Mexborough and Swinton Times November 29, 1919
Mr John Brocklesby
The Urban Powers Leader
Mr John Brocklesby said he was a member of the Conisbrough Urban Powers Committee, chairman of the Conisbrough and Denaby Parochial Committee, chairman of the Education Committee of 18 years, and overseer, a magistrate, a property owner, and lived in Conisbrough 22 years.
There had been three applications by Conisbrough for urban powers, and he noticed that each been followed by a temporary deepening of interest on the part of the Doncaster Rural District Council in the affairs of Conisbrough.
With regard to the present proposal, he emphatically thought it just to bring in the Cadeby Colliery. As an old local administrator he had found that cottage property did not pay a local authority. You had to have large industrial undertakings to contribute to the rates or you could not carry on local government.
The whole district was in a very unsatisfactory condition with regard to privvy middens, and the Parochial Committee had taken up that matter vigourously.
The Amalgamation Scheme
Mr Neal: there has been a suggestion, I think, that the Denaby district should be linked to Mexborough? – Yes
What are the Mexborough rates? – 9s 4d for the present half-year.
And 15s 10d for the year – yes
Witness added that the Mexborough amalgamation proposal I brought the Conisbrough urban powers scheme more urgently to the front. “We disapprove of being annexed to Mexborough.”
Mr Brocklesby also added that he had prepared the leaflet, which had been distributed amongst the inhabitants. In his opinion it summarise the advantages of urban powers very fairly.
Cross-examining by Mr Marshall, Mr Brocklesby said the Parochial Committee set up by the Rural District Council was certainly capable of good work.
Mr Marshall: and you think we should reach the app position we should like to see, if you do not been for them. Mexborough and Swinton amalgamation scheme? – No, I do not say that. I say that the Mexborough and Swinton proposal has quickened this movement; hastened it forward.
Further question, Mr Brocklesby said the delegation by the Rural Council of full powers to the Parochial Committee was not the same thing as the formation of an independent Urban District Council. He thought it likely that the Urban District, would be able to live on a rateable value of Â£5000, but he did not think it would be equitable to leave out the Cadeby Colliery, the occasion for the population with which the local authority had to deal.
Witness in reply to further questioned said he did not know how many Cadeby miners lived at Mexborough, and, Doncaster.
Mr Talbot: 840 at Mexborough.
Mr Marshall: do you propose to annex Mexborough and Doncaster? – Mexborough wants to annex us.
Mr Marshall: what is the difference? If these men live in Mexborough and Doncaster, why shouldnÂ´t Mexborough, and Doncaster have a part of the rateable value of the pit? – YouÂ´re getting to a fine point will stop
Is it fair that you should take the whole pit when other people of the men in their districts? – Yes.
Is it fair that you should take a small amount of the district roads and the fifth of the rateable value? – Yes, I say so.
Is it fair that the Rural Council ratepayers, farmers in villages and large parishes having large lent subdistrict roles to contribute to the roads for you to travel on without you paying anything? – Yes, we are more entitled to the Cadeby pit than the farmers of other parishes.
Mr Brocklesby added that it was true that the Cadeby remained outside the new Irving District, would get some county benefit from its rates, but that would be infinitesimal.
Turning The Tables.
Mr Marshall: you are an owner of property yourself? – Yes.
How many houses of you? – About 50
How many have privvy middens?- They all have (laughter.).
How many years is it since that yours ought to have been converted?- well, if we had had a water system at the time the houses were built, the water would have been put in.
And you tell us you have 50 houses with privy middens and none of them converted? – There have been no complaints. (Laughter). Why did you not ask me. The distance of my privy middens from the backdoor?
Ald Hartley: can you tell us whether this (referring to the lighting of the room) is a sample of Conisbrough and Denaby Main gas? (Laughter.)
Mr Talbot: if you will adjourn to Denaby Main you will see much better. (Laughter.)
Mr Willey: is this the best gas you have in Conisbrough at 6s a thousand? ArenÂ´t these the wonderful incandescent lights of Conisbrough? – I imagine that at Denaby they are using burners similar to these.
Mr Willey: I suppose the Medical Officer will tell as the effects of this stuff on us all.
Mr Brocklesby: If we get urban powers we shall improve this.
Mr Willey: But you get your gas from a private company at 6s.
Mr Brocklesby: when we get urban powers we shall have electric light. (Laughter.)
Mr Willey: if you are a Parish Council, and youÂ´re suddenly transformed into an Urban Council, there will be an automatic expansion of intelligence, brain and economy? – Yes
Are we to take it that this is a sample of the present standard of efficiency in Conisbrough?
Mr Neal: under a Rural District Council. It is the best they can do for us.
Re-examined by Mr Neal, Mr Brocklesby said he was aware that urban powers will cost you money. He was quite willing to have his privy middens converted, and would welcome a comparison withthose at Denaby Main