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25 YEARS' PASTORATE.I

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Neyland Council Elated.

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Neyland Council Elated. L4TE CLERK'S DEFICIENCY. Guarantee Society Pays the Money. Protest by Old Age Pensions Committee. AN OFFENDING RESOLUTION RESCINDED. Mr J Hiar presided at u meeting of the Neyland Council on Monday evening, when the other mem- bers present were: Mr J. James (vice-chairman) Messrs George Roach, T. Skoue, G. M. Yoyle, Peter Evans J Harding, H. Thomas, W. N. James, and J. V. Harries, with Mr Stanley Williams (clerk), and Mr T. W. Evans (surveyor and inspector). 1 The minutes stated that a resolution proposed at the ordinary meeting by Mr J. Harding excluding the late clerk (Mr J. Griffiths) from the Council premises while outstanding differences with him were unsettled was carried, but that at a special 1 meeting bastily convened by the Chairman in consequence of a protest the offending resolution was rescinded. The protest was received from the Rev W. Powell, chairman of the local Old Age Pensions Committee, to which Mr J. Griffiths is clerk. ? ?t the outset the Chairman extended to all present the compliments 01 the season, and mentioned that so far as that Council was concerned the year had opened auspiciouslv. Certain information bad recently come to hand which would prove a source of great gratification, and he hoped that the new year would have less troublous times for them than they experienced in the old year. Mr Roach complained that the nature of the business was not stated on the agenda for the special meeting of the Council, when the resolution referr- in" to the late Clerk was rescinded. Motions could always be upset in that way, and he protested against the procedure as very unjust. Mr J. V. Harries, supporting Mr Roach's protest, doubted if the amendment to rescind a resolution was legal under the circumstances. He maintained that business to be transacted at a special meeting should be specifically stated on the agenda. t> The Chairman said it was questionable if the whole matter was in order. Notice of the original resolution was only given on the Friday evening previous to the meeting on Monday evening. If the matter were pressed his ruling would be that the whole thing was illegal as notice of the resolution (afterwards rescinded) was not given at the previous I monthly meeting. Mr Roach pointed out that. on several previous occasions written notices of motion had been handed in some days before the meeting, and Mr Harding's motion was given in time to appear upon the agenda A WRONG ACTION. The Chairman said the feehng of the Council at the special meeting was that their action at the ordinary meeting with regard to the Clerk to the Old Age Pensions Committee (Mr J. Griffiths) was wrong, and this being so the only thing to do was to with- draw from a wrong position. The Council had no control over the Old Age Pensions Committee, and the Chairman added that he gave instructions for the business to be transacted at the special meeting to be stated on the agenda. Mr Harding Nothing of the kind was stated. Mr Harries said no one objected to the Old Age Pensions Committee meeting in the Council Chamber but they objected to the presence there of an undesirable person. They did not wish to do anything injurious to their late Clerk, but the difficulties with him were not yet settled. Instead of Mr J. Griffiths asking the Council to be lenient with him he took it upon himself to admonish the Council through the Chairman of the Oid Age Pensions Committee. The position of members like himself was an objection to a person being allowed access to the premises while unpleasant finaucial business between them remained unsettled. Mr J. Harding asked the Chairman what was the grave wrong which the Council had committed. The Chairman: That was stated here at the special meeting. Mr J. Harding denied that the receipt of a post- card on Sunday to attend a meeting on the follow- ing Monday, without stating that precise business, was correct procedure. They should have waited until the next ordinary monthly meeting. The Chairman said the gravity of the position was that the Old Age Pensions Committee gave the Council notice of their intention to use the Council Chamber on January 1st. Tne Old Age Pensions Committee bad a right to demand the use of the room. Mr Harding We are not forced to have their Clerk beret Chairman: You have nothing to do with their Clerk. We have no power at all over the Old Age Pensions Committee. Mr Harding Then we are in a funny position. Chairman We are only holding these offices in favour of the public at Neyland. t> Mr Ilariling Do you think this in favour of the public of Neyland-whitewashing a man." NO WHITE WASHING." I The Chairman denied that there was white- washing." wa8hinii,,a,*rding: Jt seems as if the lot of us were frIghtened by GriffHhs. Chairman I don't see your point. Mr Harding I do, I'm sure. Even if you get tha money of which you have been robbed, by the Guarantee Society paying it you will still lose over ilio. Mr Voyle saw no purpose in prolonging the dis- cussion. The original resolution was passed in a hurry after the real business of the Council was finished. It was, therefore, rushed through at the eleventh hour. It was afterwards found that the Council bad done quite wrong in passing that resolu- tion because the Council could not debar the Old Age Pensions Committee from holding their meeting in those offices. This Committee, over which the Council bad no jurisdiction, had a right by statute to the use of public offices to carry on their business, and the Committee also bad a perfect right to select their own Clerk. Meanwhile the Clerk's new office had been fitted up and all books and documents removed to it, so that there vsas now nothing in the Council Chambers but chairs and tables. The Council were in the wrong, and when in the wrong it was only manly to own up and admit their mis- take. It