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BOARDS OF GUARDIANS. -A——

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BOARDS OF GUARDIANS. A —— T CHESTER. RELIEF ADMINISTRATION. GOVERNMENT CENSURE. Tne fortnightly meeting of t,he Chester Boaici of Guardians was held. on Tuesday morning, when Mr. T. Butler presided. THE USE OF ALCOHOL. The Rev, William Jones asked how much the guardians spout annually in the use; of alcohol as a drug in the infirmary. He pointed out that- the British Medical Association had condemned its use, and Sir Victor Hoisiey had givon an instance of the decrease in the use of alcohol. Twenty-five years ago £ 300 was speut in one year at a certain infirmary, but only £ 7 was spent jast year. The Clerk (Mr. W. Turnoek): I don't think we have spent £ 5 a year for souio time. I am speaking from memory. RURAL AND CITY RIVALRY. The meeting was attended by Mr. Dansey, Inspector of the Local Government Board, who sat, throughout the hearing of the relief cases. Mr. E. Dean said he hoped Mr. Dansey wouid take note tiiut the Board had wasted three hours over the relief eases of t,lie city, whereas the rural city's had taken only half-an-hour, and they west: often disposed of in ten minutes. (Laughter.) Mr. J. Seller said he objected to that state- ment. They were muah ionger than half-an- hour over the rural cases. Mr Dansey (to Mr. Dean) I think you arc out of order now. (Laughter.) NEW ORGANIST. 1\1r W. R. Williams, Prince's-avenue, or- ganist at St. Martin s Welsh Church, was ap- pointed organic BOARD S EXPENDITURE. INSPECTOR'S SEVERE CRITICISMS. EXTRA V A G A NI V, UILDIN G. Mr. Dansoy said the Local Government Board had sent him down to Chester with reference to the proposal to erect a new wash-house for the imbecile block. The guardians had pro- posed something a good deal larger t-han what was anticipated. The buiid ng suggested was to have forty fool. for washing and dry- mg. That was not t.he sort of thing; he had thought the Board ought to have. It was much too big. He granted that the general wash- house was not sa-tiftfacto.-y, and that the Board wouid have to spend a lifctie money on it He preferred that they Qjould speaid their surplus money oil the genera! wash-houso. He sugges- ted that the marier should bo re.fened to the committee, with instructions to prepare a simpler scheme of somewhat smaller d mentions. They did not want all the detailed arrangements that w♦•re shwn on the present plana. The proposed expenditure was i;VO, and they could meet all requirements for a good deal under £ 200. (Hear, hoar.) In reply tc) Air Sejier, Mr. Dansey said that in every workhouse if, his district far greater part of [he washing was done by weak- minded women. AJr. Diuisoy p.oooeded to draw attention to tho cost of i*el:ef in tho union. He E-aid paupt.-n.sm in Chester stood: a good deal higher than the average of the 41 unions in his district. The percentage of paujierism in the union to the population was three, against an aVeng" of 2.3. The expenditure in relief had iucie^sed by £ 1,058 for a. half year between Lady Day. 2906, and Lady Day, 1905, L755 le- preaonting the increase in out.-reJief. a.nd E303 the increase in indoor rebel'. The number of paupers ieluued on January 1st, 1906, was 1.667, against 1,503 on January 1st, 1905. With the exception of one union, Cheater shewed by far the largest increase in expenditure in the whole 41 union* of his district The state of things Was so serious that the Board ought to con- eider the advisability of appointing a thoroughly practical committee to d'-vise a means of check- ing the growing expenditure, which was caused by a too lax admin stratou of outdoor relief. (Hear, hear.) Several gentl-emeri had that day what a good name the Chester Board bore for kiiidu<«s of heart, and he (Mr. Dansey) had seen a good deal of it that morning. He could 330t help thinking the guardians allowed their *irwiness and sympathy to over-ru'e their judg- Jhctit, and to take, too great a place m the ad- Ifttmsiration of what, were really trust funds. Ihev ought not to allow ?ympathv and k?ndn' ss  to interfere too much with tho administration of the rates, which in many cases were pa d by poople worse off than the paupe;'s røeeivmg relief. (Hear, hear.) There should be some strict rules for the administration of outdoor rolid. Case*' should be dealt with on some fixed principle, and not because thev were advocated by a particular guat dian. Applicants should always lie sure of the same measure of justee, whether tlvo guardians of the particular parish Were p!o?cut or not. Many un'otis adm:n:?