Wallasey Disctrict Council & Their Clerk
Friday, 2nd July, 1897
At a meeting of the Wallasey District Council, held last evening at Egremont, an uproarious scene took place in connection with the allegations of irregularities against Mr. W. Danger, the clerk
Wallasey District Council
Thursday, 15th July, 1897
An adjourned meeting of the Wallasey District Council was held last evening, at the Public Offices, Egremont, to consider the question of the charges of irregularities made against the clerk, Mr. W. Danger. Mr. R.R. Greene presided, and said the meeting was called to receive the statement drawn up by the clerk in regard to certain accounts, and although the board had decided to have a Government inquiry into the matter it was necessary for the committee of the whole board to receive that report, in order to complete its labours. A report had been drawn up, and he (the chairman) thought the whole thing would turn out to be a matter of accounts and the mode of keeping them. It was for that meeting to say whether the report would be simply passed on or discussed in full.
Mr. Steel said a good deal had been made about drawing money upon slips, and he thought they should get from the accountant whether that practice was a right or regular one. If it was, let it be indicated; and if it was irregular let it be stopped.
Dr. Napier said the whole board, after a long discussion, had decided that a Government inquiry should be held, and under those circumstances he thought any inquiry by the board would be fruitless and improper. He proposed that no further steps should be taken by that committee – Mr Lee seconded, and after a discussion Dr. Napier’s motion, that the accountant, Mr. Burnley, should be asked certain questions, and after another long discussion this was carried. – Mr. Steel then read a number of questions as to whether or not it was regular and in accordance with the usage of the board that certain cheques should be made out to the clerk; if not why it not reported to the committee and the auditor; and when were the various sums entered which were debited to Mr. Danger, and how did they escape the attention of the auditor? Mr. Burnley said that to begin with the method of drawing cheques to Mr. Danger was a not a practice up to March, 1892, but he thought the Finance Committee were the best judges of the regularity or otherwise of that course. He did report it to the auditor but not to the committee. The practice of debiting Mr. Danger personally with the sums entered against him was instituted two years ago at the request of the auditor, but he had not reported it to the committee as the auditor was satisfied. The Clerk expressed his willingness to read the statement prepared, but upon the resolution of Dr. Napier it was resolved that no action be taken except by Government inquiry.
Wallasey District Council And Their Clerk
Tuesday, 20th July, 1897
A meeting of the Wallasey Urban District Council was held last evening at the Public Offices, Church Street, Egremont, to receive the report of the special committee appointed to consider the allegations made by Mr. Joyce against the clerk to the board (Mr. W. Danger), and to pass a resolution thereon. Mr. R.R. Greene presided, and all the members were present with the exception of Messrs. R. Steel and J. Robinson. – In the course of their report the committee dealt with the allegation made against the clerk with respect to certain payments made to him by the late Wallasey Local Board in connection with the conveyance of the Liscard Hall property and which had not yet been completed, although the money for legal expenses was paid in 1890. References was also made to the payment of certain recovered costs and other sums which had been handed to the clerk, but had not been paid in to the council or to its treasurer. A further charge against the clerk was that at the time when members of the board were surcharged by the local Government Board auditor in 1895, in the sum of £3958 for uncollected accounts owing for private street improvement expenses, some part of such alleged uncollected accounts owing for private street improvement expenses, some part of such alleged uncollected accounts was in the hands of the clerk or someone in his behalf, and the same was not paid to the council, or to its treasurer, nor was the receipt reported to the council. That beyond the considerable sums still uncollected there is a large amount owing for interest, which the clerk has not paid in, and for which he has tendered his personal liability. The allegations with respect to agency charges were next dealt with, and the report concluded with a reference to the allegations that the clerk, to the prejudice of the council, and in violation of the agreement made between himself and the council, engaged in general practice as a solicitor, employing himself as a partner in the firm of danger and Neville or Danger and Son to do certain work, ostensibly in the council’s behalf, though without any knowledge or authority of the council. Considerable discussion took place as to the form of the resolution, but ultimately it was agreed, on the motion of Mr. W.F. Lee, seconded by Mr. Bradford. “That the report of the special committee of the 14th July appointed by the council be received and forwarded to the Local Government Board, together with all documents submitted at such special committee, with the request that the Local Government Board appoint a commissioner to inquire into the allegations made by Mr. Joyce.
Wallasey District Council
Resignation of the Clerk
The Local Government Board Inquiry
Friday, 6th August, 1897
The ordinary monthly meeting of the Wallasey District Council was held last evening in the Public Offices, Egremont. Mr. R.R. Greene presided, and there were present Messrs. J. Joyce, J. Bradford, R. Steel, J. Robinson, F. Storey, L. Grace, J. Wright, C.G. Dunn, Dr. Napier, W.G. Ellery, R. McGeoch, E. McGeoch, J. Paxton, J. Barber, A.T. Wright, W.F. Lee, F. Scott, Dr. Bristow, R.W. Blakeley and J. Tipping. Great interest was manifested in the proceedings, and all the accommodation available for the public was taken up by ratepayers of the district. The clerk (W. Danger) was not present.
The Chairman, upon taking his seat, said that since coming into the building he had had placed in his hands a very important communication- the resignation of their esteemed clerk, Me. Danger. He thought the most convenient course to adopt in regard to this matter would be to announce its receipt at the outset of the meeting, and with permission, he would read the letter, which was as follows:--
“5th August, 1897”
“To the Chairman of the Wallasey Urban District Council. Dear sir – I beg respectfully to tender to you my resignation as clerk to the council, and with this object I now give you the three months’ notice stipulated for under my agreements with the Wallasey Local Board. If you prefer, however, that the connection should terminate at an earlier date, I am willing that such resignation should take effect at such time as you prefer, although there are several pending matters which I am anxious to close. I desire expressly to point out that my resignation is not, in any respect, intended by me to supersede the inquiry by the Commissioner of the Local Government Board into the allegations made with regard to myself. It is my desire now, as heretofore, that the inquiry should take place, that I may furnish an answer to such allegations. In conclusion, I may say that while it gives me pain to sever a connection of nearly 20 years’ standing with your authority in various capacities, I hope both you and your colleagues will consider that during such period I have done something to advance the interests and welfare of the district.
-Yours obediently, W.DANGER
The Chairman said he thought the course which ought to be adopted with the latter would be to refer it, as under the usual circumstances, to the Finance Committee, in order that they might arrange for the retirement of Mr. Danger in the terms of the letter. They would notice that Mr. Danger was willing to retire at once, or he was willing to retire in accordance with the agreement which was made some years ago with the old local board. Did the council agree to this suggestion, or what other proposal did they wish to make?
