Mexborough & Swinton Times December 11, 1925
A Row over a Circular.
More About Buses.
Complaint Against Barnsley Traction Company.
The Conisborough Urban Council spent the bulk of a long sitting on Wednesday night in venting the opinions of a government circular, and in discussing the problem of making bus proprietors comply with their ideas of public safety and convenience.
Mr. J. Shelton presided.
The clerk (Mr Spencer Baker) announced that the amount still to be recovered on account of general district rate this half year was £10,149, and there was yet £759 to collect another accounts.
On the other hand, the council is spending large sums in improvements. The accounts passed for payment on Wednesday evening made a total of over £20,000. Mortgage loans for houses in a further sum of £14,615 is being paid to the Conisborough Housing Association.
This Strike Emergency Circular.
A memorandum from the Minister of Health, referring the council to the public supplies and services during trade dispute, roused a heated discussion. The circular, issued in May, 1922, outlined a scheme for the protection of the public and the maintenance of essential services by their government in cooperation with the local authorities, during times of “national emergency,” following the Royal Proclamation, which elaborated organisation of food supplies, maintenance of power, fuel light, and the recruiting of volunteer helpers to prevent their dislocation of the services, was proposed.
Mr T. Gregory: To my mind, someone’s got the wind up. I should like to have a copy of that circular to read carefully.
Mr. A Roberts: The circular is too silly to laugh at. They are appealing to the people whom they think will be affected. I notice that the type is black – probably to represent the fascisti. I am rather surprised the type is not red, to represent the Bolsheviks, and the watermark “jix,”
Mr L. Worsley: I move it lie on the table.
Mr Gregory: I Movie it is burnt!
Mr Brocklesby deprecated those remarks, and thought a document like that should be treated with respect. It was very regrettable that the necessity for such a scheme should ever arise. It certainly seemed to be based on fear, but if it was for their protection of the community, they should consider it. Whether it was justified or not – and they could not form an opinion on that just on one reading – to a lie on the table was to treat it with contempt –
Mr Gregory: it deserves it
Mr Brocklesby: – “and I hardly think it should be treated like that. There have been troubles in the past through industrial disputes, but we have lacked any organisation like this at the beginning of the dispute. What organisation there has been to prevent starvation has been improvised on the spur of the moment. If we have further industrial difficulties in the future, I believe they will be of a very serious character – I hope I may be wrong in this, – and will require special consideration. We are at least to hold the circular in reserve for consideration in the near future.
Mr Maxfield was at a loss to know what was in the circular that required their attention.
Mr Roberts: it is “Jix,”
Mr Gregory: Another Red Letter.
Mr Brocklesby moved an amendment that each member of the council have a copy of the memorandum and circular, and that the matter be considered at their next meeting. He moved that “from a sense of duty.”
It was not a matter of being in sympathy with the Conservative government or of opposing Labour. The trouble was that the parties concerned directly in industrial disputes were not the ones who suffered most. The public, and particularly the woman and children, were the ones who suffered. It was usually a question to them of starvation or otherwise.
Mr Webster seconded the amendment. He said they had had experience of trying to form emergency organisations in other industrial stoppages, and next time they ought to be ready.
Mr Gregory said he could not see why the Council should be tools of the capitalist party to break strikes. They did not start the business. That circular was an appeal to them to act against their fellows when they were fighting for the very lives. Mrs Kaye claimed she had probably had more experience of strikes and anyone else present. And she had longed to see the day when “such barbaric methods” might cease. (Mr Brocklesby: hear, hear) but that circular was a menace. If it did not create class warfare, she knew of nothing that would.
A vote on Mr Worsley’s motion that there circular lie on the table was carried, on the casting vote of the chairman.
The Raid on the Road Fund.
Another discussion with a political flavour arose out of a recommendation of the sanitary and highways committee and a comment from the chairman of that committee, Mr Brocklesby. The committee had received a letter from The Institution of Municipal and County Engineers, calling attention to the proposal of the Chancellor of the exchequer to utilise money from the road fund other purposes, and the committee recommended that the member of Parliament for their constituency be requested to oppose the action.
Mr Brocklesby, moving the adoption of his committee’s recommendations, said there were some £17 million in the fund, and a few of them thought it would be useful to redeem Imperial taxation with some of that large sum.
“But there were a number of motorists, and they were supported by the disinterested Labour Party – (laughter) and they carried their point, as stated in the minute.”
Threat To Ratepayers.
Mr A. Roberts took up this last remark of Mr Brocklesby’s. Had the Labour Party been controlling that fund. He declared, there would not have been big surplus in it, for they would by now have used it for improvements. The only pleasure local authorities got out of the fund was the collection of it!
It’s administration was in the hands of the Minister of Transport. In spite of various protests – their own among them – the government insisted on going on with their contributory pension scheme, by means of which they inflicted a further burden of 7 pounds to £10 a year on the class least able to bear it; while in his budget their Chancellor had relieved the wealthy of £40 millions of taxation.
It seems strange that now he wanted to take £17 million out of the road fund to meet its liabilities. Looking at the position broadly, they could see running through all the work of the Cabinet the spirit exemplified in that “O.M.S.” Circular. Examine the effects of the road fund. They were fortunate in that district, but they had a duty to other districts which were suffering from depression due to the war, and whose rates were very high as a result. The tremendous increase of contributing to the upkeep of essential services by local rates during recent years suggested that the ratepayers should have more assistance from national funds.
Further, it was demonstrable that industry suffered more from a higher rating than from high taxation, which was another reason why the road fund should be used for the purpose for which it was instituted. The great increase of motor traffic demanded great improvements in their highways and more highways, but if the road fund was diverted to other uses, the local authorities would not be able to find the money necessary for such improvements and additions: thus the motor traffic would be checked and the results would be found in depression in the motor industry and increased unemployment. He felt the committee had done quite right in taking the attitude towards the Chancellor’s proposal.
