HUDDERSFIELD WATERWORKS (TRAMROAD) BILL.
This bill was before the Examiner as an opposed measure to-day, when the memorial of the Marsden Local Board, alleging non-compliance with the Standing Orders and lateness, was entertained.
Mr. Frere, Parliamentary agent, appeared for the Marsden Local Board, and Mr. Coates, Parliamentary agent, represented the promoters of the bill.
Evidence as to the estimates, plans, and specifications, was given by Mr. Crowther, engineer, and the Town Clerk of Huddersfield.
Mr. Frere said the first allegation in the memorial which he would deal with was the notice given of the motive power intended to be employed on the proposed tramroad. It was distinctly provided by a Standing Order of the House that in the case of a bill for the construction of a tramroad notice must lie given of the motive power to be employed, and, further, that in the case of mechanical power being employed the mode must also be specified. That Standing Order, so far as the latter portion of it was concerned, was of recent origin, until last session it was limited to notification as to the kind of motive power to be employed. The object of the Standing Order might be readily understood, because it was of importance that when a construction of this sort was promoted, the road authorities concerned should be made acquainted whether it was to be an ordinary tram-road for the carrying of passengers, and whether it was to be worked by horse power or by means of locomotives. As regards the second part of the Standing Order it was only inserted last year, and provided that in the case of the proposed use of mechanical power the particular method should be specified in the notice of the bill. The necessity for that was evident. If a tramroad was to be worked by electricity it was necessary that notice should be given as to whether the intention was to carry the electricity in the cars themselves or whether the cars should be propelled by electricity communicated by wires along the side of the road. It was to make provision for such notice being given that the scope of the Standing Order was extended. If a tramroad was to be worked by steam power it was necessary to specify whether it was to be worked by locomotives in the ordinary way or by means of a stationary engine and wire rope. The bill authorised the Corporation of Huddersfield to construct this tramroad, and by Clause 21 the trucks used might be worked by horse power, or subject to the provisions of the bill by steam power. If the Examiner would look at the notice there was no indication of the motive power to be used. The notice in the London Gazette stated that the tramway was to be worked by steam, animal, or electrical power. There was nothing in that to indicate which of these powers was to be employed. He submitted that under the Standing Order it was not sufficient to give notice, that any of the three methods might be employed. That was not a specification which the Standing Order made necessary. What was the use of the Standing Order at all if the Corporation were to be allowed to say they would reserve the right to employ either steam, animal, or electrical power? He submitted that in this respect the promoters had utterly failed to comply with the Standing Orders.
Mr. Coates submitted that the notice given was ample. It was absurd to say that the promoters were bound to state in the bill the particular method they intended to adopt. The notice distinctly stated that the tramway was to be worked by steam, animal, or electrical power, and in the case of the latter, even the method was specified that part of the notice reading "including ropes, cables, or wires laid above or below the surface of the ground." The bill recited the various powers that might be employed, and the manner in which these powers night be employed. It went further, and specified that the lines would be worked by locomotives, as was evident from the words of the bill "engines used in working the line."
Mr. Frere asked if the promoters admitted that the line would be worked by engines.
Mr. Coates said that was admitted. He submitted that the notice was sufficient under the Standing Orders.
The Examiner — The mode in which the power is to be employed must be one of the three specified in the bill.
Mr. Coates said he quite agreed that if the promoters proposed to work the line by electricity they would have to state the method.
The Examiner — Then you do not intend to employ electricity ?
Mr. Coates — No, by means of locomotives.
Mr. Frere contended that if the promoters desired to use any one particular method they ought not to have given notice of three. It had been so held last year in the Chelsea case.
The Examiner said he must rule that the notice was sufficient.
Mr. Frere said his next objection was that according to the deposited plans it would be possible for the promoters to carry the tramway along a public road, of which the Marsden Local Board were the authorities, for a distance of from 111 to 132 yards. This they could not do without consent.
