Conisborough Council – Smallpox Epidemic – Rent Arrears – P.R.S. – Journalists

January 1927

Mexborough & Swinton Times, January 21, 1927

Conisborough Council.

Smallpox: A Complaint From Mexborough.
Hospital Conditions Criticised.
Miners’ Relief: Doncaster Guardians Condemned.

At the meeting of the Conisborough Urban Council on Wednesday, complaints of the treatment given to patients at the Conisborough Isolation Hospital and the problem of the repayment of the extraordinary expenditure of the Doncaster Guardians during the coal dispute, were among the chief matters discussed.

Rent Arrears.

At the outset, Mr. J. T. E. Collins objected to the passing of a minute concerning rent arrears.

Mr. J. Brocklesby pointed out that could not be done without a notice of motion. Mr. Collins gave notice of motion that the question of rent arrears be discussed at the next meeting of the Council.

What is ‘P.R.S’?

The Clerk read a letter from the Proportional Representation Society asking the Council to  forward to the secretary of the Royal Commission on Local government a resolution asking for the addition of proportional representation in local government elections.

Mr. Brownsword: What is proportional representation – men and women?

Mr. A. Roberts: No. It is according to weight. (Laughter).

Mr. Roberts said no party was unanimous about P.R. If people wanted a change he did not think it ought to be in that direction.

The matter was left over to be dealt with the meeting.

Journalists’ Complaint.

The South Yorkshire branch of the National Union of Journalists wrote complaining of the waste of their members’, time owing to their being in attendance from the commencement of public business at six o’clock and having to wait a considerable time.

Mr. Brocklesby said he had considerable sympathy with the complaint. He had often thought they tried the patience of the Press representatives. But they could not get through the important business of the Finance Committee in half-an-hour.

Mr. W. L. Worsley suggested they start the Finance Committee at five o’clock instead of 5-30.

Mr. Brownsword objected that that did not give members who worked in the pit sufficient time.

Mr. Brocklesby moved they start the Finance Committee meeting at 5-30, and the Council meeting at 6-30 in future.

The resolution was adopted.


Mr. Gillott asked whether there had been an improvement in the sanitary conditions of the district. He contended a good deal of the smallpox was due to insanitary conditions.

The Surveyor (Mr. H. Thirlwall) said the conditions were not responsibilities for smallpox. The sanitary conditions were slightly improved. The scavenging contractor had doubled his staff, and that itself had affected and improvement.

Referring To Smallpox.

Mr. Brocklesby said he did not want to do anything to make people ‘get the wind’. Smallpox, fortunately, had not affected their district so much as it had affected others, but the Council had decided to post notes urging vaccination and re-vaccination.

He would like the public to regard that  as the effort of a responsible authority to protect the public health.

He hoped, these who had had doubt about vaccination would now give it a trial.

The Surveyor said vaccination was the only therapeutic method of combating smallpox.

Mr. Brownsword moved that the members of the Council and the officials who believed in vaccination be vaccinated immediately, but the motion was not accepted.