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BOROUGH COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 490, 1 November 1881
The ordinary fortnightly meeting of tha above took place last evening. Present— His Worship the Mayor, and Crs Bullock, Roberts, St. Hill, Harrison, Friedlander, and Parkin. mayor’s statement. His Worship made the usual financial statement, and said there was little else calling for special mention at his hands. CORRESPONDENCE Was read from : The Secretary to Education Board, stating that the School Committee would clear Reserve 777 of tussocks. From W. Mills, asking the Council to clear tussocks off his section at his expense.—Resolved the matter be attended to. From W. Lake, asking the Council to make good the damage done to his sections. or else purchase same at the price of L2oo.—lt was resolved that the Council could not entertain the letter. BATHING IN THE DOMAIN. A letter was read from the Secretary to the Domain Board, stating that the Board would be prepared to meet the wish of the public in allowing the water in the Domain to be used for bathing purposes, but as the Board had no funds available to defray the expenses of erecting dam, Ac,, it wished to know whether the Council would undertake that work. Cr Harrison had given the matter due consideration, and he was of opinion that the water could never be made available for bathing purposes on account of its clay banks and muddy bottom. Any experiment they might make in connection with the bathing scheme would involve a large outlay, and as he had said, would result in no practical benefit. Cr Bullock was very much of Cr Harrison’s way of thinking. Cr St. Hill remarked that a public bathing place was badly wanted, but if one was made in the Domain, care must be taken that the occupiers of houses in the vicinity were not inconvenienced. .After some further discussion the matter was referred to the Works Committee, to report on at next meeting. THE PROPOSED RETRENCHMENT. Cr Ivess’ notice of motion, re retrenchment in the Borough expenditure, was allowed to stand over until next meeting, owing to the mover’s absence. CR ST. HILL AND THE MAYOR. Cr St. Hill remarked that he had a largely-signed petition against the Mayor’s proposal, re Baring square, but he had not brought it with him. THE mayor’s NOTICE OF MOTION. His Worship the Mayor brought forward the following notice of motion, tabled at the last meeting of the Council :—“ Ist. That, on account of the very close proximity of Baring square, fronting on West street, to the public Domain, it would be more beneficial to the health of the people living on the West side of the Borough, and,'moreover, a largo source of revenue to the whole of the Borough, if the said Square would be exchanged for another reserve of similar size on that side of the Borough, and that the member for the district be asked to bring in a Bill to that effect. 2nd. That a public meeting be called at an early date, to ascertain the views of the ratepayers with reference to the foregoing notice of motion. In speaking of the motion the mover remarked that he hoped that none of the councillors had come there to vote on one side or the other without hearing the arguments both pro and con. If he was unable to convince them that he was right let them have ther own way. He was sorry to see that there was not a full meeting on such an important occasion, but doubtless the Councillors present would be able to decide whether the matter under discussion was of sufficient importance to go to a public meeting or not. Cr St. Hill had alluded earlier in the evening to a largely signed petition to be got against the proposal contained in the motion then before them, but he (the speaker) thought it was rather adverse to that petition that it was not produced.^ Cr St Hill questioned his Worship’s right to animadvert upon any private action of his own.
His Worship said he had a perfect right to say what he had said. Or St. Hill denied it.
