Municipal Incorporation of Huddersfield: Court of Inquiry (1867)

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The Commissioner appointed by Her Majesty's Privy Council.



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In pursuance of the provisions of the Act of Parliament passed in the fifth and sixth years of the reign of his late Majesty, King William IV., cap. 76, entitled, " An Act to provide for the regulation of Municipal Corpora- tions in England and Wales," and of other Acts of Par- liament passed for the regulation of Municipal Corpora- tions, and of a Petition of Inhabitant Householders of the township of Huddersfield, and of the several town- ships or places of Almondbury, Lockwood, Lindley-cum- Quarmby, and Dalton, and portion of South Crosland, in the West Riding of the county of York, addressed to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty in Council, praying for a Charter of Incorporation, Captain Donnelly, C.E., the Commissioner appointed by the Lords of her Majesty's Privy Council, opened a Court of Inquiry in the Assembly- room of the George Hotel, and proceeded to take the evid- ence and statements of persons interested in the subject of the inquiry. There was a numerous attendance of spectators, comprising Improvement Commissioners, influential rate- payers in the town, members of local boards, and others ; and the Inquiry was conducted by the learned commissioner with the strictest impartiality. Mr. J. Batley (Messrs. Brook, Freeman, and Batley) clerk to the Improvement Commissioners, with Mr. C. Walker, Dewsbury, conducted the case for the petitioners in favour of the charter. Mr. Shaw, barrister (instructed by Mr. Henry Brown, Wakefield), appeared on behalf of the Local Board, certain landowners, and certain inhabitants of Bradley.

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Mr. E. L. Hesp (Messrs. Hesp, Fenton, and Owen) said he appeared for Sir John William Ramsden, Bart., not with the view to oppose, but to ask that certain clauses pre- serving Sir John's manorial rights might be inserted in the charter. He would then, or at any future period of the inquiry, explain the wishes of Sir John Ramsden. Mr. D. Midgley, an inhabitant, and member of the Local Board, said he was from Almondbury, and repre- sented certain ratepayers and householders. The Commissioner opened the court by reading his instructions, which stated that he would be requested to report on the number of householders signing the petitions for and against the charter, and the amount of their several assessments; the state of the local government of the township of Huddersfield, the expense now attend- ing it, and the probable increase or diminution of such expense which might be expected from the establish- ment of a municipal government ; and, lastly, with regard to the mode of defining the limits of the jurisdiction of the corporate body, and of dividing the said limits into wards. Mr. J. Batley, the promoters' solicitor, then stated the case for the petitioners favourable to the charter, as follows :- The promoters of this petition, to whom has been com- mitted the duty of carrying out the objects and wishes of the petitioners, consist of a general committee of gentle- men appointed from the various districts proposed to be incorporated. - This committee is constituted as follows, viz :-Eight gentlemen selected from the general body of ratepayers of Huddersfield, and appointed at the public meeting, held on the twenty-ninth day of May ; nine Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners, specially ap- pointed to represent that body on the committee of pro- moters, and the following members of the Local Boards of the adjoining townships or districts, all specially dele- gated to serve on the Committee, namely-two members of the Lockwood Local Board, two members of the Lindley Local Board, two members of the Moldgreen Local Board, two members of the Fartown Board of Surveyors, one member of the Deighton Local Board, and

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two members of the Marsh Local Board ; 28 members in all. The last two have been added recently on the with- drawal of the Marsh petition against the charter. Of the districts proposed to be incorporated the town of Huddersfield is the most populous and important, and must be taken as the centre to which the other districts

gravitate. The following statement shows the comparative rateable value, viz :- ‘ Population. Rateable value.

