Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

14 articles on this Page








THE IMPROVEMENT OF BUSH HILL. j Stormy Council Meeting at Pembroke I Lock. THE SCHEME TO BE PROCEEDED WITH. There was an usually large muster of mem- bers of tne Pembroke Town Council, at the meeting at Pembroke Dock on Tuesday, and as the various aldermen and councillors turned up, with the light of battle in their eyes, even the most casual onlooker would have predicted that the meeting was going to be breezy. It wa3 more than that; it was decidedly stormy, and at times threatened to develop into the sort of debate for which the Council at Aberyst- wyth is so nod. All went fairly smoothly until the report of the Pater Highway Committee came up. They recommended that nothing be done with re- gard to Bush liiil until a public meeting of ratepayers had been held. Then up jumped Alderman Hutchings, and fun commenced, and to use a common phrsae, for the next three hours "things fairly hum- med." The alderman's first point was that the committee were not in order in making such a recommendation. Some time ago, said he, the Pater Committee suggested that certain work should be carried out on the road leading from Pembroke Dock to Pembroke. They de- cided to do the work upon certain teriu3, which were well known to all present. Then the matter came before the whole Council, and the latter decided to adopt the scheme for the improvement of Bush Hill. If the Council now adopted recommendations of the committee they would upset the whole thing that they had taken so much trouble to do. The matter had been taken out of the hands of the com- mittee, and had become a Borough question. The road in question was a main road belong- ing as much to Pembroke as to Pembroke Dock. Aid. Smith rose and asked whether Aid. Hutchings' remarks were in order. Did Aid. Hutchings intend to move any resolution? Aid. Hutchings 3aid that he should move an amendment to the report of committee. The fact of the matter was that they had agreed— Aid. Smith bad agreed and Mr. Lawrence had agreed, and every member of the Pater Com- mittee had agreed—that this would be a very great improvement and would benefit the people of both towns. But there appeared to have been some mistrust in the minds of some of the members of the Pater Ward, that they had done all they could to try and prevent the work being done. That was his impression, and he said so fearlessly. Aid. Jones: Its only your opinion after all. Aid. Hutchings: My opinion is one. You have the right to use your own opinion as well. Mr. Jones: And I do. Aid. Hutchings: I must appeal for order. The Mayor (addressing Aid. Jones) said that he could not notice any member who did not stand up to speak. Aid. Hutchings, proceeding, said that some new members came on the committee, and since they came had tried to upset what had done before. Mr. Evans (interrupting): That is personal. (Cries of "order, order.") Aid. Smith: What is the amendment? I should like to hear this amendment now, and then we should know where we were. Mr. Ward Davies: Is that in order? Aid. Smith: I don't care if Aid. Hutchings speaks for the night. Mr. Ward Davies: Is that in order? Aid. Dan Davies and several members here all rose, and each accused the other of being out of order. Eventually the Mayor said that he held Aid. Hutchings was in order in lead- ing up to his amendment. Aid. Hutchings again resumed, and said that he was entitled to give his reasons for moving an amendment. The recommendation of the committee was really a rescinding resolution in disguise. He knew that at the time it was passed. If they had openly moved a resolu- tion to rescind he would not have had any- thing to say against them. But would the Council agree that a question on which they had spent so much time and trouble should be quietly buried? If any of the members wanted the resolution rescinded let them move it in the proper manner. Where they had split was upon the question of price. He himself was ready to take the opinion of the Borough Sur- veyor, and those gentlemen on the Council who had had most experience in this kind of work. He considered that it was undignified of the Corporation to be too weak to spend Z100 without going to the ratepayers to as them if they could do. In the past they had spent £ 80,000 or £ 90,000 and they had never had a public meeting before. It was well known to them all that they got money from the County Council, and whether they did this work or not they would have to pay the county rate. He would move that the paragraph in the report to the effect that nothing be done without a public meeting had been called be deleted. Also that the Borough Surveyor be instructed to modify the plans to their origi- nal state, so that the work could be carried out for iE307, and that he be given permission to spend that amount on the scheme and more. Aid. Smith asked whether that