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BLENHEIM BOROUGH COUNCIL., Marlborough Express, Volume XV, Issue 288, 9 December 1880
BLENHEIM BOROUGH COUNCIL.
The above met on Tuesday evening lasf. Present : His Worship the Mayor, and Councillors J. Robinson, W. Sinclair, Holdsworth, G. W. Riley, Fell, W. Parker, Litehfield, and Rogers. The minutes of the preceding were read and col firmed. Cr Robinson asked the Council to listen to a petition he had to present before the tenders were opened. Cr Eobmsou was proceeding to enlarge upon the danger accruing from the forming of earthen approaches to the OuiaKa Bridge.Jwhen tho Mayor remarked that he thought he was somewhat .out of order.
Cr itobinson : If you don't want me to speak, the I'll dry up and merely present you the petition. Messrs Stenhouse and McNab wrote complaing of a nuisance at the back of their offices in Market Place. Crs Robinson and Fell thought that the nuisance in question was a very great one, and from a sanitary point of view was very dangerous. Cr Sinclair agreed with both speakers, but he was surpised that whilst the Inspector of Nuisantes reported en certain places he did not on others, such for example as the nuisance in question. Cr Houldsworth reminded the Council that the Inspector had repeatedly applied to the Council for instructions, but that noue had ever been given him. On C. Litchfied's motion seconded by Cr Riley, instructions were directed to be giveu the Inspector to write to the owners of the property on which the nuisance complained of is, and insist upon it being abated within 14 days, and if not remedied within that time to sue. The Secretary to the Star Cricket Club, Mr Gr. S. Budge, wrote requesting the Council to consider the question of setting apart a Bmall portion of the ground on Seymour Square for a pitch for the exclusive use of the Blenheim Star Cricket Club. Cr Fell said that although he would like to do all he could for the Club, bu* when a similar request was once before made the Council answered it in the negative. Councillors were of opinion that it was not in their power to set apart any portion of Seymour Square, and it was resolved that a reply to this effect be' sent to the Star Cricket Club. Permission, subject to the approval of the Inspector of Works, was granted Mr James Chirm, a similar permission was. granted to Mr Burns. Mr Joseph Scott wrote asking the Council to till up the ditch in front of his cottage in Arthur-street, it being part and parcel of the street and dangerous to life and property. Cr Litchfield moved that the ditoh in question be filled up. Cr Sinclair seconded the motion, and Crs Houldsworth and Rogers spoke strongly in its favor. '. By an amendment moved by Cr Fell, the consideration of the matter was deferred till next meeting. The following letter was received and read from Mr J. Sinclair senr.:— Blenheim, 7th December, 1880. To his Worship the Mayor of JUenheim, — • Sir, —The Corporation of Blenheim v. myself anil the Bank of Ne^ Zealand. 1.-taveto complain of the grossly- TilniSur. way in which .^ffl.&Q.'ft the Borough Council' ;if e.ilealing witli me with, regard to an action which you have been pleased to begin against me in the Supreme Court. Your Worship thought fit to lodge a caveat against a certain , piece of my land being brought under the Land Transfer Act. This you did without the authority of the Council, and without even consulting it, although there was ample time to allow of your having done so. Subsequently you obtained from the Council a ratification of your peculiar action. Councillors Fell and Robinson being the parties who took an active part in according you such ratification. On the 20th of August last you began your action against me. My pleas were delivered on the 22nd of September. Nothing further was ' done by your Worship or the Council, or your solicitor until the 29th November—a period of< two months and seven days. On that day your solicitor put in a Replication, and stated that you proposed to go to trial at the next sittings of the Supreme Court here, which will take place on the 14th instant. My solicitor stated I was ready and willing to go to trial at once, and he instructed Mr Travers by telegram on that day to see Mr Gordon Allan, of Wellington, and have the issues settled, so that the trial might take place at the earliest opportunity. A day or two ago your solicitor stated that you could not go to trial on the 11th inst., as a witness who resides at Auckland—a Mr Hull—could not attend at that time. So, to suit Mr Hull's convenience, this matter, which is one of importance, is to be hung up for another six months. It would have been well if your Worship had displayed as much zeal and energy in prosecuting your action as you did in commencing it. You have had over two months to consider what should be your next step, and you ought" to have known long ago whether Mr Hull was a a necessary witness or