Huddersfield, within Improve- ment boundary ............ } 24.100 £100,108 Huddersfield, Marsh ........ 2,83? Fartown ...... A x Deighton ...... 1,151} 84,106 o Bradley |...... 781 Total, 89,825 £134,214 O0 Lockwood .............;.... - 8,445 20,709 O0 Moldgreen and Dalton ...... 8,685 17,596 O Lindley ..... o a e e e e e e e e e a ees 5,050 12,008 (0 Almondbury ................ 4,500 7,750 Newsome.................... 6,000 7,200 O0 72,455 £199,477 O


Huddersfield is a town of very considerable antiquity. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book under the name of Oderesfelt, after Oder, Hoder, Hudder or Huddart (for in all these ways the name was spelt in the different northern dialects) who was the first Saxon planter of the place. It stands on a rising piece of ground to the north and north- west of the river Colne, from its junction with the river Holme, The Colne and Holme are tributaries of the Calder, joining that river at Cooper Bridge, which is the extreme northern boundary of Huddersfield. The situation of the town on a rising ground from the river, admits of its being conveniently and effectively drained. The Castle Hill of Almondbury, which rises near the town, to an elevation of some 900 feet above the sea level, was in ancient times crowned with a Saxon fortress or camp, of which the earthwork remains still afford some traces. The parish appears to have been separated from Dews- bury, and the Parish Church, was erected and endowed under the influence of one of the members of the ancient and distinguished family of the Lacies, to whose piety and

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munificence this neighbourhood is indebted for the foundation of most of its parish churches. The ancient records show grants of lands and heredita- ments in Huddersfield, from the Lacy family, so early as the year 1200, and a rent-charge of four marks ""out of the mills," granted about that time, shows the establish- ment, even at that remote period, of industrial pursuits in the locality. ‘ ' In the 9th year of Edward II., Thomas, Earl of Lancaster was *" Lord of Huddersfield." The Lordship appears, however, to have lapsed to the Crown, and to have been re-granted, for in the year 1333 Sir Richard de Burton appears in ancient records as the owner, and made a grant of the Manor or Lordship to his son. The intermediate passage of this manor or lord- ship for the next two centuries has not been traced. Probably it remained in the Burton family till their extinction. - But in the 16th Elizabeth (1574) the manor appears to have passed to Sir Gilbert Gerrard or Gerald, who became Attorney-general, and from whom the manor passed again to the Crown in exchange for other lands. In the 41st year of Queen Elizabeth (1599) the manor was granted by the Crown to an ancestor of the present owner by the description of ''our faithful subject, William Ramsden, of Longley, in the county of York, Esq." The grant includes the capital messuage or tene- ment called Bay Hall, and other messuages thereto belonging ; and it is interesting to note in the names of the tenantry recorded in this charter of nearly 300 years ago, some which are still remembered or existing in the town, such as Brooke, Hurst, Hewe, Batley, Hesslegreave, Clay, &c. This grant also includes mills, and as an indica- tion of the growing importance of the town even at that distant period as a centre of population and business, it may be observed that this charter of Queen Elizabeth includes also in its terms a Court leet and the privilege of holding fairs and markets. This grant of market was renewed and extended in the year 1672 by another grant from King Charles II., the terms of which show very distinctly the developement

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and growth of Huddersfield into a town of considerable importance. The charter recites that by an inquisition taken by the Royal command at Huddersfield, by twelve honest and lawful men of the county, it was found that it would not be to the prejudice of the crown, or of others, if the grant of a market were made. And then follows the grant to John Ramsden, Esq., to have and hold a market at the town of Huddersfield, on every Tuesday, for the buying and selling of all manner of cattle, goods, and merchandise. The peculiar advantages which Huddersfield enjoys from its situation at the confluence of the rivers Holme and Colne, streams admirably adapted for the developement of manufacturing industry, and close to a supply of coal, led to the town eventually taking a position as one of the chief seats of the woollen manufacture. In 1743 we find it had increased so as to require the construction of water- works for its domestic supply, and waterworks were then established by the Ramsden family for supplying the town with water from the River Colne. These being found incapable of furnishing an adequate supply from the waters of the Colne being used in manufactures, and fouled by the refuse arising therefrom, an entirely fresh supply was obtained by other waterworks made by the inhabitants in 1827, under the authority of an Act of Parliament, which works are the basis of the present supply, and it ought to be stated, in justice to the parties contributing to the erection of those works, that it was one of the conditions of their association, that the interest on their subscriptions should in no case exceed five per cent, and that when the income from the water rents exceeded that rate and expenses, the water rents were to be reduced. In the year 1828 a further Water- works Act was obtained for enlarging the powers of the Act of 1827, and under these Acts the present water supply of the town is now administered. The water is collected from springs situate in the neigh- ing township of Longwood, in the parish of Hudders- field, is impounded in large reservoirs and conducted in large iron pipes for the distance of between two and three

