A special meeting of the members of the Town Council was held, on Monday afternoon, for the following purposes, amongst others:—
The Mayor (C.H. Jones, Esq.,) presided. The attendance was as follows:— Aldermen J. Crosland, A. Crowther, John Priestley, G. Scholes, H. Brooke, D. Binns, T. Denham, J. Day, and D. Sykes, Councillors J. Jordan, I. Robson, D. Calverley, W. Dale, James Hadfield, William Marriott, J. Byram, G. Arlom, John Varley, Joseph Woodhead, C. Hirst, E. Clayton, Joseph Benson, John Fawcett, E.J.W. Waterhouse, B.H. Hattersley, R. Houghton, E. Sykes, B. Thornton, W.H. Aston, J.F. Brigg, R. Holliday, John Shaw, W. White, John Hellawell, J. Scholes, James Starkey, A.B. Haigh, Alfred Walker, H. Hirst, jun., J. Barrowclough, R. Skilbeck, Law Hopkinson, and O. Bairstow.
The Town Clerk (Mr. J. Batley) read the minutes of last meeting.
The Mayor said the first matter would be the taking of the declarations of the newly-elected councillors.
The declarations were then received, and the following gentlemen qualified:— Messrs. W. H. Aston, J. F. Brigg, Benjamin Thornton, J. Barrowclough, L Hopkinson, W. Marriott, John Shaw, E. Sykes, and O. Bairstow.
RETIRING COUNCILLORS IN 1868 AND 1869.
The Mayor, while the declarations were being taken, called attention to one or two matters. He said it was very important that the Council should determine who were to go out in 1868 and 1869; and it was thought desirable that the members, in their respective wards, should confer together, and suggest how the matter was to be settled. Of course, any suggestion from the different wards, would not be binding on the Council; but no doubt it would have its weight with the Council. If the representatives of the respective wards would settle who should go out by mutual understanding, it would save a great deal of time.
A series of suggestions were then thrown out, and below we report such parts of the discussion as may be interesting to the public.
Mr. Alderman Day stated that, before the Council honoured him by electing him to the office of alderman, Mr. Robson, himself, and Mr. Byram balloted who should go out first in November. The ballot fell upon himself, and, consequently, he supposed Mr. Sykes would have to take his place, and go out in November, if it were agreed upon.
Mr. Councillor E. Sykes said he ought not to be classed in the same category as Alderman Day and Councillors Byram and Robson. They had been returned without a contest; and, having had to contest the ward, he (Mr. Sykes) submitted to the Council whether his position was not rather different from that of the other representatives of the Moldgreen Ward.
The Mayor recommended that the question should be reconsidered, and settled by the representatives of the ward. That, he thought, would be the best way.
Mr. Alderman Day — Yes.
The Mayor, continuing his observations, remarked that, as he had said before, it did not bind the Council. If the Council thought the gentlemen were being hardly dealt with, he dare say they would deal with it themselves.
Mr. Councillor Holliday asked if it was imperative that the retirements should be decided at that time?
The Mayor replied that the arrangements must be concluded to day, and, if the gentlemen did not conclude the retirements amongst themselves, the Council would have to conclude them.
Mr. Councillor Holliday — I would suggest that we adjourn matter for a time.
The Mayor said, if Mr. Holliday would look at the list of business, he would find that No. 5 paragraph stated that they were “to determine the order in which the councillors shall go out of office in the cases where there has been equality of votes of burgesses, or where there has been no contest.”
Mr. Alderman Day, after consulting his colleagues, said, rather than have any contention in the matter, Mr. Byram, of the Moldgreen Ward, had kindly consented, being the youngest in the party, to go out on the 1st November, consequently Mr. Sykes, who was elected on Saturday, would now be elected for a longer period a member of the Council.
The Mayor — If you decide who goes out in 1869, the other settles itself.
Mr. Alderman Day — Mr. Robson has kindly consented to go out in 1869, and consequently there is no contention.
The Mayor said it was a very friendly way of settling the matter, if they could only adhere to it. He might state that, where the law settle affair, the town clerk had completed the arrangement, so that they only called attention to cases in which it was an unsettled question.
The Town Clerk said the retirements would have to be affirmed by a resolution of the Council.
After some further conversation,
Mr. Alderman Crowther moved—
Mr. Alderman Priestley seconded the motion, and it was adopted unanimously.
