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Haverfordwest Town Council.


Haverfordwest Town Council. THE WATER QUESTION. The monthly meeting of the council was held last evening. The Mayor (Sir Charles E. G. Philipps) presided. There were also present: Alderman T. Rule Owen, Councillors W. II. George, H. J. L. Price, J. Reynolds, P. White, R. Mumford, T. L. James, R. A. G. James, Wm. Williams, J. Evans, and W. J. Jones. Mr Williama (Town Clerk), and the other officials were in attendance. CONDITION OF THE SLAUGHTER-IIOUSE. Arising out of the reading of the minutes, The Chairman referred to the order made at the last meeting with regard to the carrying of the street refuse to the Marsh, instead of its being de- posited at the Slaughter-house, and he enquired why this had not been carried out. Mr Gibbon said the contractor did not regard it as part of his contract and said ho should be paid extra. Chairman: How much extra would it be ? Mr Gibbon About 12s a week. Dr Brigstocke said he had been at the Slaughter- house that morning and he found the place in a ten times worse condition than he had seen it before. There were heaps of indescribable filth, sweepings of barber's shops, and long tresses of female hair, broken medicine bottles, which come from goodness knows where, and filthy papers accumulating there. A portion of the killing shed was being used as a dumping ground for manure. He did not think the immediate neighbourhood of the slaughter-house should be made a dumping ground for all kinds of filth. Altogether the state of things was horrible. The Mayor said it was a vory serious thing that the order of the Council had not been carried out. He thought Mr Gibbon should have seen that the contractor did it or had it done himself independ- emtly. Alderman Owen corroborated the doctor with regard to the condition of the place. He said he could not recollect ever having seen the place in a worse state. Mr Price: Was it not understood that the con- tractor should convey the refuse to the Marsh ? The Town Clerk said the contract was that it should be removed to the Marsh except such portions as the surveyor would direct to be left at the Slaughter-house. Dr Brigstocke said if properly treated the stuff would make useful manure which farmers would be glad to get. The Mayor pointed out thut they compelled butchers to go to the slaughter-house and yet that was the most unsanitary part of the town. Mr Williams said it was important that the order3 of the council should be carried out, but on the on the other hand 12s a week was a big sum and he thought there should be some more urgent reason for spending it than had been shown. The Mayor pointed out that at present the state of things was liable to damage the meat. Mr Gibbon never saw such a state of affairs as had been described by the doctor. Mr Jones said they had the report of the Medical Officer and they should act upon it. If they did not there was no use in having a Medical Officer. He proposed that the Sanitary Committee be invited to visit the place forthwith and have steps taken to abate the nuisance. Mr Williams was opposed to the expense, The Mayor pointed out that the health of the town was concerned. Ultimately the matter was referred to the Sanitary Committee. REPORTS OF COMMITTEES. Mr T. L James proposed the adoption of the Wttter Committee's report of the 20th October, from which it appeared that the committee had decided to secure the Barn Street pump by a lock during certain hours of the day as the residents desired, and they further gave directions that the steam engine be sent to Barnsley forthwith. In connection with this another report was placed before the Council stating that the committee had decided to purchase an engine from Marshall & Son at a cost of JE240. Mr George seconded the adoption of the report which was passed. Mr Jones proposed the adoption of the Borough Committee's report which asked the authority of the Council to let the tolls, dues, &c., for next year as Mr Percy's tenancy ended on the 31st December next. Mr Williams seconded the proposition, which was passed, certain restrictions being ordered to be placed on the lessee with regard to the Jubilee ground and the asphalted pavements. Mr R. A. G. James proposed the adoption of the Gas Committee's report, which amongst other things, stated that the committee had directed the Gas Manager to procure 50 tons of Kennel coal. It was stated that this coal was obtained with a view to improving the quality of the gas. The report was approved. On the proposition of Mr Mumford the report of the Sanitary Committee was adopted. CORRESPONDENCE. A letter from Mr Devereux, relative to some property of the council of which the lease was about to expire and which needed re- pair, was referred to tho Borough Committee. A letter was also read from Mr Bowles, post- master, pointing out the difficulty and delay in- curred in the delivery of letters in the town, through the houses not being numbered. The Mayor said he supposed the council had the power to order this to be done. The Town Clerk said he was not quite sure. Mr Jones said at Carmarthen it had been done by the Town Council some years ago. The council got tenders for the supply and charged each householder 3d. for the number. This plan paid the council and the owners as well. The matter was referred to the Borough Com- mittee. A further letter was read from the postmaster relative to the insufficient supply of water. The Clerk said he was not the only one who had suffered in this respect. The Clerk was directed to acknowledge the letter. '?PERTS TO BE THE WATER SUPPLY.