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The committee appointed by the Borough Council to confer with the Fire Brigade re the use of a portion of the reserve occupied by the Brigade station, as a Library site, met the Brigade at the Council Chambers last evening. The Bomugh Council Committee consisted of —Crs Ivess, Harrison and Bird, and his Worship the Mayor. The Brigade was represented by Capt. Dolman, Mr Parkin, Mr Miller, and several others. The Town Clerk having read the resolution passed at the last meeting of the Council respecting the .Conference, the Mayor remarked that the Brigade were doubtless aware of the result of the recent public'raeeting called to decide on a site for the public Libray. He had himself suggested the Fire Brigade resei vo as a site at that meeting, because he thought it was the best one available. He had been under the impression that there was plenty of room for both the Brigade and the Library on it. In moving the resolution, he had intended not the slightest disrespect to the Brigade, from whom he had not anticipated any opposition. Captain Dolman would remind thp Council that the old section occupied by the Brigade, at the corner' of Moore street, had been given to it by the Provincil Council. That section was afterwards not considered sufficiently central, and, as a consequence, the Council had asked the Brigade to choose another section, and they had selected section No. 503, the one they then held, which they had taken in lieu of the former one. The Btigade had the sole right to flio section then occupied by them. It was theirs,’ and theirs only. Cr Bullock : Until required for Municipal purposes, That I wish to be ; clearly understood, for it was distinctly stated in the letter addressed by the Provincial Secretary to the Brigade in reply to their letter apply ing /or the reserve. Captain Dolman asked whether Or Bullock had git the letter? Cr Bullock thought the letter must bo in existence, but was quite sure of its contents, any way.

Captain Dolman still maintained that [ the reserve was granted to the Fire Brigade. j. The Town Clerk here returned with the letter in his band. It was dated, Pro- ’ vincial Secretary’s office, Christchurch, I 15th November, 1875, and after-acknow-r ledging receipt of Brigade’s application r that reserve 774 might be specially reserved as a site for fire brigade station at Ashburton, went on to say—“ln reply 1 bog to state that the Government have no power to make this reserve, which has been set apart for municipal purposes, into a reserve for fire brigade purposes. The Government have, however, no objection to allow the Ashburton "Fire Brigade to use the reserve in question, oni condition that whenever a municipality • shall be established at Ashburton, the reserve shall be placed in the hands of the municipality, to be dealt with as they may think fit. ‘ VV. W. Haskell, Provincial , Secretary.” ’ Or Bullock asked Captain Dolman what he thought of that 1 He.had keen sure of the contents of the letter, and he would have betted L 0 that he was right. Captain Dolman pointed out that in any case there was not room enough on the reserve for the Library and the Brigade station. The Brigade would have to add to its premises very shortly, and it was highly necessary that a caretaker should be appointed to reside on the premises and protect the property of the Brigade from the attacks that had recently been made on it. Then, again, the Brigade required the whole of the section on practice nights, and presently more room would bo wanted for the steam fire- • engine when it was procured, and the horses that would have to be used in connection with the engine. If the Council took away the Brigade’s reserve, they ought to grant another reserve, and on looking.over the Borough inap he (OapE. Dolman) could net find any other suitable section they could have. The only other available site was the market reserve, aud, of course if they got that it was only a question of time when they would be ' turned off it. The resolution carried at the Library site mooting at the Town Hall had taken the Brigade quite by surprise, as they had imagined that the reserve ■ had bean granted to them for fire brigade purposes only. The Mayor wished the Brigade to understand that he had merely advocated' the use of the Brigade reserve as'a Li- ■ brary site iu order to save the public ; squares from "being used, and he did not, i think they should be touched. He had: a only thought of the Brigade .reserve on ; the afternoon before the .public meeting, f H and in moving for its adoption as a'all*. (