APPOINTMENT OF THE NEWLY ELECTED COUNCILLORS TO COMMITTEES.
The Mayor announced that the next business would be the allotment of the newly-elected councillors on the committees where blanks had been left.
Mr. Alderman Crowther proposed Mr. Councillor J. Shaw for the Sanitary Committee.
Mr. Councillor Houghton suggested Mr. Marriott for the same committee.
Mr. Councillor White said Mr. Marriott would be equally eligible for the Finance Committee.
The Mayor reminded the Council that, if present committee appointments were not satisfactory, changes might be made in November.
Mr. Councillor Fawcett proposed that Mr. Councillor Aston be elected a member of the Watch Committee.
Mr. Alderman Day seconded the motion.
The Mayor said they must not swell the committees beyond their due limits. The committees had been filled up, and, if they were going to add five or six more, he thought the list had better be read, and that they should see how far the wards were at present represented before they began to multiply.
The Town Clerk read the list of names of members composing the Watch Committee; and said they were 16 in number.
The Mayor said, if they agreed to what they did the other day, there was no vacancy in the Watch Committee.
Mr. Councillor Robson thought it would be much better to adhere to the list, seeing it would be only for a few weeks. By that time they would get to know more as to what was wanted; and, if the list was not accepted, they would waste a great deal of time.
The Mayor also thought the Council had better agree to the list.
The Town Clerk read the complete list of committee arrangements.
Mr. Alderman Crowther suggested an alteration.
The Mayor urged that they must try to keep a balance. If they multiplied the outer-district representatives to the exclusion of the representatives of the inner wards, the Council would get into a difficulty again. They must try to keep the balance as near as they could. The question was should they add a second appointment, or let the list stand as at present ?
Mr. Alderman Priestley moved—
Mr. Councillor Robson seconded the motion; and it was carried.
PROCEEDINGS OF COMMITTEES.
The Town Clerk read the minutes of proceedings of the various committees.
Watch Committee. — At a meeting held on the 12th inst., the Mayor was appointed chairman of this committee. It was resolved that Mr. Withers, superintendent of the Improvement Commissioners Police Force, be requested and authorised by the permission of the said Commissioners, to engage on behalf of the Committee, a sufficient number of men, to prepare and train them, and to provide them with clothing and accoutrements, to undertake the additional police service of the borough on the withdrawal of the county police. At a meeting held on the 15th inst., Alderman Crawshaw was appointed vice-chairman. Aldermen Brooke and Denham, and Councillors Joseph Hirst, Hattersley, and Haigh were appointed a sub-committee for the departments of clothing and stores.
Paving and Drainage and Works Committee. — The members of this committee met on Tuesday, 15th inst. Councillor Fawcett was appointed chairman, and Alderman Priestley vice-chairman of this committee.
Burial Ground Committee. — It was resolved, on the 15th inst., that Councillor Appleton preside over this committee, and that Councillor Lidster be the vice-chairman.
General Purposes Committee. — A meeting was held on the 16th inst., and the Mayor was appointed chairman and Alderman W. Mellor vice-chairman. Aldermen D. Sykes, Crosland, Day, and Scholes were added to the committee as members. The committee took up the consideration of the water supply question, previous to proceeding to meet the committee of Waterworks Commissioners pursuant to appointment, and the Town Clerk explained what had taken place at the previous meetings of the Incorporation Committee. After some discussion, the committee proceeded to the Waterworks Boardroom, and the conference took place. Mr. Barker, law clerk of the Commissioners, read & report prepared by Mr. Crowther, engineer, detailing the result of his further surveys of levels in the Meltham and Wersenden valleys, and as to the engineering features of some proposed extensions of the scheme of 1866. Mr. Crowther also explained the references in his report from plans and sections which he had prepared, and they were fully discussed. The terms and some of the details of the proposed application to Parliament were also discussed, after which it was arranged and settled between the two committees (subject to confirmation by their respective Boards, as to which, however, the Waterworks Committee expressed no doubt, but stated that they had full power, and that the confirmation of their Board would be but a mere matter of form), that the committees should promote an application to Parliament jointly with the Waterworks Commissioners, but at the sole risk and expense of the Corporation, for the immediate transfer of the existing works, powers, and obligations of the Waterworks Commissioners to the Corporation, and for powers to the Corporation to execute new works, the Corporation, in the event of any divergence of opinion between them and the Commissioners respecting the details of the scheme and proceedings, to have the control and to take all responsibility of the measure.
