Local Government at Conisborough – Proposal to Form Local Board.

March 1891

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Friday 20 March 1891

Local Government at Conisborough.

Proposal to Form Local Board.

On Thursday night a meeting inhabitant, held in the Victoria Hall, Conisborough, “to consider whether it advisable to allow the Rural Sanitary Authority to expend money on public works in the parish, or undertake them on our own responsibility.”

The requisition Convening the meeting was signed Messrs. C. Kilner, B. J. Clarkson, Whitfield, E. Pagden, J. Morley, Brocklesby, H. Saville, J. K. Bateson, Thomas Booth, William Jones, B. G. K. Crowcroft, Thomas Lee, W. H. Smith, and J. Gibson whom were present.

County Councillor Watson, was present by special invitation, for the purpose of answering questions in reference the advantages or otherwise of local self-government.

Mr. J. Brocklesby, voted to the chair, and said that the question exciting the greatest interest in the township just now was the water question, concerning which be thought that the estimate of £6.000, the cost of obtaining a good supply, was too large. (Hear, hear.) In addition to this, gas and sewerage questions required immediate attention, and altogether he thought that the town was a deplorably neglected state. The stench from the brook and from the pigstyes and from the heaps of rubbish in their midst most abominable, and ought not to tolerated for one moment. (Hear, bear.)

There was some talk about economy, but “economy” was not economy which neglected duty and shirked responsibility. (Hear, bear.) were not that night going to commit themselves to local board, but they might very well ask the question, Is it advisable for the present state of things to exist?”* Perhaps Mr. Watson would address meeting?

Mr. Crowcroft: what has Mr. Watson, of Mexborough to do with this job? Let him stop at home. (Laughter and “No.”)

Mr Whitfield: let’s hear Mr. Watson. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Crowcroft: He’s now’t do with Conisborough.

In the course of his remarks Mr. Watson said they desired to have a more direct voice in their own government, a practical step was the formation local board, and could see no alternative. Of course be admitted that it would cost them rather more with a local board than now.

Mr. H. Wilson: We should spend three times more with a local board than do now.

Mr. Crowcroft: If you have five times the benefit does that matter.

Mr. Watson: It would be your own fault if you did not get better value for your money.

Proceeding be admitted that defects local boards, but though they paid heavily at Mexborough he would not go back the state of chaos which would be ease without any elected body of management governing the place.

The population Conisborough has increased largely, and was likely to still further increase with the opening of a new colliery.

Mr. Whitfield then put a number questions to Mr. Watson, the answers to which be expressed himself satisfied with. There were gentlemen, he said, were clamouring for a local board, but did not know what it meant, but Mr Watson had made the matter very clear. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. W. H. Smith said the highways of Conisborough were fourteen miles in extent, and the main roads three or four miles. On 25 March the call on the overseers was £378. The roads in the parish cost £700 to keep in repair, and thought, that £500 or 600 were quite sufficient.

Mr. Gibson moved, and Mr. Crowcroft seconded, “That the time has now arrived when steps should be taken to form a local board to transact the future business of the parish, and to meet the growing population of Conisborough.”

It was decided, however, to adjourn the meeting and a final decision for a month.