Council Chambers September 7th 1863.

Present the Chairman and Councillors Munro, Cullen, Curtis, Conley, Bailey, Knight, Bedford and Kingsbury.

Moved by Councillor Knight, seconded by Councillor Bailey, that the minutes of proceedings of previous meeting be read and confirmed.

Correspondence:

A letter from the Council Clerk of the Cook Municipality, and dated August 25th, addressed to the Chairman, in reply to a communication stating that they were making preparations to have the streets proclaimed and that so soon as they received intimation of their proclamation they would be happy to co-operate with the Newtown Council in improving the Missenden Road.

Also, a letter from the Clerk of the Redfern Municipality, dated 27 August, addressed to the Chairman, stating that a meeting of the Chairman and other representatives of the suburban Municipalities would be held on Wednesday next, 2nd September, at Mort’s rooms, Pitt Street, at half past three o’clock PM to take into consideration various clauses of the amended Municipalities bill now before the Parliament and certain proposed amendments seriously affecting the interests of the Municipalities.

Also, a letter from Messrs Gurner and Robberds, and dated 7th instant, in compliance with the request of the Chairman, expressing a legal opinion in reference to a nuisance said to exist in the Church of England Cemetery.

The Chairman stating that in conformity with the request emanating from the Redfern Municipal Council, he had attended the meeting, on the 2nd. instant, that the conference, after sitting three hours, adjourned until Tuesday, September 8, and should the Council feel disposed they were invited to be present.

Also, the Chairman stated that though the numerous complaints of the inhabitants respecting the alleged nuisance he had thought it advisable to consult Messrs. Gurner and Robberds, and that was the reason these gentlemen had forwarded the letter just read. He believed it was their duty to take some steps to have the matter rectified; probably the company were not aware that there existed such a glaring abuse of both health and public decency. He had been given to understand that on Saturday, the 29th ultimo, three members of the Council then present, together with the Council Clerk, had been requested to use their influence in having a grave filled that had been then open three days, the effluvia of which was very offensive; he believed he was right in stating that these gentlemen immediately visited the grave and found that it contained a coffin with the date some 10 days back. He need pass no comment as to the probable state of decomposition a body buried 10 days would be in, and, therefore, could not but be certain the complaints are just. Another and still greater cause of complaint, if due also exist, namely, the manner in which the dead from the poorhouse were disposed of. Those gentlemen, he believed, also visited this locality and there found coffins perfectly flush with the ground. Can it be possible that these are allowed to remain, if indeed such were the case he thought the sooner an inquiry was instituted the better.

Councillor Conley said he should do all he could to allay this sad evil, he had been a resident in the immediate neighbourhood of the Cemetery ever since its existence and the nuisance was becoming intolerable. He was one of those alluded to by the Chairman that visited the Cemetery on the day in question in company with Councillors Munro and Knight and the Council Clerk, at the request of some of the ratepayers who resided in the neighbourhood to inspect a grave from which there appeared to come a very offensive smell; the occurrence did not at all surprise him, as he had on frequent occasions been similarly favoured; that as they now had their Municipality in existence he thought there should be some action taken that would put a stop to such a flagrant abuse of the people’s rights, and he for one would use his influence in suppressing the nuisance. He therefore gladly accompanied those gentlemen whom the Chairman had mentioned, and they there found a coffin dated some 10 days back in an open grave covered with one mass of flies; the state of the atmosphere in the locality can be better imagined than described. They then proceeded to the lower portion of the ground, and upon removing a board found a coffin quite flush with the ground surface, and upon inquiring of a person who was digging close by how many indeed was in that grave, the reply was “I can answer for two but I do not know how many more”. There is a large space of ground here used for burying the poor and I should say probably not more than foot or two of earth on an average as a covering.