Mr. Dunn said he thought the Council would prefer to consider the question at the present time-as to whether they should accept the resignation as dated from that day or whether in a further period of three months. To get the feeling of the Council on the subject and without going into any particulars as to why they should adopt the one course or the other, he would move that the resignation be accepted from that day.
Mr. Joyce seconded.
Mr. Lee inquired if Mr. Danger would be entitled to three months’ salary if they accepted his resignation that night?
Mr. Dunn said that in moving the resolution the feeling he had in his mind was that Mr. Danger would be entitled, if they accepted the resignation from that day, to the three months’ salary referred to. It would be convenient that they should, at the earliest possible moment, have some one to take Mr. Danger’s place to carry on the necessary work of the Council. They could scarcely expect Mr. Danger to do that while under notice to leave.
Mr. Steel pointed out that Mr. Danger would not be under notice; he had given notice of his resignation. He would be sorry if the Council were to appoint at random the first man that turned up. He did not want to move an amendment to the proposition, but he thought it better that either the matter be left to the committee or that the notice of resignation be taken. He could not see that the Council would be prejudiced and he knew there were many matters referred expressly to the clerk. It would be convenient, therefore, that the clerk should remain in office, so as to give them the exact bearings of those things.
Mr. Joyce said he must support Mr. Dunn in urging the council to accept the resignation without any delay. It would certainly be in the interests of the council that Mr. Danger should be relieved from further service to the council. The appointment of his successor would no doubt be undertaken by the finance committee immediately. For reasons which were considered urgent at the meeting of the finance committee and even more urgent that day, the resignation, in his opinion, and he thought in the opinion of most of the members of the council, should take place at once. They very strongly appealed to members of the council not to go into questions as to why, but to trust those who, with very great labour, had brought the clerk to this decision. They now appealed, as their last act, to the council to give effect to the resignation at once in the interest of the ratepayers of the district.
Mr. Steel said he was not present at the meeting of the finance meeting in question, and therefore, upon the opinion of Mr. Joyce and Mr. Dunn, he would withdraw any opposition to taking the resignation at once.
Mr. Lee, while agreeing in the main with Mr. Joyce and Mr. Dunn, did not think the council would be doing their duty in the matter if they accepted the resignation now. If the rumours of revelations were correct it would be injudicious to ask Mr. Danger to continue to act as clerk, and, seeing that an inquiry had already been decided upon, he thought it would not be fair to either Mr. Danger or the council. He begged to propose an amendment. “That Mr. Danger, as the clerk, be suspended until the Local Government Board inquiry is complete”.
The Chairman said he did not think that was an amendment. This was a resignation, and must be dealt with either positively or negatively.
Mr. Lee maintained that it would be the right course to adopt. They were not treating Mr. Danger as they would treat an ordinary official. If what was rumoured was at all approaching truth, they would call upon an ordinary official to send in his resignation, without any reference to further emoluments for work he would not be performing.
Mr. Storey said that if Mr. Danger, in the opinion of the gentlemen who were well acquainted with the subject, was considered unfit to discharge his duties, he did not see why the council should pay him three months’ salary.
The Chairman then read Mr. Dunn’s resolution, which had been drafted and handed in. It was to the following effect, “that the resignation of Mr. Danger be accepted from this date; that the finance committee be authorised to advertise for a clerk at a salary of £700 per annum for his full undivided services, the duties to be defined by the finance committee and submitted to the next council meeting for confirmation.
Mr. Steel suggested that the first paragraph of the resolution be taken separately. Many of them might wish to reduce the emolument.
Mr. Dunn said in asking the council to accept the resignation that night, it was not with a view in any way of hurrying forward the appointment of Mr. Danger’s successor.
Mr. Lee moved as an amendment to the resolution that the words “and that the three months’ salary in lieu of notice be withheld until the inquiry is completed.”
Mr. Storey seconded the amendment.
The Chairman said he did not think that was an amendment. If Mr. Danger resigned it was perfectly evident that he resigned in accordance with the agreement, which agreement would be “three months’ notice or salary”.
Mr. Lee said that very agreement stipulated that the clerk should perform his duties to the satisfaction of the council.
Mr. Joyce said he had no doubt the chairman of the finance committee, before sending the cheque, would have an account prepared showing how the council stood with regard to Mr. Danger, so that practically all that Mr. Lee desired would be accomplished.
Mr. Dunn said he did not see any objection to adding Mr. Lee’s amendment to the resolution although it was not in order as an amendment.
Mr. Steel also said he had no objection to the addition.
Mr. Barber inquired in what position they would be in, supposing an inspector was not sent.
Mr. A.T. Wright said they could add the words “or the accounts closed.”
This was agreed to, and Mr. Dunn’s resolution, with the inclusion of the additions suggested, was carried unanimously.
The Irregularities at Wallasey
Local Government Board Inquiry
Saturday, 28th August, 1897
Yesterday morning Mr. W. Danger, late clerk to the Wallasey District Council, attended, by request before the Local Government auditor (Mr. C.F. Jordison), who is holding his annual audit at the Public Offices, Egremont, to answer certain questions relating to the allegations which have been made against him. The auditor explained that the council had asked the Local Government Board to hold an inquiry but very probably the council were not aware that these matters came directly within his jurisdiction, and he therefore proposed to deal with them as far as lay in his power. Mr. Danger was then questioned with regard to his partnership with the firm of Danger and Neville, and said that he had been in no way peculiarly interested in the firm of Danger and Neville or in the firm of Danger and Son since he was appointed clerk, in 1891. The auditor produced a printed circular, dated September, 1893, stating the partnership between Danger and Neville was dissolved, and that “My practice will still be carried on under the style of Danger and Son, at the above address, North John Street”. Mr. Danger explained that the circular was so worded that his son might have the benefit of it. On being further pressed, he said that upon the circular it might be said to be a modified form of partnership; but it was a dormant partnership, from which he derived no benefit; on the contrary. Questioned by the auditor, Mr. Danger admitted that, though the firm of Danger and Son had been employed as solicitors by the local board and the district council, there was no record on the minutes, and he (Mr. Danger) never asked the consent of the board or council for the employment of the firm. He considered that as clerk he had the right to employ agents or outside assistance. Neither the firm of Danger and Neville nor Danger and Son had rendered bills of costs to the late local board or the council because they recouped themselves out of the costs which they recovered. The auditor pointed out that, under his agreement with the board, Mr. Danger undertook to conduct all the legal work of the board without making any further claim against the board, and he should say that the intention was that he should act as their solicitor, and that all costs recovered should be credited to the board. He regarded the statement that these firms did the work for the sake of the recovered costs as a very serious statement.
