We do not hold ourselves responsible for the opinions expressed by our correspondents. THE LONGBEACH ROAD DISTRICT. To the Editor. Sir,- — I observe that several ratepayers of this district have sent in a petition to the Board, requesting it to be divided into Wards, in order that the good people about Waterton and Wheatstone may not have it in their power to elect only their own men. This plan may answer for that portion of the district lying between tie Hinds and Rangitata; but if the ratepayers living on the dry land between the Ashburton and Hinds think that by having the old Wards confirmed they will at all improve their position, they will, I am afraid meet with disappointment. In the first place, every one knows that it is more expensive to make roads among swamps than it is on dry land ; now the old Road Board very astutely made the different Wards to consist of about equal quantities of dry and wet land. Thus the dry land has to assist in paying for the drainage, under the guise of road-making, of the Longbeach swamps. Why, sir, if the dry land in this district had fair play with their rates and subsidies, there would have been money to their credit in the Bank, instead of which, the Board being composed of men from the swemps, it has always been in debt, and yet the rates are double those of the upper Board. But even supposing the district were fairly divided into Wards, composed for the greater part of one kind of land, wet or dry ; so long as both remained a portion of one Board, any outside creditor, would, I think have a claim against -the whole Board, and the division into Wards would not be a sufficient plea in law, to exonerate the dry Wards from paying the debts and extravagancies of the wet ones. Then, again, observe the unfair manner in which the different classes of land are assessed. Looking at the rate roll I find that the dry land—on account of being near the railway—is assessed between 10s i nd 12s. per acre, whereas the Longbeach swamp pastures, which carry about double the quantity of stock, are assessed about Bs. Cd. per acre, or nearly one-third less. Whether this valuation will hold, is of course open to question ; nevertheless, such was the state of the roll, and it is not likely to be much altered. The only plan for the ratepayers living on the drier portion of this district to adopt, in order to secure themselves justice, is to separate and form themselves into a new Board, or attach themselves to the upper Board, where the rates are onehalf, making the old boundary road between the Longbeach and the Lagmohr Runs the boundary of the new Board, on the one side; and the Hinds the other boundary. I am, &c.. Ratepayer.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 74, 16 March 1880
CORRESPONDENCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 74, 16 March 1880
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