THE BOROUGH COUNCIL FROM WITHIN.
No. 1. THE POUNn : a HOARY
[to the editor] Sir,—l have returned to the Council, after seven yeirs' nbseneo to find ita working un. oon'cionably bad in several departments. Batipfied that publicity U the only cure, and dependins on your generosity. I' purpose deal'ng with the depa'tments serintum in your cilurans I start with the pound beoause remedying proposals by myself were thrown out bodily at the last meeting ; and for the further reason that abuses in oo - neotion with iJ have Ion? occupied public attention Certain councillors have of late loudly proclaimed tbnt the pound should be abolished because so little used and such was actually moved recently, but happily was negatived. Exumination nf the poundkeeper's book chows 54 po ndinga in 1915, comprising 149 animals Do these aboli tionieta think for a moment that, in absence of a local pound, our ranger, or an irate resident would have driven ihem six mile3to Duvauchelle ? Such jb ont of the questien, whioh brings us tv the positio , -, that all these strays would have been left to roam the streets and adjaoent roads Nay, more, in absence of local oheck, the ruisanoe would greatly increase, since patrons of the long paddock would promptly take advantage of the opening for better business, i
The conditions under whioh the pound has been run for the pas* twelve years are absurdity itself. For twenty veara previously the laic Mr Hahn was combined poundkeeper and ringer, received half the pound fees and all the ranging, whilst throughout his tenure he paid £2 rent yearly for the pound reserve. This arrangement made for efficiency. It kept the streets and adjoiniDg ronds clear, and the pound was agoing con. ceRD, which paid its way. On his retirement from ape, the offices were separated. The poundkeepership, for some inscrutable rea> son, was conferred on a well-to>do tradesman with half the pound fees, and with the reserve thrown in gratis. This was altogether ebocking business. Firstly, it destroyed an 'fiicient system, of long standing, it de prives the ranser of half the pound f«es, earned by hard and too often most un. pleasant work: thirdly it has thrown awey some £58, for if the reserve was worth &2 from 30 years ago onwards, it should certain* ly for many years"past been bringing in £4 or £5, seeing that the greater part is diligent ly usfd for gardens, and that it has water laid on (which it had not in Mr Hahn's time) and which is freely used. Needless to siy, the pound under these distressing oon , ditions, has since shown an annual loss.
Coming to the remedy, I moved at last meeting that applications be advertised for the combined ofHoe of poundkeeper and rsnger. In second' ing, Councillor Cantrell said that be had similarly moved some years ago, as he considered that a rangpr livine in German Bay was useless to the town. That he must be is obv ous Quite lately. I saw ao w pounded in the morning, rpleased, and then turned out on the road again as coon is the ranger went home The owner has no paddnck, so the animal, for nearly a year. b,=»s livrd on the streets and ndjaoent roads. Other owner? do likewise Clearly, the nbuso Ohn be put down only by a local ranger, who can pop out at any moment: not one livinp i" a distant bay whose departure is witohd for by interested parties in order to again turn their cattle out. Reverting to the motion, none epofce to it beyond Cr Cantrell and myeelf, and it was lost by six votes (the Mayor and Crs Noonan, Fyfe. Penlington, Munro and Haylocb) to two (Crs Cantrell end Elennint;. I submit to tho majority that they owe it to the ratepayers to give tbeir reasons for silently blocking a long-called for and urgently needed reform. The very unsatisfactory working of nn institution that should play an important part in the good governance of tbe town cannot rest here. So soon, therefore, as the rules of tbe Council permit, I shall bri> g forward the question again for reconsideration.—l am, etc., W. H. BENNTNG.
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THE BOROUGH COUNCIL FROM WITHIN., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3527, 3 March 1916