Conisborough Housing Conditions

July 1922

Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 15

West Riding County Council.

Conisborough Housing Conditions.

The report of the Public Health and Housing Committee was presented, containing a report by the County Medical Office (Dr J.R.Kaye) for the housing and sanitary conditions of Conisborough and Denaby Main.

Mr Arthur Roberts (Conisborough), said he wished to draw the attention of the County Council to the report of the Medical Officer with regard to Conisborough, in which the figures spoke more eloquently than any words to which he could give expression.

He could say that a lot of those figures could be multiplied by three. He had an illustration only the previous Saturday, when he came across a case which had arisen since that report had been prepared. Since the time of that report also, scores of men had been set on at both pits which meant that the overcrowding, which the Medical Officer, in his report, described as terrible, had been aggravated, no houses having been built to cope with the increased number of workmen.

The particular case he had discovered was one where a married woman, with five children, a married man with a wife and one child, and another man, wife and three children were living in a four roomed house.

So far as he could understand, the ministry had scrapped the original scheme for houses, but had given sanction a few months ago for 50 houses, which, he understood, since then have been turned down.

The figures given by the County Medical Officer were appalling, but he could give them others, and he wanted to impress upon the County Council the position with regard to infantile mortality. The rate of infantile mortality in Conisborough for legitimate births, was 105.5 per thousand, and for illegitimate births 368.4 per thousand, making a general rate of 116.9 per thousand.

The rate for England and Wales was 83. Those figures, he suggested, were such that an authority like that was in no position to ignore. (Hear, hear).

The figure for the Conisborough district were, in proportion, greater than the rate of mortality from accidents in the coal mining industry and judging from that point of view, he thought they would agree that the position was an appalling one. He failed to find words sufficient to express how necessary it was that something should be done in that district.

It lacked open-space; men,womed and children were huddled together like rats in a hole, and, in that small district, there were between 700 and 800 old fashioned privy middens. One could understand what the position was going to be if there was any very hot weather in the later part of the summer.

He made an appeal to the County Council to do all it could to assist the Urban District Council of Conisborough in making application to the Ministry of Health for the continuation of its housing scheme.

The chairman complimented Mr Roberts on the moderation with which he had presented his case, and congratulated him upon his maiden speech. (Applause.)

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