Mr. James Farrar, clerk to the Marsden Local Board, was examined in support of the contention. He produced a plan of the proposed line, which he said had been considered by his Board before their memorial was presented.
Mr. Coates objected to the plan. They could only deal there with the deposited plans.
Mr. Frere said the plan was identical with the deposited plans.
Mr. Coates said the plan now produced showed a proposal which the promoters had since abandoned. The proper plans were those deposited before the committee.
In reply to Mr. Frere the witness said according to the plan produced, from one limited deviation to the other limited deviation the distance was six chains. That would enable the promoters to run their line not across but along the public road for that distance.
Mr. Frere pointed out that the bill was not one for the construction of a tramway pure and simple. It was a bill that allowed them to construct what they called a tramway and to deviate regardless of the inconvenience they might cause to the public. It was not an ordinary case of crossing the public road. The line would pass along the road for a considerable distance.
Mr. Coates was prepared to offer evidence that the limits of the deviation could not possibly exceed 55 yards. The proposal was actually to go across 41 yards of the public road. The object was to get from the London and North-Western Railway through private land to the promoter’s reservoir, and they had made arrangement with the land-owners who would be affected. It would not pass along the public road. It would only cross it. He asked if the whole of this necessary undertaking was to be stopped because of an imaginary inconvenience in connection with a few yards of a public road.
The Examiner — The question is one of what length it would go along the road.
Mr. Coates — It will only go twice the width of the road.
The Examiner said to allow the objection would be giving the road authority power to veto the bill.
Mr. Frere said it was not what the promoters intended, at present, they had to deal with, but that under the powers they took in the bill it would be within their right to construct their line 132 yards along the public road. In order to do that they must have the consent of the road authorities. He submitted that there was non-compliance with the Standing Orders in this respect.
The Examiner — If the tramway were to go straight across the road would you object?
Mr Frere — If that were all we would not be here at all.
The Examiner — But it only will go across in an oblique direction.
Mr. Frere — They will have the power to run along for a distance of 132 yards.
The Examiner said he could not allow the objection.
This being the only point to be dealt with in the memorial,
The Examiner ruled that the promoters had not complied with the Standing Orders in respect to the lateness of the Parliamentary deposit. He referred the Bill to the Select Committee of the House of Commons on Standing Orders, who will decide whether it should proceed farther this session.
RATEPAYERS' MEETING AT MARSDEN.
A largely-attended public meeting of owners and ratepayers of the Local Board District of Marsden was held in the Mechanics’ Hall, Marsden, on Monday evening, in pursuance of a requisition of 20 ratepayers, for the purpose of taking into consideration and determining upon the expediency of consenting to the opposition by the Marsden Local Board to the Huddersfield Waterworks (Tramroad) Bill, introduced in the present session of Parliament. There would be about 200 ratepayers present. County Alderman J.B. Robinson, J.P., chairman of the Local Board, presided, and he was accompanied on the platform by Messrs. J. Taylor, R. Bower, F. Goodall, W. Whitehead, J.S. Bower, J.S. Whitehead, S. Firth, and S. Thorpe, members of the Local Board ; and Mr. Charles Mills, solicitor for the Board.
The Chairman read the notice convening the meeting, and, in introducing the business, remarked that that question had been discussed at two meetings of the Local Board, at one of which every member was present, and at the other there were two-thirds of the members in attendance, and at each meeting the resolution to oppose the Huddersfield Waterworks (Tramroad) Bin was passed unanimously, and it was for the ratepayers, in public meeting assembled, either to sanction the proceedings of the Local Board or to withhold their consent.
The Chairman then submitted the following resolution :—
Questions were asked, and satisfactorily answered, after which, without discussion, the resolution was carried unanimously, and with great enthusiasm.
The Chairman thanked the ratepayers for their attendance, in such large numbers, and for their strong support to the Local Board, and declared the meeting closed.