Mr. Councillor Jordan moved—
Mr. Alderman Crosland seconded the motion.
Mr. Councillor Robson enquired whether that would involve the permanent appointment of the committee having the management of the water question?
The Town Clerk — It has already been determined, by the vote of the Council, that the General Purposes Committee should deal with that question.
Mr. Councillor Jordan — I suppose there is no objection to add another name or two to the list?
The Mayor — Oh, no. We will look over the names, and, if it is thought there is some very special reason for enlarging the committee, I have no doubt we can arrange it. We all know, it is a very important question; and we ought to have the best selection possible to meet all the difficulties of the case.
Mr. Councillor Robson said that was what he felt very strongly. In looking over the list, he had no doubt that all those who were appointed chairmen and vice-chairmen of the respective committees were exceedingly suitable to be on the General Purposes Committee; but he found that, out of the 14 gentlemen appointed, there were only two belonging to the out-townships. Now, it was the out-townships that were more especially interested in the matter — (hear, hear) — and it did occur to him, in the formation of the committee, that there ought to be at least an equal proportion of those from the out-townships as compared with those who were situated in the town, because, as he had previously observed, the out-township members were the persons who felt the most strongly on the question, and who were the most likely to take an interest in it, and push it forward. He contended that it was not a satisfactory arrangement.
The Mayor said they would recollect he suggested that the gentlemen appointed on the respective committees should be very particular when they met to appoint chairmen and vice-chairmen, because upon them would very much depend the working out of all the business which came before the Council. He sympathised with Mr. Robson in the view he had expressed, and thought, with great judgment, they might add a few names to the list; but, he presumed, it must be the action of the committee, rather than the action of the Council.
The Town Clerk. — The General Purposes Committee has power to add to its number.
Mr. Councillor dale recommended that each of the out-districts should have one representative on the committee.
Mr. Alderman Day said he had intended proposing a resolution to that effect. Almondbury was very much in want of water; and yet there was not one representative from there on the committee. Mr. Brigg had been very useful on the Incorporation Committee. He had, with himself, and other gentlemen, visited the moors, and taken a deep interest in procuring water. At any rate, Almondbury, with a large population, and without water, should have one representative on the committee; and, therefore, he proposed that Mr. Brigg be a member of the committee. Mr. Robson had also taken a deep interest in trying to procure water for the important ward of Moldgreen; and he was sure the inhabitants would be very thankful if they would place Mr. Robson on the committee.
The Mayor — We must not have three or four from one neighbourhood, and none from another. (Hear, hear.) Therefore, I hope you will consider this question maturely. There can be no objection to the gentlemen who have been named; they are all very suitable, and I should be very glad to see them on the committee; but I think we should try to keep the balance as fairly as we can. Wait, talk over the matter, and then suggest or recommend that the committee, at its next meeting, appoint certain gentlemen to discharge the important duties which will devolve upon it.
Mr. Councillor Robson — That will very much meet the case.
Mr. Councillor E. Sykes said, on this question, he felt rather strongly. If they would look at the rateable value of the various out townships they wonld find it was something like that of Huddersfield proper; and they would likewise be aware that it was the great want of water which had induced the various out districts to work with Huddersfield proper in obtaining the Charter of Incorporation. Under these circumstances, he thought it was necessary to reconstruct the General Purposes Committee, and let the out districts have a fair and equitable representation on that committee.
Mr. Councillor H. Hirst, jun., said he understood the General Purposes Committee had power to add to their number; and he thought, therefore, this was not a proper subject for the whole Council to discuss, but for the consideration of the committee themselves. The suggestions had been thrown out, and if, in their discretion, the committee thought it proper to appoint the gentlemen, they could have no sinister motive in keeping Mr. Brigg or any other gentleman from the committee. But the subject ought to be left entirely in the hands of the committee. They had only been elected one week, and in that short period had added four gentlemen to their number. He had no doubt they would make the committee satisfactory if the Council would give them a little time to get into working order.
The Mayor said he thought they had now a very fair view of the case; and, when the General Purposes Committee met, he would take care that that question was not overlooked; and he thought, if they would trust the committee, the selection would be acceptable. The General Purposes Committee would meet at the conclusion of the Council meeting, to talk over one or two things of great importance just now.
The resolution confirming the minutes was then passed.
