Urban Powers – 04 Mr S Urch – Workers Support and the Cadeby Plum

November 1919

Mexborough and Swinton Times November 29, 1919

Mr. S.C. Urch

Worker Support

After lunch evidence was given by Mr Sylvester Charles Urch, a glass bottle worker, chairman of the Conisbrough Parish Council and a member of the Doncaster Rural District Council.

He stated that the Conisbrough Parish Council was quite unanimous in promoting the application, which was also supported by unanimous resolution from the Conisbrough branch of the Yorkshire Glass Bottle Workers Union,, the Denaby and Cadeby branches of the Yorkshire Miners Association and the Conisbrough branch of the National Workers Union. He was a member of the Parochial Committee, which had made representations to the Rural District Council that the privvy middens should be converted. He thought it was high time they were. The Rural District Council referred it back to the Committee.

Mr Neal: Now about the little bit of Cadeby. Do you consider it fair to ask any new district created to bear all the costs of supply of public services to the Denaby Compant unless the Denaby Company pay their share towards the rates?

I think it is fair that they should be included in the urban area.

Witness added that during the war the district suffered for some time because of lack of local food. Administration. People had to go to Doncaster for everything they wanted, and to have their food rationing and registration put right.. They also suffered the matter of supply, and they only obtained an improvement when a local officer was appointed, the workmen paying more than half his salary. He had not found that the attitude of the Rural District Council as a whole was favourable or helpful to Denaby and Conisbrough.

It´s Fair Share.

Mr Talbot: you do not suggest that this Colliery Company has not born its fair share of local burdens? – I do suggest that when the Cadeby pit is outside the area.

No, but hitherto? – Well, I don´t think there have done as much as they ought to have done.

They pay 28 per cent of the rates in Conisbrough, and 64% of the rates in Denaby, and they are spent large sums on houses, streets, water, and gas? – Well, they may have done, but, in the opinion of the people of this district. They are not paid what they ought to have done then.

Further questioned, Mr Urch said that in his opinion, there are always been an adequate water supply in the district.

Mr Talbot: But before 1915, when the Colliery Company made an agreement with the Doncaster Rural District Council to give an unlimited water supply, you work, so to speak, at the mercy of the Colliery Company? – Have we not always been at the mercy of the Colliery Company? Why did not the Rural Council get this contract before, if they could get it now?

In cross examination by Mr Jardine, Mr Urch said he thought the present fight was between the Rural District Council and the Conisbrough Parish Council.

Mr Urch was closely questioned by Mr Marshall on the subject of a resolution passed by the Parochial Committee, calling for a schedule of properties requiring privy conversion, and another approved plans for general convergence in Denaby Main. Mr Urch would not agree that up to 1915. The water supply was inadequate for convergence, but he should not say it was unfair for a  Denaby property owner, before being required to convert, should insist on a scheme for the whole area.

He thought considerable conversion could have taken place since 1915, if the matter had been taken up seriously. In any case. It ought to have been done long since. He agreed that between 1911 and 1915 282 middens, were converted in Denaby and Conisbrough.

The Cadeby Plum

Mr Marshall: out of your £73,000 rateable value, £18,000 belongs to the Cadeby pit. Haven´t you got sufficient with £55,000 to keep and maintain 10 miles of district road? – Well, it may be.

Why do you want to take all the plum of the rateable value? Simply because you like all you can get? – No, simply because the people who live there produce the wealth there.

I want to appeal to you as Mr. Urch, not as Chairman of the Conisbrough Parish Council. Here are my roads, surrounding Conisbrough! The take you into and out of your villagefor nothing. And here is £18,000 of rateable value, which supports those roads in the parish for which you can do nothing. Is it fair that all the rateable value should be collared? – It is not quite fair.

Mr Willey: Do I understand that the avowed object of taking Cadeby is that you are of the opinion that because the men who work there, live in your area, and have to pay their rates like anybody else, they can poach and steal a highly rated concern from the opposite side of the river, to help them to pay their rates? Is that your principle? – Not at all.

Mr Neal: if you talk about poaching and stealing, do you consider it right to judge that certain firms should make profit out of the men without providing for the means of the ordinary life of these men? – No.

 

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