Conisborough U.D.C. – Softer Water Will Cost More – Surveyor’s Salary Increase

February 1938

Mexborough and Swinton Times, February 11, 1938

Conisborough U.D.C.

Softer Water
But It Will Cost More
Surveyor’s Salary Increase

Important developments in a proposal for softening water supplied to the urban area were announced at Wednesday’s meeting of Conisborough Urban Council.

The Council have confirm recommendation of the Sanitary and Highways Committee that the. Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Ltd. be informed that the Council were prepared to purchase from them, Water reduced to 15 degrees of hardness at 10 3/4d per thousand gallons, subject to the existing agreement being altered to safeguard the Council in the matter and that the water charges now operating in the Council’s area of supply be revised.

Councillor H Gomersall, chairman: of the Sanitary and Highways _Committee, said the hardness-of Water supplied in Conisborough presented a problem which had exercised the minds of the Council for at least ten years:               For financial reasons things requiring attention  had to be spread over a period of years. The Colliery Company had made what appeared to be a quite reasonable offer, and which would confer a benefit on the whole district. For this they had to thank the company for the interest they had shown.

Question 0f Cost.

The Council, however, and to see that the burden of cost, if it was a burden, was not too high for the value received, and that it was spread evenly over the whole community.

As there were two areas of supply in the district, the softening had to be done at the source; it could be done more economically in this way because of the larger bulk to be dealt with at once. But for the fact that the Colliery Company and an existing plant that could be converted to the process, the cost would have been higher

Mr Gomersall mentioned that although the average consumption per head throughout the district was about 30 gallons a day, only a small quantity of this was required for drinking purposes. The remainder, except with, was required for external use and for domestic purposes; the hardness of the water in this respect, was of tremendous importance.

Softness needed no advocacy. For the purpose of washing, bathing, laundry work and cleaning, the water, as they obtained from the borehole, had 52° of hardness. It was one of the hardest encountered. To say that this involves the ordinary household in anything from 1s to 1s 6d a week did not exaggerate the position.

Careful Examination.

-The Council had received two, reports from the Engineer and Surveyor’ in an attempt to give the question the utmost consideration, but although the offer was reasonable, the problem did not end merely in accepting it. The financial aspect had to be examined very carefully. They had to discover if an equally ‘soft water could be obtained through any channel at a lower cost ; they had to see if, this could be obtained without cutting down their margin for future requirements.  The Council were responsible for the supply of water only to the Conisborough half of the district; the Colliery Company was responsible for supplying the Denaby’ half. Both together, they required approximately 650,000 gallons a day, while on’ top of that was a margin for future requirements of about 200,000 gallons a day. There were two sources from which a supply was available, and they had found it would be inadvisable entirely to disregard the, use of the local water, and that it was only by combining with the Colliery Company that it would be possible to give any soft water in Denaby.

The existing scale charges had been in operation since 1903, and it had long been considered obsolete. The revenue from the undertaking and not met the cost of it more than half, and had required a rate in aid of 1s 1d in the in the £. Type of outcome was approximately the same Denaby Main as it was in Conisborough. If, however, the Council had taken on this new proposition without increasing the scale of water charges, consumers in the Denaby Main area would have been paying more, in proportion than consumers in the Conisborough area, as it was obviously the Colliery Company would have to increase their water charges to their consumers in Denaby Main, just as the Council in turn would have to do in their own area.

The amount of the increase had to be determined, not only to cover the increased costs of the water in both areas, but sought to balance the charges at Denaby Main was not paying more than Conisborough. In order to do this it will be necessary to increase the water charges by approximately 75%, and this, when it was put into operation, will decrease the amount called for in the race by four points in the pound. This decrease be credited to ratepayers in both areas.

What Increase will Mean

Councillor Gomersall said so far as can be ascertained at the moment, the net increase in the Conisborough area would vary from 2 ½ to 3 d per week, and from 3d to 4d per week in the Denaby Main area, the variations depending upon the size and rateable value of the house.

This figure was arrived at after taking into account the variations and alterations in the rates. They felt that this increase was a reasonable one, considering the benefit to be derived. It would be an economical factor for every household in the long run, and would be a factor promoting health, personal and domestic cleanliness and general comfort of the inhabitants. Those people had already introduce softness would still be able to use them – at a reduced cost.

The Council had examined the problem from every possible angle and was satisfied that in taking advantage of this opportunity to make another improvement they had also dealt with the matter in a fair and equitable basis.

Salary Increase

By seven votes to 3 the Council confirmed a recommendation of the Finance Committee. that in recognition of services rendered by the Surveyor, Mr. H Thirlwall, in preparing schemes four sewage disposal works extensions at Burcroft  and Denaby Main, which, in the opinion ofi the Council, was outside the scope of his duties, he be paid £210; and further, that his present salary be increased by £120 per annum as from January 1st 1938, to April 5th, 1946. This will mean an increase  from £700 to. £820 per year.

-This matter was reported following a query by by Councillor GTE Collins as to whether the Finance Committee had any other business, to report. It appeared he said, that had it not been asked for there was .a. ‘possibility that it might not have come before the Council meeting.

Coon. D. Sheldon. (Presiding in the absence of the chairman, Councillor RJ Troughton) replied that it was an oversight on the part of the acting clerk,(Mr M.W.Baker) who was again deputising for Mr. Spencer Baker, his- father owing to his continued illness.

Conn. Collins said, they would accept it as such, but he would suggest that the matter was one which required reference back in view of the fact that it had been put through in a depleted committee. He was not anxious to go into the whole details of the question, but, he strongly objected to the recommendation and would vote against.

“I could put forward reasons why, but I’m not going to do because I think everyone is fully aware as to what is contained in that minute. I hope they will pay regard to what is intended in the minute.”

Seven voted in favour of acceptance, councillors Morgan, Collins and Jane Leatherland voting against.

Councillor Leatherland rose to speak, but was ruled out of order