—EXPERTS TO BE EMPLOYED. Dr. Brigstocke said the water question was really very important. There was considerable difficulty last week in flushing the lavatories at the National School and water had to be carted. Mr Gibbon said the gas engine was out of order, and the committee had ordered the removal of the little portable engine from Portfield to Barnsley pumping station and it had been pumping every day since. On Sunday it pumped 69,000 gallons, and yesterday -19,000, in addition to the Fountain sup- ply. That is much more than had been pumped for a long time. Alderman Owen proposed the adoption of the fol- lowing report of the whole council sitting as a special water committee:- After considerable discussion Councillor W. J. Jones proposed, and Councillor H. J. E. Price seconded, "That the Committee recommend the Council to employ Messrs Woodward and Beasley to visit and report on the sites within an area of 10 miles considered suitable for a gravitation scheme with a view to advising the Council whether they could adopt one (and if so which) of the sites for a permanent and adequate supply of pure water for the present and prospective requirements of Haver- fordwest." On this proposition being put to the meeting it was carried by seven votes to three. Thb Town Clerk said he had communicated with the gentlemen mentioned in the report. Mr Wood- ward had replied stating his willingness to come and report for a fee of 10 guineas a day, aud out of pocket expenses. On behalf of Mr Beasley a reply was received stating he was ill, but offering to send a partner of the same firm for 10 guineas a day and travelling expenses, or an inclusive fee of 50 guineas. Another firm had, unsolicited, sent an offer, namely Mesjrs Conyers, Kirby & Son, Newport, Mon. They offered to report without auy fee, but on the under- standing that should their plan be adopted they should be appointed engineers for its carrying out on the usual terms. Mr Jones seconded the adoption of the report. Mr George, as one of those who voted ill the minority on the report said lie would wish to say a few words. Unless there was auy member of the council who could suggest another gravitation scheme than that of Piumstone or Newcastle lie could not agree as to the necessity of bringing down men like Beasley and Wood at 10 guineas a day when these places had been thrashed out. Four engineers had gone there in the lerst twenty years. Mr Broody was one he had a free hand to go where he liked. Mr Cousins also came. lIe ridiculed the idea of Piumstone and Mr Stooke, the last gentleman who went there found the elevation too low. The next thing was that there is ample water to be found at Little Newcastle. If these gentle- men were sincere why not go where there is plenty of water and where the frieholders are willing to sell for a reasonable amount, and where, when they held an inquiry, there would not be any opposition. It was suggested that instead of that that they should put the ratepayers to enormous expense to go over ground already well thrashed out. It was like beatiug a dead horse. What he was thinking of now was that they cannot go on with the work in the winter and they were on the eve of an election. (Laughter). He saw Mr Jones laughing and he did not think it was gentlemanly. Mr Jones: 011, a person can laugh. Mr George, proceeding, said there would probably be new members in the Council after the election and he was going to propose that this resolution bo postponed for three mouths unless some gentleman could suggest another gravitation scheme other than the ones mentioned. Mr Mumford suggested that, it should be post- poned for six months. If the engine they now had pumped plenty of water what was the necessity ior going to expense? ill Mr Williams seconded the amendment, although he was somewhat in a difficulty in opposing the recommendation of gentlemen who had deliberated long upon the question and upon their recommend- ation. But he thought the recommendation demanded the closest criticisms possible and he thought Mr George had criticised it in a manner whieh ought to justify members of that Committee Who voted for that recommendation to now vote qgaiust the carrying of it out for three months. The price was absurd, it was a cruel act on the part of the committee to expend ?') a day and travelling expenses for perhaps six or eight days, it did not matter how many, to make an inquiry that every one of them knew. lIe hoped, therefore, they would reconsider their position. The Mayor said they knew that in another place deferring a matter for three months meant deferring it for ever. They had been here for the last forty miserable years enduring an inadequate