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LLANIDLOES. A Popular and Progressive Mayor. Review and Outlook after Twenty Years of Progress. The Town as a Holiday Resort. Mayor's Sunday Discontinued. The Llanidloes Town Council, as we predicted in last week's 'Express,' gave expression to the wish of the community by unanimously re-electing its popul; Mayor, Alderman Edward Hamer, who now occupies the chief civic position of the ancient borough i<>r the fourth time. The Mayor presided over the following membersAldermen Edward Davies, W. Ashton, and Richard George, Councillors Horsfall Turner. Kinsey Jones, Jones Meredith, R. Jerman, G. Hercomb, J. Morris, Thomas Evans, Charles Benbow, E. B. ONeill, E. V. Davies, and Dr Davies, together with the Clerk (Mr Arthur Davies). Mr Hercomb explaned that Councillor Breeze was surry to be unable to attend owing to an engagement. THE DISABILITIES OF ALDERMEN. Prior to the election of the mayor, Alder- man Ashton asked what were the aldermen's liniitatioils in regard to voting for the mayor. The Clerk: This is what the recent Act "The aldermen of a municipal bor- ough shall not have such a vote in the election of aldermen, and the outgoing aldermen shall not as aldermen vote in the election of mayor." But on this occasion, the Mayor, although an outgoing alderman, is entitled to vote. because he does not vote ;1"; an outgoing alderman, but as mayor. ft is only the outgoing aldermen who shall not vote in the election of mayor. The Mayor: I shall ask the ex-Mayor to take my place while Alderman George and myself retire from the room during the election of aldermen. ELECTION" OF MAYOR. Mr Kinsey Jones: I have a very pleasant task in proposing the re-election of our present Mayor, and that resolution does not call for many words. We all know Mr Edward Hamer, and how efficiently he has conducted the Council during the three years he occuped the mayoral chair. I think we will do well to re-elect him to that office for the fourth time, and I trust we shall be perfectly unanimous in his re- appointment. 1 trust, too, that we shall show the same unity of feeling in every other election to-day (applause). Mr Hercomb: 1 have great pleasure in .seconding. We have been very fortunate in this Council for some years in the se- lection of gentlemen for the office of mayor. J am sure that both inside and outside the Council we could not get a gentlemen more popular than Mr Hamer. He is known to us all he has been our mayor several times before e is accustomed to the office, and we are- all accustomed to him (hear, hear). The proposal was unanimously carried amidst hearty applause, and Alderman Hamer was invested with the gold chain of bis office by his proposer and seconder. THE MAYOR'S OUTLOOK. The Mayor: I thank you most sincerely for the honour you have conferred upon me Jor the fourth year. I look upon it as the highest honour a town can confer upon a citizen. I accept and appreciate it as such, and I assure you it will always be my pleasure to do all I possibly can to further the interests of the town (applause). I think you will give me credit for having the interest of the town at heart (hear, hear). When a person has at heart the interest of his place, he can in a great measure accomplish that which he desires to do. I have always believed in that idea, and I hope you are all of the same persuasion. I look upon the ensuing year as a very special one, and have sometimes hesitated and almost shrunk from the thought of again taking the chair, because I see it is to be a year of work, if we are to do our duty as a Council. It will be also a very interesting year. Four very distinct mat- ters stand out in bold relief among the or- dinary routine of Council work. They are all well known to you. There is the cor- onation of our King and the investiture of the Prince of Wales. These two important functions will engage the attention of the world, and I take it that every town and city will share in that interesting occasion, and that we, although our town is small and located in a remote part of Wales, will like to show our loyalty and do what we think is our duty. Again, there is the GREAT WELSH NATIONAL MEMORIAL, which will be an exceptionally important question during the coming year, and I am sure that Llanidloes, like the rest of Wales and Welshmen, will want to contribute its quota towards it,—(applause)—espec- ially as the birthplace ot this great ana noble idea is within a few miles of Llanid- loes (applause). It was there. I think, the idea was first concerned. We know how generous the Plas Dinam family are, and we feel proud that this great national move- ment has had its start in our County Mem- ber,-(applause)-not only our County Member, but our neighbour (hear, hear). I can bring him even nearer than that by saying that this great movement found its inception in the first and only freeman of this borough (applause). Taking these facts into consideration, I know that we will all feel unanimous in supporting this great scheme, and that Llanidloes will be ready and willing to do the best it can towards this noble project. Another ques- tion that stands out in bold relief is the advertising of OUR TOWN AS A HEALTH RESORT. That is a question which has been talked of from time to time ever since I have been on the Council, but somehow or other the matter has not fructified. I am hopeful, however, that this time there is to be some- thing more than talk (hear, hear). We have even started. The Council have given their sanction and their promise of support to the movement, .and, as you know, it has been partly decided that tin outside com- mittee be formed for the purpose of raising funds and carrying on the work. That is an interesting matter, because it will re- quire the help of all, since is concerns everybody. During the last year three great gaps have been created in the Council through the removal of three of its members by death. We cannot have the assistance of these gentlemen