Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

8 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

To irico^pomt© the Rhondda,

Newyddion
Dyfynnu
Rhannu

To the Rhondda, Ftfovtrmsnt it-saugurated,ati Tonypandy. Illuminating Speeches b yMerthyr Councillor's- A public meeting was held at Richards' Hall, Tonypandy, on Tuesday evening to inaugurate a movement for the incor- poration of the Rhondda. The meeting was convened by the Mid-Rhondda Cham- ber of-Trade, and there were present the local members of the Rhondda District Council, and representatives of the Port i, Cymmer and District Chamber of Trade, Penygraig Chamber of Trade, and Pentre and Treorchy Ratepayers' Associations. The chief speakers were Messrs. F. Sidney Simmons, A. J. Howfield, and Isaac Edwards, Merthyr. Mr. J. Owen Jones, chairman of the Mid-Rhondda Chamber of Trade, presided, and explained that the meeting was the outcome of an arrangement with Mr. Edwards to address a meeting during the winter, and" Incorporation of the Rhon- dda" was the subject agreed upon. dda" was the subject agreed upon. After paying a tribute to the activity of the Chamber of Trade, Mr. Howfield said he knew of no subject upon which they could show their ability to a better purpose than the question of incorpora- tion. One of the first questions that would be asked when a Charter of In- corporation was sought, was whether the population of the area to be incorporated was sufficient to enable them to take county powers, and he took it for granted that the population of the Rhondda was, sufficient for this purpose. There was one I thing certain. Incorporation gave an im- proved status to the area to be incor- porated. It gave them self-government in its highest form without outside inter- ference, and the whole of the money raised in the district was spent in the area and for their own benefit. The tendency for some time past had been to increase the powers of County Councils and County Boroughs, and when they looked at the experience of members of Parliament, how they had been engaged all through the summer in legislation, the powers and duties of County Councils and County Boroughs would more likely in- crease than decrease, and a. County Borough would verv likely share in the subsidies given in future in the relief of local taxation. The rural element on the County Council was too strong to allow the urban districts to get fairplay. The urban districts were the milch-cow, and rural districts obtained the bengfit. The Rhondda Urban District had six Aldermen aifcl ten Councillors representing them on the County Council—a total of 16 out of 88 members—so that the voice of the Rhondda was very small in County affairs. Then again, when they came to the con- dition of rural roads, they could not fail to be impressed with the amount of money spent on roads in portions of the county other than in the Rhondda district. The roacls in the Vale of Glamorgan were j beautified and widened, and always kept in a nice order, whereas in Merthyr they could not have their main street attended to. The County Council would not even acknowledge it as a county road, because • it was not 30 feet wide. While Merthyr had to contribute towards the roads in other parts of the county, the County Council never contributed anything to- wards Merthyr "s main road. Another phase of the question was that County, .boroughs could borrow money on easier terms tnan Urban Councils. Their status was better, they had better advantages, and Liiif- securities were looked upon as better securities. It should, however, be borne in mind that the incidents of taxation in a borough varied considerably to those in a District Council. There was a borough fund in addition to a district rate, to which railways and farms paid in full, instead of one-fourth as at present. For that reason, railways and farms did not like :it, and the movement for the in- corporation of the Rhondda could count upon their opposition. Incorporation had been a great advantage to Merthyr, and tne town to-day was far better than it was five years ago. Some people might say that the rates of Merthyr had #me up. So they had, but this was due to the increased demands of the Board of Edu- cation. Councillor Simmons, who was described by the last speaker as the Long Tom of the Incorporation movement at Mer- thyr, said that it was in 1897 when Mer- thyr made its last but one application for a Charter, and they continued applying until they .got it in 1905. From the posi- tion he then took in the matter he was able to learn what their opponents said would be the disadvantages of incorpora- tion, and he was also able to find out what were the real advantages of incor- poration to Merthyr. The disadvantages, as expounded by their opponents, were (1) that if they became incorporated they would have'to pay a large sum to the County Council approximating £ 100,000; (2) that the rates would go up; and (3) that Merthvr was not a suitable area to be incorporated. Dealing with the last objection first, Councillor Simmons said that they did not seek to incorporate the parish, but the people in the parish (applause). It did not matter to them that a large portion of Merthyr was mountain land; it was the people who lived in the valleys they wanted to look after. They wanted to give these people the finest form of self-government known. To-day, Merthyr was governed by its own people, and their powers weff* identical with those of the County Council. The second point was that their rates would increase. It might interest his audience to know what the actual effect had been. So far as the rates over which they had controlthe district rate, the borough rate ,and the police rate—were concerned, they had actually decreased by no less than 3d. in the £ (applause). Then with regard to the financial adjustment to the County, they did not believe the statement, although they were informed that the case had been decided in the Law Courts supporting that contention, and their belief was*pistified by the deci- sion of the House of Lords in over-ruling the decision of the Law Courts. There was no contribution on financial adjust- ment as foreshadowed. Each one of these

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To irico^pomt© the Rhondda,