Page:Item 7 1858.pdf/49

From Historical Hastings
This page has been proofread

Leonards, although equally near to Hastings, whilst the Blacklands site could not be approached from St. Leonards except by going first to Hastings. But of course Mr. Ross had in this, as in all others of his contentions, “no animosity towards St. Leonards”. It must have been St. Leonards that was continually naughty-naughty even in the long contention to avoid paying its share of £150 for a map that was not ordered by or for itself, but exclusively for the Local Board district. It must have been by “back-door influence” that barristers and arbitrators all gave their decision in favour of St. Leonards. It was such “back-door influence” – so stated by Mr. Ross – that got St. Leonards exempted from the Health of Towns Act, albeit, that although as a modern and particularly healthy town, its sanitary appliances were also much more modern than those of Hastings; yet even without the said Act, its Commissioners continued to improve its drainage as requirements arose, whilst the Town Council at Hastings were wrangling among themselves over drainage matters for three years after obtaining the necessary powers before anything was effectively done.

No animus against Hastings

The successful resistance of the inhabitants west of the Archway to their inclusion in the Health of Towns Act, the equally successful resistance of the residents east of that landmark to the demand for a change of name, and the no less successful efforts of both west and east St. Leonards to retain their post office facilities, bring to one’s mind another phase of Mr. Ross’s profession of “no animus against St. Leonards”. The Rev. W. W. Hume, at the request of members of his congregation and other persons attended the public meeting to protest at the action of the Town Council re the post office and boundary question; and speaking of that action having been taken without consulting the St. Leonards people he said was like treating them “as children, and very scrubby children too”. At subsequent meetings of the Council, Ald. Ross asked “Why should to Council go to such men as Mr. Hume to ask what they should do? Mr. Hume had an animus against the Council, and was at all times very anxious to depreciate it, and had done everything he could against it”. Mr. Ross had a perfect right to criticise Mr. Hume’s speech, but he had no right to stigmatise the character of one of the -