Conisborough’s Urban Powers Application – Conclusion of the Inquiry.

February 1899

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Saturday 25 February 1899

Conisborough’s Application for Urban Powers.

Conclusion of the Inquiry.

This inquiry into the objections against the confirmation of order of the County Council forming the parish of Conisborough, the parish of Denaby, and part of the parish Cadeby into urban district was resumed by Mr. Herbert H. Law, Local Government Board Inspector, at the Conisborough Church School, yesterday morning.

Mr. Charles Holmes, Chairman of the Conisborough Parish Council, who gave evidence in support of the confirmation of the order, was examined by Mr. Wedderburn, Q.C., on behalf the Denaby Parish Council. In answer to Mr. Spencer Bower (who appeared for the Denaby Colliery Company), witness said was possessed of sufficient public spirit to be anxious to take in the other districts, supposing conditions and rates wore reversed.

In reply to Mr. Bairstow (who appeared for the Rural District Council), witness said he believed question which had most concerned them in making their application for urban powers had been the extreme neglect of the Rural District Council.

Answering Mr. Edmondson (who represented Mrs. Copley, a large property owner in Cadeby) witness said they complained not of the inefficiency the officials, but of the Rural District Council itself,

Mr. Caleb Kilner, glass manufacturer, said 1.600 hands were employed on their firm, 500 of whom were employed Conisborough. His firm was rated at £2.000 per year. The population in Conisborough had doubled itself the last ten years, this was mainly owing to a new colliery being sunk and extensions made to their own business. There was community of interest between the Rural District Council and the parishes of Conisborough, Cadeby, and Denaby. The affairs of Conisborough and Denaby could not properly managed by the Rural District Council, and the time had arrived when they should govern themselves. He was chairman of the Burial Board when the Conisborough Churchyard was closed, which was brought about owing to the large influx of population into the district owing to the development of the colliery anti other works. The Burial Board had then provide, at considerable expense, for the wants of Conisborough. He did not think the districts could he separated, because there was such community of interest between the whole. He owned about 100 cottages, and although he already had a water supply for them, if urban powers were obtained and better water supply was got, he was quite prepared to take the better supply and abandon his own.

Replying to Mr. Wedderburn, witness contended that the reason the rates had gone up to such an extent in Conisborough was owing to the influx population brought the Colliery Company and his firm large number of the Colliery Company’s children went to the company’s school, and a large number also went to the Board Schools, which, in consequence, have had to be enlarged on two occasions.

Examined by Mr. Bairstow, witness said would not to have urban powers alone, as the districts should not be separated.

Witness, replying to Mr. Edmondson, said would say there was a community of interest between two parishes if the works were in one and the workpeople resided in the other.

Mr. Godfrey Walker. J.P. gave evidence support of the confirmation of the order. In answer to Mr. Bairstow, witness said would much better to have urban powers for the three districts than to make urban district alone.

Mr. Peter Marshall, Sheffield, gave evidence as the system of the drainage which could be carried the new urban district. He had been in the parish of Denaby and had found the roads not properly constructed, and there were four closets, one ashpit, which was not accordance with proper sanitary arrangements.

Mr. Geo. White, civil engineer, Mexborough, gave the inspector details the working of the sewage scheme at Conisborough.

The Inspector said he understood the whole the gradients were different to those in the plans passed the Local Government Board, that they had been altered accordance with the wishes the inspector.

Mr. White said that was so.

Inspector remarked that the sewers were not efficient it would have remedied by the sanitary authority.

Mr. Waugh then addressed the Inspector in support of the confirmation of the order. He remarked that was not a question for him whether sewage scheme was inefficient or not. Mr. White had been appointed the Rural District Council carry out the scheme, and not by the Parish Council, and, therefore, the Rural District Council must take the responsibilities the scheme was not success. It was admitted all hands, except by the Rural District Council, that some new form of local government was required. The Denaby Parish Council had sent in a petition to the County Council requesting that urban powers should be conferred upon them, and they were that time in favour of some other form of local government. Of course they now desired to be left alone.

The two schemes were submitted to the County Council, and after they had had the evidence in support of the schemas they decided in favour of the larger scheme. They on the ether side now said that scheme was necessary, and the best thing to would to leave them as they were at present under the Rural District Council. The colliery company also took position, suggesting that if they could not manage the urban district they did not want one at all. That district had developed so rapidly late that they held that they become separate from the Rural District Council, and the time had come when it should look after its own work. Even the Rural District Council itself had applied for urban powers for that district, and pending the result of that inquiry, they were applying for further urban powers. That fact pointed out that Denaby and Conisborough had ceased to become rural, and had become urban district. He submitted the case of Bingley, which was on similar lines to the present case. One the chief questions that determined the extent of urban district, was drainage, and that was what the County Council had taken into consideration in fixing the area. The water and sewage questions were entirely dependent on each other, and these matters were mixed between the districts in question much as they possibly could be. A great deal had been said with respect to Denaby having to pay for Conisborough getting a supply of water if the order was confirmed, when they had already a supply themselves. He always thought consumers paid for the water, and the cost would, therefore, fall the consumers, and not the inhabitants of the included districts. Mr. Waugh further argued that the parishes were so wrapped in the affairs of each other that it would impossible to separate them. The company had taken good care to build the houses in the parish where they had the least ratable value. A great deal had been said what the colliery company had done for the inhabitants, but if they had not done it, some authority would, and the company would have had to pay for it in rates. The County Council had been perfectly justified in making the order, so far was concerned, and it was idle to contend that urban powers should be given at all. With regard to Cadeby, a great and large industry had been set up there, and in order to escape paying rates, the houses for the workpeople had been erected just over the border.

In conclusion. Mr. Waugh remarked that the best thing the new cemetery could be used for would be to bury the jealousy that at present existed between the two districts and if that was done, he had no doubt it would become one of the best governed districts in Yorkshire.

Mr. Spencer Bower replied on behalf of the colliery company, and said if the order was confirmed it would mean least increase in the rates of the company of £2.000 and that would probably have to be paid by the colliers themselves. He contended that the wishes of the people should be taken into account, and they were perfectly unanimous against it.

Mr. Edmonson, on behalf of Mr’. Copley, a landowner in Cadeby and Mr Wedderburn, on behalf of the Denaby Parish Council, both replied, and the inquiry was completed.