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ANNUAL MEETING OF THE USK…

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ANNUAL MEETING OF THE USK U.D.C. THE FIRE BRIGADE QUESTION. The annual meeting of the Usk Urban District Council was held at the Town Hall, on Tuesday evening, when there were present:—Messrs F. I Jennings, S. A. Hiley, R. Morgan, T. J. Smith, G. Mundy, W. Marfell, E. W. Waters, W. Workman, Mundy, W. Marfell, E. W. Waters, W. Workman, H. Ault, J. Knight, A. F. Lucas (clerk), and T. Bees, junr. (surveyor, &c.) CHAIRMAN'S THANKS. I Mr Jennings, at the commencement of the meet- ing, said it was twelve months since they did him the honour of electing him chairman, and he now wished to thank them very much for the assistance they had rendered him and the sympathy they had •shown towards him during his term of office. He also thanked the Clerk for his kindness, for he had done a lot of work that perhaps he, as chair- man, ought to have done. His chairmanship had been a happy one, and he was sure no one could grumble at the year's work the Council had done. They had not risen the rates, yet they had done all they possibly could in the interests of the rate- payers and for the good of the town. (Hear, hear.) He was not a candidate for the chair this year; indeed he was not a candidate List year, but he was forced into the position. His health had not been so good during the year as it formerly was, .and he felt he must get rid of some of his public duties. He did not think he should be wrong in ssaying that this year the chairmanship would be given to a much better man than himself —(" No.") He hoped so, at any rate although he had tried I to do his very best on behalf of the Council and the town. If he had made mistakes they must please forgive him. ME. HILEY AGAIN CHAIRMAN. I Mr Workman said he had great pleasure in pro- posing Mr Hiley as chairman. Mr Ault: I second that with a great deal of pleasure. We have tried that horse before, he -works well in the collar, and we cannot do better -than have him again. Mr Morgan: Are we to take it for granted that Mr Jennings will not take the position again ? Mr Jennings: Yes, sir. Mr Morgan Then I have great pleasure in sup- sporting Mr Hiley. Twelve months ago I thought fit would be in the early future that he would again be placed in that position. Mr Jennings also supported, and the proposition was agreed to. Mr Hiley then took the chair and said: Allow me to thank you for again doing me the honour of appointing me your chairman. Mr Jennings has been very modest indeed. He has served us very well during the past year, and I hope that under my chairmanship the Council will experience the -:same happy condition of things as we have had here -during the past year. I hope you will give me all the support you see is necessary, and that my year -of office will be a successful one. I hope that we shall not feel obliged to land the town into any very extraordinary expenditure. I feel myself that this question of rates is a very serious one at this time, and there are evidences on every hand that the populace is seriously complaining; but I think that, as far as the Fsk U.D.C. is concerned, we can take to ourselves the credit of having kept the rate -within reasonable bounds, while, at the same time, having kept the town in quite as satisfactory a state as any town of its size in the County of Mon- mouth. (Hear, hear.) It has been a very great pleasure to me to have outsiders coming and con- -gratulating us upon the state of the town. I think it is a fact that the condition of the town is better to-day than it has been, perhaps, since we had a Local Board or U.D.C. Having regard to the amount that we have to pay in the shape of rates, I think that is a matter of very great satisfaction to us, and I hope it will be equally a matter of '.satisfaction to all the ratepayers of the town. (Hear, hear.) I am very much obliged to you for the honour you have done me. APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES. I The Committees were appointed as follows, three -to form a quorum, and the Chairman an ex-officio member of all Committees:— STREET, TOWN HALL, AND IMPROVEMENT :— Messrs Morgan, Waters, Edmunds, Ault, Mundy, :and Marfell. FINANCE:—Messrs Jennings, Morgan, Smith, Ault, and Marfell. GAS:—Messrs Morgan, Workman, Waters, Mar- fell, and Knight. TECHNICAL INSTRUCTION.