HC Deb 25 August 1893 vol 16 cc1088-9
DR. COMMINS (Cork, S.E.)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware of the dispute which exists between the Town and Harbour Commissioners of Kinsale and the Board of Works as to a claim made by that Board for the completion of the Kinsale Pier over and above the amount provided by "The Kinsale Harbour Act, 1880," for that purpose, and of the steps taken by that Board to enforce their claims and impose for that purpose an additional rate of 2s. in the £1 on the ratepayers of Kinsale; whether he has received from the Town and Harbour Commissioners of Kinsale a copy of a resolution passed by them on the 18th instant in reference to the proceedings of the Board of Works, in which they allege that there was gross mismanagement by the Board of Works in the execution of the work (that is, the building of the pier), which resulted in increasing the ratepayers' liability to the amount of about £5,000, and asking that a public inquiry be held in connection with the entire expenditure, the entire cost of which the members offer to pay out of their own pockets; and whether, in view of the fact that the summary enforcement of the claim of the Board of Works, even if a just one, will impose a burden that may prove ruinous to the ratepayers of Kinsale, he can see his way to grant the inquiry they desire, and recommend that the proceedings taken by the Board of Works may not be pressed on till it has investigated the matter?


The Board of Works obtained a mandamus for the payment of arrears amounting to £1,979 13s. 1d. The Town Commissioners are also liable to make good any sum by which the net harbour revenues fall short of the annual charge for principal and interest amounting to £885, and the average deficit has been £575 per annum. In requiring the striking of a rate of 2s. in the £1 calculated to produce £600, the Board of Works are in the circumstances making a moderate demand, falling very far short of the powers given by the mandamus. I cannot admit the accuracy of the allegations in the second and third paragraphs, and I can see no reason to interfere. There is no need for any inquiry. The Treasury has already made a liberal offer to the Harbour Commissioners which, so far, they have shown no disposition to meet.


But would not the 2s. rate drive every substantial ratepayer out of Kinsale?


I hope not. I believe the town rate is only 1s., and the poor rate 1s. 7d.