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It will be remembered that for some time past the Borough Council have had some trouble with the Audit Department m regard to payments made by the Council, but whioh the Auditor refuses to sanction, and whioh he oalls upon the Councillor personally to make good. At last night's meeting another surprise awaited Counoillors, inasmuch as the payment of £50 made to Mr Bradiell, the late Clerk, on his retirement from office, had been disallowed. The Auditor-General wrote as follows :— 11 1 have the honor to return the balancesheet of the Aahburton Borough for the half-year ended on the 30th September, whioh I have certified, except as regards the payment of a bonus by way of compensation for loss of office, whioh I have with muoh regret been compelled to disallow. It appears to have been decided by the Courts m England that suoh a payment, except under speoial provision of Parliament, is ultra vires of a Corporation.— l have, etc, J; E. Fitzgerald, Auditor-General." In regard to the payments previously disallowed, amounting to £15, Mr A. H; MoLean, the Inspeotor of Audit, wrote under date Ootobor 29th:— "At the September audit an amount of £2 15s for hire of hall for politioal meetings, and at the Maroh audit £10 ss, expenßea of delegate to Wellington, and £2 hire of hall for politioal meeting were disallowed as illegal expenditure. Will you please send me as soon as possible the dates on whioh these amounts were passed for payment by the Counoil, and the names m full of eaoh Councillor voting for the same." When the letter was reoeived, the Mayor instructed the Clerk to reply that it would be laid before the Council at its next meeting. To this Mr MoLean wrote to the Mayor on November 1 ;— " I wrote to your Clerk on Ootober 29 asking for information respecting certain amounts disallowed at audit, In reply he states that my letter will be considered by the Counoil at next meeting on 12th inst. The import of my memorandum seems to have been misunderstood. lam instructed by the Controller to get the above information, and m order to save myself a trip to Ashburton for the purpose, applied to your Clerk lor it. If there is any reason why he should not oomply with this request, it will be necessary for me to get it myself, as I must obey instructions, and under the Fublio Revenues Act oan examine the books at any time, but J can't see what difference it oan make to the Council whether I get it myself or the Clerk supplies it." Upon receipt of the second letter the information asked for was sent: The Mayor said that he had seen Mr Walker m regard to the subjeoti Mr Walker expressed his firm belief that next session a Bill would be introduced into Parliament to put the matter right; Suoh a Bill was ! actually brought before the House .las,t i session, but? the shortness of time prevented it being gone on with. When uuoh was the oase he thought the action of the Auditor was extremely harsh. After some disoussion Or Scaly said that he understood that it had been decided that the Mayor, qq behalf of the Oounoil, should accept the servioe of summons* The Mayor said that it had been so deoided, but the aspeot of the oase was now ohanged, there being another £50 involved. After 6ome further disousßion the Mayor said he thought they should appoint the Clerk to accept servioe of Bummonß on behalf of the Oounoil. Cr Thomas said that the Olerk could not be sued m this matter.* Or Williamson thought ' the.Oqunoil should bring the matter under the notice of the members of Parliament resident m the djstript, and the representations of these gentlemen might result m proceedings being stayed till after next session, when it waa probable that a Bill dealing with the matter \tould be passed. He thought thia request was a reasonable one, the money having been expended m the interests of the 'ratepayers. He moved that the Mayor interview Messrs Walker, and Buxton, and Major Steward, M;H,E;'s, and ask them to exercise their influence with a view to proceedings being stayed till after'neit r ßession. : Cr Thomas seconded, and on his motion Or Williamson was also deputed to aot with the Mayor m interviewing tflq gentlemen before mentioned, The motion was -carried, ■■"*.- The Mayor took the opportunity of proteßting^ strongly against the action of ths authorities m disallowing the payment of the sum of £10, expenses of delegate to Municipal Conference at Wellington; He. y?aa sqre that every Councillor and every " burgess would agree tb,at the work of the Oonferenoe would jeauft m muoh good to the colony, but their sittings had now been discontinued on acoount of the Audit Department's aotion.

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Bibliographic details

THE DISALLOWED PAYMENTS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1995, 13 November 1888

Word Count

THE DISALLOWED PAYMENTS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 1995, 13 November 1888