Conisborough Council – A Rat Ridden District – “Shocking” Conditions

January 1929

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 18, 1929

Conisborough Council
A Rat Ridden District
“Shocking” Conditions

After a two hour’s wait, five pressmen and several ratepayers were admitted to the monthly meeting of the Conisborough Council on Wednesday.

Mrs E.E. Kaye presided


Mr J.I Webster objected to a minute in which allowances of five shillings were made to certain individuals when on Council business at Doncaster. He thought the bus fares were sufficient.

Mr H Gillott agreed, and thought 5s. was “devilish.” “I think this is a philanthropic society, not a Council,” he said. “These people collecting every possible penny at every possible way. I objected to the collector’s percentage on the rate collections, and I said object to this amount being paid. I ask for this minute to be referred back.”

Mr a Roberts: This cannot be referred back, but you can give notice of motion on it.

Mr Webster: Why so much red tape on this action? Better than the ruling on it.

Mr Roberts: You cannot refer this minute back. I shall not give you the reason why, you can find that out for yourself.

Mr Gillott: Well, I am getting quite a master of giving notice of motion, and I will give you one that this minute be rescinded at the next meeting.

The remainder of the minutes were passed.

Child Welfare Centre

Mr Spencer Baker stated that the maternity and child welfare centre had now been established by the West Riding County Council at the Miners Welfare Institute, Conisborough, and would be opened by Lady Mabel Smith.

Married Women Teachers

The Clerk said he had received a reply from Mr W H Jones, the Divisional Education Clerk, in which it was stated that no married teachers were on the permanent staff of the schools in their district, and those employed were temporary filling vacancies.

Valuation List

It was reported that a new valuation list had been deposited at the Council Offices, and during the next 21 days observations could be made by the public. Most of the special valuations had been received, with the result that the total was down about £1000.

Brook Square

Mr Gillott asked if some steps could be taken for the removal of traffic obstruction in Brook Square. He thought that if the Clerk asked the shopkeepers to move their cars and other vehicles further away from the shops and to ask for travellers cart and other vehicles not to block their way, the traffic problem there would be solved.

Mr Webster said the matter was one for the police and not for the Council. He not think they should waste the Clerk’s time.

Mr Gillott said some might think he was against certain people, but he was not. In his opinion the drays and cars which stood about Brook Square were an annoyance to the public. The roads were made in the days of Tom King and Dick Turpin, and if they were modernised they would not have reason for complaint.

Mr Roberts said he agreed. When the trackless cars were delayed in Brook Square, and later at the Denaby railway crossing, it caused annoyance to the passengers.

It was decided that the Clerk cured see the tradespeople in Brook Square.


Mr Gillott said the time had arrived for the erection of a mortuary and the doing away with the present shelters, which were infested with rats. In 1927 they decided that a mortuary was to be built, nothing had been done. He asked that the work be speeded up.

It was decided to press forward the matter.


Mr E Collins asked if anything had been done for the extermination of vermin in Annerley Street.

Mr Gillot: I have seen corpses which had been bitten by these rats.

Mr Collins: And I am hoping that some effort will be made to rid the township of these vermin.

The Surveyor said that when they went for them in one place the rats had sufficient sense to clear away to a fresh pot. The extermination of the pests needed careful consideration.

Mr Collins: If nothing is done quickly I shall move that we have a Rat Week.

Mr J Chadfield said that houses were honeycombed with rat runs and holes, and the tenants had to stay up at night to prevent the pests coming out. It was a shocking state of affairs.

Mr H Gomersall said it was not fair that people had to take such trouble. They must make an effort now to get rid of the vermin.

It was decided to write the county council and the Denaby and Cadeby Colliery Co on the question.


The Council deferred for further consideration a letter from the Montagu Hospital committee with respect to the provision of a Maternity Home by utilising vacant wards in that institution.

All labour required by the Council is to be obtained through the Mexborough Employment Exchange, preference to be given to persons living in Conisborough.

Application is to be made to the Ministry of Health sanction to borrow the sum of £10,000 for the erection of 22 houses and the making of streets and laying of sewers by direct labour