The recommendations were adopted.
Bus Traffic: Chaotic Running.
Another recommendation of the sanitary and highways committee was that the Barnsley and District traction Company should be written to and asked to supply a copy of their new timetable for the Barnsley-Mexborough-Doncaster route, as arranged by agreement with the council.
Mr Roberts alleged that the Barnsley company were taking no notice of the agreement made between the council and the company, and Mr John Guest for the arrangement of the Mexborough-Doncaster services throughout Conisborough at convenient intervals. He understood that the company had stated they were not going to abide by the agreement. What was the good of the council spending their time on the matter if the request were to be openly flouted? Had the council any power over the company or not? They were not keeping to the arrangements made about extra services on Saturday.
The chairman said the council agreed to the duplication of the service on Saturdays. Mr Roberts said they were not doing that. The agreement was not being carried out in the spirit intended by the council. They had had a complaint from the Mexborough and Swinton Tramway company about it. From the Star hotel to Waterdale the Barnsley bus was taking 25 minutes; from Waterdale to the Star hotel it was taking 20 minutes, and then arriving at the Station Hotel so as to run on from there to Toll bar just ahead of the trackless trolley car. The chairman said they had suggested installing time recorders at certain points and withholding licences from the vehicles if the timetable was not adhered to.
Mr Brocklesby said they had not much power beyond that of withholding their licences, and if they did that the company would appeal to the minister of transport, and they could not tell what his decision would be. The council had acted quite impartially to try to make up the differences between the rival services, and at the same time to attend to the needs of the public. They had so arranged the services that on the days when extra services was run there was a regular 7 ½ minute service to Doncaster and Mexborough. But it had not worked out like that. What really happened was that they usually found two buses belonging to the same firm were actually competing with one another through a misunderstanding! It was certainly a nuisance if one just missed two buses running practically together and then had to wait 20 minutes for the next. They must take what steps were possible to improve the position.
The Level Crossing “Hold Up.”
Mr Roberts also referred to the time lost at the Denaby level crossing. On a recent day he had taken the time, and the road was closed by the crossing gates for 11 minutes. He should think the train had barely left Doncaster when the gates were closed! On busy days when there were extra bus services, that was bound to mean an accumulation of buses at one spot, which they were trying to avoid. On two other occasions the gates had been closed for nine minutes, and on another for 10 minutes. He did not think that was accidental. He believed there was an alternately emotive, to inconvenience bus using public. He moved that they write to the L.N.E Railway Company, protesting against this unnecessary loss of time at the crossing. Mr. Wells seconded their resolution which was carried.
There was a good deal of discussion as to what might be done to oblige the Barnsley Company to confirm to the agreement come to with the council, but it was pointed out by the officials that the Council could not now prosecute the company for running without licences when they themselves had technically issued the licences are ready! The licences were not actually issued, because they were awaiting the filling in of certain formal particulates which had to be supplied by the company.
Some members of the council wished to take drastic action, and withhold the licences, as they had been granted on condition that the company confirmed to the agreement, and then take proceedings against the company for running unregistered. Eventually the Council agreed to the Clerk’s carrying out their instruction of the Sanitary and Highways Committee and, as one member remarked “putting it as strongly as he likes.”
Mr J Guest having conformed to the agreement the clerk was instructed to let him have his licence on receipt of the registration fees.
Mr Brocklesby also emphasised this section of the Sanitary and Highways Committee’s report dealing with the report of the meat inspector (M. W. W Norwood). That report should reassure the public that no meat was being allowed to go out for sale that was not sound. In his report, Mr Norwood mentioned that there was still a good deal of private pig killing going on and not been notified according to regulations.
Moving the adoption of the minutes of their housing committee, Mr Brocklesby said they had reluctantly decided to take “rather extreme measures” against some of their tenants who were in arrears with their house rents. Several had failed to appear before the committee to offer an explanation. Against two of them they had decided to proceed through the County Court. It was a serious thing for a local authority to take action of that kind, but some of these people were practically living rent free. They had had due warning, and an opportunity of stating their position to the committee, but instead of the arrears being reduced they were increasing.
The minutes, which included announcement of the Minister of Health’s long delayed consent to the Council’s proposal to build 20 houses by direct labour, were adopted
From the Minutes.
The council have decided to ask the Minister of Health to allow them to adopt the Public Health Act 1925, an amending act which considerably extends the local authorities powers in certain directions.
Water is to be supplied to the new allotments at Denaby, at an annual charge of 3s 6d per allotment, and the water charges to allotment holders in Black Lane, Gin Close and Denaby Lane are to be reduced to that figure from February 2.
The council have agreed to the direction by the post office of a telegraph line along Clifton Hill.
An old offender.
. Joseph Hill, miner, of Denaby, failed to answer three summonses at Doncaster on Tuesday. He was summoned by the police for using obscene language: by Herber j. Boulton. Licence up there is Reresby arms on the evening of December 5. Later, more bricks were thrown onto and to collate glass windows were smashed, total amount of the damage being put at 5 pounds. Boulton saw Hale in the act of throwing a brick: hensinan went to hell, and Hill struck him in the face and ribs. With assistance, Hill was handed over to PC Taylor, PC Taylor made the complaint of the use of obscene language by Hill on the same occasion. Hill had been six times convicted of the use various offences. He was fined 1 pound for obscene language. And sent to prison for a month on each of the other counts. The terms to run consecutively.
A ton it.
Sutton hold their own at Denaby
(Denaby United one, Sutton town one).
Denaby disappointed a little on Saturday. They did play a convincing game and Sutton where their equals in every department of the game. A slice of luck and Sutton would have been the 1st to beat Denaby on their