Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. SATURDAY, MAY 3, 1919. BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The new Ashburton Borough Council will hold lis first meeting soon, and it is appropriate to extend it a cordial welcome and trust that it will carry out those tasks its forerunners left undone. The new Council will probably agree that its immediate predecessor was composed of men who did much to deserve public support; we think a continuance .of such effort for the common good may be confidently anticipated. Cr. W. Osman is the only recruit, aiid it is a matter for congratulation to see one of Jhe -younger men willing to "participate in public affairs. Cr. Osman is replacing a good man in Mr. Or. H. Buchanan, who generally adopted a progressive attitude, and whose inability to consent to re-election is to be deplored. The new Council has much important work ahead, the main and really urgent tusk being to instal a modern sewerage scheme. The townsmen are practically unanimous in demanding, in the interests of health' and decency, the abolition of the present disgusting ''sanitary" system, and if at the end of the present Council's term the underground drainage system is not available, the Councillors will have betrayed the trust reposed in them. Happily, there is no reason to expect such defection; The Borough Councillors will add to their popularity if they at all times pay attention to the immediate needs of those they represent, whether the matter is directly or indirectly connected with municipal affairs. For instance, we think the Council might at its first meeting make a public protest at the excessive charges for meat made by local retail butchers. If, say, .the Cabbage^ Tree Flat Road Board circularises its opinion on the efficacy of licensing of cats, or on similar abstract proposals, the Borough Council duly takes notice; why should not attention be also given to the complaints raised locally on matters affecting townsmen's welfare ? Excessive charges in any direction are injurious to the borough's progress, as the extortion tempts purchasers to send drders to other towns. Meat, for instance, can be carried from Christchurch on the railway at one shilling for 4 to 14 lbs., and ls 6d for 14 to 28 lbs., but the public should not be forced to patronise outside traders to obtain a fair deal. A comment from the Council on the meat-prices question might induce those concerned to be more reasonable, or, on the other hand, it might silence the butchers' critics. The Borough Council should also give a, lead on the peace celebration arrangements for the Borough, which is lagging behind, whilst the.country centres tire showing initiative. The Mayoral honorarium may also be discussed, and, if so, Councillors should make the grant more in keeping with the responsibilities. The Mayoralty is not regarded as a "paid" office, but there is no reason why advantage should be taken of any man's generosity in offering to undertake the many duties. The
low sums hitherto voted. are heritages of those days when public positions of dignity were reserved for wealthy men. In these enlightened days, something more than a heavy purse is demanded from our chief citizen, and this change in public attitude should be met with a corresponding change in the remuneration grants." -..'..