MEETINGS OF COMMITTEES.
The Mayor said the Council had next to consider and determine the times of meeting of the Council and its committees. Perhaps they would allow him to say that he should occupy the chair until the end of the term; and he should have to ask a favour of the Council — namely, that, in appointing the days on which the Council should meet, they would fix such days as would not interfere with one or two other important engagements which he had on the Midland Railway Board of Directors. He was obliged to be there, according to rule, unless health or other serious matters interfered, on the first Wednesday in every month, and the day before (Tuesday.) If they would kindly think of that, in making the appointments, he should feel obliged. He did not want to shirk his duty; at the same time he should be shirking his duties elsewhere if he attended the Council meetings on the days specified.
In reply to Mr. Councillor C. Hirst,
The Mayor said any day in the second week of the month would suit him.
Mr. Councillor Houghton — How often do you purpose the Council should meet ?
The Town Clerk said the Council were bound to meet four times per year; but the rule was to fix monthly meetings.
After some conversation, and several propositions had been made,
The Mayor intimated that, in fixing the day for holding the Council meetings, the appointment of the days for holding the committee meetings should not be overlooked.
Mr. Councillor Woodhead said he had put himself to some trouble to ascertain on which day there was the greatest amount of leisure generally, and he found that it was Monday. He, therefore, moved
Mr. Councillor Walker seconded the motion.
The Town Clerk said only one of those meetings would be held before the 9th November; and the four quarterly meetings would be fixed on the 9th November.
The motion was then carried.
The days and hours for the holding of the committee meetings were then selected.
Mr. Councillor Fawcett asked if it would not be well for the committees to suit themselves?
The Mayor said he was about to put the hour for the holding of the Watch Committee, and he asked only the members of that committee to vote.
Mr. Councillor Aston — The hour, as fixed by the resolution, might very well suit the gentlemen present; but he thought the feelings of the whole Council ought to be consulted.
The Mayor — Well, it will only last until November.
Mr. Councillor Aston said, if they fixed inconvenient hours, after the newness of the affair had worn away, they would find the attendance would be very slight. He thought they ought to consult more particularly the councillors from the out-districts. He should like to make it convenient for the mayor; but at the same time, they must study the convenience of the councillors from the out-districts.
The following hours were then fixed for the meetings of the committees referred to:—
ADDRESS BY THE MAYOR.
The Mayor asked permission to trespass five minutes on the time of the Council before they proceeded to the consideration of the special resolutions. In the first place, he would say he was very glad to welcome the new councillors who had qualified that day as members of the Council. He hoped that their work would be a labour of love — (hear, hear) — and that they would perform their duties with a feeling to do the very best they could for the town. He would remark that, from his own experience, he found that if the work was to be well done, it must be maturely considered in the committees. He thought the predominant idea in their minds should be economy, and that they should endeavour, in the work they were about to accomplish, to do it not only at the least possible cost, but in the most efficient manner. (Hear, hear.) He did not mean by that that they were to exercise a parsimonious economy, because that was a very wrong idea; but they should do everything in the very best way, and with the best materials. If the Council did that, it would greatly content the inhabitants at large. (Hear, hear.) As he had said before, the question of expense very much depended upon the committees; and the committees, he hoped, would bear that in remembrance; so that when they came to detail they would remember the gross, because the “littles” made the “mickle;” and, when they were summed together, it very often happened they discovered that they had overrun the constable — (laughter) — or that they had gone beyond the point they intended reaching. He hoped that would be borne in remembrance, and that vast expenditure happened very often in the way he had pointed out. The committees did not take into account the ultimate cost of things: the matters got adopted, and then, in the multiplicity of business, when they came before the Council, they were very likely passed without that discussion which ought to take place. He hoped matters would be thoroughly ventilated in committee; and, as it was a very serious thing, he trusted they would avoid the system he had just spoken of,. He hoped all the committees would bring up well-digested reports, and that the Council would try to ascertain where they were going. He would not dwell more on those subjects at present, because one of the propositions to be laid before the Council would allow him to make further observations on another subject, and that was the question of water.
AGREEING TO ACCEPT THE POWERS, ESTATES, AND LIABILITIES OF THE IMPROVEMENT COMMISSIONERS.
