Mexborough and Swinton Times, November 29, 1919
Mr Spencer Baker.
The Working Class Attitude
Mr Spencer Baker, addressing the commissioners for the Conisbrough and Denaby Labour Party, said he represented the working people of the locality, who were something like 95% of the population. They were the people who inhabited these houses with a privvy middens, which suffer from defective sanitation and street lighting, from the absence of public baths and wash houses and the other amenities of civilised life.
They saw that the people in the neighbouring Urban district had a higher standard of life, and, rightly or wrongly, they attributed the difference to the fact that Denaby and Conisbrough were governed by the Doncaster Rural District Council.
They felt that under the present system they have no voice in the government as the district in which they live, and they felt that if they had their own authority, with say 15 persons directly representing them, improvement in their conditions would inevitably follow. Certainly the rates would go; they admitted that without a blush. Rates were going up everywhere, and would not be brought down again until the sovereign was at its pre war value.
The opposition of the Doncaster Rural District Council was mainly to the proposal to take the Cadeby Colliery “plum” into the new district. Were they entitled to it? He supposed the Colliery Company contributed not less than £5000 a year to the Doncaster Rural District Councils rates. Did the Doncaster Rural District Council gives the district £5000 worth of Administration in return?
On the other hand, the proximity of the Cadeby colliery imposed serious public burdens on that population of Denaby and Conisbrough. His clients had not gone into the financial question very deeply. They rather stood on a question of principle, that the people who´ll resided in this industrial area were entitled to self-government.