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19th Century 20th Century History

Governance in Methley 1882 to 1908

Local Government in Methley   Page 2

Mr. North resigned as clerk of the Board in 1882 and Mr RS Wigin who had been admitted a solicitor in December 1875 and who was a member of one of the oldest families in Methley was appointed.  He carried out his duties faithfully and well for 38 years.   He was succeeded in 1920 by his son Mr Robert Wigin, solicitor, Leeds who has held the office up to date with the same unfailing courtesy.  Also in 1882, Mr J Richardson re-entered the Board and he held the chairmanship on and off until the present time.  Dr. GW Wigin resigned membership in 1884 to take up the post of Medical Officer of Health.   The population at this time was estimated at 4,200  there being — inhabited houses.  The village had a death rate of 17.3 and a birth rate of 30.9.

On water and sewerage Mr Fenwick prepared a further scheme in 1883 estimated at a cost of £7,200 and a deputation went to see the Leeds Waterworks Committee with respect to water supply.

With the passing of the Local Government Act of 1894 the old Local Board was replaced by the UDC and the first meeting was held on 31st December.Members present were Messrs. Atkinson, TW Embleton, Getliffe,  Rev.JC Hall,Harrison, Hartley, Horsfall, Phillips, Poulter, Robinson, Taylor, Winterburn.  Mr Taylor was elected Chairman and Poulter as Vice Chairman.  It was agreed that members would retire every three years but the County authority would not agree to triennial elections. The report of the MOH for that year gave a population of 4,450, a death rate of 16.3 and a birth rate of 36.4.  The death rate being the lowest for 11 years.  The first general rate for the new authority was 2/- in the pound and remained the same for the following year.

Mr John Richardson was Chairman in 1897 when an address was sealed and signed to be forwarded to the Home Secretary for presentation to HM Queen Victoria on her Diamond Jubilee.In 1899 Mr Thomas Thompson was appointed surveyor, nuisance inspector waterworks inspector and inspector of canal boats.

 waterworks inspector and inspector of canal boats.   That year a resolution was passed that the town street of Mickletown be lighted with gas from the top of Mickletown to the Queen Inn.  Later it was resolved that all roads in the districtwhere gas mains were laid and also roads where Messrs Briggs & Co. were willing to lay mains should be lighted by gas.  Mr La Maitre was appointed toget out plans and specifications. He was also asked to examine and report on the whole of the sewage scheme in Mickletown as to the construction of filter beds and other works.

Apparently in 1900 the parish church was undergoing restoration, there being a minute as to an application for a water meter for this aim. Another church matter the following year was the decision to pay the voluntary church rate out of petty cash.  It was also decided that same year that the public would not be admitted to the council meetings.

For the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902 it was agreed that 2d in the £ on the General District Rate would be allowed bring the rate up to 2s.3d in the pound.   Mr GP Hollings entered the Council in 1903 and continuing up to present (1937) was ‘Father of the Council’.   That year the county authority asked Methley to prepare scheme to form an education area, the provisional committee being Messrs J Richardson, C Atkinson,TW Embleton, JH Phillips, FE Shepherd, AW Wade, the Rev. HA Hall, Capt. H Savile and Mrs Jessie Phillips.

In 1906 the Methley Council again express their repudiation to the West Riding Education Committee of association with Castleford, claiming the natural affinity of Methley is with Leeds.  Adding that secondary education can best be secured by continuance of the with arrangement with Leeds.

In 1909 Mr FE Shepherd was appointed to represent the Council on the Board of Governors of the secondary school for three years.