The Mayor intimated that the next subject which the Council would have to consider was “the propriety of accepting a transfer by deed from Huddersﬁeld Improvement Commissioners to the Council, of their rights, powers, estates, property, and liabilities, pursuant to the statute 20th and 21st Vict., chap. 50, and to take such steps thereon as might be deemed expedient.”
The Town Clerk said he had prepared a resolution upon the subject. It was a resolution which the Improvement Commissioners would require before they met to adopt the transfer; and consideration of the matter had been suspended at the committees’ board until the resolution accepting the transfer had been passed by the Council.
The resolution read as follows:—
The draft of the deed was ready to be presented to the Council, so that no time might be lost.
Mr. Alderman Crowther moved the adoption of the resolution.
Mr. Councillor Waterhouse seconded the motion.
The Mayor said it was a very important step they were about to take. They were about to deal with gentlemen who had been labouring, for a great many years, for the good conduct of the town in all its different phases. The Improvement Commissioners had laboured assiduously and successfully up to the present time; and he felt quite sure that the town would feel that, in parting with those Commissioners, they were parting with gentlemen who had done good service to the town in days gone by. He hoped they would consummate the matter, in the best possible form, and with the best feelings; that both bodies would act in unison as much as possible; and that they would bring the question to an issue so that that transfer might be settled as early as possible.
Mr. Councillor Skilbeck (chairman of the Improvement Commissioners) said the Commissioners were quite anxious, in handing over their powers, to work harmoniously with the Council. They had already sanctioned the transfer; and he had no doubt that, as soon as the resolution passed by the Council had been handed to the Board, they would confirm that resolution. (Hear, hear.)
The resolution was then carried unanimously.
Mr. Councillor Brigg asked a question in reference to the transfer of the Local Boards from the out-districts. The Town Clerk intimated, at the last meeting, that the Council was the Local Boards for those districts, but the Local Boards had received no communication from the Council as to when they should hand over their little matters to the Council.
The Town Clerk said the Council were at present the Local Board of Almondbury amongst other districts. He had prepared a resolution on the subject, and it would be submitted to the Council.
THE WATER SUPPLY QUESTION. — PROPOSED APPLICATION TO PARLIAMENT.
The Town Clerk stated that on this question he had prepared the subjoined resolution:—
The Mayor — Any gentleman move that the resolution be passed?
Mr. Councillor Clayton proposed the adoption of the resolution.
Mr. Councillor H. Hirst, jun., seconded the motion.
The Mayor said perhaps they would allow him to explain that the General Purposes Committee had the pleasure — for he deemed it to be such — to meet the Waterworks Commissioners, and they met with a very pleasant reception. He thought, as far as he could judge from the spirit manifested on that occasion, there was but one feeling amongst the Waterworks Commissioners as well as amongst the Council — and that was, that this was a very important undertaking, and a question that must be settled as early as possible, and in the very best form possible. The Waterworks Commissioners were willing to co-operate with the Council to the best of their power, and, at one stage of the business, he might tell them, the question was asked of the Waterworks Commissioners whether they intended to go themselves for an act this next session; and it was announced by the chairman that the determination of the Waterworks Commissioners was that they were not intending to do so. Therefore, as far as they were concerned, if the question was to be settled, and take any shape, it must be the action of the Council, and not of the Waterworks Commissioners. Another question raised was this — in what form should it take place; and the General Purposes Committee announced to the commissioners that there were two forms or ways of doing it. One was that the commissioners and the corporation should Co-operate as much as possible in furtherance of the application; and the other was that the corporation should do it themselves He thought they fairly announced that that was their intention, and that it was important to the whole interests round about that no delay should take place. Therefore, if the Waterworks Commissioners could not co-operate with the Council, the Council must take the question up themselves, and deal with it, if possible, at the earliest possible opportunity. Mr. Crowther, as they had been told, laid before the conference one or two large maps and plans of what he had already done, and showed them what he proposed to do, and the probable cost of the scheme as a whole. He thought, if he might express an opinion — his own opinion at all events, and, he thought, the opinion of the committee and gentlemen who met — they would have to revise the scheme to some extent; and, at all events, his impression was &hat they should not contract it. It would require as much extension as they could give it consistent with their duty to the parties most interested. It would be penny wise and pound foolish, if they went for a small scheme. (Hear, hear.) If it cost them in the end some £20,000 more than what the commissioners might think was a justifiable expenditure, — that would be a thousand a year — his opinion was that the thousand per year could be easily raised in rates. If they had to accommodate the people, they had better take £10,000 or £20,000, and get a good supply, commensurate with the requirements of the district, commensurate with what supply was at hand, in the most available form; because, if they did not avail themselves of the supply available at this juncture, and accomplish a great thing — one worthy of the Town Council, very likely another time, in a few years later, they might be superseded, and they should not be able to do it at all. Therefore, he hoped, with the assistance of the Waterworks Commissioners, and the feeling out of door, they should so manage this matter as to get the largest supply they could at the least possible cost. He did not know that he need dwell on this subject. He was quite sure, from what he knew of the General Purposes Committee, as now constituted, that they took a large view of the case; and he thought, they would have to go into the question, as early as possible, to arrive at an early conclusion as to what they should do. As he had said before, the General Purposes Committee would meet to consider the question am close of the present meeting.
