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Yesterday (friday) afternoon a meeting of the Whitehaven Education Committee
was held at the Town Hall. Alderman * W MOORE (chairman), presided, and there
were also present: The Mayor (Councillor * * FISHER), Alderman HASTWELL,
and * * HANNAH, Mrs ABLETT, Rev A * BROWN (Town Clerk). - Councillor BRAITHWAITE
asked if there had been any reply from the Local Government Board with
reference to the appointment of a secretary. - The Town Clerk said he had, and would
read both his letter to the Local Government Board, and their reply. On
September 11th he wrote as follows:- "Borough of Whitehaven, Education Committee.
The committee are about to appoint a secretary of experience to assist in
bringing the Act into operation. The majority of the committee are desirous
that their secretary should
required by the committee, including the keeping of their books and accounts
and their preparation of the Government audit. Some of the members are not
satisfied that it is competent for the committee to have their books and
accounts kept by their secretary, and this that this duty is of right revolved on the
borough accountant. I am, therefore, directed to ask if you will be good
enough to give us your opinion at the earliest possible moment as the selection
of secretary will be made on Friday next, the 18th inst. The Education
Committee was only appointed on Wednesday last, and the 1st October is the appointed
day, and I ask you to accept this and the fact that the audit is under your
care is my excuse for pressing for an immediate reply." The Local Government
Board, in their reply, dated September 15th, wrote: - "The Board direct me to
state that as indicated in their circular letter of the 6th May last, the Town
Council may appoint necessary officers for education purposes. The accounts of
receipts and payments of the Education Committee will be audited as the
accounts of the Council, but
to decide by what officer or officers the accounts to be submitted on their
behalf for audit shall be prepared. As indicated in the circular letter,
personal accounts in addition to the accounts kept on behalf of the Council, must
be submitted for audit by all officers receiving or paying money." - Mr METCALF
said he thought this gave the Council a free hand. - Alderman HASTWELL said
they were evidently quite in order in appointing a man to do the whole of the
work. - The Town Clerk: I am quite clear it is within your right, seeing the
Council has delegated all its powers to you with the exception of making a
rate, but I am not quite clear this letter states that. (Laughter.) I think
particularly. - Council BROWNE said at all events there was nothing in the
letter to suggest they should be wrong in making the appointment - The Chairman
said there were 67 applications for the post of secretary. The Vice-chairman
and himself went through the applications and testimonials, devoting three or
four hours to the work, and they had reduced the number to 15. They found 27
did not comply with the terms of the advertisement, or were the applications
of unsuitable persons. These 15 they now submitted to the committee. He might
say applications had been made by some very good men. - Alderman HASTWELL
proposed that they proceed to the appointment. - Councillor DAVIS said he did not
feel in a position to recommend any particular candidate, because they had
not time to go carefully through the applications and testimonials. - Mr METCALF
proposed that the matter be taken
It would take a considerable time. - Councillor BATTY seconded Alderman
HASTWELL's proposition. - Council BRAITHWAITE said he would second Mr METCALF's
proposition to test the feeling of the committee as to whether they make the
appointment in open committee, or in General Purposes Committee. - Alderman
HASTWELL said if they agreed to his proposition they could resolve into committee
after that. - Mr METCALF said they ought to give the most careful attention to
those who had been asked to reply to the advertisement, and it would
necessarily take up a good deal of time. - Alderman HASTWELL said they had advertised in
the newspapers, and if they proceeded with the appointment in committee they
would lay themselves open to the charge of having made it
Would it not be more straightforward to make it is public? This was not the
first time the Council had had to make an appointment where it had been thrown
up to him it had been made in the dark. - The Chairman declared Mr METCALF's
proposition carried, and the committee thereupon proceeded to deal with the
appointment in camera.