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ANOTHER "BREEZY" MEETING. CAUSTIC CHARGES AND BITING RETORTS. DR. DAVIES AND MR. J. H. THOMAS. The usual fortnightly meeting of this body was held on Tuesday afternoon. Present-Mr J. H. Thomas (in the chair), Dr Davies, Dr Thomas, Messrs J. Boyd Harvey, David Davies, Evan Williams, T. B. Boucher, Rhys Rhys, T. Jones, David Beynon, and W. Griffiths. Mr J. H. Thomas was voted to the chair in the absence of the chair- man. RECREATION GBOUND. Mr David Davies had given notice of motion with regard to the questions of axe creation ground and a. police court. Speaking to the first, he said the central part of the district was well provided for, bat there were other parts that were totally un- provided for; and he suggested that the best plan would be to refer the matter to a committee to :eport at the next meeting. In the upper district aere was not a yard of ground available for recrea- te purposes. The young people now utilised a -pace in Coegnant-rnad, but the site had been taken tu for building purposes, and once the buildings WHre put up there would be no open spaces left for tf public. The Council should take steps to select iu open space there before the other fields were urned iuto building sites. There WdS nothing but lie roads now where they could indulge in sports- 4 e believed Mr Barrow had given a field to be used r such a purpose at Llwydartb, whilst North's Navigation Company had granted the use of their xeellent field for the central part of the town and ney should now do something for the upper part. Mr Harvey thought it was most desirable that the -ople of the upper district should have a recreation i ground, but he was sorry to hear Mr Davies say i^t the probabilities were that the whole of the "ound in the district would be built over. He (Mr Ha.rvey) was not of that opinion. :\fr Davies Not all; most of it. Mr Harvey went on to suggest that the Council -fiould approach some of the landlords and ask if y would grant a fiell at a nominal rent in the t.roe way as Mr Barrow and North's. They should ¡ • r. take the matter up in the form of claiming their :hts as a Council. I Sir Davies In Coegnant-road one side belongs to r .lonel Turbervill and the other side to Miss Talbot. tbink we should approach them first. Mr T. Jones agreed that it was a most desirable ing to have a recreation ground. He thought, wever, they should meet the wants of the place in entirety and, in order to give the greatest nefit, to have the open spaces so situated that J Ue children could get to them conveniently from t ir homes. If the spot suggested by Mr Davies .r the North Ward was selected, he did not see •w the people from the Caerau and Nantyfyllon ould take advantage of it. He thought there -n juld be open spaces all Over Maesteg. Mr Davies' suggestion was agreed to. POLICE COTJET. \fr Davies then drew attention to the necessity of Slaving a Police-court at Maesteg. Mr Davies re- tailed the fact that the old Local Board made an Ipplication for the appointment of a stipendiary, Hid the Clerk of the County Council sent a letter some time ago asking what their opinion was on the matter. He believed the matter was now being considered in the Garw Valley, and if they could have a Stipendiary to act for the whole district—in- cluding the three Valleys and Bridgend-the cost would only amount to one farthing in the £ on the rotal valuation. They had now three resident Magistrates at Maesteg and he urged that it would he a great convenience to have the police-court held 'here instead of the police officers and witnesses having to go to Bridgend every Saturday. The size and population of the place demanded it. If they could not have a Clerk appointed at Maesteg, the Bridgend Clerk could attend no doubt. He suggested that a Committee be appointed to approach the Bridgend Bench, and than the Quarter Sessions. Mr Evan Williams spoke in favour of the proposal, and also advocated the holding of a County Court at Maesteg. For the last twenty years, he said, they had been agitating for a police-court, and the time had arrived when they should make such 'in impression on the Bridgend Magistrates, and Quarter Sessions that the boon should be delayed no longer. Mr T. Jones pointed out that the Bridgend 0 Magistrates had already consented to hold a court at Maesteg, but it was found that only the most trivial cases could be tried there. Colonel Franklen then undertook to petition the County Council for a Stipendiary, and there the matter seemed to have dropped. The only method they could adopt was to apply to the Quarter Sessions for the establishment of a Divisional Petty Sessions. Then, with the support they would be likely to get from the sur- rounding district, that would very probably be granted. Mr Harvey asked what it would cost the rate- payers. The Clerk explained that when the question of ap- pointing a stipendiary was mooted, the old Local Board were asked by the Clerk to the County Council, if they would bear their quota of the cost. From that date to this, they heard nothing more of the matter. Mr Harvey What will the cost mean r The Clerk About a penny in the JE, I think. Mr Davies And a farthing in the £ for the com- J bined districts. Mr Harvey, speaking in support of the proposal, said the magistrates at Bridgend were complaining of the amount of work they had to do. They had only three magistrates "t Maesteg, and each one val" connected with collieries. Now most of the Police-court cases from Maesteg were connected with collieries—breach of regulations, &c.