His Worship went on to remark that he thought the petitioners must have a bad cause to sustain when they failed to bring up their petition at the meeting. Cr St. Hill was about to explain, when His Worship begged that he might not be interrupted. He would wish to point out in the first place that Baring square was already enclosed by buildings on one side, and it was only a question of time when it would be hemmed in by buildings on all sides. Now the square was very close to the public Domain and its removal, therefore, to another site was a matter of considerable importance. The site of the present square if cut up for building purposes into half-a-dozen allotments would yield LSOO or L6OO a year to the Corporation, and this would be equivalent to the levying of a Cd rate. 'i J iC sections would only be let for the short period of 21 years, when they would revert to Ihe hands of the Council, the members of which could then decide as to what should he done with them. Cr Harrison remarked that knowing the ability which his Worship gave to the consideration of all matters connected wish the Corough, lie (the speaker) had vci-y carefully gone into this matter, and he had to object to the proposal introduced by the Mayor for two reasons. Firstly, the Government had set aside the Caring square as a reserve for recreation purposes for all time, and to devote the ground to other uses would, he thought, be to establish a very bad precedent. The second objection was that it would cause property in the neighborhood of the square to depreciate in value to the detriment of householders thereabouts. If Baring square was to go he could see no reason why Mona square should not follow. In all large towns —and ho had been brought up in a large town himself—public squares and gardens were laid out for the benefit of the people. In many cases this was done while the town was small, and when it grew to be a place of importance the benefit of reserving these breathing places was expel ionevd. He was quite sure that it was only a question of time, when Ashburton would stand in need of such open spaces. In any case, he was glad to think the matter must go before a public meeting before anything could bo done. t Or Bullock did not see how the Mayor s proposal could possibly injure one single person, and it had his support. In any case, the sanction of the ratepayers would have to be obtained. Or St. Hill, who appeared much excited,sni'd that if the May< r’s proposal were carried, it would be the grossest act-of vandalism he had ever heard of. He looked not to the present, but to the future, when the neighborhood of Baring
Square should become thickly populated, and such open spots absolute necessities. Be naturally supposed that some people were anxious to erect grain stores on this ■ite, and would do everything in their power to get them. , The Mayor denied that he was actuated by any selfish or interested motive. Cr St. Hill had made up his mind to oppose this thing, and oppose it he would, whether it was right or wrong. Cr St. Hill was proceeding to use further objections, when his Worship asked him to confine himself strictly tp the point. . Cr St. Hill said he was doing so. He would speak, for he was put there by the ratepayers to do so, and would say what he had to say if he stopped all night. After some further stormy discussion, the motion was carried, Crs St. Hill and Harrison alone dissenting. DOWNES’ KATES. Or Bullock said that he was not present at last meeting, and he would like to say a few words in explanation of Mr Downes’ letter read.at last meeting re rates. He (Cr Bullock) had never paid any rates on the section, but this was purely a personal matter between himself and Mr Downes, and he would have no objection on this occasion to pay tne rates complained of. VALUER and tenders. It was resolved that a vainer be appointed at next meeting, and that tenders be called for dog collars, half-yearly balance-sheet. The balance-sheet for the half-year was read and adopted. GAS. The Town Clerk stated that the Corporation’s contract with the Gas Company had now expired. NOTICE OF MOTION. Cr St. Hill gave notice of motion, for consideration at next meeting as follows^: .—“ That in view of reducing the expenditure in the Borough, this Council ascertain the cost of lighting the town with kerosene, and also cost of lamps for same. engineers’ repout. The Engineers reported as follows: The Labor Gang have been engaged in reforming Havelock street West and filling up low places in Park street. Portions of Wills street West require some filling, and we consider it most advisable to take the soil from where the men are now working, both on account of its being the nearest point for obtaining the stuff and in order to avoid carting over new-made ground. Several bridges and culverts have been made and fixed, door fixed at immigration cottages, and other matters of detail attended to. There is nothing calling for particular comment. INSPECTOR OF NUISANCES’ REPORT. The Inspector of N uisances reported as follows: —Be Closets.—l have no complaints to report, and those closets mentioned in my last report as requiring new pans are mostly all supplied with them, those that are not are to have them by tomorrow evening, when Ibell will put them in on his rounds. Be Slops and other Refuse Matter. —There is no accumulation of refuse matter since my last report. I have had one or two complaints of dead poultry lying about on some of the unoccupied sections, and have attended to them and had the nuisance removed. Also have inspected the river-bed from time to time, and find that Ibell continues to bury the refuse satisfactorily. ACCOUNTS. Accounts amounting to LSO 2s 2d were passed for payment and the Council adjourned.
BOROUGH COUNCIL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 490, 1 November 1881
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