was on this ground, and on this ground alone, that the resolution was rescinded. If the Council could persuade the Old Age Pensions Com- mittee that their clerk was not a fit and proper person to act in that capacity then they could send a resolution to that effect to them, but he must again point out that the Council had no jurisdiction in the matter. Mr Roach asked if the Old Age Pensions Committee paid rent for the use of the Council Chamber. The Chairman: By Act of Parliament-it sounds big to be quoting an Act of Parliament-all public offices are at the disposal of the Old Age Pensions Committee at all reasonable times free of charge. Mr W. N. James They pay 2s a month. The Chairman: I was just coming to that. Pro- ceeding, the Chairman said the only charge the Council could make was for light and fire, and it had been usual for the Council to charge 2s a meeting to cover that expense ? Mr Roach Is it true that the Committee offered that sum as rent to certain other people, and they refused to accept it. Chairman I have no knowledge. They didn't offer it to me. Mr Harries said that if the Old Age Pensions Com- mittee would not dispense with their present Clerk the Urban Council should send their protest to the County Council, and if that was not effective, then to the Local Government Board, The Chairman advised the Council to exercise the utmost caution in dealing with this matter, and said that while he did not wish to prevent any member from making any statement they really bad no control over the Old Age Pensions Committee. Mr Thomas raised the question as to bow many days notice must be given m the case of a motion to be brought before the Council. The Chairman replied that so far as be poilid understand the standing orders no definite time was fixed, but he gathered from his reading of them that it was necessary to give notice of a motion at the previous monthly meeting. Mr Thomas said be bad always understood that it was necessary to give three days notice only. He asked what was the object of the Council in the first place in desiring to prevent the Clerk to the Old Age Pensions Committee being on the premises. The Chairman replied that the grounds brought forward were that pending proceedings against the late Clerk be should not be allowed access to the offices because of the possibilitl that through some manoeuvre he might change and alter certain books. Mr Thomas Are these books accessible to him if he comes here now? The Chairman replied that althong at that time a certain number of books were kept ID boxes in the Council Chamber they had now been removed to the nrivate offices of the Clerk and Surveyor. £125 FROM INSURANCE SOCIETY.. Proceeding, the Chairman announcen tnas tne Council had now received a cheque for J125 from the Guarantee Insurance Society in respect of their late Clerk's deficiency, and undertaking that when the final certificate of the auditor was received a cheque would be sent in payment of the balance, The Chairman thought that was a solution of their difficulties, and he remarked that the Guarantee Society had behaved handsomely. They need not auditor's nnai money until after the receipt 01 the have paid any money until after the receIpt Of the audItor's final certificate. Mr Roach remarked that the Council were also indebted to the finance committee for the way in which they had dealt with this matter. The Chairman agreed that the statement pel?ared by the finance committee was a factor in gaInIng a settlement. Mr Voyle, chairman of the finanoe committe, said: be was sure all the members of the Council were grateful in having reached a solution of this unhappy business. He was sorry it had ever sprung up, but as such an unfortunate thing happen F(d great credit was due to Mr Warren of Haverford- west, whom the Council engaged as auditor, The Guarantee Society had also acted most honouramy. Mr Thomas, who also spoke aa a member Q1 finance committee, remarked that Mr Warren deserved every praise for the way in which he bad unravelled the mysteries in the late clerk's books. IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE'S GIFT. A letter was received from the Neyland Improve- ment Association asking the Council to take over the two garden seats which the Association haa placed on the Beach Road. Mr Harries suggested that if the Improvement Association had any further fands they should spend them on the Beach Road. (Laughter). The Chairman said the Association had X94 or £ 95 in hand, and anything they did would depend on what the Council were prepared to do in conjunc- tion with them. Mr Harries remarked that the Improvement Association were like the Guarantee Society-very thorough. (Laughter). The Chairman All the money will be spent in the best interests of the town. CLEANER STREETS WANTED. Mr Thomas said he had received numerous com- plaints of women being compelled to go out and clean the streets themselves because they were so dIrty. The Chairman thought instructi. ons should be given that the men engaged in cleaning the streets should do their duty more effectively. Mr Harries said it was impossible to get along from George Street at the present time. Mr Thomas failed to see why the two street cleaners should work together, rind Mr \oyJe sug- gested that each cleaner should be allotted sections. The matter was referred to the public health com- mittee, the Surveyor meanwhile to insist on an alteration following the complaints made that night. The lighting of portions of Neyland was also re- ferred to. ,.nd Mr Harries nromised to bring up the matter at the next meeting. The Chairman said there had been several complaints of the want of lighting from dockyard workers. VOTE OF CONDOLENCE. On the motion of Mr Roach, a vote of condolence was passed with ex-Councillor David Harries in his I bereavement. A WARNING. It was decided that Mr Scurlock be warned that he will not he allowed to continue using the stones from the quarry belonging to the Council. —————————

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