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miles to the store reservoirs, in or near the town, and thence is distributed to the houses of the inhabitants. Although exceedingly pure and wholesome in quality, this water supply has at length, owing to the rapid growth of the town, been found inadequate in quantity to the requirements of the inhabitants, as will be more especially adverted to hereafter. In the developement of the woollen trade of the locality, the accommodation for the manufacturers who resorted to the town from all parts of the surrounding district with their cloths for sale was, in course of time, found to be very inadequate, and in 1765 a Cloth Hall was erected by Sir John Ramsden. This was, ere long, found inade- quate also, and it was enlarged by his son and successor in 1780, and has been again recently enlarged by the present owner. This hall is two stories in height, incloses a circular area of 880 yards in circumference, divided into four quarter circles, by a range of one story building, forming two diameters across it, the whole being divided into streets or alleys of shops or stalls, for the sale of cloths. The number of manufacturers, however, who now resort to the market, are far more than even this enlarged hall will accommodate, and the neighbouring streets are crowded with the shops and small warehouses occupied by country manufacturers, in addition to those in the hall. The growth of manufacturing industry in the locality - led, in course of time, to the establishment of further facilities for its development, by means of improved com- munications with the great highways of traffic which then existed in the form of inland navigation, canals and rivers. About the year 1785 the Ramsden Canal was constructed by the late Sir John Ramsden, from the town to the Calder Navigation at Cooper Bridge : and in 1794 an Act of Parliament was obtained for a still more important enterprise, namely, the construction of a canal from the Ramsden Canal at Huddersfield, to Ashton-under-Lyne, where it joined the system of canals communicating with Manchester and Liverpool. This was a remarkable enter- prise for the period, as it comprised the piercing of the extensive range of the Saddleworth hills ; and although

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in these days of vast engineering railway works, a few (though but a few) tunnels are larger and longer, yet it bespeaks no small degree of local enterprise and public spirit, that before the present century commenced a tunnel was projected, and in due course completed, ex- tending 5,450 yards in length, and being in some parts 220 yards below the surface, and for a considerable length through solid rock. The increase of business and growth of population brought with them the usual establishments for the administration of justice, and for religious worship and educational culture and charity. The progress of the town may indeed to some extent be traced and measured by the successive rise of these institutions. Thus we find at the beginning of the century two courts for the recovery of small debts. In 1814 the restoration of peace was celebrated at Hud- dersfield by the establishment of a public dispensary, where the afflicted poor could have relief without cost. The general peace of 1815 was attended with great benefits to Huddersfield and the neighbourhood in the fuller development and extension of the manufacture of fancy woollen and other cloths instead of the plain cloths whish had previously been the staple manufacture. Many foreigners of great business ability settled in Huddersfield, and by means of their connections abroad, gave to this peculiar branch of trade a stimulus which has caused Huddersfield to become and continue to be one of the principal, if not the principal, seat of that peculiar manu- facture. Up to the year 1817 the Parish Church at Huddersfield was the only church for the district. In or about that year the late Benjamin Haigh Allen, Esq., erected Trinity Church at the west end of the town, at a cost of about £12,000. In the year 1818 a savings' bank was established which was found a great blessing to the industrious poor, and has done and continues to do a large amount of business. About the year 1819 the Queen-street Chapel was erected by the Wesleyan Methodists at a cost of about £10,000 ; it was the largest and handsomest chapel in