resolution was in order. The Pater Committee had been ordered to carry out the scheme. The Mayor said that they were considering the minutes of the committee, and he could re- ceive any amendment in the ordinary way. Aid. Smith said that when he looked round he could see that the Pembroke members were there for the job that day ( a chorus of indig- nant "no, no's")- He took it that the matter had been referred to the Pater Committee with power to act (Oh, no.) Well, it was referred to the Pater Committee to consider. Ald. Griffiths: To carry out. Ald. Smith: That strengthens m ypoint. Aid. Griffiths: But you haven't done so. You have burked it I Aid. Smith: We have not shirked it, pardon me. The matter at this moment is under con- sideration. The Mayor read the minutes on the subject, and Aid. Smith, continuing, said that the mat- ter was sub-judice. They only wanted the meeting of ratepayers before they went fur- ther (ironical laughter and cries of "absurd.") The Mayor: This is the governing body. Aid. Smith retorted that some of the mem- bers before they were on the Council were very glad to call meetings of ratepayers. Was Aid. Hutchings' amendment in order ? The Mayor said that he had ruled that it was. Aid. Dan Davies said that they had a rate- payers' meeting on November 1st every year in each ward. The ratepayers put them there, and they truested them to do their duty. I Mr. Ward Davies seconded Aid. Hutchings' amendment. He said that he was greatly sur- prised at the action of a certain gentleman who had been elected to a very high position on another authority, and who he thought must have been conversant with the rules of pro- cedure. This question had been referred to the Pembroke Dock Committee for a certain purpose. The committee now wished to go behind that purpose. They had the matter sent back from them to further consider and report upon. What did they do? They actually wanted to depute their powers to a public meet- ing. He had had some experience of public meetings, and he put a value upon them on certain occasions. But when it was a quest- ion of spending public money, the rabble who opposed was often composed largely of boys without votgs. Aid. Jones: I hope you will withdraw that. Mr. Ward Davies said that he would not withdraw it. No meeting had yet been held. He had known meetings at which momentous questions were decided when the people were not cognisant of the question, and were not in a position to vote. He was surprised that they should try such a subterfuge to take away the power from the committee. No public meeting had any right or power in this matter whatso- ever. (Hear, hear.) This recommendation really was a rescinding of the minutes already on the book. Why had they not put down a notice of motion to that effect on the agenda. That would have been a manly, honourable action and not a resort to strategy. At the last meeting of the Council the greaWobjection to the scheme was the amount of money. They said that they were' in favour of the scheme all through, but the ratepayer could not spare the money, which they said would amount to something like Z600. His (the speaker's) posi- tion was that they should send the plans and specifications back to the surveyor, and let him modify them and reduce them to the scheme considered at their first meeting. The Pembroke Dock members were quite' agreeable to that. But when, at the committee meeting last week, the very reasonable proposal was made that they should send the plans back to the surveyor, with instructions to modify the scheme so that it would cost not more than £ 300, it was negatived by eight votes to three. They could read between the lines, and he deeply deplored the attitude taken by the Pembroke Dock members with regard to this question. They had heard of the public meet- ing which had been held. He believed some of the councillors went to a hole and corner meeting at the Market Hall. Who was tne gentleman who was in the employ of a sister authority Alderman Smith: That is not in order. Mr. Ward Davies, proceeding, said that this gentleman's salary was recently raised Here Alderman Smith excitedly jumped up and appealed to the Mayor. Mr. Ward Davies had no right to mention names, said he. Mr. Ward Davies, continuing, said he consid- ered it very bad taste on the part of a man in the employ of a sister authority to work up the ratepayers into a state of faction against those who employed him. (Interruptions.) Well, they could shout themselves hoarse- Alderman Jones: You are shouting yourself hoarse. Mr. Boby: Mr. Jones, when you make a speech we will listen to you. Alderman Dan Davies: It is a sore point. (Laughter.) The Mayor: I must call you to order, Mr. Jones. Mr. Ward Davies, proceeding, said that cer- tain gentlemen both outside and inside the Council had done all they could to defeat this Busn Hill scheme, which the Council had decided to carry out. Alderman