BOROUGH WATER SUPPLY. In another column we publish a letter received by his Worship the Mayor from Messrs. Saunders Brothers. It will be remembered that at the last meeting of the Borough Council the attention of members was directed to the subject of this letter by the receipt of a notice from Messrs. Saunders Brothers intimating that the Council,, would be held responsible for any loss or damage arising to the firm through the unauthorised diversion of part of the water from their race. Councillors appear on that occasion to have been generally of opinion that Messrs. Saunders Brothers had placed them in a false position, and each had something to say on a subject of which they one and all indicated little knowledge. The facts of the case are briefly stated in Messrs. Saunders Brothers’ letter, and if their explanation remains unrefuted, no doubt can remain that the Council or its officers have been guilty of flagrant negligence. The grantees appear throughout to have been ready and willing to confer the privileges sought by the Council, and with this object in view they submitted a draft deed for the approval of the other side. This deed was returned with material alterations to Messrs Saunders Brothers, and they promptly advised that they could not consent to the amendments. At-this stage nogtiations appear to have ceased, and without any further communication with the proprietors the water was taken from the race. Messrs. Saunders Brothers adopted the most temperate course possible under truly aggravating circumstances by registering their protest by notice to the Council and interviewing the Borough Solicitor and Borough Engineer. It is alleged that this latter officer assured them that the water could at will be stopped, and the trespass thus remedied as as far as possible. This promise was not given etlect to, and Messrs. Saunders Bros, were virtually treated as nonentities, and they asserted their position in a quiet and reasonable manner. Reviewing these facts we must exonerate Messrs. Saunders -Bros, from any charge of laches in this affair ; they have acted in a prompt and businesslike manner ; but it is desirable that at least two officers of the Council should render an account of their stewardship. The Borough Solicitor has been largely instrumental in causing the present peculiar contingency, not only by his dilatoriness in preparing the required deed, but by adopting an irregular course in sending the document direct to solicitors without reference to Messrs. Saunders Bros. The position of the title should have been familiar to him without advice from Messrs. Garrick and Cowlishaw, and courtesy would have suggested leaving any necessary arrangement in respect to this with the proprietors ; the difficulty he conceives in this direction can only be a poor excuse for very reprehensible delay. The Borough Engineer has evidently missed Messrs. Saunders Bros., inadvertently, we have no doubt, but the necessary intercourse between those gentlemen and the Council will be of a somewhat distrustful character in consequence of his action.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 120, 1 July 1880
Untitled Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 120, 1 July 1880
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