- tered rellüt more or Jess accord ing to ru les chosen by themselves, and if the Chester Board went thoroughly into the matter and got their bye ii;ws from more strictly administered unions, they might, be able to t-et up some rules for themselves. In his thuty ycais' experience he had always blind that where there was a iaxi-ty iu the administration of outdoor relief, it in- creased both indoor anil outdoor reJie-f, By administering it. on strict rules. they taught hab of independence to the poor, and taught them io help themselves. The figures of Chester had lot-her start.ied liim, and his attention had been called to them by the Ro\al Commission On Poor Law. who had wanted to know why Cluster figured so large.ly among the highest pauper sed unions in his district. He could not asor.be it entirely to had trade, although they bad passed through some stage of it; but really they were too kind. They need* d to be more Strict in dealing with what, he hoped they would remember were trust funds The matter was so serious tJlat it wanted taking hold of at once, and he hoped they would consder the appoint- ment of a good, sound, practical committee. Mr. E. Okell aid he was p'ea-sed to have been present during the report of the Inspector. Mr. Dansey s remarks were in the same direction every time. Tlie- remarks of a gentleman of such wide experience should bear some fruit, but after two or three nn^iu, s it was all forgotten, and groat Morality with the ratepayers' money was practised in a worse degree than before. The iiK-tease in the union was a b-<d thing for the Jilïa: district, whose roqirivnR'iits were de- oreasi-ig. t »;K« would almost wonder how t-hev could oxist in |present- state of things. They (the rural pr>jf i a! on) were taxed greatly be- yond their ic-fum ments, and they were. tied to Chester in 1IC'h It way that they weie prac- tically I!x tig pauperised. They had the conso- lation that the. Inspector drew attention to the most extravagant guard an. He (lvrr Okoil) Was pleased to hear Mr. Dansey's remarks with regard to the wash-house He thought a prac- tioal JIlan like the chairman of the committee in question would not have rushed the un on into such expenditure, and tie WU- glad he had been brought to iKxdt. He could explain th ngs away so boa uti hty that he was a IJJ;,tSi. piece. (Laughter.) He (Mr. Oknll) looked upon him as one of the greatest mysteries in Chester. He hoped the Board wou'd take some steps to prevent Chester from being made the clumping ground that it Was now. There Wlt- it, doubt thev were imposed upon very greatly, a.nd he would con- gratulate till- Inspector if his remarks had any effect, hut. be was afraid they would not. Mr. W. Vernon su-d he eoukl not let Mr. Okell's speech pass because there was no need to make it a personal matter. It so happened that the very thing the Inspector had suggested wa<s what he (Mi. Vernon) had suggested to the architect. Mr. Okell: Don't explain it away. Mr. Yemen The plans you have had before you are your architect's plólll and not mine. Mr. Ok-cll said they had been prepared from the Bugii" stieii4- of t he committee. Mr. Vernon: I don't see why you should blame 1)1" for it. Mr. Okell I .<'•«■ ;!d think that Mr. Vernon is the most extravagant guardian that ever came helT Mr. Vernon You are welcome to your thought- Mr. Brown s'id he was very glad to Itear the intjjK-ctor's remarks. He had said more than once that the Board-room should be labelled "Benevolent- Institution." The In- spector's sugge.-ti iri icgardintr the appointment of a.committee was the best thing he had heard in that room. Mr. T. Nixon (who had taken Mr. Butler's place in the chair) said the Inspector's visit had been most opportune. The Board needed someone to oall them to order on the subject of relief. They had expected by bringing the relief business before the whole Board to curb the liberal hand of some two or three, who had previously been mostly concerned in the work; but the whole Board had been more ex- travagant than the few referred to. The whole had done more than the few used to do. They were paying more in relief now than during last winter. At the forthcoming revision day they should go systematically into the list. Mr. A. Wolfenden said the out-door relief was one of the blots on the system. Mr. W. Williams remarked that they had been very good in the presence of the Inspector, but three weeks ago anyone would not have thought it was the same Board. For instance, they were now all agreed that they should 'not spend so much on the wash-house; but they were not so agreed w hen they instructed the architect; they were all now agreed that the relief should be curtailed, but they did not do it when the Inspector was not present. He hoped they would take these things to heart. It was noteworthy that Chester was the only Cathedral city in Mr. Dansey's district, and they would find that in Cathedral cities such expanses were heavier than in other towns. He did not know how to account for it. Possibly indiscriminate charity and old charities had something to do with it, and people became educated to them and thought the guardians should do the same. Mr. Vernon suggested that the payment of relief at the house of the relieving officer pre- vented proper supervision. Mr. Dansey said he hated pay stations, be- cause they led to so many impositions. If they were abolished lie would be delighted. The discussion then ended. THE DOOTOR RESIGNS. THE WORKHOUSE SCANDAL. THE OFFICIALS DEFENDED. The Clerk (Mr. Turnoek) read a letter fiom Dr. Archer resigning his pcsiUon as medical ofifcer, in consequence of his leaxing Chester He stated that he had held the position for fourteen years, and he expressed his apprecia- tion of the assistance he had received from the Board in the carrying out ot a system of trained nursing in which he had taken a deep interest, and which had contributed so much to the com- fort and health of the inmates of the hospital. A letter fiom the Leoal Government Board was read on the subject of the re- ent workhouse seari(Lal, as a result of which the guardians had as-ked Dr. Archer and Nurse Reuin. n tu :e siinr. It