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LEBBURY URBAN COUNCIL. I Loeal Tender Aeoepted for the Public Swimming Bath. The monthly meeting of the Ledbury Urban District Council was held at the Barretfr-Browaing Institute on Tuesday night, ewing to Monday being Bank Holiday, wheat the members present were Messrs H Chacker (Chairman), presiding, T S S Gardner, C H Baa tow, W L Tilley, A Carless, F W Juckes, A Warrea, W G Davis, AC Lewis, J Preece, R Lawrenee, S Clarke, and the Rev Faster Lynch, together with the Clerk (Mr Reg. iMasefield), and the Surveyor (Mr R G Garzey). I QUESTIONS. I Mr Clarke asked how far the men who picked up the paper in the streets on SURditY mornings were supposed to go, as at 10 o'clock last Sunday morning there was some paper stuck in a heap by his place (which is at the lower end of New-street). The Chairman They ffre notfexpected to so so far down. PRECEPT. I On the motion of Mr Baatow, seconded by .Mr Warren, a precept was ordered to be issued on the overseers for the repayment of principal and interest on one of .the Burial Boatd loans. ARMY MANCEUVRES. I The Clerk announced the receipt of a letter from the War Office, that at the end of June an erder would be sent with refer- ence to the Army Manoeuvres, which it was asked should be posted in a prominent position. NO OBJECTION. I A letter was read from Messrs. Tilley and Son, asking for permission to erect a bill- posking hoarding near the station. The Surveyor said if the hoarding was built as suggested, it would project about eleven inches over the main road. Mr Bastow said he did not think they had the power to give permission, as it was on a main road. He proposed that they see no objection to it, provided the hoarding does not project further than the present wall. There would be no objection to a thin board. Father Lynch seconded, aod this was agreed to. FINANCE COMMITTEE. I Mr Bastow submitted the report of the Finance Committee, which showed that the receipts amounted to CIG4 163 9d, and the bills for payment to £ 306 16a 9d. The receipts included Y,105 10s 6d on account of General District rate, and 5,44 5a 3d water eharges. In the bills for payment the labour account was £ 43, and £ 22 was for the new road sweeping brush, the cheque for which would be held back, as the machine, which arrived that day, had one shaft broken, and the firm had to deliver it. A cheque for £ 177 was for principal and interest on the Y,5,700 and the £1,500 loans. He moved the adoption of the report, that cheques be signed and the bills paid. Mr Gardner seconded and the report was adopted. STREETS COMMITTEE. I Mr Bastow moved the adoption of. the following report of the Streets Committee Road to Electric Lighting Works.—The Surveyor reported that this work would be completed next week. Homend Paths.—The Surveyor reported that j382 had been allowed for the Homend path. He suggested using this sum to the best advantage and proceeding with the work as soon as possible. Plans.—The plans for the erection of a dwelling-house in Bank Crescent for Mr J A Isaac were inspected by the Committee. Footpath in High-street.—The Committee recommend that the attention of Mr Meacham be called to the state of the pavement opposite his shop, caused by unloading heavy oil barrels. Happy Land Footpaths.—The Committee recommend that concrete herbs be put in front of Coplow Cottages as soon as the Surveyor has the kerbs. Mr Bastow said that the sum of £i2 allowed for the Homend paths was not sufficient to do all they wanted done, but the Surveyor would use it to the best advantage. The proposed new house in Bank Crescent for Mr Isaac would be an improvement to that part of the town, and he would like to see more of them. He proposed the adoption of the report, and that they offer no objection to Mr Isaac's plans provided the bye-laws were carried out to the satisfaction of the Surveyor. Mr Clarke seconded, and the report was adopted. SANITARY COMMITTEE. Mr Gardner proposed the adoption of the following report Housing Acts.—The Inspector presented his report, which was gone through in detail, and the Committee recommend that the recom- mendations of the Inspector as specified in his book be adopted. Sewage Ditches.—These were the subject of consideration, and it was arranged to leave the matter to Mr Davis, Mr Carless, the Inspector and the Clerk to formulate a scheme for the best regulation of these ditches in the future. Mr Warren seconded, and the report was adopted. MEDICAL OFFICER'S REPORT. The report of Dr Harrison (Medical Officer of Health) stated that four births and two deaths had been notified during the month. Two cases of tubercular disease were reported. HOUSING COMMITTEE. Mr Davis, as Chairman of the Housing Committee, reported that at a meeting of the Housing Committee, held at the Surveyor's office on May 26, the Committee considered the offer that had been made to them of land in Bank Crescent. After inspecting it and having a plan drawn up by the Surveyor, they found it was a very awkwardly situated piece of land, and that it was practically impossible to build such cottages as they would wish to put up at a price that thev would want to let them at to tenants. It was a very awkward piece of land, and they did not wish to put up houses with practically a cul-de-sac at one end. It was a well- known fact that the more publicity they had for cottage property the better the cottages were kept. The Council did not wish