or the Library, he had only tried to serve 1 ihe interests of the public at large. There . * lad he could assure the Brigade, been „ lothing “concocted” in, what''he had Jone respecting their reserve. On public grounds he had done what , he; had, and the Brigade were as ■ much interested, in Fact, as any section of the public in this matter of site. He therefore trusted that - after all that had been said and done, and all the agitation that had been got up about the Library site, that ‘ the Brigade* would approach the subject they - had met to discuss in a proper spirit. Cr Parkin said that it was more important the Fire Brigade was apportioned a central site than even the Public Library. He thought the Brigade should nyt be deprived of the site they occupied, and only that day Mr Jackson, the architect, had said that the. Library could riot be built on a worse, site than the Fire Brigade section,. The - resolution -psjtsed at the public meeting had been passed on the spur of the moment, and because the public had imagined that there" vraA room enough on the Brigade reaerve-Xor both the Brigade and theLibrary,—Bad it not beep supposed so the rosojutipn-'would never have been carried. $ • Cr Bullock remarked that .be-. Was perfectly certain the Mayor had intended no disrespect whatever to the Brigade in suggesting their reserve as fl -aite for the Library, and he hoped they would not for a moment suppose that - ariy ; slight had been’ passed upon them." Hd presumed they were all agreed on-one thing, and that was the advancement, as much as lay in their power, of the place. Each and every one, he--supposed, had the same wish—to brake Ashburton ought to be—the City of the Plains' .(Hear, hear.) If any injustice was-to bo'dbne to the Brigade by taking away-its present reserve he would-be the last to vote for

its being taken away. Personally he was still of opinion that . Baring square east was the best site. It was not' large enough for recreation 'purposes, and if a portion of it was occupied by a handsome public building, with attractive white--stone facings, he thought it would be well used, and the Library ,so placed would be an ornament to the town. -However, others thqugbt differently, tondi he did not want to press the matter. .- The next best site to the square was undoubtedly the Brigade reserve; They must, he remind them, be very careful what site they selected, as they would - geta grant of L2OO provided the site was approved by a certain body, who, however, would not give one penny if the old site was built on. : ; , , j Mr Miller said that the highest'ground in the town should be given .to the Brigade, so that it might command,a view of the whole town,, or as much of it as was possible. . • ' Cr Ivess thought the. Council ought not

to place any unnecesary. obstacles in the way of such a valuable and old-established a public body as the Fire Brigade.. C* Harrison would like to exonerate the Mayor from any intentional discourtesy to the Brigade in’taking the aotidn'he had respecting their reserve." He" was quite sure his-Worship had ho feeling but oneof respect for the - members of that Brigade, Speaking for • himself, he thought the reserve occupied by the latter at the present time the best possible one they could have. It was centrally situated, and where all could’.be bcnefitedlby it, and they none of them knew at what hour or minute they might be Vety*. glad to see the Brigade, coining round: the - corner. The architect had toldhira (Or Harrison), that the Brigade reserve was a very undesirable site for the .public Library, and leaving ' the Brigade's feelings out the question, he thought that ~aa a matter of public expediency—for; the > protection of the public property, that ; the Brigade should not be turned off their present section. It might appear strange td-them that he (Or Harrison) had not Raised these objections at the public’ meeting. Well, he thought he knew every reserve on the' Borough map, andwhephis' Worship got up and moved the adoption of the Brigade section, and said there was room enough for the Library on it he (Or Harrison) had not got up, because he thought he ; might be wrong. Another reason he had not risen was, that he Was not _ well -at the time. ■

Cr Bird was sare'that if the public had thought the Brigade would have to vacate their reserve to make room for the Library,' that the resolution in favor of the Brigade section as a. site would never have been carried.. t Dr, Ivess then moved the following resolution—“ That after the- discussion between the members of thiaCouncil, and the information elicited from , tlw -Kra Brigade members, whb consider an exchange of sections would hot- be tb .-the advantage of that body, the Boroogh Council be requestalWo grant reserve No. 212, part R.S. 770, being the site originally asked for by the Library Committee] which the Conference considers is equally as suitable for a Library site as .the one at present occ tipied < by> th» Fire Brigade,;it beingiquiteas centjral.'” Seconded by Or Harrison. •; .■ > The Mayor remarked that the resolution before them asked for what the Council had originally intended to do before the public meeting re site -was called.- . Qr Bullock expressed himself, decidedly

against tho-resolution. . The ; Mayor. l : proposed, 1 aa.'an amendment—“ That this Conference, |fc?pnimends that the Fire Brigade premises be removed to the section,, occupied by the Municipal Buildings, and that tectipttjßOS be handed to the Library Oommittei'.the Council bearing the cost of .Brigade’s property. ” ~ , I Seconded by Or Bullock. , ,5* . The amendment, on being put was only voted for by the mover and seconder, the original reesolution was therefor©-? declared carried. ; The proceeding terminated with a voteof thanks to the chair. To-night there will be a special meeting of the Borough Council to receivejxhe report of the Conference. V. =“

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Bibliographic details

LIBRARY SITE CONFERENCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 639, 18 May 1882

Word Count

LIBRARY SITE CONFERENCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 639, 18 May 1882

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