Mr. Alderman Crosland — What is the cost Mr. Crowther stated?
The Mayor said he did not remember, and, if he did remember, he questioned whether it would be prudent to state the estimated cost. (Hear, hear.) It was a large sum, and, from private conversation he had had with one or two gentlemen, they were rather frightened with it; but he thought the Council should not be frightened — at least he hoped they would not. (Laughter.)
Mr. Councillor E. Sykes asked if the surveys taken by Mr. Crowther included the Wessenden site for the purpose of reserve.
The Mayor — I may say yes.
Mr. Councillor Sykes — The estimates he has already furnished are estimates for making a reserve at Wessenden in conjunction with Blackmoor Foot?
The Mayor — Yes; that was one of his propositions. He ought to have said — he was sorry he did not say it at the outset — the Waterworks Commissioners been in existence for a great number of years; they had done their work gratuitously; and, according to their judgment, they had done it well. They had endeavoured to do it to the best of their ability; and the public were indebted to them for the trouble, labour, and toil they had endured in carrying on the works. If they were to blame at all, it had been in the great delay in this question; but he believed they had done that from the best of motives. They had tried, at the lowest cost, to supply the town; but the crisis had come — and he felt sure the Waterworks Commissioners believed it — when the question must be taken up on a much larger scale. The Commissioners had performed their duties most disinterestedly, and most economically according to their judgment, and they had done it without fee or reward. There was no question of charge in connection with the business; but the duties were undertaken by the Commissioners for the benefit of the town; and, for what they had done, they ought all to feel thankful. He was sure they did from their hearts thank the Commissioners for all they had done; and he was sure, when the matter was crowned with success, the gentlemen would not regret the labour bestowed upon it.
Mr. Councillor Dale said they ought to go to Parliament for an act to carry out a well matured scheme; and he hoped, if there were any Waterworks Commissioners, they would give the Council some information upon this subject as to what were their ideas on the subject of the proposed application. If they went for a small scheme, or a deficiently matured scheme, and lost it, they would have a heavy bill to pay, and would be laughed at in the bargain.
Mr. Councillor Robson said they were very much indebted to the Waterworks Commissioners for the labour they had bestowed on the subject, and for the efficient manner in which they had supplied the people with water, so far as the town of Huddersfield was concerned. As the mayor had said, the Commissioners had laboured without fee or reward; they had laboured assiduously and gratuitously; and he felt sure they were very much indebted to them. The question was before the Council, but it appeared to him that that was scarcely the time for entering very minutely into it, because, he assumed, the General Purposes Committee would consider the scheme, and report upon it to the Council, and then would be the time to consider and enter into the question.
The Mayor said it would not be judicious to go into detail at the present time — it would be very unwise; and he hoped the gentlemen who had undertaken it would remember that point. They would not have to talk about it out of doors, because they did not know what might happen. Although they should be willing to conciliate all parties concerned, yet they must, in the great work before them, keep their own counsels, and do their own work. (Hear, hear.)
The resolution was then passed.
The Mayor said one thought occurred to him, and it was this. In the out-districts they would have to take a very wide view of the matter, and they must not expect to have everything their own way. (Hear, hear.) The undertaking up to the present time had been for the benefit of a short contracted sphere, but questions would arise, which he would not think of now, but which would require them to look at in a little brighter light than some of them would do at present. Therefore they must get it into their minds to take a large view of the question, and they must meet it in a fair spirit — it must be met, in one form or other, to do justice to all. It was not a subject into which he could enter into fully at present, but he hoped they would consider it privately, and, at a future stage, be prepared to say “We are all one.” He hoped they would all go in the same direction, and pull together.