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that wealthy and influential connexion, and even now it is exceeded by very few. In or about the same year the first National Schools were erected at Huddersfield, at a place called Seed-hill, n a style that does great credit to the town ; they are large, lofty, and well adapted for their object. In 1820 an Act of Parliament was obtained for the lighting and watching of the town, and in the following year gas works were established by a private company composed of the leading inhabitants, and in 1822 Hud- dersfield was for the first time lighted with gas. The gas works when first erected were only on a small scale, occupying a site of 843 square yards of land, and the entire capital for constructing the works was £3,400. The consumption of gas, however, gradually increased, so that in 1836 an additional quantity of land (2,355 yards) was taken and the works were greatly enlarged. In 1853 another piece of land (7,965 square yards in extent) was taken, and new works were erected, on a greatly enlarged scale, under the direction of an eminent gas engineer. - In 1861 an Act of Parliament was obtained, whereby the company was incorporated and its capital fixed at £60,000. In 1822, when the gas works were established, the yearly production of gas was but small ; in 1849 the yearly pro- duction had risen to 33,000,000 cubic feet, and in 1866 it amounted to the large quantity of 140,000,000 cubic feet. When the gas works were first erected their operations were confined to the town of Huddersfield alone, but now they light, not only the town, but a large portion of the township of Huddersfield, (which is a very extensive area) their mains extend to Woodhouse Mill in the direction of Bradley, also into the neighbouring township of Lindley and to a large part of the township of Lockwood. ' Before the commencement of the present century, Huddersfield had risen into sufficient importance as a commercial town to call for the establishment of banking institutions. There were established the banks of Perfect, Seaton, Brook, and Co., whose notes of dates about 1779 are still preserved. This bank was afterwards conducted as Seaton,

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Brook, and Co., and then by Mr. Joseph Brook alone, as appears by his bank notes dated in 1797 and still extant. There was also the bank of Messrs. Silvester Sikes and Co., whose notes dated from 1790 to 1800 still exist, and which bank was afterwards continued as Messrs. Hurst and Sikes, and then by Mr. Shakespeare G. Sikes, whose two sons at this day retain high official positions in two of the leading public banks of the town. The banking establishments of Messrs. B. and J. Ingham, and of Messrs. John Dobson and Sons also date from last century, and in the early years of the present century came the banks conducted by Messrs. I. W. and H. Rawson and Co., and Messrs. B. Wilson, Sons, and Co. These were all private banks, and with comparatively limited capital; and in the panics and vicissitudes of trade which occurred in the early years of the century, failures took place which produced great depression in the manufacturing and commercial interests of the locality. This led to the opening of branch establishments of banks located in the adjoining towns of Halifax, Wake- field, &c., but these branch banks were at first only opened on market days. In December, 1825, a great monetary panic occurred, when the two local banks which had withstood the shock of 1816, and the Saddleworth and Wakefield banks attending at Huddersfield all failed, leaving only two banks, those of Halifax and Mirfield, both then recently established at Huddersfield, to provide and conduct the monetary operations of the entire district. In the year 1826 the Act of Parliament was passed which empowered banking partnerships to consist of more than six persons, and in the year following the Hudders- field Joint-Stock Banking Company was established (being the second banking company established under that Act, the Joint-Stock Bank at Lancaster being the first). The establishment of the Huddersfield Banking Company has been a great success both to the shareholders and to the district. The advantages of joint-stock banking associations were so much appreciated, that the bank of Messrs. Rawson and Co., which was a branch from their Halifax bank, has