The next matter dealt with was the allegation that a cheque was drawn for £210 in favour of Mr. Danger on the 4th September, 1890, to pay the stamp duties and court fees on the conveyance of the Liscard Hall property, and that the cheque was paid into Mr. Danger’s private account in the Adelphi Bank on the 20th September, 1890. – Mr. Danger said there were reasons why the deed was not stamped; but he had been asked to stamp it, and it should be stamped. – The Auditor said he should prefer that the £120 be paid to the treasurer. – Mr. Danger: Very well.
The accounts relating to the case of Hill v. Local Board and the Board v. Logan were then gone into. The auditor then referred to the question of “recovered costs”, and said that his (the auditor’s) contention was that Danger and Son had simply acted as Mr. Danger’s agents, and they had received on his (Mr. Danger’s_ behalf sums amounting to £155 5s. 10d., and they did not account for it to him, and he did not account for it to the council. He (the auditor) did not think his difficulty would be very great. He thought it was a clear surcharge. – Mr. Danger : Very well.
Other matters included in the allegations having been gone into the inquiry was adjourned until Friday next in order that Mr. Danger might produce certain accounts and vouchers, and sign certain statutory declarations.
The Wallasey District Council Audit
Saturday, 4th September, 1897
Yesterday, at the Public Offices, Egremont, Mr. C.F. Jordinson, Local Government Board auditor for the South-west Lancashire district, resumed his audit of the accounts of the Wallasey District Council. There was a good attendance of members of the council, and Mr. W. Danger. late law clerk to the board, was also present. – At the opening of the proceedings the auditor called attention to the sum of £120, which the clerk received from the board in September, 1890, for stamping the deeds of Liscard Park, and which he admitted he had not so utilised, but which he had, with the exception of some fees, paid into his private account. The clerk, he added, had promised to produce an account of the payments he had made, and the remainder he promised to pay to the treasurer of the council. Had that been done?
Mr. Danger – It has not
Do you produce the cashbook? – No, sir.
Why? – I have been asked to make a declaration by you with regard to the agency, about which a good deal has been said.
You promised to let me have an account of these sums that were paid to you on account. I want the cashbook with these sums entered into it.
Mr. Danger – That is a matter between myself and the London agent.
The Auditor—The London agent has nothing to do with your cashbook. I think Mr. Danger, it is a question of speaking out. Proceeding, he remarked that Mr. Danger had distinctly stated last week that he was willing to enter these payments on account into a cashbook, and produce it with the necessary vouchers. The statement made by Mr. Danger referred to alleged payments to London agents in the case of Hill of £325, and in the case of Logan of £415; but he (Mr. Danger) turned up that morning without the cashbook, although bills had lain in the committee room for a whole week.
In reply, Mr. Danger said that the certificate of taxation in both cases would show what payments had really been made, and those certificates would prove that the various payments had been made in those two transactions.
The Auditor – The simple question is, have these costs been paid?
Mr. Danger – Certainly, they have.
The Auditor – I take it that any businessman who pays any bill would take a receipt, or it would probably be paid by cheque, which could be produced. You do nothing.
Mr. Danger – The certificate of taxation will prove the payment.
The Auditor – There is no certificate of taxation and no proof of payment.
Mr. Danger – There is in the case of Logan.
The Auditor – There is in the case of Logan as far as the costs of the defendant are concerned, that’s all. There is no vestige of proof in the case of Hill and Logan that a penny has been paid.
Mr. Danger – So far I have not got a detailed statement from the London agent. I have written to Mr. Needham. The agent in this matter, who is at present out of town, explaining to him what has transpired and desiring to allow a rebatement . Until I have seen that I cannot meet your requirements.
The Auditor – You promised at the last audit to produce the vouchers.
Mr. Danger – I can produce some vouchers, but I want to get the whole.
The Auditor remarked that he took it that there were outstanding accounts between Mr. Danger and Mr. Needham.
Mr. Danger – No. The payments made by me to Mr. Needham, coupled with the amount he received, settled up all accounts between him and me.
The Auditor – I have come to the conclusion that if I was to adjourn and adjourn, I should be exactly in the same position. I gave you every opportunity, and allowed you last Friday to name the day on which we should meet again, and I naturally thought that those vouchers would have been forthcoming. The statutory declarations which you referred to I sent you last Saturday as a matter of courtesy. I asked you to return them on Wednesday, but I have never seen them until this moment. I don’t call that the way in which... –
Mr. Danger – I have not been able to get a detailed statement.
The Auditor said he was very loth to take proceeding to enforce the production of the documents in question, but he felt that however long he might adjourn the audit that would be necessary.
Mr. Danger – Very well, sir.
The Auditor said he did not think a long adjournment of the audit was desirable in a matter of that kind. The only suggestion he could make was that Mr. Danger should communicate with Mr. Needham as soon as possible, and he would adjourn the audit until Saturday, the 11th inst. He gave Mr. Danger notice that if that book was not then produced and those particular costs were not vouched for, he would take action.
Mr. Danger – All right.
The Auditor, proceeding, said in regard to the £120 he would leave that over also, and if an account was not produced showing what the fees were that were paid out of that account, he would surcharge the whole £120. Mr. Danger was driving him to do that, and he could not possibly help doing it. The auditor then asked Mr. Danger to sign a statutory declaration that Messrs. Danger and Neville and Danger and Son had received £250 costs on his behalf.
Mr. Danger objected to the words “on my behalf”. Replying to the auditor, he said that there was no direct authorisation to Danger and Neville and Danger and Son, but it was well known that the work was being done. The auditor having struck out the words objected to, Mr. Danger signed the declaration. Later, after certain words had been erased, Mr. Danger agreed to sign a declaration that from the year 1891 to 1897 inclusive he had not received no agency returns or statements, nor had any one on his behalf done so. He added that he had a letter from Messrs. Sharp and Co., London agents, confirming the statement, which he read.
Subsequently, the Auditor remarked that the matter between Mr. Danger and Mr. Needham, as far as he (the Auditor) was concerned, was exceedingly unsatisfactory, and the letter produced was a simple denial of allegations in general terms.
Mr. Danger again stated that the costs had been to Mr. Needham, and that the accounts would show that there was hardly anything in it one way or another.
The Auditor – We want to see the accounts.
Mr. Danger – You have the accounts.
The Auditor – There is that dummy account, but there are no vouchers.
Mr. Danger – The bill is here.
The Auditor – But the bill does not show that the costs have been paid.
Mr. Danger – But the bill shows that very large sums have been paid out of pocket, which clearly absorb the amounts on the other side.
The Auditor afterwards said that the account between Mr. Danger and Mr. Needham was somewhat of a mystery, and he could only infer that there was something outstanding between them. The only point was, had those costs been paid; and Mr. Danger had promised to show that they had been paid.
Mr. Danger – That I will do.
The Auditor remarked that the whole thing was perfectly plain to any person whether he was an accountant or not. It was distinctly understood now that Mr. Needham’s account would be produced at the adjourned audit on the 11th.