Smith said that he would more the adoption of the committee's report. He might say that he had not attached the slight- est importance to anything that Mr. Ward Davies had said, because his whole statement had been vitiated by that word "rabble." He had never heard any gentlemen there ever before refer to the ratepayers of Pembroke Dock as rabble. Not only was it bad taste, but it was perfectly untrue. He had attended many ratepayers' meetings in Pembroke Dock, and had always found them attended by highly respectable, thoughtful men, who were per- fectly prepared to consider well the questions before them. To talk about the ratepayers of Pembroke Dock as a rabble was an utterly indecent thing for any member of the Council to do. He moved his resolution for several reasons. He had never been in favour of the scheme. He had said that if the woik euuic. be carried out so that the cost could be fairly divided between the various contracting I -riKS he was in favour of its being carried out. In 1 the present scheme before the Council he con- sidered that the apportionment of the cost was grossly unfair to the Pater Ward. The position they found themselves in was primarily due to the selfishness of the Pembroke members. Their offer did not in the slightest degree correspond with the amount of benefit they would receive if the work was carried out. Alderman Dan Davies: You had all you asked for. Alderman Smith said that a few moments ago Alderman Davies rose because he (the speaker) interrupted someone else. He re- peated that the offer to the Pembroke Ward did not correspond with the benefit they would receive, and he believed that some Pembroke people were beginning to realise this fact. He had spoken to a good many about it. He was talking to a large Pembroke ratepayer the other day, who expressed the opinion that the least the Pembroke Ward should have offered would have been £ 100. (Laughter.) Alderman Griffiths: We never made an offer at all. We were asked for E50 and we consented to give it. Mr. J. Jones said that he would like to know the name of the gentleman referred to. Alderman Smith: I hope Mr. Jones does not doubt my word, for I can name the gentleman if he wishes. When I made a charge of selfish- ness against the Pembroke members I did not mean that individually they were selfish. On the other hand, individually many of them were generous. There is my friend Mr. Lewis, who is always ready to give L10 or £50 to any scheme-or, rather, to offer it. (Great laughter.) Alderman Dan Davies said that he was sur- prised that a gentleman of Mr. Smith's ex- perience should make such a remark. Mr. Lewis: I always intend to carry out any offer I make. I think this is a bit personal. Alderman Smith: I believe it. Mr. Lewis indignantly retorted that for every £ 1 Mr. Smith would give to a charity he would give Z2; he had his cheque book with him and would write a cheque in five minutes. Alderman Dan Davies thought Mr. Smith ought to apologise. Alderman Jones: Some of us seem to be all afire. Alderman Smith: If Mr. Lewis takes it as a reflection upon his character- Mr. Lewis: I do. Alderman Smith: Then I withdraw it. If I had made statements I should not take the slightest exception to anyone referring to them. Mr. Lewis has on various occasions made gener- ous offers Alderman Dan Davies: Is this business? Alderman Smith: Mr. Dan Davies seems to be in a most indecent state of mind this after- noon. I thought you were in the chair, Mr. Mayor. The Mayor: Go on. Alderman Smith proceeded and said that how it came to be suggested that £ 50 was a fair share for the Pembroke Ward to pay was incomprehensible to him. Not long ago, when the clock tower in Pembroke was repaired, the Pater Ward paid three-tenths of the cost, al- though the matter was one entirely for the benefit of Pembroke. Now was an opportunity for the Pembroke members to reciprocate. Now he would come to Sir Thomas Meyrick. His impression was that Sir Thomas was a keen, shrewd business man. According to the pre- sent specifications the wall for which he was contributing £100 could not be built for less than R,150-not according to the tenders. It would be better for the Pater Ward to give Sir Thomas k50 and ask him to build the wall himself. Sir Thomas was having a splendid I approach made to his mansion, and the piece of land he was giving was practically valueless. Further discussion followed, the excuse for almost every speech being that it was "a personal explanation." A letter was read from the agent to the Bush Estate asking the reason for the delay in signing the agreement, and another from the Pembroke Dock Ratepayers' Association. Then the matter was put to the vote, and Alderman Hutchings' resolution was carried by 14 votes to eight. A further amendment by Mr. Smith, that nothing be done until a public meeting had been held, was ruled out of order, and then the meeting broke up.




[No title]