A general meeting of mombers of the •Ohristchuroh Ratepayers' Association was held lasfc evening, in the Congregational schoolroom, Manchester street. About 60 personß were present. The Chairman, Mr W. Pratt, said that; ho had given a little grace before commencing, as the room was an unusual one in which to hold public meetings, and on fchafc account members might perhaps have some little -difficulty in finding their way. Tho minutes of the previous meoting having been confirmed, the Secretary and Treasurer, Mr W. Jameson, read the following report : — "1. Your Committee beg to report that -they have gone carefully through the burgess rolls for the purpose of selecting the names of persons whom they might recommend the Association to support afc tbo forthcoming election of City Councillors. "2. Although it is nofc required by law that the candidates' names should be on the roll of the ward whioh they propose to represent, yet your Committee have thought it desirable that — if practicable — tbe selection ehould be confined to those who either reside in, or whose business premisos are situate in the ward/ and they have kept thia in viow in the recommendations which they have decided to make, although ifc has added considerably to tho difficulty of the selection. "3. Your Committee have interviewed a large number of ratopayera, with a view of ascertaining whether thoy were willing to accept office, and they aro pleased to state that the gentlemen whoso names are appended are willing to act, Bhould tho Association decide to support them. "4. It i 3 of courso open fco any member of the Association to propoie other names, and should this be dono, it will be for you to say which of the candidates proposed are most acoiptable to the Association ; and when the selection is finally mado, it is hopod, though no member is pledged to do bo, that the members generally will do their utmost to secure the return of the candidates so choson. "5. Your Committee have much pleasure in recommending tho following gentlomen to your favourable notice : — " South west Ward.— Messrs R. W. Eng-. land, C. B. Taylor, and W. Yincenfc. ■. ", " North-east Ward. — Messrs R. C. Bishop^* W. Crystall, and H. Thomson. South-east Ward.— Mossrs A. Cuff, C. P. Hulbert, and S. Manning. North-west Ward— Mossrs N. K. Cherrill, - J. Gapes, and T. S. I ambert." Tho Chairman said they had now heard 'the report of the Committee, and tho name?; of tho various gentlemen who had been interviewed. It would be competent for any person to propose other names, the Committee not wishing to arrogate to themselves any special rights. Of courso it would be best in any case, to limit the number of namea which might be choaen, to the number finally required, so that tho gentlomen selected might know that they would have the support of the Association. Ifc would perhaps be moro regular for come gentleman to move the - adopton of fche report, exclusive of the names, leaving them for further consideration. Mr Tombs moved, and Mr F. A. Bishop seconded, the adoption of the report. Mr George Booth suggested that the names should bo gone through first, so that tho report might bo adopted as a whole. The Ohairman thought ifc would be well to • take the namo3 given for each ward separately. He believed thero wero other gentlemen who had signified their intontion of coming forward ; he had heard of Messrs Ayers and Lezard. Mr George Booth moved as an amendment, which was agreed to—" That the report be received." In compliance with a request, fche Chairman described tha ward boundaries— Colombo . streefc being the dividing lino ono way, and Hereford street the other way. Hereford - street had beon considered, he believed, to more fairly divide the ratepayers than tho "Worcester streefc lino would have done. The names of nominees for tho South-west Ward were firsfc taken, and in addition to Mossrs England, Taylor, and Vincent, Mr Binsteod was proposed. In answer to a question, Mr Bin«tead said he had been asked by a number of persons if he intended to preaent himself again. In -no case had he given a decided answer. If . anyone chose to nominate him he would be prepared to come forward, but he was not •prepared to present himself voluntarily, having no particular desire to be again in the • City Council. # : • The Secretary, replying to a question^ said -there were now 221 members of tho Assooia- ( tion, representing 790 votes. On a show of hands being taken, the npnii.nations of the Committeo wero sustained. For the South-east Ward, in addition to Messrs Cuff, Hulbert, and Manning, Messrs Ayers and Lizard were proposed. A ballot was taken, with the following result :— Ayers, 20; Cuff, 42: Hulbdrfc, 85'; Lezard, 4; Manning, 40. Tl.e nominations of :the Committeo were therefore sustained. For tho North-east and North-west Wards no additional names were proposed. A motion for tho adoption of tho report with tbe names attached was unanimously : agroed to. The Chairman mentioned that Thursday vras the day for nominations, and it was understood that the Committees for the various wards would see that the gentleman . who had been selected as candidates were 'duly nominated. ; • The Chairman thought that tho names j selected would commend themselves to the liearty support of all good citizens.' He might mention that one of the objects the Association had had in view waß to endeavour to forego the unseemly exhibitions which had taken place on former occasions. Such a thing was certainly nofc at all necessary, for the gentlemen who had beon brought forward wer* woll known to evory man in the place, and if fcho Association only got iid of . the objectionable feature he had referred to, a good thine would have been done for the City. Various important works had to be