to see any more places built in Ledbury with a cul-de-sac, and they preferred to have a piece of land on which they could build a road right through. Mr Martin's land in Back Homend was not available, but Mr Bastow and himself had been enquiring into other land, and if they could get it it would be most suitable. The price of Ju650 asked for the land in Bank Crescent was too much, and two portions of it were under the restrictions of the Building Society, which would stop the Council building cottage property on it. He moved the adoption of the following report:—A meeting of the Housing Committee was held atthesurveyor's office on May 26. Present:—Messrs W G Davis (chairman), H Thacker, A Warren, C H Bastow, S Clarke and the Surveyor. Messrs Bastow and Davis reported that Mr Martin was not prepared to sell the land in Back Homend. The Committee considered the offer of land in Bank Crescent by Messrs Barnett, Bixley and Crossley, and inspected the site, but did not thtnk that it would be suitable at tne price asked (1650). The Committee have several other sites in view and are making enquiries. Mr Juckes seconded the adoption of the report, which was carried. Mr Preece said it was practicaily known beforehand that the land would not be suitable. SWIMMING BATH COMMITTEE. I Mr Davis submitted the report of the Swimming Bath Committee, and reported that in the illness of Mr Hopkins he bad been appointed vice-chairman. The Com- mittee had received tenders and had asked the two firms who were lowest to send in revised estimates. He would suggest that the Council take the tenders in Committee at the coBclusion of the other business. He pointed out that now they had got the tenders in, even if the bath was not ready for this year it could be gone 08 with at once. They might have a hot Autumn and the bath would then be ready, and if not it would be ready for next season. Mr Preece strongly protested against the question being taken in Committee. Every- thing which concerned the ratepayers money had of late been taken in Committee. Why should that be so ? The ratepayers had a right to know what their opinions were on these public matters, and where the rate- payers money was expended. He wanted to know what the object of the bath scheme was. Was it proposed that the whole cost should be thrown upon the public rates ? Were the funds already subscribed to be handed back to those who subscribed? Another matter in Committee was that they got garbled accounts of what took place in Committee told outside. It would be far better to have the Press present and the proceedings properly reported, and he strongly objected to this thing being con- sidered in Committee. The members ought to express their views in open Council instead of having garbled accounts, incorrect accounts given outside, and he did not hesitate to say that there were incorrect accounts given of what took place in Committee. It would be far better to let the thing go before the public in a proper manner. If the Council resolved itself into Commitee on a subject of great importance to the ratepayers then he would leave the meeting when the reporters left. The Chairman said if people did not know what the bath scheme was then it was their own fault. Mr Preece Some of the present members of the Council were not members when this matter was taken up. Mr Davies said the Committee was appointed by the Council to carry out the scheme. The tender were received by the Committte, and the Committee decided that the matter had better be discussed in Committee by the Council before they accepted a tender. Mr Preece Some contractors have been asked to send in amended tenders. Mr Davis agreed that was so. Mr Warren said he took it that all the Committee would do would ba to recommend to the Council, and the Council could accept or reject. Mr Preece: The public don't know what is being done. The Chairman They will know. Father Lynch said he did not think there had been any secrecy about the matter. The scheme had been on the carpet for months. If anything was done against the wish of the public a member would be quite right in opposing it, but he did not think it would be fair to give that impression, as the whole thing had been discussed in the public press and in the Council. Mr Bastow said he did not think it fair that these tenders should be opened in public. He would second Mr Davis's resolution that the matter be taken in com- mitttee. Mr Carless I take it that these estimates are considered in committee. Will the report then come to the Council again ? Mr Preece: No. The Council are bound by what they do in committee. Mr Carless: • Will the Council have an opportunity of discussing in open Council what was decided ? The Chairman did not think so. Mr Clarke I take it the Committee waa appointed to carry out the scheme? The Chairman said that was so. He went on to say that the matter bad been. repeatedly before the Council and a vote taken on it and they were carrying it out as far as they could on that vote. Mr Juckes said if the matter was taken in committee at the close of the meeting he thought a report should be given to the nex 't' meeting. He should certainly want to know what was coming out of the rates. It was a matter that should be discussed. They beard a lot about the rates, and he believed E150 to 1200 would come out of the rates. Personally he thought they should wait and see if they could not get something better than the present