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BROKEN FAITH!

TO THE EDITOB. Sir,—ld these days of town planning, which above all else insists upon wide streets, it is regrettable to see our ways being narrowed down, instead of widened, yet tuoh has for ten years been the Counoil's policy, and most of all me Mayor's. With rare exceptions all country roads are of 66 feet, and it needs no arguing that, when these open iqfco a town, with adjoining houses on both sides of the street, tbe span should be greater for both health and traffic sake. This the town, planners, who have just been leoturing througbout the do. minion, condemn 66 feet, whilst Mr Masse}' at a lecture by Lord Islington, said widths should be 100 feet. Our Mayor was prestn*", and on his return told the Counoil how grf-atly be was impretsed by His Excellency's suggestions for town improvements, Moßt regrettably, however, the Mayor failed to practically apply the lesson, and continued his persistent agitation for narrowing down our streets. Town residents are aware that in planning Akaroa tbe French adopted a width ofjtwelve metres, which is just under 40 feet. By time footpaths and channelling has been provided for, the balance left for roadway is lamentably insufficient. Thus, that of Lavaud street is but 23 feet. On several occasions the Mayor has confidently piedioied that, in time to come, Akaroa will be a large town, and unquestionably it will. Convinced of thiß, it was obviously his para* mount duty to use his official pobition towards widening t c streets to tbe utmost in order tbat they might carry the traffic of a large population. Evidence of what may be expected is to be seen at Bournemouth, a fashionable watering place in the south of England. In 1850 tbe population was under 1000; twenty years later tbe railway oame, so that now it numbers 80,000. A l recent visitor told me it possessed magnificent streets. Admittedly, the laying out of our town will not permit of 100 feet, but 1 say, advisedly, tbat there is not one street that could not have been widened to 50 on one side or tbe other, and at reasonable cost, , The reason this has not been done is to be found in the fact that nearly all in the Council are property owners, and, therefore, averse to the necessary strip of ten feet being taken of? their sections. For example, when the Counoil applied to the Minister for Publio Works for exemption of five stree-B from widening, the Mayor, who was trie moet strenuous supporter of this letrognde move, owned property in four of them! Clearly, it is wholly wrong tbat interesttd persons should have a voice in shaping v policy, which, misdirected, will cost their successors, tens of thousands.

1 come now to tbe special objeot of my letter, which is to draw attention to the Council's breach of faith with the Minister in regard to widening Lavaud street to fifty feet, The Minister, vi happily, exempted four ftreets out of the five asked for, but made it a condition that the fifth, Lavaud, should be widened on the east side to fifty feet, In good faith, the Minister at once exempted the four on his part and noted the ex-inption on the deeds of all property owners in those streets. Not so the Counoil, which contented itself with the evasive remark that the borough was not then in a financial position to carry out the work. There is no doubting tbat ways and means would have been found had the work been to the councillors' liking. Nevertheless, in not taking action under this plea, it was their duty to have made a by-law prohibiting ertction of any building within the ten feet required to complete to filty. Such a by-law has the Christchurch City Council, and appended to it, when last I saw a copy, was a list ofsomo thirty streets so prohibited. Our Counoil has not only failed to ;do this but has just sanctioned removal o*f an old building and its re erection on a conoreto foundation ten feet out on the road as laid down by the Minister, ;•>- Let us hops that some councillor, for the goo d of the town, will take up the matter, and get tbe requisite by-law passed, if the widening be still beyond our present means. --I am, etc., W. H. HENNING.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19140814.2.14

Bibliographic details

BROKEN FAITH!, Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 4421, 14 August 1914

Word Count
733

BROKEN FAITH! Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXIII, Issue 4421, 14 August 1914

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