not, and if he were, you have had ample time to subpevnahim. If this had been done his convenience would not have had to be consulted. As it was, there was sufficient time when your solicitor spoke of not going to trial (because it would not suit Mr Hull to come down) to have sent a _ subpoena to that witness and compelled his attendance. I consider that I have been very badly treated by your Worship throughout this affair, and that you have not displayed that regard for my interests and the interests of my fellow- citizens, which it was your bounden duty to have done. With regard, firstly, to my individual interests, I say it was your duty to have seen that the action was tried at the next sittings of the Supreme Court, as you were, and are perfectly well aware that it is detrimental to me to have this matter kept in suspense. Witli regard, secondly, to the interests of my fellow citizens who will have to pay the costs of this action if your Worship loses it, I assert that your Worship has acted imprudently, inasmuch, as you lodged your caveat and began your action without consulting the Council and without adequate legal advice. lam aware thatit suits certain persons to say that Mr Travers had advised the Corporation np"n the point, but I am clso aware that Mr Travers says the matter was never mentioned to him and that he never advised upon it- But even supposing Mr Travers had advised, where is the record of the case submitted to him and his opinion ? If facts are incorrectly stated, an opinion based thereon, is, of course, worse than valueless. It is mischievious. If Mr A. B. had a conversation with Mr Travers, what guarantee has your Worship got that the case was fairly stated to him or that Mr A. B's memory is to be trusted as to the opinion given ? I say that before instituting an expensive and vexatious (law suit, your Worship should have obtained a written opinion from some eminent counsel as to whether it was advisable to go to law or not. I think that every one will admit that such a course ought to have been pursued. I have every respect for the. Couusel you have engaged (Mr <<<>rdon Align) and his ability is undoubted, but it im gt be borne in mind that Mr Allan was not as] ed to ad vise whether the action should ba brogght ; l»it"was ;nstracted to
commence it. If I had intended to make a gift of the stiip of land to the Borough, I would have done so in an unmistakeable manner. —I am, Ac., James Sinclair. The Mayor said that he rose to answer the charges made against himself in the letter. Ci Fell: I should take no notice of the letter. It is not worth it. Cr Sinclair : Mr Farmar, I take it, is a better judge of what he should or should not do than Mr Fell. The Mayor then stated that he would not go into details. The matter was in the hands of the Council's solicitor to deal with. Cr Houldsworth: Can your Worship give the Council any idea of the time when the action will come off. The Mayor: The whole matter is in the hands of the solicitor. On Councillor Litchfield's motion the Town Clerk was instrucfed to acknowledge the receipt of Mr Sinclair's letter. The Inspector of Works reported that he could see no way to prevent the drainage complained of by Mr S. Johnson, except at a very large outlay, and he was unable to recommend the Council to take any action in the matter, as he considered it more a private question for Mr Johnson than one for the Council. On Cr Fell's motion it was resolved to send a copy of the Inspector's report to Mr Johnson. On Cr Litchfield's motion it was resolved that tenders be called for forming a footpath on the north side of Wynen-street. The petition referred to by Councillor Robinson at an earlier part of the evening was now read. It ran as follows:— " We, the undersigned ratepayers of the North Ward, residing on the banks of the Omaka, woiild respectfully represent that making approaches to the new bridge at York Terrace of clay will materially damage our residences and property, for the following reasons: —A high Taylor flood is not confined to the bed of the Opawa, but stretches from Alfred to Auckland-straets. It averages two feet deep over this space, with a very rapid current. The proposed embankment will curtail the floodway by 220 feet, or make a resistance to the current of a surface 60 feet square. Such a surface will deflect the stream on the residences in Alfred and Aucklandstreets. We would therefore respectfully pray that the approaches to the bridge may be constructed on piles. We are, gentlemen,— Your most obedient servants, etc." In explaining the object of the petition, Cr Eobinson said that he had to complain of being most unfairly mkreprvsented by Gs Parker, ■who trad Tnentioneti outside that he (Kobinson) only objected to the bridge because it was not put in front of his residence. His real and sole reason for objecting was the question of expense. This man, Cr Parker, who objected so strongly against him, had had