Councillor Munro had a great dread of the Cemetery, as from his association he was obliged to pass its precincts at very unseasonable hours, probably the best hours to judge of its injurious effects; on a close damp morning he had seen a mist hanging over the ground like a veil, and had been frequently obliged to hold a handkerchief over his mouth and nose, so insufferable was the atmosphere; he, in company with the gentlemen previously alluded to, visited the grave and the lower section of the grounds, and on their return they met the Sexton, and upon inquiring the reason why a grave was allowed to remain open such a time with a body so decomposed, were told that the coffin had been removed from one grave to the other, that he was waiting for the friends, who had ordered its removal to see that such had been done previous to filling in, but that he would then go and throw a little earth about the coffin; and should the friends not come in the course of the day, the would have it filled. He believed that those persons living in the neighbourhood were so aggrieved that they themselves undertook the task. Hill, however grievous the matter, he thought it only their duty to first give the Cemetery Company notice, that if the nuisance was not thoroughly abated, this Council would indict them. He should therefore move,

That the Chairman be requested to write to the Church of England Cemetery Company, stating the facts represented, and request them immediately to take steps not only to get rid of the present nuisance but also to avoid a recurrence of it.

Councillor Bailey quite concurred with resolution, for did such estate of things exist, and there appeared not the slightest grounds for doubt on the matter, judging from the facts that had been brought under their notice of late, some immediate steps should be taken to suppress it; he would therefore, beg to second the resolution.

Councillor Kingsbury thought that the Council could not be so energetic in suppressing such a nuisance, he had known the Cemetery for years, and could himself state from experience that the noxious vapours arising on the lower portion were quite intolerable, that under any circumstances the company had better be written to, and should they then not instantly and perfectly rectify the evil the Council would be bound to act stringently.

Councillors Knight would also corroborate the facts stated, and quite agree with the resolution.

Councillor Curtis knew how these matters had been going on for years, and felt certain the public at large could not but feel anxious that some action should be taken by this Council in the matter.

Councillor Cullen thought that did such a state of things exist some steps ought to be taken to put an immediate stop to it.

The Chairman put the resolution which was carried.

Petitions:

Council Bailey presented a petition signed by householders residing in a portion of land lying between Newtown and Marrickville praying to be annexed to the Enmore Ward.

Moved by Councillor Bailey, seconded by Councillor Curtis, that the petition be received by this Council.

Reports:

From the Improvement Committee recommending the expenditure of 20 pounds on the Edgeware Road. Received.

Also, from Committee of Works with a detailed account of works in progress.

Moved by Councillor Kingsbury seconded by Councillor Knight, that the report of the Improvement Committee recommending the expenditure of 20 pounds on the Edgeware Road be adopted. Carried unanimously.

Moved by Councillor Munro, seconded by Councillor Knight, that the report of the Committee of Works be received. Carried unanimously.

Miscellaneous business:

The Chairman stated that he had had an interview with the manager of the Australian Joint Stock Bank, and that he had stated that there would not be any objection to lend 1000 pounds upon either the personal responsibility of Councillors, or the mortgage of the funds of the Municipality.

The Council then proceeded to open tenders

Tenders:

The forming of Albermarle, Regent, and Denison, Wellington and Lennox Streets, Kingston Ward, and O’Connell, Prospect and Buckingham Streets, O’Connell Ward.

Moved by Councillor Munro, seconded by Councillor Knight, that Christopher Cox’s tender be accepted for forming Denison Street at 18 shillings and sixpence and Regent Street 19 shillings per lineal chain be accepted.

Also, that Thomas Harris’ tender be accepted for forming Wellington Street at 19 shillings per lineal chain.

Also, that John Cartwright’s tender be accepted for forming Lennox Streets at 17 shillings and sixpence and Albermarle Street at 18 shillings and sixpence per lineal chain. Carried unanimously.

Moved by Councillor Curtis seconded by Councillor Bedford, that John Knows tender be accepted for forming O’Connell and Prospect Streets at one pound four shillings per lineal chain, and Buckingham Street at one pounds per lineal chain. Carried.

Motions of which notice has been given:

Moved by Councillor Curtis, seconded by Councillor Munro, that tenders be called for the supply of brick and other rubbish for the footpaths in O’Connell Ward, to the amount of 30 pound. Carried unanimously.

Moved by Councillor Bailey, seconded by Councillor Knight, that the Council call for tenders for kerbing and guttering the west side of the Newtown Road, to be divided in two contracts, namely from Eliza to Egan Street, and Egan Street to the Turnpike Gates. Carried unanimously.

Moved by Councillor Munro, seconded by Councillor Knight, that further sum of 75 pounds be voted for the work commenced in Australia Street. Carried.

Notice of motion handed in by Councillors Munro, Bedford, Kingsbury, Curtis, and Conley.

