EDITORIAL – Redcar Local Board 12/04/1878
Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gaze 12/04/1878
REDCAR LOCAL BOARD OF HEALTH (Editorial)
Last week we promised to lay before the public some facts and statistics to show the present position of the Redcar Local Board of Health, and we now fulfil our promise. We shall not waste time, or exhaust the patience of our readers, with a multitude of words, but simply place before them the logic of facts. The following tabulated statement represents the whole amount borrowed by the Local Board from its commencement to the present date:
In 1856, £985 for drainage.
In 1856, £2500 for water supply.
In 1858, £1000 for drainage.
In 1864, £400 for erection of offices.
In 1866, £500 for drainage and water supply.
In 1874, £700 for water supply.
In 1876, £400 for drainage.
In 1876. £400 for Esplanade Improvements.
Of this amount, at the last audit the sum of £3008 was already repaid leaving the sum of £3877 still owing. This shows a considerable decrease in the debt owing, and it cannot be called heavy, considering that the rateable value of the town is now upwards of £10,000. Then with regard to rating in 1874 the General and Special District Rates amounted to 4s. in the £, in 1875 they were 3s.6d., in 1876 3s.4d., in 1877 2s.10d., and it is quite probable that a further reduction will take place in the present year. The great loans which the Board effected were for purposes required by the Acts of Parliament by which a Local Board of Health is constituted. The special object of a Local Board of Health is not to “keep down rates,” but for sanitary improvement and general health of the community. Our contention is, that notwithstanding unavoidable blunders and mismanagement consequent on the quality of the persons constituting the Board, the action of the Board of has been on the whole such as to justify its name. It is a Board of Health, not a Board to keep down rates. If such Boards had been unnecessary, as some people think the Legislature would not have given them national and imperial sanction. Their existence proves their necessity and benefits. It is idle now, with the light of the nineteenth century blazing in our faces, to we should be better without a Board of Health – that merely means ignorance and incapacity for understanding the laws of health. Of course the proper working of a Board of Health will always depend more or less on the members constituting each particular Board. There are members and members – men who do their duty and men who neglect their duty, men who are imperfectly qualified for office and men who being qualified neglect their duty. The members of any Board will usually reflect the character of the community, being a representative, chosen, and elect body. We do not claim for the present or past members of the Redcar Board a monopoly of wisdom; on the contrary, we are perfectly conscious that wiser things might have been done by wiser or abler body of men, but Redcar’s Redcar, and the members of the Board must be chosen from amongst the ratepayers who are qualified. We are content to argue that there is not more unwisdom in the Board as at present constituted than in preceding Boards. The rates have been steadily decreasing for the last three years, and are likely to decrease the last deft incurred was for sanitary purposes and the Causeway on the Esplanade, both of which were not only necessary but indispensable. Redcar has gradually won its way from an obscure fishing village to a fashionable watering place. The Local Board has been a great element in this transition, for more so than the aborigines are aware it is a positive fact that cleanliness, which is proverbial said to be next to godliness, actually pays. Surely Redcar people should understand this- it pays to keep the town, sweet and clean, to supply good water, efficient drainage, and gas for dark nights. To cleanse ash pits thoroughly and frequently, to remove garbage and morbid matter which if accumulated is highly detrimental to health, to have an efficient and plentiful supply of fuel, water, are essentials to the existence of any health resort. We firmly believe Redcar has these essentials, and they should be conserved and not sacrificed for the absurd and short sighted policy of “keeping down the rates.”