It would help them a lot to have a limit, or they would have constant wrangling in each case. The Mayor remarked that that was what the committee felt strongly. Mr J. P. Thomas thought 25 per cent would be very fair indeed, but how would it work in the event that it was decided to rescind the existing abatement of 15 per cent. The Mayor said that they would be quite open to receive that at any time. Mr Salmon then withdrew his motion in favour of Alderman Peter Jones' suggestion, which was eventually accepted. The applications of Mrs Capt Doughton, Bath- street; Mrs Edwards, 12, Cambrian-street;- Messrs Hosking and Miller, 3, Brewer-street; and Miss Hughes. 11, Northgate-street, for renewals, and which had been granted on the existing basis, were then referred back to the Finance Committee for consideration under the new scale. LEASE OF LAND. The Finance Committee recommended that the application of Mr Isaac Rees for a lease of a piece of ground in South-road, for the erection of a work- shop, be granted for 75 years. Alderman Peter Jones said the Council should bear in mind the application of Mr Evan Edwards for this land, as a lessee under the Corporation. The Council had promised to give him the first offer, as be intended putting up such an erection as to be in character with the adjoining houses that he had built. He suggested that the matter should be referred back, so that Mr Edwards could be communicated with. The suggestion was unanimously accepted. TENDERS FOR PRINTING. This matter had again been considered by the Finance Committee, who now recommended that the lowest tenders be accepted. Alderman Palmer (the chairman) said that out of the four contracts three were awarded to one printer and the other to the Welsh Gazette. Mr D. C. Roberts said Alderman Palmer was in error, and handed him the statement showing the figures. Alderman Palmer, having examined it, said the figures had been altered since the committee meet- ing. The Accountant explained that the Committee decided to accept the lowest tender in each case, and on going through the figures again that was the result. Mr Salmon then proposed that the tenders be re- ferred back to the Finance Committee for the pur- pose of having the names of the persons j sending in the lowest tenders printed on the agenda E He was in the dark, and did not know who was the | lowest. j Mr D. C. Roberts said the Borough Accountant j had worked it out. The Mayor said he had taken exception to what the Finance Committee did, and voted against it, Unfortunately, the Council sent out no conditions when applying for tenders, and in the case of other work it was clearly specified that the Council were open to accept any or all the items. At the committee he also objected on the ground of the exceptionally heavy prices charged for the same goods without tender. Alderman Peter Jones interposed, and said what was referred to the committee was to examine the tenders, and not have an inquiry into the reports for the last few years. The Mayor replied that he was not going back to any length of time, but he wished to show that they had not been treated as they ought to be. Mr Peake objected to the Mayor dissecting the tenders. The Mayor, proceeding, said he took another ground at the Finance Committee, and having regard to the prices now charged for the same goods he took exception to the tenders of the firm in question altogether. Last year they paid £3 15s for less than 2,000 ballot papers. They invited tenders, and the same firm offered to print 2,000 ballot papers for 31s 6d, Even that price was not low, for he found that another firm of printers quoted 22s 6d. Mr Peake: That is what I mean; you are dis- secting. Mr Croydon Marks: On a point of order, will ,you read the conditions. The Mayor: Unfortunately, there were no conditions. Mr D. C. Roberts I would have no objection to to take them on the basis you suggest if it was stated in the contract, but I think on this occasion we are compelled to accept the lowest in each case. The Mayor further stated that there were further | items. They were charged I2s. 6d. for certain J notices without tender, whereas now the same | thing was offered to them for 6s. In another case | they had been charged 10s., but the tender price was ons. 6d., and in yet another case 10s 6d., whereas the tender was only 3s. Taking an aggregate, the bill before came to Zll 3s 6d., whereas the tender price was Z5 2s 6d. In another item they were charged £9 16s for 3,355 circulars, but they bad a tender now for 7,000 circulars at iP,3 8s. He hardly thought it was the way to treat the Council, and it was a question whether they deemed it justifiable to give their contracts to this firm or not. Mr D. C. Rrberts said he did not think it was quite fair to take up one case in tke way the Mayor bad done. The Mayor replied that he had 30 more he could enumerate. After deliberating on the matter at some further considerable length, Mr G. Croydon Marks proposed | that the question of tendering for printing be referred back, and that new tenders be invited, and that the persons tendering be informed that the tenders would be accepted in items. This was seconded, and carried by eight votes to six, the committee's recommendation being, therefore, rejected. THE NEW TOWN HALL. The amended plans of the new Town Hall were submitted by the architect (Mr. T. E. Morgan), these embodying the suggestions with regard to the improved Council Chamber and the new art rooms