undertaken by the City Council, requiring a graat deal of attention, and it was highly desirable at this time that good men should come forward to devote themselves to the business. It waß nofc intended that the Association should die a natural death immediately after the elections. Ifc was hoped that ifc would be kept together, and bo a useful organ for many purposes. It was nob intended to exercise any pressure upon members of the City Council, or to exercise any meddlesome interference with the work of the Council, but to be a means of bringing tbe ratepayers together for the purposo of discussing publio affairs. The next thing probably that would engage their attention, would be the choice of a Mayor. They would have to endoavour to select a gentleman who would maintain the dignity of the city: he might perhaps have to entertain tho Prince of Wales. (Hear hear, and laughter). Some little eonversationul discussion took Elace with reference to tho desirability of ringing tho water supply and other questions before the Council. Mr Ruddenklau moved — " Thafc a voto of thanks be given to the Committee for their past services." Mr George Booth seconded the motion, and desired to suggest thafc any gentleman asked by the Association to stand, ought to be guaranteed that he would be put into tho Council without having to incur any expense. It was too much to ask any gentleman to give hiß time, and to allow him to suffor in that way. It might also be mentionod that a greafc deal of immorality was produced by the way the eloctions were at present carried on. They should try to do away with the bad system of canvassing, seeing that many of the defects of the municipal system of the Old Country wero boing carried on in New Zealand. The Association ought also to use its influence to try to close publichouses on the day of election, Borne electors being influenced by what were called " drinks " ; and fche time of election was ono when tho peoplo should be specially clear-headed. He threw out these hints for fche benefit of the Association. The Chairman had no doubt, from various rem ai- lis whioh had been made, that fcho Association woidd find plenty of work in a little time, and be ablo to accomplish some reforms. It would be well for the Committees to endeavour to enlarge themselves, and afc any time the general body could be convened. As yet, thoy hardly knew what could bo taken in hand; fchey wanted time, and a little experience. The vote of thanks to tho Committee was carried by acclamation. Mr N. K. Cherrill desired to make a few remarks upon tho possible futuro of the Association. He might mention thafc fche Association had originated to Bomo extent in an attempt to establish a Society similar to one which existed in Tunbridge Wells, and of which he was formerly a member. Ho would briefly point out fche nature of the work dono by thafc Society, which might perhaps serve as a useful model. Its firsfc business was essentially thafc which had been done thafc evening. As soon as vacancies occurred, the firsfc business was to select names and recommend them; and, as a general rule, they passed their mon. That was tho only way in which they interfered with the politics of the town. The subscription was a guinea a year, and thore were betweon 300 and 400 members. The funds were expended every year on such objects as would be beneficial to the town, but in directions which could not be followed by the City Council. Tho first thing thoy did was to subsidise largely a very superior band of musio. Tho new pumproom at Tunbridge Wells, a picture of whioh had been given in the Illustrated London News, wos tbo work of the Association ; and many other things wore undertaken by them, such as providing Buitablo walks, or improving them, even outside tho limits of the town. All these matters were quite exterior to the politics of the town, and calculated to advance its bfst interests in every possible way. This course might, to somo extent at least, be followed by the Christchurch Ratepayers' Association. (Applause.) A vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated the proceedings.
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Star, Star, Issue 3556, 3 September 1879
RATEPAYER'S ASSOCIATION. Star, Issue 3556, 3 September 1879
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