1,900 Middens being Converted

July 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, July 21

Round About Conisboro´

The long talked of, and very necessary, not to say very costly work of midden conversion appears to be now in a fair way to being accomplished. It is computed that some £22,000 or thereabouts will have to be found for this work, of which the council´s contribution it is estimated will be in the region of £11,000.

The Council has decided that their share of the cost shall be borrowed, and borrowing for the purpose has, I think, decided advantages over the method which was first advocated, of paying the Council´s share of the cost of conversions out of revenue, the principal advantage being that more rapid progress can be made with the work. It is obvious, if the cost were to be paid out of the revenue, the work could not be done at a rapid rate unless the District Rate was increased very materially. As it is, if the amount borrowed is to be repaid in 10 years the annual payment in respect of principal repayment and interest will be equivalent to a rate of 6 ¼ d. in the £. But the Council will, of course, borrow for as long a period as the Ministry of Health will permit, and it is hoped that permission may be given to borrow for 20 years, which, if granted will reduce very materially the annual repayment figure, and consequently the annual amount taken for the purpose from the rates.

That the task of conversion is a very formidable one may be gathered from the fact that the number of “privies” in Denaby Main which will be converted is 436, in New Conisbrough 774, and in the old village of Conisbrough 690. Much of the work in Denaby Main and New Conisbrough, if the Ministry of Health approves, will be of the nature of re-construction. It is understood, however, that the cost to the public shall be no greater than it would be if mere conversion of the present accommodation were done. At the best each of these “privies” is, in view of the fact that we have an ample water supply and efficient sewage disposal works, an anachronism, and at the worst each is a potential menace to the health of the populace, and I think everyone will welcome the news that there is a very good prospect of their abolition

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