Mr. Councillor Brigg moved
Mr. Councillor Sykes, in seconding the motion, said the Moldgreen Local Board had taken the initiative in this matter. He believed they had taken stock of their affairs, and were in a position to submit their financial statement before the Council at any time, whenever it was required.
The Mayor hoped the accounts of the other Local Boards would be wound up and adjusted with as little delay as possible.
Mr. Alderman Berry said, as they were now dealing with the question of passing the rights, powers, and privileges of the respective Local Boards into the hands of the Council, he wished to submit this question — whether they were assured they possessed the powers by which they would be enabled to take the things that pertained to the respective Local Boards into their hands as a Council? The reason why the question had been propounded, he might say, was that some members of the Local Boards had stated to him that they had no power to take the highways of any district in their care without the knowledge or consent of every member of the existing Local Boards. It seemed to him to be an important question, and he had submitted it, and he should be most happy to hear from the Town Clerk whether the Council had or did possess the necessary power?
The Town Clerk said the transfer of the powers of the Local Boards incorporated had already been effected by Act of Parliament. The resolution merely referred to the taking of accounts and preparing financial statements, so that the Council might see how each Local Board stood.
Mr, Councillor Brig said he was glad Alderman Berry had put the question, and for this reason; he could say that one member of the Almondbury Local Board was at present in communication with the Secretary of State upon the matter, endeavouring to get a transfer, if they could so succeed. (Laughter.) He (Mr. Brigg) told the gentleman it would be of no avail, and that, from what he knew of it, the question had been settled long ago.
The Mayor — We must assume it is settled; and, if you take that view of the question, I am sure it will be settled, and soon too. (Laughter.)
The resolution was then carried unanimously.
Mr. Councillor Starkey asked a question relating to the Dalton Ward with regard to the accounts, and about the collecting of the remainder of a rate. They should not be in great debt, for all was paid off as near as possible.
The Town Clerk said the Finance Committee would take the matter in hand, and inform the Local Board of the proceedings for the payment of accounts.
The Mayor said the Local Boards might prepare themselves to hand over any money they had in hand.
Mr. Councillor Starkey said at Deighton they had not collected the rate up. They had part of a rate to collect.
The Mayor — One of the questions we shall have to solve is the question of accounts, and we shall be glad to receive all monies. (Laughter.)
Mr. Councillor C. Hirst — The Town Clerk has hardly answered the question properly. Mr. Starkey wished to know whether they were «o collect the rate up or not.
The Town Clerk — I will try to make myself understood. Collect all the money you can.
Mr. Councillor Robson — There is another important question in connection with this subject which I wish to ask. I presume that all the collectors who were employed by the late Local Boards, and the surveyors who were employed by them, may be regarded as the servants of the Corporation? Are we to understand so?
The Town Clerk — The Council take the obligations and engagements of the Local Boards. They are the employers of the servants of the Local Boards, and are liable to all their engagements.
Mr. Councillor Robson — That is just what I wish clearly to be understood, because I think there is some misunderstanding about it. .
Mr. Councillor Jordan then moved:—
Mr. Councillor Dale seconded the motion, and it was carried.
Mr. Councillor Brigg said, with regard to the Almondbury Local Board, they had passed several things to be Done — for instance, extending their lamps. It was agreed they should extend the mains to certain districts, and that was requested by petition from the districts in question. The expense would not be large, and the work could easily be done. Should the work, he wished to know, be completed, although not at present commenced?
The Mayor asked if the work was passed before the Council existed?
Mr. Councillor Brigg — Yes, sir.
The Mayor — And you have levied rates to cover the expense?
Mr. Councillor Brigg — We have.
The Town Clerk repeated that the Council had taken the obligations of the Local Boards; and the members of the old Board at Almondbury would now have finished their work after this resolution has been passed. The councillors and aldermen for the ward of Almondbury would be the managers of the place for the carrying out of the arrangement.
The Mayor — The temporary managers.
Mr. Councillor Houghton said he should like to be clear upon that one point. Was it distinctly understood that any works that had been entertained and passed by the majority of the Board prior to the existence of the Council were to be gone on with? But that any works passed since the existence of the Council were to cease, if they had not been begun of?
The Town Clerk said none of the Local Boards had power to pass new works since the opening of the Council.
