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COUNTY COUNCILLOR CHARGED…

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COUNTY COUNCILLOR CHARGED WITH NEGLECT. INTERVIEW WITH THE REV. THOMAS PARRY J.P. Interviewed by a Weeklv Neus representative with reference to the charges made against him at the meeting of the Colwyn Bay Urban Dis- trict Council, that he had neglected his duties as a County Councillor, and that he had not done his best to secure the County School for Colwyn Bay after the passing of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, the Rev. Thomas Parry, J.P., entered into a frank discussion of the whole position. I was astounded," remarked Mr. P.trry. to read the vehement speech made by Mr. William Davies, in which lie charged the dis- trict representative on the County Council with having sold Colwyn Bav in the matter of the County School, and in which he said that he felt desperately vexed that the man who had the matter in hand when they applied for the school did not know what he had done. It is true, he did not mention me by name, but most people are perfectly well aware that I was a County Councillor at the time in question, and that I an the person to whom reference is made. I may say, at once, that the charges levelled against me are entirely devoid of foundation." In that case, why was Mr. William Davies not asked to withdraw them ? I have written Mr. Davies several letters asking him to withdraw these charges, but he has not had the courtesy to answer my last two letters. There are certain personal obligations, to which I cannot refer here, but which are well known to Mr. William Davies, which should have protected me from such an attack as the one which he has thought fit to make upon me. I therefore welcome this opportunity of putting myself straight with the public of Colwyn Bay." Will you explain exactly what steps you took personally to try to secure the County School for Colwyn Bay." Almost immediately after the passing of the Welsh Intermediate Education Act," re- plied Mr. Parry, I offered a suitable site where- on to build a County School. For three years off and on, I tried to stimulate the interest of the residents of Colwyn Bay in the matter. A meeting was called and was duly advertised to be held in the Public Hall, but very few at- tended it. Again, in January or February, 1892, I warned a public meeting in Colwyn Bay that we were sleeping, arid likely to lose the opportunity for ever. In November, 1892, another public meeting was called, and was held in the Public Hall, at which I presided, but most of the gentlemen advertised to address the meet- ing did not put in an appearance." Is there any means of verifying these state- ments, Mr. Parry ? Yes, if you refer to the file of the Weekly News for November 24th, 1S92, you will find an account of the last meeting. Mr. John Roberts, Deputy Chairman of the Local Board, in pro- posing a resolution, said that I had offered to give land for building (or the value of it) some time before. Mr. James Wood said Here's Mr. Parry bringing this matter forward again and again, and you take no notice of it. Mr. Parry has been holding the apple before your mouths, and you will not take it.' The Rev. John Edwards stated that a meeting was called to consider this question some two or three years previously, but only about a dozen then attend- ed. Mr. Edwards further stated that a com- mittee was appointed on the former occasion, but it never met, because they were told that it was a forlorn hope." In what way was it a forlorn hope) Well." continued Mr. Parrv, it simply meant that the Joint Education Committee were tired of asking Colwyn Bay to undertake the necessary responsibilities in the matter of providing a site and a building fund of /1,200. The late Ir, Thomas Gee and Mr. J. E. Powell did all they could to induce Colwyn Bay to move in the matter. In the meantime, Abergele fulfilled the necessary conditions, and the County School was ultimately established at that place. You will see, therefore, that I did all that lay in the power of any man to get the school for Colwyn Bay, and there is not the shadow of an excuse for the attack made by Mr. William Davies upon me." Questioned as to his views upon the present position, Mr. Parry replied that as the school had been established at Abergele, and was doing such splendid work for the district, he thought it would be more honourable for Colwyn Bay to allow things to remain as they are. Besides," continued Mr. Parry, I think that the Higher Elementary School, with its low fees, meets the needs of the average Colwyn Bay parent far better than would a County School, with its comparatively high fees. The average rate of population attending the County Schools in Denbighshire is, I think, about eight per thousand. The combined population of Abergele and Colwyn Bav, according to the 1901 census figures (the figures given in the re- vised Intermediate Education Schedule) was !ess than 15,000. Therefore, the number of County School scholars could hardly be ex- pected to exceed 120. There are, I believe, well over a hundred in attendance at the Abergele County School, where there is accommodation for nearly double the number. Under these circumstances, I think it would be sheer folly to try and run two County Schools in the dis- trict, especially since the travelling expenses of all Colwyn Bay scholars who attend the Abergele County School are paid for them."

Abergele Smithfield.

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