Mr. Danger – Certainly.
The Auditor then said that, in regard to private improvements accounts, he wanted a simple declaration that the whole of the moneys received by the two firms, Danger and Neville and Danger and Son, and by Mr. Danger himself had been accounted for to the 31st March.
Mr. Danger intimated that he did not object to sign that declaration.
Mr. Joyce (a member of the board) then made a statement with reference to the board’s administration. He remarked that the allegations referred to the Local Government Board dealt with a number of payments to Mr. Danger upon a note or slip issued to him, and for which the council held no other voucher or account. Upon further pursuing that subject they had found that for six or seven years, not only had they been paying money to Me. Danger in that form, but to nominees of Mr. Danger—persons named by him. Some two or three vouchers had been handed in, it was true, while the whole of the documents, occupying several sheets of foolscap, were without any voucher, and those indicated payments of a serious nature. In regard to a sum of £200 for compensation for personal injuries, they found that only £150, was paid; and there were a great number of payments of the same nature. There was one payment of £100 for vendor’s costs for the Egremont Promenade. But there was no authority from the council for the payment, and that seemed to apply to a number of cases. The auditor had surcharged Mr. Danger £255, recovered costs. That was at first returned at £320, afterwards at £311, and now at £255. He pointed out that at the meeting of the council on the 6th May last it was reported to the council by Mr. Danger that law charges had been recovered—and went out of their way to say with satisfaction—the clerk’s appropriating that money.
Mr. Danger said he objected to the word “appropriating”. He thought Mr. Joyce should in common justice, leave him alone. He was dealing with the auditor in a gentlemanly way and would not allow himself to be castigated by Mr. Joyce. Mr. Joyce had been maligning him for some years, and the statements he now made with regard to him were simply lies. So far as he was concerned, he would not remain there to be castigated.
The Auditor said he had not heard anything yet that might be taken as a personal attack on Mr. Danger.
Mr. Danger said, having regard to the insults which had been heaped upon him during the last two years, Mr. Joyce, as an Englishman, was not justified in going on with his vindictiveness.
Mr. Joyce, proceeding, said that with regard to the £255 he thought the members of the council should either be surcharged or provide Mr. Danger with the means of refunding it to the council, because the members sanctioned Mr. Danger taking it to his own credit. He had the accountant’s list of missing bills, which he would hand to the auditor. The council during the past six years had practically no vouchers for payments to Mr. Danger, or through him to other persons.
Mr. Danger – Which I say again is untrue, as shown by the accounts.
Mr. Joyce said that in the case of Hill, which the council had won, the costs of the council, were over £700, whilst the costs of the defeated side were £100 odd.
Mr. Danger – That is again untrue.
Mr. Joyce remarked that in the case of Ball v. The board a sum of £50 was paid twice, and appeared in two years’ accounts.
The Auditor pointed out that that was included in the petty cash book, and had been vouched, so that he could not re-open it.
Mr. Danger – That is the system of charges made against me all along. The original charge was that I had misappropriated £2000. Here is an account, and I will prove it before anybody.
The Auditor – I wish you would prove it before me. Proceeding, he traced the history of the case, and said that was not a matter for personal recrimination, but the vouching for those costs was still to come. He did not think that further discussion would do any good.
Mr. Joyce remarked that there was an impression that there was a screw loose somewhere.
The Auditor said that so far as he was concerned there was no screw loose. He had made up his mind that if he to adjourn from week to week and week and day to day he would get at the bottom of the whole matter.
Mr. Joyce, in further remarks, complained that there had been no continuity in the system of auditing. He also thought that there should be a periodical inspection of title deeds, the same as in the case of bonds and securities for investments. He also complained of payments being made without a special minute of the council, and of the irregular issue of cheques.
Dr. Davidson referred to the question of having the deal of the board in legal custody, but the Auditor said those were questions of administration.
The audit was then adjourned until the 11th inst.
Public Affairs In Wallasey District
A Startling Statement
Monday, 13th Sptember, 1897
On Saturday morning Mr. C.F. Jordinson, Local Government Board auditor for the Southwest Lancashire District, attended at the Public Offices, Egremont, to continue his annual audit of the accounts of the Wallasey Urban District Council. The audit had been adjourned in order to give Mr. Danger, the late law clerk, an opportunity of explaining certain alleged irregularities, but that gentleman was not present. The proceedings had been fixed to commence at ten o’clock, and after a period of an hour and a quarter, the auditor entered the boardroom, and stated that he had had a communication from Mr. Danger that morning, in which he stated that he was not at present disposed to go through another unpleasant ordeal at a public meeting there. Since he (the auditor) was there lest matters had assumed rather a serious phase, and he did not think it would be to the interest of the ratepayers that, at present at any rate, they should become public property. He proposed to adjourn to Thursday next, the 16th inst., at ten o’clock and there the matter must rest at present. – The proceedings then terminated.
Public Affairs In Wallasey District
Friday, 17th September, 1897
Mr. C.F.Jordinson, Local Government Board Auditor for South-west Lancashire, yesterday resumed his audit of the accounts of the Wallasey District Council, at the Public offices, Egremont. Considerable interest was centred in the proceedings, and, in addition, to the members of the council, there was a large attendance of the public. Mr. W. Danger, the ex-law clerk to the council, did not make an appearance.
Mr. Jordinson, taking his seat a quarter of an hour after the time fixed for the proceedings to commence, said – I am very sorry to find that Mr. Danger is not present at my audit this morning. On the 11th September, last Saturday, I addressed the following letter to him :--
South-west Lancashire Audit District,
11th September, 1897
Sir—I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter of to-day, in which you stated that you were not disposed to go through the unpleasant ordeal of a public meeting. It is perhaps unnecessary for me to remind you of your two unfulfilled promises of the 27th ult. And the 3rd inst. to produce to me your cash book and vouchers. I reminded you on the latter date of my intention to sue for penalties, and there is now no other course open to me.
I close formal notice of adjourned audit to Thursday next, the 16th inst. at ten a.m, and I have again to request that at such adjourned audit you will produce your cash book and vouchers.
I have to-day surcharged upon you the sum of £255 5s 10d. recovered costs not accounted for, and I desire to give you notice that at my adjourned audit of the 16th inst. it is my intention to surcharge you with the sum of £225 13s. 10d defendants costs re Ball v. Wallasey Local Board, paid to your agents, Danger and Son, on March 15, 1894, and also with the sum of £20 paid on account by W.J. Williams; £65 6s. 8d. paid by Lack and Berry; and £60 15s 2d. paid by T.E. Lamphier on private improvement account, in addition to other sums on the same account, amounting to £424 9s. 2d. it is also my intention to surcharge you with the sum of £120 acknowledged by you to be in your hands, and not applied to the purpose for which it was intended by the late Wallasey Local Board.