-—Mr H. Humphreys, :1tev P. L. C. Nash, Messrs J. H. Clark, Ault, Mor- gan, Marfell, Hiley, and Smith. THE FIRE ENGINE. I Last year's Fire Engine Committee:—Rev D. S. "W. Nicholl, Messrs Workman, Knight, and Mundy. Mr Morgan said the public ought to know some- thing about this Committee. A share of the Iblame attached to them had been allotted to him, but they would remember that last year he abso- lutely declined to have any more to do with it. He thought the Committee appointed should have met and appointed a chairman, and then he (Mr Mor- gan) would have done as the former chairman did -by him: he would have met him and formally 'handed the property over. But he had not heard \0£ a Committee meeting, nor of anything having been done. Mr Jennings said something should be done in ,-this matter, which was the only cause of complaint curing the year. It would be a good job if they "went into the question for the sake of the town, if not for the outside district. Mr Knight suggested that the Committee should --onsist of the whole Council, so that all should ashare the responsibility. It was useless to appoint fthree or four members. Mr Smith remarked that a good deal of fuss was -made over the Bertboley a.ffair, but if the engine ,-had been there it would have been of no use, and .it was madness to send to Usk for it when New- port, with its fire engine and horses ready, was 'within almost the same distance. As a man who was there told him, even if the Newport engine ■had been there earlier it would have been impos- sible to stay the fire. Mr Knight: That is quite true. Mr Smith: Besides, I believe there is a minute ,in the book that the engine is not to go outside our -district. I don't think any blame can be attached to the Council or the Committee. Mr Mundy knew nothing about that minute; lie should like to have it turned up. Mr Morgan did not think Mr Mundy was there .;at the time. Mr Mundy was continuing, when The Chairman said they were travelling from -the point, viz., the appointment of a. Committee. Mr Morgan thought Mr Knight's suggestion a ^ery g00d one. aters: Who would be responsible? Who l e run t0 first in case of fire ? /one m v'f sa^ case of Are it would be ;atid er's as much as another's to assist, 3iish thf»^ c,?u^ aPpoint holders of keys, and fur- Mr Mund e7ith t.heir names- "bodv's bu<5i«L at is everybody's business is no- is ad together th'p ^"S 1 that get people to come tf^y' Jou not going to ing them something ™ a- W without pay- tion, I should likf thP 1S,a ?1T The Chairman- -^emmutes turned up of question whether we aro y°urself lo the Qrnot going to have a committee Mr Mundy: In considering that I should like to have a disousslon as to what the committee are going to do. :g The Chairman: Please confine yourself to the one subject. Subsequently he proposed that a Committee be 'formed other than that of the whole Council but .later, withdrew it, remarking that he would not <be an obstacle to anything, and Mr Knight's pro- position was agreed to. In the course of a general discussion, Mr Morgan said that with regard to the fire bri- gade, all that was wanted was men trained in making the hose connections, and they could be trained in this without using water. They had no convenience for drying the hose, and if they used water for practices they might find it rotten when they wanted it for serious work. There was a sufficient length to reach from hydrant to hydrant in the town. Mr Mundy said practice was necessary. Why could they not put up brackets in that room, and dry the hose there ? Mr Morgan That has been done. The Chairman thought it useless to have a desultory conversation at that meeting. It would be better to call a special meeting to consider the several questions involved, such as whether or not the townspeople were going to allow the fire engine to go out of the town. If they were it would have to be pointed out that it would mean expense. It was decided to hold a special meeting to go into the matter next Tuesday week. THANKS. Mr Ault proposed that the best thanks of the Council be given to Mr Jennings for the very sat- isfactory way in which he had carried out his duties as chairman during the past year, often, he was sure, at great personal inconvenience. Mr Waters, in seconding, said Mr Jennings had been most attentive to his duties, and had been most willing and obliging in all that they had asked him to do. Mr Hiley said he supported the proposition very heartily, and he felt sure every other member did. The chairmanship was a position of some consider- able responsibility, and was, more or less, a tax upon a man's time. Mr Jennings had filled the position very satisfactorily, so far as the Council were concerned, and they might congratulate him upon the very happy gatherings they had had from time to time. The proposition was agreed to, and, Mr Jennings having acknowledged the compliment, the meeting terminated.

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