Conisbrough’s Application for Urban Powers – Second Day’s Proceedings.

February 1899

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 24 February 1899

The Local Government Inquiry at Conisborough.

Second Day’s Proceedings.

Mr. Herbert H. Law, Local Government Board Inspector, resumed his inquiry yesterday morning, at Conisborough, into the appeal against the order of the County Council forming parish of Conisborough, the township and part of the parish of Cadeby, into an urban district.

Mr. Wedderburn, Q.C. (instructed by Messrs. Broomhead, Wightman, and Moore, Sheffield), again appeared in support appeal for the Denaby Parish Council; Mr. Spencer Bower represented the Colliery Company; Mr. Bairstow appeared for the Rural District Council; Mr. H. H. Hickmott, Rotherham, was present for the Great Central Railway Company, the South Yorkshire Navigation Company, several ratepayers in the rural part of Conisborough, ratepayers in Conisborough, and also for the Cadeby Parish; Mr. Edmondson watched the proceedings on behalf of Mrs. Copley, a large property owner Cadeby; Mr. Waugh, barrister, Bradford (instructed by Messrs. Alderson, Son, and Dust, Sheffield), appeared on behalf the Conisborough Parish Council ; Mr. Parker Rhodes, solicitor, Rotherham, appeared on behalf Mr. J. S. H. Fullerton, J.P.; and Mr. Newstead represented Lord Scarborough.

Mr. Wedderburn, Q.C., resumed his case for Denaby Parish Council.

Mr. W. H. Smith, chartered accountant, Sheffield, stated he had carefully examined the rate books of Denaby, Conisborough, and he had also taken a census of the population of the greater portion of the three parishes. He also examined the books of colliery company to get at their position ratepayers. His statement showed that Denaby consists 1,057 acres; Conisborough, 4,154 acres; and Cadeby, 1,092 acres. The rates levied in the three parishes wore—Conisborough, 5s.; Denaby 3s. 2d. ; and Cadeby, 2s. 6d. In Denaby Main the colliery company were rated on an amount equal to 75 per cent, of whole ratable value; in Conisborough, an amount equal to 35 per cent, on the whole ratable value; and in on an amount equal 61 per cent. In Cadeby the railway company and navigation company paid rates equal to 24 per cent, of the net ratable value, and the ratepayers who opposed paid 85 per cent, the whole not ratable value of the property.

Mr. Thomas Weston, landlord the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, gave evidence on behalf of the Parish Council.

Mr Spencer Bower then resumed the case for colliery company.

Mr. W. H. Chambers, manager of the colliery, said the water arrangements had cost them £7,000, and the sewage arrangements between £3,000 and £4,000. He spoke of what, the company had done for Denaby in the past the nature of providing schools, institute, etc., and said land had been given for burial ground for persons of all denominations. The company intended to provide additional play-ground for children, and to enlarge the institute, but if this order was confirmed they would probably not proceed with these alterations, they could not afford to pay increased rates, and do as they had done before. The company were quite prepared to supply Conisborough with water on most favourable terms.

In reply to Mr. Parker Rhodes, witness said company leased great deal of land from Mr. J. S. H. Fullerton. When the joint sewage scheme was adopted, Denaby were saddled with the greater part of the cost, although they objected to the scheme.

Mr. Spencer Bower said their objection to the scheme was that there was community of interest between the persons in the different parishes. They also considered the scheme rankly unjust principle and in detail, and it ought not to he.

Mr. Parker Rhodes, on behalf of Mr. J. S. H. Fullerton, said if the proposal was one that was likely to benefit the population, he would gladly support it, but in his judgment, the proposal was not one that would in any way tend to the advantage of those who dwell the township. Nothing could given that they did not already possess. They had a good supply of water. They protested against sewage scheme. Denaby suggested that it would not work, hut they were not listened to, and the scheme was approved. Then the apportionment of the cost was fixed the ratable value, and not on the population or number of houses to serve the scheme. Denaby, therefore, were saddled with cost equal to £1 per bead of the population, whilst Conisborough escaped cost of 5s. per head, which was cruel injustice to the township Denaby. His client could not see that any benefits would ensue being joined with Conisborough. The rate would highered, but that would not so minded if some benefits were to be returned.

The case for the Rural District Council was then proceeded with. Dr. Mitchell Wilson, Medical Officer to the rural district, stated that the death-rate in Conisborough in 1888 was 20.9 per 1,000; and in 1898, 19.7 per 1,000. In the Denaby Parish the death-rate 1897 was 17.8, and in 1898, 16.5 per 1.000. The infantile mortality in for 1893 was 218, and in Denaby 135. The infantile mortality was very unsatisfactory, but did not attribute it to insanitary conditions could not say that the sanitary conditions of either of the districts were perfect, but the Rural District Council were doing all they possibly could. They had had efficient hospital accommodation since 1892.

Mr. C. Barras, Sanitary Inspector, also gave evidence for the Rural District Counoil.

Mr. Bairstow, on behalf of the Doncaster Rural District Council, said they objected entirely to the decision the County Council. There was very little love between the people in Conisborough and the people in Denahy, and if the order was confirmed he did not think there was any chance of them working amicably together. There was no evidence as to neglect by the Doncaster Rural District Council. If there was any defect in the sewage works it was not their fault, and it owing the Council listening to the wishes the local people more than ought to have done.

Mr. Edmondson, behalf Mrs. Copley, wished strongly oppose scheme, which had been forced on Cadeby, which he did mostly on financial grounds. County Council granting the scheme had shown absence knowledge, and they had certainly shown want justice. There was no community of interest whatever. Conisborough were overburdened with debt: they had a defective sewerage scheme which cost £8,000, and they now wanted to get hold of Cadeby—or the valuable part of it to help them to get out of their difficulty. The people of were quite willing to allow themselves to be governed by the Doncaster authority.

Captain Savile gave evidence in support of the opposition from Cadeby.

Mr Banks, mining engineer, said he was perfectly well acquainted with the mining estate at Cadeby. At Cadeby there was a Barnsley bed of coal 9 ft. thick. He estimated that there were 146,000,000 tons of coal, that could be worked from Cadeby pit. He estimated that if Cadeby were joined to Conisborough the rates paid on the several properties in Conisborough would be £2.254 per year for 192 years. If they remained Doncaster rural district rates would be £1,426 per year, or £828 less than if they wore joined to Conisborough.

Mr Hickmott opposed, on behalf of some ratepayers at Conisborough Parks, who wore two miles away from the highway in the parish of Conisborough, and who had no direct entrance to Conisborough, unless they travelled four miles. They objected the ground that although they would be called upon to pay an increased rate, there would be nothing in return. The Great Central Railway Company and the Cadeby Parish meeting also objected on the same grounds. The railway company were the largest ratepayers in Cadeby, after the colliery company, and they strongly objected to the scheme.

Mr Newstead said if it was a question of Inspector confirming or refusing the order, he would not interfere, but if it was question for modification, he, behalf of Lord Yarborough, would like suggest that the Conisborough Parks should be left out of the district.

Mr. Crabtree, borough surveyor of Doncaster, on behalf of that Corporation, appeared to support the scheme.

Mr Dixon, on behalf of the County Council, proceeded to give the reasons of the County Council in granting the order for urban powers. They considered it reasonable and just order, and they did not think it ought to be upset.

Charles Holmes, chairman of Conisborough Parish Council, was called in support of the confirmation of the order, and it was decided to resume the inquiry to-day