It is also my intention to disallow in your account the sum of £195 1s. 3d. balance of your London agents’ costs, re Hill v. Wallasey Local Board, and £152 12s. 2d. balance of your London agents’ costs, re Logan. In neither of the two last mentioned cases have the alleged payments been vouched. – I am, sir, your obedient servant.
CHARLES F. JORDINSON, District Auditor.
To W. Danger, Esq., late clerk and solicitor to the Wallasey Urban District Council, Liscard.
To that Mr. Danger had replied in the following terms :-
Central Building, North John Street
Liverpool, Sept. 15, 1897.
Dear sir – referring to your formal notice of the adjournment of your audit to to-morrow, and to your statement made on Saturday last. I beg to say that the impression conveyed by that statement, as reported in the local press, did not interpret the meaning I intended in the letter I sent to you explaining my absence from the last meeting. My sole reason for not attending was (as I explained in that letter) that Mr. Needham had not returned from his holidays’, and that in his absence and in the absence of the accounts I was utterly unable to tender the accounts which you required, and as he (I am informed) only returns to London to-day I am still in the same position.from the council to the Local Government Board, asking them to hold an inquiry into the allegations made against their then clerk, and pointed out that that communication also asked for an inquiry into the irregularities in the council’s administration. He was inclined to think that that latter claims had escaped the attention of the Local Government Board, and he was justified in maintaining that view, because the answer sent down by the Local Government Board on the 30th July totally ignored or made no reference whatever to that very serious clause to which he had referred. He should like to ask whatever it came within his (the auditor’s) province to make such an inquiry, or, if not, whether he would, in making his report to the Local Government Board, with regard to what he had found to exist in the council’s affairs, draw attention to the clause in question. He (Mr. Lee) was perfectly certain that it was absolutely necessary that an inquiry should be held into the irregularities. (Applause). Referring to the finance committee of the council, he said that the policy and conduct of the business was contrary to that which obtained in the other committees. From the way in which the bills were passed, the members of the committee were absolutely ignorant of the affairs which they were dealing with. Further, if a member who had a little bit inquisitive asked a question in that committee, he was not only brought up very sharply, but was considered a very offensive and unpleasant member. It was a subject on which there was a very strong feeling, and if it was in his (the auditor’s) province to make an inquiry or report to the Local Government Board, he (Mr. Lee) hoped that if an inquiry was held it would not only be into the administration as far as the officials were concerned, but also as far as the members of the council were concerned.
The Auditor said the Local Government Board, in their letter, simply stated that they had no power to hold an inquiry into the charges that were made. He had gone very carefully into nearly every one that had been made.
Mr Lee. – Made against Mr. Danger?
The Auditor – Yes, made against Mr. Danger.
-- Continuing, he said that as to any general charges, he had, so far, had no reason to touch, and he hoped he should not have any reason to do so. If he was to make any comment at all he should probably speak of certain dismissed officials, or contracts that were not strictly in order. But those questions were purely technical. There were certain contracts not exactly in order, and things of that nature but, as far as any of the other officials were concerned, he had no reason to complain. (Applause). With regard to the conduct of the finance committee, that was entirely administrative – (hear, hear) –and an auditor could hardly step in there. As far as he was concerned, he required minutes at the present moment, and a very large number of minutes would have to come before him, and if they pointed to expenditure that was not properly vouched and authorised, he should disallow it. It was his practice to deal with the minutes of a council and finance committee, and under no intent whatever to allow anything that was irregular or improper in any shape or form. If they were dissatisfied with the members of the council or the finance committee, the ratepayers had their own remedy.
Mr. Lee remarked that he understood that the auditor took it that it was not part of his duty to refer to the particular matter in question in his report.
The Auditor replied that he considered it his duty if he found any irregularities in the accounts of any official to report to the council, and, if necessary, to deal with it by surcharging. If anyone would bring to him any particular account that was irregular, and any item not accounted for, he was prepared to deal with it; but he did not like to hear suggestions against men who had dealt with him in a straightforward manner.
Mr. Lee said he did not suggest anything.
Replying to Mr. Bullock, the Auditor said if there was dissatisfaction as to the members of the council it was a question for the ratepayers.
Mr. Bullock – we have no redress then?
The Auditor – You have redress. Turn them out of office. (Hear, hear)
Mr. Bullock asked if the auditor had had his attention called to the irregularities of the ferry committees accounts, where wages were put down for dead men?
The Auditor – Most certainly not. If you find that that is so it is your duty as a ratepayer to come forward and point them out. (Hear, hear and applause).
The audit was then adjourned until the 7th October.
The Wallasey Council Audit
Non Appearance of Mr. Danger
Friday, 8th October, 1897
The audit of the accounts of the Wallasey Urban District Council was resumed yesterday by Mr. C.F. Jordinson, local government auditor for the South-west district of Lancashire, ay the Public Offices, Egremont. Long before ten o’clock in the morning the boardroom was filled with ratepayers and members of the Council, who freely discussed the probability of the appearance of otherwise of Mr. William Danger, ex-law clerk to the council, at whose request the proceedings had been adjourned so that he might produce certain vouchers and documents.
Mr. Jordinson took his seat about quarter-past ten o’clock, and addressing those present said – I do not think it at all likely that Mr. Danger will attend to-day. So far as I am concerned, I have already taken proceedings against him on two charges, and he has been convicted on both. Any further proceedings ought to be taken by the council, and I have no doubt they will be guided entirely by their legal adviser. The defalcations, as far as at present known, amount to £1441 cash not accounted for; and there are several disallowances, which bring it up to £1789 – recovered cost £776, private improvement accounts £574, and another £120. I very much regret to find that on Mr. Danger’s appointment the authorities neglected to take any securities as required by section 194 of the Public Health Act of 1875, which very much complicates matters so far as the recovery of the money is concerned. There again I shall very probably step in; but I am afraid, so far as the ratepayers are concerned, it will be a doubtful matter as to whether the money will be recovered. I propose to-day to sit in a committee room, and also to sit there from the 18th to the 21st, to continue to audit, and if any gentlemen or ratepayer can give me any information as to recovered costs or private improvement expenses received by Messrs. Danger and Son, or by anyone else on behalf of the council, I shall only be too glad to dip into the circumstances and deal with them. At the same time, if there is anything else connected with the pecuniary transaction of the Council that I can touch, I shall also be glad to go into it. Allegations have been made freely against members of the Council, and against officials, and I think it is only fair to members and officials that they should have every chance of clearing themselves. (Hear, hear). Of course, I can only deal with matters of a pecuniary character, but they are the matters of the most interest to the ratepayers, and I am quite at liberty to go into them. I think it is only right and proper on my part that I should refer to the assistance that has been given to me by Mr. Dunn and Mr. Joyce. (Applause). In the matter particularly as to recovered costs, Mr. Danger was in the position of being able to recover these costs, and out them into his own pocket, without any chance of being detected either by the auditor or by the officials. The transactions, apparently of a legal character – bills of costs – were all rendered away from the Council building, and apparently always in the name of Danger and Son. All I have seen as yet at all events have been so rendered, and consequently there was no record whatever in these buildings; and no bills having been rendered by Mr. Danger, there is nothing on the minutes or in the books to show that any of these accounts were recoverable so far as the Council was concerned. I have no further observations to make, except that I will sit in the committee room as I have stated. I propose to report to the Council next week as to the matters affecting Mr. Danger, and subsequently I will make another report dealing with the transactions that may come before me in the course of the next few days.
