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-u— Roads Committee.I

I :1Health Committee. II

i Estates Committee. \ Estates…

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Rates to be Reduced. I

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Rates to be Reduced. I u I VALUE OF THE GOVERNMENT GHANTS. APPEAL TO THE RATEPAYERS. I At the meeting of the Education Committee on Thursday night, the estimate of moneys required to meet the expenditure for the yeafi? ending March 31st, 1911, was considered. The estimate was as fol Lows :Expen(i- ture Ad- ministration expenses, advertising, etc., £ 160; salaries of officers, clerk and assistant, atten- dance officers, treasurer, and r,,180 to Town Hall staff, £ 710; salaries of teachers, £ 15,531: books, stationery, eL:. £600; repairs to build- ings, etc., £ 420: fuel, light, & cleaning, £ 1023: interest and instalment on loans, zC2313 rates, insurance, etc., £ 355; maintenance of deaf and dumb children, £ 120; maintenance of truants, £ 50: expenses re above, £ 4: cookery expenses, £ 35: medical inspection of school children, £ 385; making a. total of £ 22.184. Receipts: Annual grant, zP,5763 14s.; fee grant, £2624; aid grant, R,2772 10s.: special aid grant, zE2768 17s.: grant, Agricultural Rates Act, -287 2s.; hire of schoolrooms, etc., £ .15: cookery sales, £13: interest, £ 45: making a total of £ 14,094, and a deficit of £ 8100, compared with £ 9878 for last year. The Chairman (Mr H. D. Rees) congratulated ] the Clerk and staff upon the nearness of their estimate for the year ending March, 1910, the estimate amounting to zP.22,040, and the actual expenditure worked out at £21,886 10s. 9d. (hear, hear). The difference of R154 odd was saved in salaries. Mr. D. James Davies: That is really due to the cutting down of the staff. The Chairman: We adopted a method of transferring the teachers. Mr. Davies: I have heard it stated that the Committee lost a great deal of monkey on ac- count of the exclusion of the children from the town schools: so that what we have lost has been gained in the salaries. The Chairman: That is so. Mr. D. James Davies: I am glad to hear of it, because it was stated recently that we have been extravagant. The Chairman continuing, dealt with another matter which affected the ratepayers, and pointed out that had they taken particu- lar notice of the view of the Committee they would have realised an increase of grant. The percentage of attendance last year was 35.2, whereas, had they been able to maintain a percentage of 90 they would have saved £657. As a matter of fact, the percentage at the New Dock Girls' School the previous month was 94.2; therefore, it was quite possible, with some assistance front the parents and more diligence on the part of the attendance offi- cers, to maintain an average of 90 per cent. By so doing they would be able to save a two- penny rate. It should also be explained that on each occasion a senior child absented from school the Committee were losing 141(1. for each half-day, and in the case of an infant child one penny per half-day. Mr. IJ). R. Jones: Can we offer any induce- ment to the scholars for the best attendance in the vear? The Chairman replied that that would be a feature which justified consideration at a later stage. In dealing with the estimate for the next twelve months they would have to in- clude the redemption of loans, which was set at £ 2818. The expenditure was not, there- fore, entirely in respect of education, but to- wards the payment of the schools and the freehold purchased many years ago, and which had not yet been paid for. A sum of £ 349 was also due to the increase in salaries. Out of the 134 teachers who benefitted under that heading, sixty had already realised the full amount, whilst about seventy had yet to attain the maximum. The' outstanding loans as on the 31st March amounted to £ 31,123. He believed the Committee could congratulate themselves upon their work for the year. At least, they would be able to call for a lower rate. Last year they decided at a very late stage to transfer all the children in the seventh standard in the elementary schools to the Higher Elementary School. For every scholar attending the elementary schools they received a grant of 22s. per head, whilst they received 50s. in respect of those attending the Higher Elementary School. The transference of the children would, in the long run, be of great benefit to the ratepayers. The Com- mittee would have to decide the amount of the precept which they would recommend the Urban District Council to issue upon the overseers. A penny rate would realise £ 370. Mr. William David asked whether a cheque amounting to £ 5000 in respect of a transfer for the Education Committee, which was signed at the Finance Committee that day had. been taken into consideration. The Chairman: Yes; we have anticipated that. Replying to Mr. Joseph Roberts, the Chair- man said the rate last year was 2s. <5d. in the Mr. Roberts: A two-shilling rate would realise £ 8880. The Chairman: I think we can call upon a rate of Is. lid: in the £ Mr. D..Tames Davies asked whether the Committee had had any intimation from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that they would receive the necessitous aid grant from the Government this year. They did not receive it last year on account of the Budget, being hung up, which accounted for the heavy rate imposed upon the rate/flayers. The Chairman: In the present state of the political situation we cannot anticipate what the Government are likely to do. Mr. D, James Davies: We must not allow them to go without giving us something, as they have done in the past. Mr. D. R. Tones was of the opinion that a rate of Is. lOd. in the £ would meet the de- ficit. The Chairman: I do not think so. because the amount would he rather hare. It is ad- visable that we should ask for a rate of Is. lid. in the £ Mr. D. James Davies: What would be the amount of the surplus? The Chairman: £370. Mr. Bramwell Jones proposed that they re- commend a rate of Is. lid. for the next twelve months. If they had any surplus money they could transfer it to the account for the fol- lowing year. Mr. D. R. Jones: Have we a credit balance? The Chairman: Yes, £120. It is useless having the bare amount, because we were penalised for the same, thing last year. Mr. David said it was unusual for the Com- mittee to fix a rate. It was a custom in the i past to ask the Council to make a precept for the money, and the rate was levied by the 1 overseers accordingly. He wished to em- phasise the fact that their deficit last year was due to two causes. The year before they an- ticipated receiving the necessitous aid grant from the Government, but they were disap- pointed, and had, therefore, to make a call upon the rates: and, knowing that they did not receive it the previous year, they did not look forward to receiving it last year, which made a great difference in their receipts. It was well that the ratepayers, should under- stand that it was not the Committee's fault, and, as he pointed out recently, the rates had not a tendency to increase, as it had been re- ported, but really to decrease. In 1904 the general district rate was 3s. in the 9, and it had now been reduced to 2s. lOd. There was a possibility for a further reduction in the next half-year. Mr Joseph Roberts asked whether the mem- bers could receive a copy of the estimates a few days before the meeting in future, so that they might peruse them. With regard to the loss of grant on account of the absence of the scholars, he thought it worth their while con- sidering whether they could not give some books to the scholars as an inducement for them to attend school regularly, and thus in- crease the average attendance and the Goyern- ment grant. They were indebted to the Chair- man for the able manner in which he had conducted the business during the year (hear,, hear). The Chairman said the assistance and the freedom of action which they had given him had encouraged him in all directions. With- out. the assistance of the Committee he could not have carried out the work. With regard to procuring a copy of the statement a few days before the holding of the meeting, he- assured them that lie had had to call upon the' Clerk to work late hours in order to get the statement ready. It was with difficulty that they received the accounts, but it should be understood that all outstanding accounts had now been received. Mrs. Phillips observed that some time ago Miss Stepney gav elite Committee intimation that some money had been left by her father- in order to enable them to give prizes to the- scholars—— The Chairman explained, that the money was to be devoted towards the libraries of the schools. It was subsequently decided on the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr Bramwell Jones, that they recommend the Council to' issue a precept upon the overseers for the de- ficit of 0470.

The Veto Resolutions. I

Education Committee. (

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