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19th Century History

Governance in Methley 1876 to 1881

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Local Government in Methley  1876 to 1881

When Rates were 1/3d in the £

Methley Urban Council was to lose its identity following the rearrangement of areas under the review of county districts by the West Riding County Council.   The last meeting was held during the week of 27th March 1937.   In future the village will be part of the Rothwell Urban District and will attract differential rating on a graduated scale during the next five years.
So passes an authority which has been in operation for 61 years, first as a board of health and then as an Urban District Council.

The first meeting of the old local board was held at the Rose & Crown Hotel on 23rd Feb. 1876. The members at this time were, Messrs Hollings, Richardson, Farrer, Wood, Wroe, Denison, Smirthwaite, Bickerdyke and Holmes. Mr John North being the returning Officer and clerk to the Council, John  Richardson was the first Chairman. Robert Wigin was the unsuccessful applicant for the position of clerk.

Subsequent Meetings were held at Red House which continued to be the ‘town hall’ up to the present time (1937).  At the April meeting
Dr. Taylor was appointed as Medical Officer of Health and Mr Joseph Charlesworth was appointed as Inspector.
The minutes of 1877 included a motion to oppose a Parliamentary Bill aimed at constructing a gas works within the greater Castleford area promoted by the Castleford and Whitwood Gas and Coke Co.  The works would have included supply to a portion of Methley. As a result of that opposition supply of gas to Methley had been withdrawn from the Bill.

In respect of a forthcoming election, it was decided that only those who paid their own rates would be permitted to vote. 

This was in the days before voting booths were in use and voting was taken to the houses. 

In 1880 a letter was read From Mr W Pratt clerk to Whitwood Local Board asking if Methley was willing to join with Whitwood in order to approach Leeds Corp. for a supply of water and stating that the Leeds Waterworks had agreed to supply the district with 50000 gallons per day over ten years.  Methley declined to collaborate. Later that year it was agreed to trake samples from various wells for analysis.

When in 1881 Rothwell were promoting a Gas Bill the Board called upon to withdraw Methley from the proposals as it would have been cnecessary to oppose the Bill in Parliament. It was also reported that Whitwood and Altofts intended to build a hospital for infectious diseases and there was some discussion for Methley to be included but no proposal was made.

The first meeting of sewerage works for Mickletown was in the following year, when a scheme was prepared by Mr Fenwick, and it was agreed to sanction for a loan of £6,220 but the scheme was later abandoned owing to very serious opposition being offered.