Mr. Bullock wished to know as to what was to be done after that day, and whether it was the auditor’s duty to report matters to the Public Prosecutor?
Mr. Jordinson – I have no doubt the Council will be entirely guided by their new clerk.
Mr. Bullock – I am afraid they will not be.
Mr. Jordinson said that the circumstances of the non-recovery of money would probably occur in his next audit
Mr. Bullock said that last week he put a question with reference to accounts, and Mr. Jordinson made what appeared to be an excuse for an official. Now, as a business man, he took strong exception to that sort of thing. If such things were allowed to pass by a Government auditor, an end would be put to commercial morality.
Mr. Jordinson – You are the gentleman who made charges about the payment of wages to dead men. Instead of speaking in this way, and making charges against officials, it would be very much better if you come quietly before me in the committee room and point out these items.
Mr. Bullock – I am prepared to do so. But I take exception to our accountant being called a subordinate official, and on that ground excused for not having reported certain irregularities.
Mr. Bullock urged that if the books had been kept in a business-like way, these irregularities could not have gone on 24 hours without being discovered.
Mr. Jordinson agreed that there had been very grave neglect as to the rendering of bills of account. They had been rendered outside the building, when such a thing ought not to have been done.
Mr. Bullock contested the wisdom of charging certain matters to revenue account, instead of suspense account, and raised the question of an amount of £300, said to have been paid to Mr. Danger.
Mr. Jordinson – That is one of the bills I want, and I shall disallow it. This is not a question of books, but of Danger and Son, rendering bills of cost in the name of the council, without their consent of knowledge so far as I know.
Mr. Bullock – There is no record of the £300.
Mr. Jordinson – You are mistaken there. There is a record of it; the matter is open at the present moment.
Mr. Bullock – All I can say is, “The Lord pity the poor ratepayers”. (Laughter).
Mr. Joseph West desired to know how they were to proceed as to the holding of a public inquiry, seeing that the Local Government Board had stated that they could not authorise one. Owing the present development of things, could not he (the Government auditor) make a representation to the Local Government Board, which would cause them to change their minds?
Mr. Jordinson said he thought that question was misunderstood. The reason why the Local Government Board did not hold the inquiry was because they had not power. They all knew that the tendency was not to interfere with local authorities. So far as pecuniary affairs were concerned he could and was prepared to go into them.
Mr. West said that was so, but there were allegations of general neglect on the part of members of the council, and they could not be gone into unless a proper inquiry was held, and evidence given on oath.
Mr. Jordinson repeated his statement as to the powers of the Local Government Board, and added that if there were any charges against members having put into their pockets money belonging to the funds of the council, he was prepared to deal with them.
Mr. West said that any allegations would be difficult to substantiate in the absence of Mr. Danger, and without a proper inquiry. Having regard to the general wish of the ratepayers in the district, he thought that a proper inquiry should be held. He felt there was justifiable reason for supposing that a great deal of the present difficulty was brought about by the laxity of past audits.
Mr. Jordinson – You must excuse me touching that point.
Mr. West – Clearly. I don’t know whether you were the auditor or not.
Mr. Jordinson – I am not here to defend anyone, but to protect the ratepayers. (Hear, hear). I know nothing about the transactions.
Mr. West remarked that past audits had not protected the ratepayers, and they wanted some guarantee that the laxity and the irregularities would not continue.
Mr. Jordinson reminded them of the affairs some years ago, adding that now they would understand the object of surcharging some members with £3000. If that surcharge had not been made, instead of there being £300 or £400 in question to-day, it would probably have been a great deal more.
Mr. West said that was not doubt true, and it showed the incapacity of the present representatives to understand the affairs of the Council. He hope that those members who had been surcharged would be made to pay, and not all that burden to fall on the ratepayers.
Mr. Jordinson replied that that was a matter that had gone for appeal to the Local Government Board. He might say that £300 or £400 of that money had been collected by or on behalf of Mr. Danger, and had not been accounted for. He had, however not made up the accounts on that head, and at present he was not disposed to deal with by surcharge.
Mr. West – With regard to the authorities not having obtained the necessary securities on the appointment of
Mr. Danger, any loss that the district may sustain for the want of that security, will be surcharged on members of that day?
Mr. Jordinson said that would require further consideration, as to the legal liabilities for those members.
In reply to further questions, Mr. Jordinson said that any ratepayer could see the books of the Council, at reasonable hours, prior to the audit.
Councillor W.F. Lee asked of the council were to decide to hold a public inquiry, would they have power to do it, and would it be satisfactory? He meant an inquiry into the administration of the affairs of the district, and the way in which the financial business had been conducted. If a witness could not be placed on oath, such an inquiry of course would be a farce.
Mr. Jordinson said that the council had full power over its officers. Do you propose to bring some outsider to inquire into the administration of the affairs of the council?
Councillor Lee was ware that the council had power over its offices, but he referred to an inquiry touching officials and members of the council.
Mr. Jordinson said that the Local Government Board could not hold the inquiry, and if one was held it would have to be by the council.
Mr. Bullock – Would the council ne in form in employing a firm of chartered accountants to go through the books?
Mr. Jordinson – No, they would not.
Mr. Bullock – Then we are absolutely at the mercy...
Mr. Jordinson – I don’t understand your being “at the mercy”. Come into my room, and point anything that is wrong, and don’t stay here making silly speeches.
Mr. Jordinson then proceeded to the committee room, and resumed the audit.
Meeting At The Council
Proposed Criminal Proceedings Against Mr. Danger
Friday, 8th October, 1897
At the usual meeting of the Wallasey District Council, last evening, Mr. R.R. Greene presiding.