and deficient water supply. Mr James Sixty-six years. The Mayor That makes it worse. Everywhere one hears of the want of a water supply, the pri- mary thing which it is the duty of any Town Council to provide, and he honestly felt that those who have heard the bitter cry in Haverfordwest, must have hearts of stone or they would respond to it. And that cry, as they had heard, had been going on for the last 66 years. He hoped that at last light would dawn upon their place now in the last year of the century, and that they would put themselves in train for a good supply of water. lie did not think they were bound by the fees of Messrs Beasley or Woodward, and he was sure both would be prepared to take an inclusive fee. When they remembered the terrible condition of Haverfordwest, how they escaped plague passed comprehension. X.50 or £60, or even £100, would be well laid-out money if it insured them the great blessing of a good water supply. He sincerely hoped the Council would adhere to the report of the committee adopted after a most exhaustive discussion. Mr Mumford said the gas engine never worked well and never got a chance. The council would not take the engineer's advice and have a proper engine. Alderman Rule Owen said he thought that the question of whether the council approved of a supply of water by gravitation or by pumping had been settled. They could not suppose that pumping a supply to this town was as good as having it by gravitation. He did not think it necessary to argue that. They had all got the impression that what they wanted was a pure full supply if it cost XIO 000 or £ 15.000. and thp.v wonlcJ not ho nrmtpnf till it, flowed into the town in a pure liquid stream and in sufficient quantity. It was a heavy amount but he believed in the long run it would be the cheapest. He was confident they had done the right thing in deciding in favour of gravitation. It would be, perhaps, two or three years before they got this supply, and in the meantime they had done the right thing in getting a steam engine instead of a gas engine. He did not anticipate that the expense of the experts would be very much. These men to whom time was valuable would probably come by one train and go by the next. Mr Williams said he would not like the remarks of Mr Owen's to pass as if Mr George or himself (Mr Williams) were against gravitation and in favour of pumping. He was against the extravagance of bringing these men to tell them what they already knew. Mr Price said he failed to see what would be gained by postponing it. There was no doubt that it might shunt it altogether, and they would probably hear nothing of it for (55 years more. The Mayor said if it was the question of expense was objected to he would rather pay some of it out of his own pocket than have the town in such a state. Mr Jones pointed out that the committee which made this report was a committee of the full council, and they would be stultifying themselves if they did not adopt it. As to the expense what was the outlay of £ 100 as compared with the enormous benefit which the inhabitants would perpetually receive. They were merely asking these experts, men high in their profession, to stake their repu- tation on whatever scheme they would recommend. All their previous supplies of water had proved miserable failures, and the last scheme at Barnsley was a failure. Were they going to continue that to posterity, when they could by spending a £100 find out definitely once and for all whether they could get a proper supply of water for the town. He was convinced the inhabitants of Haver- fordwest would approve of their action, and that the money would not be thrown away, but posterity would thank them for spending it. The Mayor said that if they were really aware, as had been suggested, where they could get a supply it placed them in a peculiar position before the town. Mr George pointed out that there was no one more anxious for a gravitation scheme than he was, and nis iaea was to nave tne matter postponed now until new members come into the council. With regard to the spending of t,100, it was not the only £100 they had thrown away. He was anxious that they should not throw any more away now. They did not re- quire specialists at 20 guineas a day to go to Plum- stone or Little N ewcastle. As far as he knew it would be even more difficult at Plumbstonc now than it was previously as Mr Henry had made his property over to trustees. The Mayor An Act of Parliament would make it all right. Mr George said that at Little Newcastle there was plenty of water and he only asked them now to hold the matter back for three months. He did not want to shelve it. The Mayor pointed out that the proposal placed the responsibility on the experts. The amendment to postpone was put when only four voted for it, namely, Messrs. George, Mumford, Williams, and White. Mr K. A. G. James did not vote. The others present voted against the amend- ment. The voting on the resolution was in the same proportion, and it was accordingly passed. The Town Clerk was then instructed to arrange with the experts referred to.

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