the bridge put where it was in order to open up a road and property belonging to himself. Cr Parker: I rise to a point of order. I never took pait in the discussion over the bridge. Cr Robinson maintained that if the. bridge had been put where he had -wished it, or as Ci Parker said, where it benefitted him (Bobinson), it would have benefitted the Council to the tune of £200. The bridge was an abomination, and would not be used, it had been put where it was to benefit private individuals. He moved that the petition be received. Cr Litchfield seconded the motion, which I was carried. The Mayor thought the petitioners were j alarming themselves unnecesarily. A woodwork approach would cost twice the amount of an earth one. Mr Fell thought that petitioners were laboring under a mistake. Cr Eiley was living close to the bridge, and was not frightened by it, the river was wider at the bridge than above, and the danger from floods at that point consequently lessened. The only person who had spoken to birr about the matter was Mr Macklin, and he w;; not a ratepayer. Cr Eobinson maintained that Mr Macklir was a ratepayer, he had bought a propeit} from Mr White. The tenders for the earthwork approaches were then opened, they were:—J. Batty £111, D. Eishell £11(5 (ss, G. Sutherly £101 15s,- F. Beamrley £141 10s, G. A. Smith and Co £149, C. Gomez L 133. It was resolved that the tenders stand over for a fortnight. It was agreed that a committee of the whole Council visit and report on the approaches to the Omaka Bridge at two o'clock on Tuesday, the 21st inst, and to report on the petition, and that the Council at its rising adjourn till thi evening of the same day, at half-past eight o'clock. The following accounts were passed for payment:- Mahon Jj9 2s, Crook L 9 12s, Simmonds 12s, J. Tait L 3 16s 6d, Leary L 9 10s, Bythell L 8 10s sd. Cr Robinson moved " that the resolution passed on September 7tb, 1880, giving the Lower Wairau Board of Conservators leave to raise the Maxwell Road and Halifax-street, be rescinded." Cr Litchfield pointed out that the Rivers Board now only intended to raise Halifaxstreet. Cr Pohinßon would oppose the raising of both streets. No seconder apparently being forthcoming the Mayor pointed out that if the motion was not seconded the permission granted to the Rivers Board would stand good. Cr Parker seconded the motion pro forma, in order that tbe matter might be discussed. Cr Fell moved as an amendment that the words "and Halifax street" be omitted. H"3 thought that the raising of Halifax-street I would hurt no ono and benefit many. Cr Rogers seconded the motion, and he and Crs Houldsworth and Litchfield expressed the opinion that an unuecessary alarm was raised as to the effect of raiainc; Maxwell Road. Cr Sinclair did not think the raising of Maxwell Road could do any harm, but as certain ratepayers objected to that project, he thought it would be best to raise Halifaxstreet, and let them see how it worked. It was his opinion that the raising of Maxwell Eoad would have to bo done later on. The amendment was then put and a division taken ; the ayes were 7, viz. — the Mayor, and Crs Sinclair, Riley, Houldsworth, Litchfield, Fell, and Rogers, and the noes 2 —Crs Robinson and Parker, the latter, as the seconder of Mr Robinson's motion being reluctantly compelled to vote with him against the amendment. The amended motion was then put and carried.
On Mr Fell's motion Mr Henry Jellyman was permitted to address the Council on the subject of his grievance in relation to the widening of Market-street. He stated that it was now some 21 months since the fire, and twelve months last May since he had given up his deeds to the Council for the purpose of widening Market.street, and had at the time gone to Nelson and Spring Creek to obtain signatures, under the impression that he would have the deeds forthwith. Week has passed after week. He had spoken several times to the Mayor, the Town Clerk, and Mr McNab, but had always been put off. He was told he would have the deeds in a week, or in two or three days, and so forth, and yet he was the possessor of property iof the value of £400 or £500, and was still shut out of it. He thought he had been very unjustly kept out of his deeds by the Council, and if he were put to further expense in the matter would look to be recouped.^ If> the Council had a solicitor who could not, do their work they skould get one who could;!
The Mayor stated that he had taken a great deal of trouble in the matter, and lost a good deal of time over it. It was decided that the Committee consisting of the Mayor and Town Clerk, appointed in October, should see to the matter.
Mr Fell gave notice to move at next meeting "That the Board of Health Act/be brought into force within the Borough." The Council then adjourned. .
BLENHEIM BOROUGH COUNCIL., Marlborough Express, Volume XV, Issue 288, 9 December 1880
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