will be lemembered that a few weeks ago the Board investigated the circumstances of the admittance to the Workhouse of a woman and h"f child who were brought by the N.S.F.C.C. inspector. The inspector, it was fctaced, handed in a report describing their neglected condi- tion, aiki Mrs. Dugdaie (the porterets) admitted them to the cleansing watd of the hospital. The woman and the child were subsequently seen by Nui&e Robinson, who was acting at the time tm beh:-ll ot the superintendent nume in her absence; and she, it was stated, ordered the child's removal back to the receiving ward. The master (Mr. Riley) and the porteross, how- ever, considering the girl e case a proper one for the cleansing ward, sent her back there. Subsequently the girl was seen by the mcdica. offieer (Dr. Aicher), who is stated to have upheld the nurse's action and ordered the child's re- moval again to the receiving ward. The Local Government Board now stated that as Dr. Atelier had resigned there was no necessity for further act.on iu regard to iii» proceedings in the case. Under the circumstances the Board considered the master 6iiouid have telephoned to the medical officer when the case arose, and they did not gather that any serious blame attached to the nurse. The Board also transmitted a copy of Dr. Archei 'b statement to them of his view of the case. Mr. Dansev said he did not think the nurse was very nimh to bian.e. The Guardians had asked her to resign, and if they enforced their resolution they would practically ruin her career. He did not think that any guardians who had fully considered the subject would think that the nurse by her con- duet had merited dismissal- Nurse Robinson had Ixkmi ciilic-d to a easMj, and the port-ercs,> had askeci her whether tilt. we-man and her ch id should go to the hospital. She had replied trIal the cases were not serious enough for and she thought they might be treated in the receiving w-aid. That seemed the whole of he' offence. She had given her opinion rightly o: wrongly. Some years ago the Guardians had gone to the cx[ ense of putting a telephone in. and the master could have telephoned to the medical officer and have got hip reply witheu. over-riding the opinion of the nurse. He hoped the Guardians uotild reconsider that part of the question. Mr. Rc/wc Mo ri-. said he would like the In- spector to know that it was not the unanimous wi-sh of the Board that, the nurse should be asked to resign. He had protested strongly against- it. He had great pleasure in moving that the Boaid withdraw the lot tor calling on the nurse to resign. Mrs. Keith Douglas steoonded. iNlr, Brown wanted to know what the Guar- dians thought of tho report of Dr. Archer. An angry discussion took place, and the J11111:ie wa sinerely criticised. On the motion of Mr. Rowe Morri. seconded by Mrs. Keith Douglas, the resolution of the Board demanding the resignation of the nur,, was withdrawn by nine votes to six. The question of filling the vacant- appointment of medical officer was adjourned to the next meeting, when the subject of making one ap [•ointment for the Workhouse and the Children's Homes will be considered. WIIMIAL. I I he fortnightly meeting was he;d at Claite bridge Workhouse on Wednesday, j.u. T- Davns presiding. 1 A PUBLIC DANGER. I 11 I i?t)))ng the consideration 01 the NJ¡e'f o.se' an application was rnr.de for rcii?f by a youn? man, who, the relieving officer stated, was a member of a family who wer suffering from consumption. At present the marl sold ice cream from a cart to excursionists who visited the dj:> tricT. Mr. Town-send did not consider it very nice that ice cream should be sold by any person under such circumstances. In answer to Mr. Douglas, the relieving oflkc) sad the ice cream was prepared in the s home. Mr. Dougla.s J.c.scribed it as shocking that such a thing shou'd be allowed. The attention of the health authorities ought to be called to the matter. Air. Toii,ii6enci agreed, and said such a pro- cedure was encouraging disease and was most 6erlÜ\lS. It was resolved to allow the man 3s. per week and to write to Dr. Kenyou acquainting liirr. with the circumstances of the case. FINANCE. I From the m!n\lt. of the Finance Committee, which were adopted, it appeared that the fol lowing sums were parsed for payment £5,648 6s. 8d. for county educational }Jurpc. £1,000 towards the building contract, a.nd £500 t-ü- waids anot her erntraet, leaving in the hands of tho treasurer a balance IGs. M R. ROBERTS'S SALARY. I t !h- £ iname Uommittee recommended that I the salary of Mr Roberts, the relieving officer for the Nekton district 1, incr('ed by £ 10. I Consideration was deferred until the next I met; tins. i "J'T,'j) E'fT]Io' n 'I' T'¡ c-I"C' I INTRRESTING STATISTICS. The Clerk r< ad a number oi poor-law returns for the past half-year, which hid been for- warded by the Local Government Board. From these figures it appeared thai the incicase in the number of pauper;, in the Wirral UnÎ-on was 26. The number of indoor C'a"S in 1906 was 208 against 192 in 1905, while the outdoor number twelve month's aeo bei:1 613. There were 56 lunatics during the past h;tlr-year against 49 in 1S05. In regard to the expenditure, the co:t of main- t-nance of pa-uper? their Union WM Is. 2d. per head of the popu'at-ion, against Is. 5fd. for the county of Chester.

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