Order the day:

To further consider tenders for the supply of 1000 tons of white metal.

Moved by Councillor Curtis, seconded by Councillor Bedford, that Thomas West’s tender for the supply of 1000 tons of white metal at seven shillings and sixpence per ton of 24 feet be accepted. Carried unanimously.

Signed Fredk. Wm. Holland, Chairman.


Council Chambers September 21st 1863.

Present the Chairman and Councillors Knight, Munro, Kingsbury, Conley, Cullen, Curtis and Bailey.

Moved by Councillor Knight, seconded by Councillor Bailey, that the minutes of proceedings of previous meeting be read and confirmed.

Correspondence:

The letter from the Secretary of the Sydney Church of England Cemetery Company, in reply to a communication conveying the complaints of the Council concerning certain nuisances connected with the Cemetery.

Also, a letter from Mr Packer, offering his assistance in compiling a detailed survey of the Municipality.

Councillor Bailey thought that the Council ought to accept the Sydney Church of England Cemetery Co’s letter under the circumstances. Letter accepted.

Petition:

Moved by Councillor Bailey, seconded by Councillor Munro, that the petition received on the seventh instant from householders residing on a portion of land lying between the Municipalities of Marrickville and Newtown praying to be annexed to the Enmore Ward be adopted and that the Chairman be empowered to attach his signature assenting to such annexation in behalf of this Council. Carried unanimously.

Reports:

From Finance Committee recommending the payment of sundry accounts amounting to 61 pounds six shillings be received.

Moved by Councillor Curtis, seconded by Councillor Conley, that the report of Finance Committee recommending the payment of sundry accounts amounting to 61 pounds Six shillings be adopted. Carried unanimously.

Moved by Councillor Munro, that the report of Committee of Works received on the seventh instant be adopted.

Amendment:

Moved by Councillor Conley, seconded by Councillor Knight, that the report of Committee of Works received on the seventh instant be referred back for further consideration. Carried

Miscellaneous business:

That the Clerk be directed to issue the rate notices for the current half-year.

Tenders:

For kerbing and guttering the west side of the Newtown Road from Eliza Street to the Turnpike Gates.

Moved by Councillor Knight, seconded by Councillor Bailey, that Mr John Sly’s tender be accepted at Six shillings and threepence per lineal yard for kerbing and guttering the west side of the Newtown Road subject to his complying with the terms of the specification and allowing an estimated compensation for kerbing at present in the ground. Carried unanimously.

Petitions of which notice has been given:

Moved by Councillor Curtis, seconded by Councillor Knight, that the Clerk be instructed to survey Forbes Street and call for tenders to form the same with one footpath. Carried unanimously.

Moved by Councillor Curtis, seconded by Councillor Munro, that the Clerk be instructed to survey Wilson Street and estimate the probable cost of forming that portion from Mr Wilson’s back gate to Buckingham Street including cost of culvert or bridge. Carried unanimously.

Motion by Councillor Kingsbury. Withdrawn by permission.

Moved by Councillor Munro, seconded by Councillor Knight, that this Council on Monday the 5th. October next resolve itself into a Committee of the whole to inquire into and report upon the propriety of taking steps for obtaining a supply of water for the Municipality. Carried.

Motion by Councillor Munro lapsed not being seconded.

Motion by Councillor Bedford lapsed Councillor Bedford not being in attendance.

Notices of motion handed in by Councillor Conley (2) and Munro.

Signed Fredk. Wm. Holland, Chairman.


Council Chambers September 29th 1863.

A special general meeting convened by the Chairman to consider a burglary at the Council Chambers and to consider a public meeting of the ratepayers to be held at the School of Arts on Wednesday the 30th instant.

Present the Chairman and Councillors Kingsbury, Conley, Knight, Munro, Bedford, Curtis and Bailey.

Councillor Bailey thought that the Council Clerk ought to make good the money stolen. Which was concurred in by the Council.

Councillor Bailey asked the Chairman if the Council were considered to take part in the public meeting to be held on Wednesday next as a body.

The Chairman stated that he had received a requisition from some of the ratepayers requesting him to convene a public meeting to take into consideration nuisances connected with the Cemetery and he had thought it his duty to apprise them, of the circumstances and for that reason only had he called them together.

Signed Fredk. Wm. Holland, Chairman.

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