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MR. RICHARD JONES REPLIES TO A RATEPAYER." To THE EDITOR OF THE MONTGOMERYSHIRF EXPRESS AND RADNOR Ticmrhv." Sir,-ln his first. letter A Ratepayer" wished to know why the district education rates in the county were so unequal. I explained that the amount of the assess- able value of the parishes was a deter- mining factor in the matter, and in order that the thing might sink all the better into A Ratepayer's" mind, I illustrated the point by comparing the assessable values of the parishes of Trefeglwys and Newtown. The fact that one parish is rural and the other urban does not affect the argument at all. For rating purposes everything is fish that comes into the net of the Local Education Authority. Inasmuch, however, as A Ratepayer" has now definitely asked me to explain why the special rates of Llanwnog and Llan- dinam are so low, I consider it my duty to try to satisfy him. LLANWNOG. £ s. d. Half annual repayment of principal and interest on- (a) Caersws loan of £ 901 for 30 years at 3 per cent 24 7 6 (b) Loan (on furniture) of £ 153 for 10 years at 3 per cent. 9 2 8 (c) Clatter loan of £ 1,311 for 30 years at 3i per cent. 1 5 6 (N.B.—Llanwnog, being in luck's way, benefited by a grant of £ 1,066 from the McKenna Building t'iind. F-250 was also received as a reward for the plucky way in which the county and the parish fought the Education Act. These contributions have been applied in repayment of this loan hence the small amount repayable annually.) f (d) Clatter. Furniture loan of £ 71 for 10 years at 31 per cent. 4 8 1 (e) Caersws. New loan of t285 received this year (half-year only allowed for) to meet over-expenditure on loan of £ 901 3 15 9 (f) Clatter. Half cost of rent of water rights 0 10 0 Half cost. of acknowledgment for pipe-line 0 0 6 (g) Allowance for contingencies 1 0 0 £ 44 10 0 Id. rate produces 4:24 Os lid. 2d. rate produces £ 48 Is IOd. The remaining Jd is the quota payable by the parish towards the debt on the Aber- hafesp Council School. LLANDINAM. For the year ended 31st March, 1910, a rate of 4d was levied on this parish to meet expenditure which, it was anticipated, would be incurred in that year by the raising of loans for the Llandinam and Llidiartywaen schools (loans of £ 7oo and £ 305 respectively), as well as by the repay- ment of principal and interest on the loan received by the Local Education Authority for Oakley Park School. All these schools are in the parish of Llandinam. The amount thus received was t117 Os 4d, but as neither of the loans in question was raised (nor has yet been raised), the expenditure for that year was considerably less than the estimate, and there was a credit balance for this parish on the 31st March last of F.64 13s 2d. It is estimated that the expenditure for these three schools in this year will be some f.60, and no special rate on their account has there- fore been levied. Llandinam parish, however, being served by the Caersws School, a rate of td (not ld, as stated by "A Ratepayer"), has been levied as the quota of the estimated ex- penditure for this school. The rate, of course, is calculated on the basis of the number of children in attendance at the school. I may add that a rate of not more than d on this parish is required annually to meet the repayment of principal and inter- est on the loans raised by the School Board, while a rate of 4d for this purpose is necessary in the case of Trefeglwys parish. Moreover, a Id rate for Llandinam pro- duces £ 31 18s 7d, almost twice as much as the same rate on Trefeglwys ( £ 16 16s 9d). Hence, for the same amount of expendi- ture, the rate on Trefeglwys would be double the rate on Llandinam. To come back to Trefeglwys, A Rate- payer" asks if the Education Authority were justified in spending E922 on a school building "equal to new," and "recognised by many to be one of the finest in the county." Well, the building was not bad as far as the shell was concerned, but taken as a whole the premises were quite unadapted to the modern requirements of elementary education. There was practically no cloak- room, lavatories, or drainage. The sanitary state of the place was ex- ceptionally bad on account of a large cess- pool under the privies, and there was ab- solutely no water supply, although the late School Board had expended £70 in attempting to sink a well for the purpose. The rooms were insufficiently lighted and warmed, and the whole building, as well as the master's house, were becoming quite dilapidated for want of efficient re- pairs. The amount expended on the build- ing improvements, etc., as compared with the £ 1,200 and other sums expended by the School Board, is certainly not exces- sive, although prices have, since the former time, considerably risen. "A Ratepayer" states that the cost in- curred on the school was done without consulting the parish. Well, the parish representatives (the school managers) were at any rate consulted, for I have it from the County Surveyor (Mr Hutchins) that the whole plans were submitted and ap- proved by them. And regarding the water supply, it was the managers who recom- mended Cefnbarach and Banker's Well as alternative schemes. With respect to Staylittle School, it is proposed to spend the loan of £ 330 in ex- tending the playground, the provision of new sanitary offices, repairs and improve- ments to buildings, and water supply. The number of children in this school is 30 at least, and not 24, as stated by "A Ratepayer." But I gather by the tone of his letter that even that number deserve no consideration, and that any money spent to protect their health and to pro- mote their comfprt might as well be thrown into the river Trannon.—Yours truly, RICHARD JONES. Pendinas, Caersws, June 3rd, 1910. 0

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Stitch in Time.

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