THE FIRE BRIGADE.
To the Editor.
Sie, —I wish you would insert the following, to show the inconsistency of the Borough Council with reference to the Fire Brigade, as I think they must have very bad memories. A short time ago, after waiting over twelve months for the Borough to fulfil its promises with respect to uniforms, the Brigade ordered part of the uniforms, and waited on the Council for a grant towards the cost. The Council granted L 25 outof aboutL7s towards the cost, and promised that at the first meeting after the Istof June they would’ pay L 25
due for further expenses of management, which I see, at the meeting last night was refused till November. As a member of the Brigade, I must say that, we have always had a great amount of trouble as to the amount promised from the Council, and I can state that we have only received LI from honorary members. Considering that the majority of the members of the Brigade are not owners of property in the Borough, I do not see how merchants and property owners can expect the members to not only give their time, but to pay the expenses necessary to keep the plant in order. Amongst the whole of the merchants and tradesmen in Ashburton we have only one honorary member that has paid his subscription.—l am, &c., A Member op the Ashburton Fire Brigade. Ashburton, July 13, 1880.
To THE EDITOR,
Sir, —It is incompatible with my position as Hon. Secretary to the local Fire Brigade to allow the discussion which occurred in the Borough Council last evening to pass without comment. They say figures do not lie ; you will therefore be well able to judge of the justice of our (that is, the Fire Brigade’s) demand if you peruse the following : At a meeting of the members of both Brigade and Fire Police, held on Wednesday, 23rd October, 1878, it was moved by Mr. Thomas Dudson and seconded by Mr. Millar—“ That the Brigade tender their services to the Borough.” This was carried nem. con., and was accordingly done, and upon the 20th Nov., 1878, the Secretary to the Brigade received a letter, of which the following is a copy Town Clerk’s Office, 20th November, 1878. —Sir, —l have the honor, by direction of the Ashburton Borough Council, to inform you that at a meeting held on the 18th inst., your memorial was considered, and in reply, 1 beg to hand you the enclosed copy of resolution of the Council passed at the same meeting.—l have, etc., Charles Bhaddell, Town Clerk. —Copy of resolution : “That the Council accept the services of the Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade, subject to its members being prepared to work under a code of rules to be approved of by the Council. That an annual subsidy of fifty pounds (LSO) be voted for the maintenance of the Brigade, and that a SubCommittee, consisting of Councillors Williamson, Saunders, Friedlander, and Ivess, be appointed to procure the required uniform.” 2. The rules were drawn up, submitted to the Council, and approved. It therefore follows, as a sine qua non, that on the following dates half-yearly payments were due to the Fire Brigade :—l9th May, 1879, 20th Nov., 1879, and 19 th May, 1880 ; in addition to cost of uniforms. Against the above we have received—lßth March, 1879, L 25 ; 3rd May, 1880, L 25, and on 18th May last a grant of L 25 towards payment of uniforms.
I shall not not worry you with a mass of figures, as perhaps some of our city fathers might not understand them, but shall content myself with saying that we have spent L7O alone in the last twelvemonths on a bell and tower much wanted, and on the faith of promises of support have expended some L6O on uniforms and very necessary apparatus from England. In conclusion, 1 may state that except for the liberal manner in which the County Council met the Brigade, we should have collapsed some time since. Meanwhile, we can only hope that the Government will pass the Brigades Bill, now before the House, in such a form as • will compel public bodies to do their duty if only in the little matter of protecting the lives and property .of those who may temporarily be placed under their care.- I am, &c.,
W. Adams, Hon.' Secretary,
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