—and it would be hardly fair for the accused to be tried by men who were directly interested in collieries, and who, of course, would be bent on putting down such things as breaches of regulations. They had three able men no doubt, but until they had a better as- wrtment, it would be undesirable to bring men up before the present justices. 1he first attribute of English law was justice. I The Chairman But the suggestion is that a stipendiary should be appointed for the who'e dis- trict. The magistrates, of course, would sit with him. I hope we shall be able to have the co-operation of the other district. Eventually the clerk was instructed to resume correspondence wilth Col. Franklen, with a view of ascertaining the position of things. KKBBING AND CHANNELING. The clerk having been instructed at the last meeting to investigate what was done by the late Board, in regard to excusing certain parties in re- spect to kerbing and chamneling, now stated that the old Board thought if they could get the parties to pay, it would not be advisable for the Board to do the kerbing and channeling, and a resolution was passed that in all cases in future, £ he paving, kerbing and channeling, should be done at the cost of, and by the parties building. That was in August, 1893, and since then the Board had had nothing to do with kerbing and channeling. The Chairman advocated hard ash footpaths ia- stead of stone pavements. The present method in- volved not only a heavy expense, but it appeared to be a source of nuisance to those workmen who slept in the day-time, and worked by night. In ad- dition to the hardship of calling upon these work- men to pay it would become a heavy item of expense to the Board hereafter. Therefore let them have ash footpaths, and not call upon poor people to pay onch a heavy sum. Mr Harvey said if a man could afford to build a house, he could also afford to put a pavement. Dr Davies remarked that the old Board was in- fluenced, to a large extent, by the custom in vogue in'the adjoining valleys. Eventually on the motion of Mr Harvey, seconded by Mr Williams (who expressed a hope that a uni- form rule would be adopted by the Council), con- sideration of the matter was postponed till the next jueeting. With reference to the bill sent in by Mr S. H. Stockwood in -respect to his eosts as advocate for the promoters of the order dividing the district into wards, it will be remembered that Mr Scale has been asked to write the Clerk to the County Council as to the Board's liability. Mr Scale now read the reply received from Mr Franklen, who stated that he had laid his (Mr Scalo's) letter before the Local Govern- ment Committee, who sat last Thursday, when they decided that the matter did not concern them, and they declined to give any opinion. He (Mr Frank- len) therefore thought the District Council must be left to be advised by their own legal adviser. Mr Harvey What can we do ? The Clerk suggested that the matter be referred to the District Councils' Association. The Council I paid a guinea a year subscription, for which they got the benefit of Counsel's opinion. Mr T. Jones: That will only be on the legal bearings of the question. Mr Harvey And the moral justice of the question (hear, hear, and cries of "No, no"). Mr T. Jones It is a matter of pro bono publico, and the public are willing to pay for it. Proceed- ing, Mr Jones said they had a conversation on this matter at the last meeting, and it passed his under- standing to see gentlemen opposing a matter of this sort. The matter had affected the whole of the ratepayers in such a way that he could not under- stand the opposition to the payment of Mr Stock- wood's bill. He was sure the public of Maesteg were perfectly prepared to pay it without any demur, and the opposition was only from a compara- tively small number who were opposed nearly to everything that was of the pt o bono publico kind in Maesteg. It was doing an injustice to the town, because they knew very well that the town had received a benefit by the division of the district into wards. He did not see how they could refuse to pay it on grounds of justice. In other places the Local Boards had taken the matter up instead of ¡ leaving it to outside ratepayers In those cases the costs were defrayed from the rates, because it was the local authorities that raised the question. Why were they at Maesteg not in a position to put the cost upon the rates ? The old Boird neglected to do its work, opposed the movement tooth and nail; and now some of them tried to npset it. If it was not legal the promoters were perfectly prepared to pay it. but he contended that it was legal for the Council to pass a resolution that the money should be paid. The private individuals who took the matter up did not do it for their own personal