proposed site. The Chairman did not agree that the matter of the tenders should come before the Council again after that night. The matter had gone on long enough, and they would not get the baths this year at that rate. After conferring with Mr Bastow, the Chairman asked Mr Preece if be would agree to opening the revised tenders in Committee and then having a discussion in open Council ? Mr Preece expressed himself against this course, and said the public should know their opinions. The Chairman said it was placing them in a very awkward position. Mr Preece said he had reason to believe that the tenders had been opened, and some contractors had been asked to submit re- vised tenders. That, he contended, was not fair. Mr Davis said the Committee opened the tenders, and -two ifrms, who were the lowest, were asked to send in revised tenders. Mr Bastow then formally moved that the Council go into Committee on the tenders for the public swimming bath. Mr Clarke seconded. Mr Preece then withdrew along with tlio representatives of the Press, whom he informed that he would not return to the Council again that night. When the Press were called in, Mr Davis had in the meantime left, and in his absence Mr Bastow said the Committee recommended the Council to accept the tender of Messrs. David Smith and Son, of Led bury, for X296. for a bath 75 feet by 25 feet, and a fence six feet high, the work to be carried out in eleven weeks, and to be proceeded with forthwith. With regard to this question of the amended tenders, he wished to say that the original tenders came before the Com- mittee sealed, and they were opened by the Committee. Mr Gurney was then instructed to write to the firms seuding in the two lowest tenders and ask them to give a revised estimate for a bath 75 feet by 25 feet, instead of a bath 80 feet by 30 feet, and a fence six feet high, instead of seven feet high. There had been nothing under- hand, and it was absolutely fair and above boird, and until the sealed tenders were put in his hRn I that night none of them knew what t: .,mended tender was. (Hear, hear). Mr Ci.ke and Mr Gardner agreed. Mr Carless said he quite agreed with what had been done,and be had perfect confidence in the Committee. (Hear, hear.) They did what they thought was right and straight and above board. The question Mr Juckes wanted to ask was with reference to the water, lmt he felt sure that the Committee had fully considered this question before they got so far. Mr Bastow There will be a supply of water running through that bath almost continually. It will be just the same as having an open-air stretch of water in open river. „ Mr Juckes said he took it there would be a lot of silt in the bath. The Surveyor said the bath was arranged so that it could be washed out at the lower end. That would remove any silt at the bottom. Any scum on the top would also go off. He carefully examined the water which would feed the bath, in the dry summer two years ago, and there was a good supply, enough to fill an inch pipe full bore. In the hottest weather there would not be sufficient water to quickly fill the bath when it was run off, but they would know when that would be done and they could fill their reservoirs and thus help to fill the bath. Mr Lawrence: I believe there are filter beds and settling tank to thoroughly clear the water. The Surveyor said that was so. Mr Juckes said he believed the Council had already decided to build the bath, but it seemed to him to be a dangerous thing to spend L200 or Y,300 of the ratepayers' money without taking a poll of the ratepayers. If they did so he thought they would find a majority against it. He would not vote against the report, however, although he did not agree with the scheme. The Chairman said he believed the scheme was a necessity for Ledbury. The thing had befn before the ratepayers and before the Council repeatedly. When Mr Hopkins was in the chair he was always asking him about it. Mr Carless pointed out that at the last election for the Urban Council two candidates issued addresses. One opposed the scheme and was not returned, and another who opposed it was also not returned. The ratepayers were lukewarm about it, he believed. The Council was there to carry out improvements in the town for the benefit of the ratepayera, and they should take the lead in these matters. A week or two ago when they had the spell of hot wea ther everybody was asking about the bath. Then the weather cooled off and they beard nothing about it. They could not- have the bath in the centre of the town, as the water supply was not sufficient. He hoped Mr Juckes would be the first to go down and have a dip in the bath when it was built. Mr Warren said he would not opposa the scheme, but he took strong exception to the remark that some' of them were afraid to say what they thought. He was also pre- pared to say that although he would not oppose the scheme he held that the site was as bad a spot as they could have found. The line ran very close and people would be able to overlook the bath. Mr Clarke: What about people at the seaside ? Mr Warren It is different at the seaside. Mr Lawrence said with regard to the ques- tion of speaking their minds he oppose the scheme at the start, but it was adopted, and be then threw himself into the scheme and helped it forward and he would do so now. The resolution moved by Mr Bastow with reference to the acceptance of the tender was then carried unanimously.