any more, but I hope that the gentlemen who have been returned to fill these vacancies will take as keen and as active an interest in the affairs of the town (hear, hear). I hope, too, that we shall be as one family, united in our efforts, and pull together like one man, and do all we possibly can to further the interests of the town (applause). THE FINANCIAL POSITION. The Clerk, and myself have been looking up figures in regard to the finances of the borough, and some of these may interest you. In 1879 we borrowed £ 10,<HJ0 for sewage in 1899, £ 7,326 for the water- works, and in 1905 we had another loan of t2.933-a total of £ 20,259. Of that amount we have repaid Z9,971, leaving a balance of EIO,288 (applause). You will therefore see we have effected a big reduction in the town's indebtedness, and it cannot be con- sidered that we stand in a very unfavoura- ble position in regard to loans. Comparing ourselves with neighbouring towns, I think we may say that we stand in a very favourable position, indeed (hear, hear). Our old sewage loan of £ 10,000 now stands at E2,398, and it will be entirely extin- guished in 1917. After we dispose of that loan, we shall be able to go in for further improvements in our town. Our total annual payments in respect of principal and interest on these loans amount to F-885. That, for a little bor- ough, is a very large item, and you will all readily understand that the Couneil have not very much money at their disposal after discharging these just obligations. We have not large sources of revenue, like other towns. Our account stands in debt at the bank to the amount of £560. A con- siderable part of that may be accounted for by the amount we have paid out of the current account on the sewage works this year. Over £ 250 has been expended this year from the current account, not through any fault of the Council whatever, but owing to defective work carried out more than 30 years ago. During a period of 30 years the Council has been renewed many times over, so that the present councillors are in no way responsible for this defective work. But it had to be remedied, and now that portion of the sewage works is in good order. THE PROPOSED BAZAAR. The site fund deficiency now stands at £ 275. Last year, you will recollect that the fund stood at £ 330 in debt. The re- duction to Y.275 has been made by dona- tions and some subscriptions that have come in, and by another sum which we have been able to pass over to this account. Last year I told you that it was my inten- tion, on taking the chair, to endeavour to start a bazaar with the view to reducing this debt. But circumstances, unfortunate- ly, became adverse. We had one meeting of ladies in this room, at which the project was fairly well received, but the meeting was postponed, and it was the intention to have another meeting. In the meantime, however, illness prevented my doing any duty whatever for a considerable time following that came the general election, and following that again I had a second illness. So we had those hindrances until the season was over, and it was too late to organise the bazaar. Well, I cannot see how we can possibly start a bazaar this year, in face of the memorial fund which we want to raise, and the town improve- ment fund which we also desire to estab- lish. Therefore, I fear we shall have to be content to leave the adverse balance of jL275 on the site fund to remain for the present. NO WHITE ELEPHANT. On the Town Hall account we have a credit of £88 lis lid. That building has not proved to be the white elephant" which some people predicted it to be (hear, hear. It is self-supporting, and leaves us a substantial balance after paying all work- ing expenses. That is very gratifying, for we were all very anxious on this question, considering there was a good deal of op- position to our accepting the generous offer of the Plas Dinam family of this town hall. It is a great relief to us to know that it is self-supporting, and leaves us a profit to devote to other purposes. Alderman Davies reminds me that we cannot use the whole proceeds from the hall. Mr David Davies has very wisely itrer-ved a certain part of the income for the purpose of repairing the building—the income from the billiard room and the rent of the hotel. The market hall fund we have a right to use. We are leaving this margin of P-88 towards the up- keep of the bttilding, so as to comply with the wishes of the donor. That is the finan- cial position of our town, and I think we can congratal-ate ourselves on being in A FAIRLY COMFORTABLE POSITION. The Countil are fully alive to the interests of the town, and do all they can to keep its finances sound. There is one little in- come we have from the Gro. Years ago we received only about E4 of rent from the Gro, but this year, it will surprise you to hear, we have received nearly E40 (applause). Then as to the sewage farm, we are now in receipt of between r,20 and £25 additional rent. These two items help us, especially considering that our rateable value is small. I have nothing further to add in explana- tion of our finances I only hope that we shall have a pleasant year's work, and that all the members will unite to do their utmost. Concluding, the Mayor asked the Council to agree to dispensing with the Mayoral Sunday this year. TRIBUTES TO THE MAYOR. Alderman Ashton: I propose that a hearty vote of thanks be accorded to the Mayor for the efficient manner in which he has discharged the duties of his office during the past year. Not only has he done well in this Council, but you all know of his deep interest in the welfare of the town (hear, hear). He is a successful and energetic citizen, and I am glad to think we have a gentleman, a native of the town, who has shown such energy and been so successful, and attained to such a high position in the commercial world as our worthy Mayor (applause). I have known him since he was a boy, and I can assure you nothing has given me greater pleasure than to see the