Mr. Dunn moved the confirmation of the proceedings of the finance committee, and stated that the acting solicitor to the board had been instructed to take proceedings by writs against Mr. Danger and his Liverpool firm. The writs had been issued, but they were probably not served. He was going to ask the solicitor to alter the amounts upon these writs, because he (Mr. Dunn) had a statement made out by the auditor that day which contained the amount Mr. Danger had been surcharged up to date, and which reached a total of £1926 5s. 11d. This amount they had lost more or less owing to a defective system, and a recommendation had been approved by the committee by which in future moneys would be paid into certain specified funds. In the light if what had happened, he thought every one would agree that was a very necessary resolution to pass. It was the system they had adopted since he became chairman of the committee, and it was one that in the future all chairman should be bound to carry out. He trusted, although, at the meeting of the finance committee, the resolution had only been passed by the casting vote of the chairman, that it would not now be disturbed by the council. He next referred to a recommendation of the committee, That in future all payments to be passed by the committee as payments on account of legal, parliamentary, and compensation claims, to be described in a separate minute, and not grouped in the list with others, and that all payments made, and until the closed accounts therefore are sanctioned by the committee, he entered into a suspense account”.
Mr. Steel seconded the confirmation of the proceedings.
Mr. Hill remarked that although the writs were altered, he was afraid there was no-one in the office of Danger and Son upon whom to serve them. The office had been closed.
Mr. Storey inquired why steps should not be taken for the issue of a warrant against their late clerk?
Mr. Steel – That is a question for our acting solicitor.
Mr. Dunn said the auditor had some time ago urged them to take criminal proceedings. He (Mr. Dunn) had asked his opinion that morning as to whether or not he would make some representation on the subject, and he replied that he would like to do so, but he did not think it quite came within his province to instruct them. At the same time, if they were willing to take the risk of the costs of criminal proceedings, he (the auditor) thought they would be perfectly justified in doing so, and that he would be perfectly justified in doing so, and that he would recommend it. (Applause).
Mr. Ellery said that if their solicitor advised they were in a position to take proceedings, by all means let them do so, and bring Mr. Danger to the bar of justice.
Mr. Hull said that when the auditor first suggested criminal proceedings he ventured no differ from him. But the position had altered a little since then, because they had the evidence in respect to the case of the Cascapedia that a cheque was received by Danger and Son, who, after taking a sum agreed upon for costs, sent a cheque for £250 to Mr. Danger as clerk to the council. They also knew that that cheque was immediately passed into the private banking account of Mr. Danger, and, therefore, so far as regarded the materials on which a prosecution could be taken, those materials now existed.
Mr. Blakeley thought they ought to institute criminal proceedings.
Mr. Scott said they should not stop to think whether good would come of the prosecution, but they should ask themselves what use was the right course to take.
Mr. Paxton was of the opinion that they would be placing themselves in a peculiar position, first by taking civil proceedings against a man, and then instituting criminal proceedings. He suggested that the facts be referred to the Treasury, to whom the decision should be left.
Mr. Dunn said it would be more desirable that the Treasury should take proceedings, but they had no reason to suppose that the Treasury would take action. The council had started with civil proceedings, but they had now got such information with regard to the salvage receivers for the service to the Cascapedia as would justify them in taking criminal proceedings. He thought they would get no money from Mr. Danger or from Danger and Son. If they found a clerk in the office would not hesitate in issuing a warrant, and in the case of the lawyer delinquent they ought not to hesitate a moment in doing their duty. If it was found that the Treasury be applied to, and in the event of the Treasury declining to take action that the solicitor be instructed to take the necessary proceedings against Mr. Danger.
Mr. Storey seconded.
Mr. Hull, in reply to Mr. Dunn, said that the Treasury would probably take some time in replying to a request to take proceedings, as they would have to inquire into the matter.
Mr. Dunn asked the advice of the solicitor in the matter.
Mr. Hull replied that the matter rested with the council, and his duty was merely to advise them whether Mr. Danger had come within the pale of the criminal law.
Mr. Dunn then withdrew his resolution in favour of a motion that criminal proceedings be take without consulting the treasury.
Mr. Storey seconded.
Mr. Hull suggested that they might give him full power to act under the advice of counsel. At the request of the chairman, Mr. Hull then drafted the following resolution :- “That Mr. Hull be instructed to take the opinion of counsel as to whether criminal proceedings should be taken against Mr. Danger, and that in the event of his so advising, Mr. Hull be authorised to proceed on behalf of the council”.
This resolution was then put to the meeting and agreed to unanimously.
Sr. Napier moved – “That the best thanks od this council be and are hereby accorded to Mr. Joyce and Mr. Dunn for the valuable services, in the matter of the irregularities of the late clerk”.
The resolution was carried.
Shortly after midnight our representatives left the council sitting.
The Wallasey Council Meeting
Saturday, 9th October, 1897
The meeting of the Wallasey District Council which commenced on Thursday evening did not terminate until ten minutes to one on Friday morning, and during the closing stages of the meeting some extraordinary episodes were witnesses. After the resolution had been passed authorising criminal proceedings to be taken against the late clerk, Mr. W. Danger, a vote of thanks was proposed by Dr. Napier, the vice-chairman of the council, to Messrs. J. Joyce and C.G. Dunn, for the part they had taken in bringing the irregularities of the late clerk to light. This resolution was seconded by Mr. W.G. Ellery, who remarked that though he had been opposed to Mr. Joyce in many matters, he thought the gentleman deserved thanks of the council for the part he had taken in this matter – Mr. Steel opposed the resolution in a lengthy speech, but on a vote being called for the resolution was carried by 15 votes to 1, the single opponent being Mr. Steel. – the chairman (Mr. R.R. Greene), Mr. R. McGeoch and Messrs Joyce and Dunn did not vote. – Messrs Joyce and Dunn acknowledged the resolution, and each gentleman was the recipient of an ovation from the crowd of ratepayers, who had gathered in the room, and who had become worked up to a pitch of excitement in which the ruling of the chair was totally disregarded.
The chairman’s communications included a memorial, signed by about 130 ratepayers. The memorial, which was read, stated that the signatories were dissatisfied with the manner in which the affairs of the council were conducted, and requested that a public meeting of ratepayers should be called, when be submitted in those members whose conduct and votes were alleged to have been prejudiced to the ratepayers’ interests.
The chairman said he was advised by Mr. Hull, their solicitor, that he had no power to call a public meeting, and suggested there was nothing to prevent those ratepayers who desired it from calling a meeting themselves. The business of the council was then brought to a conclusion, and the most extraordinary meeting in the annals of the local governing body terminated at a few minutes to one, after sitting of 7½ hours.
On emerging from the building an extraordinary scene took place in Church Street, near the steps of the Public offices. The crowd of ratepayers awaited the exit of the various members, and Messrs. Joyce and Dunn appeared they were greeted with cheers and the singing of “For they are jolly good fellows”. Mr. Steel, on appearing, was greeted with shouts of derision and groans, together with cries of “resign” and other uncomplimentary exclamations, which did not cease until Mr. Steel entered a brougham with Messrs. Greene and Ellery and drove off.
