Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 08 February 1901
Conisborough Urban Powers Inquiry
Mr Waddy also spoke on behalf of his client, who, he said, were trustees under the will of the late Mr A Montagu, and their position and duties would be discharged in the ordinary course, in something like two years, when Mr Montague himself would enter upon his estates. Something had been said by way of criticism at a somewhat late appearance in the course of those proceedings of the Montagu trustees.
The interests of the Montagu trustees in that matter was not an inconsiderable one. They were for the time being the largest landowners in the district, having something like 350 acres which it was proposed to include in this the new urban district. The interests of the Montagu trustees were closely aligned and bound up with interest of the colliery company, against whom in one sense it might be said they appeared.
The only communication that had been addressed to the Local Government Board on behalf of the Montagu trustees, who, he believed, were the only people who had ever communicated with the Local Government Board, was a communication made on the invitation of the Local Government Board themselves.
The colliery company were actually working some of the coal belonging to the Montagu trustees, and there were large number of cottages on the Denaby estate which the Montagu trustees leased to the colliery company. Under those circumstances one would expect that the interest the Montagu trustees and the colliery company would be identical unless there were some specific reason. Up to a later stage of the proceedings the Montagu trustees were quite willing to leave their interest in the hands of the County Council; they had confidence in the County Council.
They found when the matter was first considered that there was an admission on the part of all parties at the district at ceased to be rural, and have become urban. They found also that the first scheme was rejected by the Local Government Board simply by reason of the inclusion of a large amount of agricultural land. Then when application was made again to the County Council, in conformity with the wishes expressed by the Local Government Board, the agricultural land being excluded, the Montagu trustees again found that the colliery company use their great resources to prevent the people in the district enjoying the fruits of self-government, and that was the reason for the intervention of the Montagu trustees.
They intervened in the discharge of public duty cast upon them as large ratepayers and large ones. The Montagu trustees were perfectly willing to entrust their interest to the people who hereafter might have to administer urban powers. In conclusion Mr Waddy said the responsibility of not calling Mr George White as a witness rested with him. Mr White was not there to defend his sewage disposal scheme, and he would advise the lay clients of his friends opposite to be careful when repeating outside some of the observations. made in that room.