benefit, but for the purpose of emancipating the place from the thraldom in which it was held. If the old Board itself had taken on the campaign the ratepayers would have had to pay, but because the ratepayers carried the thing on themselves some gentlemen now objected to payment. It was mons- trous-a monstrous injustice. The Chairman explained that the Council was in a position to dispose of the matter at once by coming to a resolution that the sum be paid. If any mem- ber made a motion, and it were passed, it became in order at once for the clerk to draw a cheque. Mr Harvey: Those who sign the cheque will pay. The Chairman: That will be decided by the auditor. Mr Boucher agreed that the ratepayers should pay the bill, but in order that there should be no doubt as to its legality he moved that the Clerk write the District Councils' Association. Mr Beynon seconded. Dr Davies said the wards were obtained and the expenses incurred, not at the request of the public, but at the request of a small party. He thought the ratepayers at large were not told of the object of the petition. He was never asked to sign a petition. He moved a good deal among the people i of Maesteg, and he could say that those who took round the petition went to certain houses, and the thing appeared to be done in a clandestine manner. The Local Board was never consulted. Me was not aware that thtt old Board would have had any objection to have the question discussed and examined if they were requested, as they were the only public body in the place. He never knew any- ing about it until within a few days of the County Council meeting at Neath, and to say that it was a public question brought forward by the ratepayers at large was erroneous, and only those who were in favour of it said it. As he said at the County Council meeting, the question was quite immature, and if the place was divided into wards it would be re-adjusted again at some future period. He proposed that the bill be not paid by the ratepayers, but by those who promoted the scheme. Mr Griffiths: Did the ratepayers engage Mr Stockwood to represent them as ratepayers. Mr Harvey: No. Mr Griffiths said the ratepayers did not hold a a public meeting and authorise the engagement of Mr Stockwood. Mr Scale was present at the inquiry, and any ratepayer could ask Mr Scale as their representative any legal question, and to explain to them all that was necessary. The Chairman Mr Scale represented the Local Board. Mr Griffiths: And the ratepayers through the Board. The Chairman Mr Scale represented the twelve gentlemen who sat at this table as a Board. Mr Griffiths: And they represented the rate- payers. The Chairman: Not upon this specific point, because it was never submitted to them at the election. It was a question arising between the ratepayers and the Board. The equity and justice of the subject is entirely admitted by the act of the County Council in granting the wards. Therefore there is no need to discuss what is fair. We take for granted that the County Council knew what was just and equitable to the ratepayers. Dr. Davies: That's not correct. The Chairman Order please. The question before us now is-is this bill to be paid by the Council? We may submit it to the District on the point, and the statements that were made at the inquiry were very misleading. Mr T. Jones: In what way ? The Chairman We can gain nothing by this discussion. Mr T. Jones We can speak to the amendment 50 times. The Chairman We have no amendment before us. Dr. Davies has moved a direct negative. The motion that the Clerk write the District Council Association, was then carried, Dr. Davies, Mr Harvey, and Mr Griffiths voting against it, MR LEWIS JONES' HOUSE. With regard to the water nuisance complained of by Mr Lewis Jones in Ewenny-road, the High- way Committee recommended that a trapped gully be placed at the gable end of Mr -Jones' premises. On the motion of Mr Harvey, seconded by Mr D. Davies, the recommendation was adopted. A WARM DISCUSSION. The report of the Highway Committee- presented by Mr T. Jones, chairman—recom- mended that, having regard to the facts laid before the committee,it was desirable to terminate the existing contract for the repair of the road, and that the surveyor should have the men under his own immediate control. Dr Davies said this was a very important question. The public streets of Maesteg had never been kept in such a good order as they had been since the contract had been given to Mr John Rees. Before that time they knew what con- dition the streets were in. They were paying very much more for keeping them than they did now. The contract was about iJlSO. Mr Rees kept two men regularly -sometimes three men— and got about 23a a week for the work he did himself. He did the work admirably. The whole place had not been kept in anything like the good order it had during the past few years. As for the surveyor, he had a great deal more than he could do now, and ho was at liberty to super- intend the work now. He moved a direct negative -that the contract be left a* it was. Mr D. Davies said since Mr Rees had taken the contract the farmers had told him (Mr Davies) that the roads had never