The Wallasey Scandal
Committal Order Against Mr. Danger
Thursday, 14th October, 1897
At the Wallasey Police Court yesterday, before Messrs. T.R. Bully and R. W. Preston, an application was made by Mr. Arnold W. Cleaver for an order for committal in the case of the recent proceedings against Mr. W. Danger, late clerk and solicitor to the Wallasey District Council. Mr. Cleaver said that on the 22nd September last two summonses were heard in that court in which William Danger was charged, at the instance of Mr. C.F Jordinson, Local Government Auditor, in respect of offences against the Public Health Act – one for non-attendance at the audit of the district council accounts, and the other for the non-production of documents. The result was that a penalty of 20s. and costs were imposed on each charge. He understood there was no goods on which to levy, and he therefore asked for a committal. Evidence was given by Sergeant Swords to the effect that the house until recently occupied by Mr. Danger was not untenanted. The bench made an order for committal for 14 days in each case.
New Brighton Ratepayer's Meeting
Wednesday, 17th November, 1897
Under the auspices of the New Brighton and Upper Brighton Ratepayers’ Association, a meeting was held last evening in the Albert Hall, New Brighton, “to consider the administration of the affairs of the district”. Mr. S. R. Liversage (chairman of the association) presided, and there was a crowded attendance, which included a number of members of the Wallasey District Council. Mr. Joseph West proposed : That the meeting of ratepayers of New Brighton and Upper Brighton Ward views with indignation and regret the recent scandalous disclosure in regard to the public affairs of the district, and express its strong disapproval of the conduct of certain members of the council as being inimical to the best interests of the ratepayers”. In moving the resolution Mr. West reviewed at considerable length the conduct of Wallasey public affairs since the appointment of Mr. W. Danger, the late clerk, in 1891, and strongly condemned the neglect and apathy of the members of the council, which had allowed the malpractices of the clerk to begin and continue until they could no longer be hidden. Alluding to the practice of Mr. Danger drawing money by slips, he said that in that respect even Messrs. Joyce and Dunn were to be blamed, but the point he made in their favour was that, finding they made a mistake, they set their shoulders to the wheel immediately, and in the most persistent manner determined to follow up their suspicions until they arrived at a proper conclusion. (Applause). He contended that throughout the preliminary investigations Mr. Steel’s attitude had been obstructive, and that his conduct as a public representative had been most reprehensible. As regarded Mr. Green, he had been, in his opinion, a disastrous failure as chairman of the district council. (“No”, and applause). With respect to the laying of the Leasowe gas man, he was not going to impute an impure motive to Mr. W.G. Ellery in that matter, but he did say that, even if it had not been the practice to consult the committee as to the laying of new gas mains, this should have been the one occasion when the committee should have been informed of the laying of this particular main, seeing that Mr. Ellery was chairman of the gas committee. He also condemned the neglect of the council in not providing a guarantee for Mr. Danger at the time of his appointment — Mr. E.C. Gaskill seconded the resolution – Mr Gibbons, in supporting the resolution, complained of the alarming increase in the lighting account of the Wallasey Ferries. In 1896 the accounts for the six months ending September 30th amounted to £235 3s 11d.. while for the six months ending September this year the amount was £159 9s. 11d. for gas and £497 6s. 2d for electricity – a total of £652. 16s. 1d (A voice : “well spent”). Well, for his part, he thought there was a little bit of pocketing somewhere. (Applause). He thought it was time they turned out not one, two, or three, but the whole lot. (Applause and laughter) – Mr. J.D. Cockerton also supported the resolution.
Mr. W. Peskett moved as an amendment “That this meeting views with indignation and regret the recent scandalous disclosure in regard to public affairs of the district, but is of opinion that our representative have acted in good faith throughout the important business”. He said that if this matter about the clerk had not taken place all of them at that meeting would have been perfectly satisfied with their representatives. (“Oh”). His amendment expressed the belief that whatever their representatives had done was done in good faith. (“No, no” and applause). Their representatives had made mistakes, but what one of them was there who did not make a mistake at times? (A voice : “You are making a mistake”). He believed the initial mistake was in the manner in which Mr. Joyce had brought these matters forward. He believed that if Mr, Joyce, knowing what he knew, had asked a number of colleagues to meet to confer about these things, instead of springing them piecemeal upon the members of the council, who did not know what Mr. Joyce did, that acrimony and that terrible amount of contention which had taken place, and which was a positive disgrace to them – (applause) – would not have taken place. He was of opinion that Mr. Steel and the other gentlemen who acted against him were firmly convinced of the integrity of Mr. Danger (“Oh”), These gentlemen were standing by Mr. Danger because they believed in him. (A voice : “They were in the swim, perhaps,” and uproar). That was the mistake they sometimes made in making these innuendos. It was unworthy of them, as thoughtful men and women, to throw aspersions of that character unless they could get proof, and he believed those gentlemen had such faith in Mr. Danger up to a certain time that they stood by him, just as those present stand by a person they thought was being prosecuted. – Mr. Draper seconded the amendment.—After some further discussion the amendment was put to the vote and lost, and the resolution was subsequently carried by a large majority. – A resolution was afterwards carried protesting against the borrowing of money for gas extensions at the present time.
Wallasey Council And The Late Clerk
Thursday, 17th November, 1897
The Wallasey District Council have initiated bankruptcy proceedings against Mr. Danger, their late clerk. The warrant which was issued against Mr. Danger sometime ago has not yet been executed, and, of course, the bankruptcy court officials have been unable to serve him personally with the necessary formal notices. The notices, however, have been posted on the door of his late residence in Penkett Road, Liscard, which is at present untenanted.
Sequel To The Wallasey Scandal
Thursday, 18th November, 1897
At the Liverpool Bankruptcy Court yesterday, a receiving order was granted by Mr. Registrar Bellringer against William Landale Danger, lately residing with his father at “Mornington”. Penkett Road, Liscard, and carrying on business alone as a solicitor under the style of Danger and Son, at Central Buildings, 41, North John Street, Liverpool. The order was made on a petition presented by the Wallasey Urban District Council, whose claim against the debtor is for £350 16s. 8d., the amount of certain private improvement expenses received by Danger and Son at various dates between 1894 and 1897, for and on behalf of the council, and not accounted for to them. There was no appearance wither by or on behalf of the debtor, whose present address, it was stated, was unknown. The debtor is the eldest son of Mr. William Danger, who up till recently was solicitor and clerk to the Wallasey Urban District Council. Messrs Stone, Fletcher, and Hull, solicitors, represented the petitioning creditors.