success which Mr Hamer has gained (hear, hear). With regard to the town's improvement, he is, perhaps, a little hit ahead of the old ones. We may have been a little bit slow. The Mayor is just in the age. I have always considered that a Council like this ought to be composed of young and old people. The young go too fast, and the old too slow. Mr Hamer is just in the middle age, not too old nor too young (laughter and hear, hear). For his efficiency as mayor, his conduct as a citizen, for his energy and enterprise, for the good he has done to the town, commercially, morally, socially, religiously, we are grate- ful to him. Alderman Richard George I second the motion most heartily, and can say ditto to practically everything Alderman Ashton has stated concerning our Mayor. I cannot say I remember him as a boy, for he was a young man when I was born, but through- out the years I have known him I think Alderman Ashton Iras stated very clearly our experience of him in different spheres of life (hear, hear). We are very fortunate in having a gentleman of his capabilities and his sympathies. I was very pleased to hear him review the past financial history of the borough, which showed the progress we have made during the last 20 or 30 years. It is said that the best way to admire and view a mountain is from a distance. When we review our proceedings month by month, our progress may seem slow, but when sur- veyed over a period of 20 or 30 years we see not only what we have attempted, but what we have been able to overcome and to achieve. Our progress during that time has been very considerable indeed, and I trust that during the present year we shall main- tain it. The vote of thanks was heartily passed. THE MAYORAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT. The Mayor I thank you very much. It is more than I deserve. But I know that these words of my friends are sincere. I can only say that it is no effort on my part at all to do that which I can. No effort is required to make me feel an interest in the town. It is a sacrifice, and takes toll of my time often when I can ill afford it, but I feel so brimful of enthusiasm for anything which will help the little town along, that I am always willing, as far as I am able, to do that which I can (applause). A HELPFUL CITIZEN. Rising again, the Mayor said I have the very pleasant duty of asking you to accord a vote of thanks to the Ex-Mayor (Mr Hors- fall Turner), from whom I have received the greatest assistance, always readily and un- grudgingly given. He has been a very great help to me in carrying out the mayoral duties this year. Mr Turner was always looking out for something of benefit to the town. We have not forgotten the very valu- able history of the town which he wrote (applause). Only this week some natives of Llanidloes, who have been resident abroad for about 40 years, have expressed the plea- sure they experienced in becoming possessed of a copy of that history. Mr Turner has done valuable work for the town he made a thoroughly good and energetic mayor, and he has been a splendid supporter of mine during the last year (applause). Mr Kinsey Jones seconded. Mr Turner, lie said, has been one of the most active and thorough members the Council has had for a number of years. Whatever he takes in hand he does thoroughly -(applause). Mr Horsfall Turner, in acknowledging the compliment, said he had only tried to do his best. As a stranger to Llanidlop« ha could not personally go back to those olden times and claim it as his place of boyhood, but since he came there he could honestly say he had tried to take an intelligent in- terest in the affairs of the borough, and to do his best to forward anything which con- cerned its progress (hear, hear). In doing that he had only done the duty of a resi- dent. It was nothing extraordinary to aim at. Every resident in a town ought to take an intelligent interest in its affairs. On the motion of the Mayor, seconded by Mr Turner, the Council passed a cordial vote of thanks to Alderman Edward Davies for The assistance which he gives to the mayors on the bench. The venerable Alderman, in responding, said lie was always willing to lend his advice whenever called upon. I ELECTION OF ALDERMEN. j The retiring aldermen were the Mayor and Mr Richard George, who left the Toom while the appointments were being made by ballot. Alderman Davies declared the re- sult of the voting as follows The Mayor £ }, Mr Richard George 8, Mr J. Kinsey Jones 2, Mr Horsfall Turner 1, Mr G. Hercomb 1, and Mr R. Jerman 1. The Mayor and Alderman Richard George having been declared re-elected, returned thanks. Other re-appointments were the Town Clerk (Mr Arthur Davies), Medical Officer of Health (Dr. Vaughan Owen), Treasurer (London City and Midlands Bank), Inspector I of Nuisances (Mr John Morgan), Inspector of Lodging Houses (Sgt. Lewis), Town Crier (Mr W. Hamer). The crier's bell formed a collection plate for the usual honorarium, and several Councillors suggested that the crier should extend his rounds so that the people in the outskirts might hear all his announcements. The Crier (sotto voce to Alderman Ashton): I'll require a pair of roller skates. THE COUNTY INFIRMARY. The Mayor One matter I ought to call your attention to. It is time that the col- lections on behalf of the New County In- firmary were completed, because we shall have other collections to make shortly, and it would be well to avoid any overlapping. May I ask you as a special favour to kindly make an effort to do so this week, and be able to hand in your money by Monday next. You may as well get it over. When Alderman Ashton and I went out collecting on behalf of this project we were most cordially received by everybody. We never had a better response or greater pleasure in collecting for anything. I hope you will finish your collecting this week, so that we may be able to hand over the money to the proper authorities next week. The Council thereafter adjourned till the following evening.