bad better attention or been kept so well. Mr T. Jones remarked that the surveyor was in a better position than any one else to give an opinion on this matter, and if he could bring about better results at less cost—as he thought he could-it was for him to try and do so. The Surveyor gave an estimate for certain work to the old Board with the result that the cost had lowered to an appreciable extent. Mr Griffiths asked if there was any complaint as to the way in which Mr Rees had done the work. The Chairman said he drew the attention of the Council, to this matter by what appeared to him to be the unsatisfactory manner in which the contract was worked. Mr Harvey got up to speak, but The Chairman said he was not in order, as no motion had been proposed. Mr Harvey What has Mr Jones been speaking to, then ? o Dr Davies (to the Chairman): You should call your own men to order too. The Chairman explained that Dr Davies had moved an amendment, but there was no proposition yet. Mr Boucher then moved that the recommendation of the committee be adopted, and that the Clerk take steps to give notice to Mr Rees to terminate the contract. Mr T. Jones seconded. Mr Harvey said Mr Rees had had the contract for many years and it was not a customary nor a recognised thing for a public body to discharge an old servant without giving him some good reason, because Mr Rees had a kinJ of vested interest in the place. For that reason-that they had no adequate reason, and that he had not neglected his duty—he thought they should support Mr Rees, and treat him with justice. He supported the amendment. Mr T. Jones: But I pointed out that the Sur- veyor could employ the two men in other directions, and he says he can do it. Mr Harvey: But you should also listen to what Dr Davies and Mr David Davies, who employed the Surveyor, say. Mr Jones: It is simply a point with me of saving money and greater sufficiency. Mr Boucher pointed out that the Surveyor had bad no part in this matter. They asked him for his opinion and he gave it, and that was all. He had no hand in it. Dr Davies got up to speak, when The Chairman said I don't think you are in order. Dr Davies Is nobody allowed to speak but you ? The Chairman I say that no one Dr Davies: Are you going to occupy the whole time of the Council yourself f The Chairman (warmly) I decidedly object to your remarks, sir. Dr Davies And I don't think a chairman should behave in this way. The Chairman We know perfectly well that at One time you could shut up the mouth of every member, and with a silent sign you could put silence into the mouths of everybody, but you can't do it now. Dr Davies: Nothing of the sort. Dr Davies made another remark (which was inaudible to the reporters, as he had his back to them) which made The Chairman say Don't enter into personalities. If pou wish to enter into personalities I am your superior. Do you wish- Dr Davies I say that The Chairman Do you wish to enter into personalities ? Dr Davies I do not. Mr Harvey (to the Chairman) You are not con- ducting the business as a chairman should. The Chairman (turning to Mr Harvey): I am the Chairman, don't dictate to me. (To Dr Davies): What have you to say, Dr Davies ? Dr Davies That I am entitled to reply. The Chairman: I don't mean that. I didn't understand what you said to me with regard to my occupying too much of the time of the Board. Dr Davies: Yes. The Chairman I only take the time necessary to I explain matters; no more. Dr Davies: I say you do. The Chairman I wish to obviate all chances of making a martyr of you. Dr. Davies You won't make a martyr of me. The Chairman Now you can address the meeting. Dr. Davies I am greatly surprised that this motion has come on almost immediately after this new Council is formed, against a man who appears to me to have done his duty more efficiently than any of the other officers connected with the Board. Wo are quite accustomed to the common phrases about the interest of the ratepayers. I should say that I have been sitting on this Board for 25 years, and it is the interests of the ratepayers at large that 1 have at heart; and it is these motive that actuate me in this matter. To bring on a motion here to remove the best man we have, almost im- mediately after the Council is formed, is nothing but petty jealousy and low motive. Dr. Thomas asked how many applications there were for the appointment. The Clerk Two, I believe—Mr Rees and Mr Richards. Dr. Thomas There's a big question opened up there. Upon a show of hands four (Dr. Davies, Mr Harvey, Mr D. Davies, and Mr Griffiths) voted for the amendment, and six against. The Chairman abstained. LIGHTING. Mr D. Davies drew attention to the necessity of additional lamps in the upper hamlet, and said there had been a serious accident there owing to the darkness at the bottom of North-street. Dr. Davies ipoved that lamps be placed in the Caerau-road—oil lamps if the gas contractor would not do it. Mr Harvey supported, and said that the pillars would come in handy again for the Gas Company. Mr Beynon and Mr Williams also supported the proposal, which was carried unanimously.

















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