Mr. Councillor Brigg asked if the councillors of the Almondbury Ward would have to take in hand the new Almondbury Ward.
The Town Clerk remarked that any difficulty would be taken up by the District Highways Committee.
Mr. Councillor Houghton thought it was necessary they should have a little more light upon the question. These two things he could not reconcile. They were about to pass a resolution that the aldermen and councillors should have superintendence of the works, and then the Town Clerk stated that the District Highways Committee would take difficult matters in hand. It ought to be the distinct duty of one or the other to attend to those things.
The Mayor said he took it that the Town Clerk meant that the aldermen and councillors in their respective localities do the work, and report to the District Highways Committee.
The Town Clerk said, until proper and permanent arrangements were made, the works must be superintended by the aldermen and councillors of the respective wards, on behalf of the Council.
Mr. Councillor Brice said it was a difficult question for strangers to undertake.
The Mayor said the gentlemen must advise with the Town Clerk from time to time. He did not think any more advice could be given.
The resolution was then passed.
APPOINTMENT OF BOROUGH TREASURER.
The Mayor intimated that the next business was the appointment of borough treasurer, and he might say that what had been done in the matter had been done without prejudice. The Town Clerk suggested that he (the Mayor) should ask the bank directors whether they would be disposed to take the accounts of the Council, and, whether in the event of their doing so, they would allow their manager to be the treasurer. He had only asked two, and the answer was with “Yes” with both hands. (Laughter.) The Improvement Commissioners, as they were aware, had kept their accounts with the Huddersfield and Halifax Banking Company, and up to the present time all their accounts were lodged there. He had spoken to the manager of that bank, and that gentleman was quite willing to be appointed treasurer. He had also applied to his brother, Mr. Chas. Sikes, manager for the Huddersfield Banking Company, and the Council could choose either of those gentlemen, or any other. He mentioned, to show that they were not fast, and that, so far as the gentlemen referred to were concerned, they would agree to accept it.
Mr. Councillor H. Hirst, jun., then moved—
Mr. Councillor B. H. Hattersley seconded the motion.
Mr. Alderman Brooke, in supporting it, said no gentleman was more fitted for the appointment than Mr. E. Sikes. As one of the Improvement Commissioners, he might say they had every reason to be satisfied with the manner in which they had been treated by the Halifax and Huddersfield Banking Company. The treasurer had been most glad to oblige them, and everything had been most satisfactory. He believed they could not find a better man than Mr. Sikes.
Alderman Crowther also supported the resolution.
Mr. Councillor Holliday enquired as to the nature of the duties of the treasurer?
The Town Clerk replied that it was to receive and pay all monies of the Council.
Mr. Councillor Fawcett — There is a little matter which ought to be explained. Whenever there are any dinners, the treasurer will expect to be invited. (Laughter.)
The Mayor remarked that the borough treasurer was also entitled to be present at the meetings of the Council.
The resolution was then passed unanimously.
The Town Clerk stated that several small payments would shortly have to be made. The Watch Committee had authorised Mr. Superintendent Withers to engage a few men for the purpose of increasing the force, and he had engaged about eight or nine. Of course, the Improvement Commissioners could not legally pay the wages out of their funds, and the next question was whether the Council should not open a credit account for a small sum until the Watch Committee made arrangements to supply funds.
Mr. Councillor Brigg moved—
Mr. Councillor Aston seconded the motion; and it was carried.
The Mayor said he hoped the Finance Committee would take into consideration pressing requirements.
Mr. Councillor Crosland moved—
Mr. Alderman Berry seconded the motion; and it was carried.
Sanitary Committee. — The committee met on the 15th inst., and appointed Alderman Clough chairman, and Councillor Hellawell vice-chairman.
Markets and Fairs Committee. — On the 15th inst., at a meeting of the members of this committee, Alderman Denham was chosen chairman, and Councillor Waterhouse vice-chairman.
District Highways and Improvements Committee. — Alderman Brooke was, at a meeting held on the 15th inst., appointed chairman, and Alderman Crowther vice-chairman.
Finance Committee. — It was resolved, on the 15th inst., that Alderman W. Mellor be the chairman of this committee, and that Councillor Skilbeck be vice-chairman; and that the town clerk order such office books and stationery as might be requisite for present purposes.
The meeting, which lasted three hours, terminated; and the General Purposes Committee assembled to consider the water supply question.