Urban Powers – 10 Mr W.L. Worsley – A ‘Poo-Bah”

November 1919

Mexborough and Swinton Times, November 29, 1919

Mr W.L. Worsley

Denaby Difficulties.

Mr William Leonard Worsley, 37, Annerley Street, Denaby, said he was secretary of the Denaby and Cadeby Main Home Carting Committee, and until last year was president for 18 months of the Denaby Main branch of the Yorkshire Miners Association. He had lived in Denaby 12 years, represented that parish on the Rural District Council. He was also a member of the Parochial Committee.

He was for some time, secretary of the subcommittee of the Food Control Committee.this soup committee had to be formed because of the dissatisfaction in the district about food conditions. The miners paid him to look after their interests that respect, and after a local organisation was set up, the queues, which had been very bad were abolished. There was also a necessity for a local War Pensions Committee.


Mr W. Vibart Dixon: This application would not affect that question at all.

Questioned about the Denaby Parish Council, Mr Worsley said he had never known when their meetings were held. The Parish Council was always elected by a show of hands.

Mr Baker: What is the constitution of that Council? – Well, so far as I know, Mr W.A.Chambers, Mr H.W.Smith, Mr J.Engeldow –

The Chairman: is that necessary?

Mr Willey: He will be producing their birth certificates next.

Mr Worsley further said he was a member of the Denaby Corporative Society, which Mr Chambers was chairman. He only knew two members of the committee were not colliery officials.

The Denaby Parish Council.

Mr Talbot: do I understand you that the Denaby Main people don´t get on with a parish Council? – I mean to say they, that the whole time I been in Denaby. I have never known a poll.

Why is that? Take you. You are a very active gentleman, and no doubt a very able one. Why have you never got on to the parish council? – Because the occasion has never arisen yet.

Have you tried? – You never know when the parish meeting is held.

That shows a rather lukewarm interest in local affairs, doesn´t it? – Well, it does in a way. But if I knew when the parish meeting was held. I should try and attend and take an interest in the affairs of the parish. From what I learned, they hold the parish meetings when necessary, though not regularly.

You want urban powers because you think this district cannot go on indefinitely being administered as part of a rural district?- I think we should get a better administration.

You think, Denaby and Conisbrough are places of the same character? – I think Denaby and Conisbrough combine would carry on better from a public health point of view than at present.

A “Pooh-Bah”

Mr Willey: I notice that you have been a very busy man. You have been a sort of “Pooh-Bah.” You have been nearly everything, taken a deep interest in everything, but the very thing you are complaining about. You have never taken an interest in at all. You have never been to a parish meeting in 12 years.

Mr Worsley: I have had too much to do.

Mr Willey: You have had too much to do? I should think you have! You have had at least 11 appointments. (Laughter.)

How did you come to accept so glibly the statement that the election is done by show of hands?- at the last meeting. One of my colleagues told me what happened. I was one of the nominations.

Oh I see.you were a defeated, disappointed candidates? (Laughter.)

Mr Neal: was some others have been that, Mr Willey. (Laughter.)

Mr Willey: I know I have. Eight times. (laughter.) do you mean to say, Mr Worsley, that you were a candidate for election to a public body the constitution of which and the work of which you know nothing about? No wonder you didn´t get in! (Laughter.)

Mr Worsley: Business call me away on the day of the election.

Mr Willey: That is a convenient excuse for all defeated candidates (laughter.)

Questioned about the cooperative society, he said he knew that a miner named Oakley was on the committee. He did not know that the society intended opposing this application.

Mr Willey: Why did you go to Mr Oakley and say, “look here, Oakley, call a meeting and see whether we are in favour of this thing or not?” – I did not know the Co op were taking it up.

Well, look why didn´t you go to aim and say, “what are we doing about this?” – He wouldn´t have told me.

You have no trust in your representatives? – No, I haven´t.


The Cost of Utopia.

Have you considered what the cost of this utopia is going to be? Of course, that does not matter to you people.

Mr Worsley: I´ve left that to my colleagues.

You have not taken the trouble to understand the financial part of it? – No.

Supposing this scheme means new offices, new officials, and so forth, costing at least £1500 a year? Would that affect your judgement? I should look twice before I leaped once.

As it is you only once before you look twice? – Oh no, I have studied this matter from several points of view, but particularly from the public point of view.

The Desertion Of Old Denaby.

Cross-examined by Mr Marshall, Mr Worsley they said that generally the Rural District Council, had accepted the recommendations of the parochial committee, but there were some outstanding matters and complaints, such as the lighting of Denaby Main, lack of water for individual houses. (Some of their being without as long as nine months) and the privy middens. When they adopt the resolution about conversion they had only a rough estimate of the cost, without any detail. It was said that it might cost the owners £40,000.

Mr Marshall: well, then, do you object to any thinking man saying, “no, we will have none of this until we get the detail?” – No, not personally.

To me as clerk to the authority, saying, “I must have the detail before I can apply for the Lord”? – I quite agree with you.

Mr Butterley: If you take out the plum of Denaby, have you ever thought of the poor mortals left out of your scheme, and increase rate they would have to pay? – If it had not been for the low rate the pit would not have been sunk there.

Have you thought about these people at Old Denaby, left on farms an agricultural land? – I thought more about the population.

You thought of your own district and disregarded this big rural area? – I think the say about this district as they do about theirs.


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