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been converted into a joint-stock bank, under the name of the Halifax and Huddersfield Union Banking Company, and the bank of Messrs. Wilson and Co. was also con- verted into a joint-stock bank, under the name first of the Mirfield and Huddersfield District Banking Co., and afterwards, on its being amalgamated with another bank, under the name of the West Riding Union Banking Company. , Besides these joint-stock banks, Huddersfield has now also a branch of the Yorkshire Banking Company and a branch of the Midland Banking Company (Limited) estab- lished in the town, making in all five public banking establishments at the present time. Between the years 1825 and 1832 many important buildings were erected, and improvements made in Hud- dersfield and its immediate neighbourhood, for instance, about the year 1826 John Whitacre, Esq., of Woodhouse (the brother-in-law of Mr. Benjamin H. Allen above mentioned), erected Woodhouse Church, parsonage, and schools, at a cost of about £12,000. The Independent Dissenters erected at about the same time a chapel in Ramsden-street at a cost of about £6,000, and about 1830 St. Paul's Church, in Ramsden-street, was built out of the monies provided by an Act of Parliament for building churches called "The Million Act." The Churches of All Saints', at Paddock, of Emmanuel's, at Lockwood, of St. Stephen's, at Lindley, and also a church at Golcar and another at Linthwaite, all within three miles of the town of Huddersfield, were built from the funds of the Million Act, thereby showing how important and improving the town and district were considered to be by the parties who had the control of that fund. About the same time the Roman Catholic Church of St. Patrick's, New North-road, Huddersfield, was built by voluntary subscription, to which many of the Protestants of Hudders- field were large contributors. The town had at that time increased so much, and contained so many Irish Catholics who had settled at Huddersfield as workmen and labourers, that it was considered a necessity for them to be supplied with a commodious and creditable place of worship.

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Whilst Ramsden-street Chapel was in course of erection, a fearful accident occurred from the breaking of a lofty scaffolding on which the men were at work, and they were precipitated to the bottom, a depth of about 30 feet. Some were killed, many were maimed and wounded, and it was at the time a matter of general regret that there was no place to which the sufferers could be taken and attended by the most eminent and skilful of the faculty. Advantage was taken of that feeling by Mr. Samuel Clay, a retired tradesman, and by his indefatigible exertions a large and liberal subscription was raised for the building of an infirmary, and the result was that the present noble building was erected. The Infirmary is supported by voluntary subscriptions, and by the donations and endowments of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood ; some of such donations amounting to the handsome sums of £1,000 and £2,000 each. It has been recently enlarged by the addition of a new wing, and is supposed to have cost altogether about £20,000, and to possess endowments or accumulated funds amounting to about another £20,000. The Parish Church having, from the lapse of ages since its erection, become thoroughly dilapidated and unsafe, arrangements were made about 1833 for taking it down and erecting, by voluntary subscription, a new church in its place. This was done at a cost of about £13,000, and in the month of October, 1836, the present church was finished and opened for public worship. The want of a public school for the education of the sons of middle class tradesmen and others, led to the erection, in the years 1838 and 1839, of the Huddersfield College and the Collegiate School, which are among the leading educational establishments of the Riding. About the year 1840 the Infant and Sunday School, in Northgate, in connection with the Church of England, was erected by subscription at a cost of about £2,000. This school, and also the school at Seedhill, above men- tioned, are supported by voluntary subscription. The old Wesleyan Chapel, at Chapel-hill, built in the time of John Wesley, having become dilapidated, the members of the Wesleyan Methodists, about 1848, took it

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down, and erected in its place the present noble structure at a cost of several thousand pounds. The chapel at Highfield, a very plain and unornamented building, erected in the time of the Rev. Henry Venn (more than a century ago) having become insufficient for the accommodation of its worshippers-the Independents - they about the same time (1848) took down the old building, and erected in its place the present noble looking chapel. The Methodists of the New Connexion (who seceded from the Wesleyan Methodists about sixty years since) erected about 1816 a convenient chapel in High-street, Huddersfield, which having from their increase of numbers become too small for their accommodation, they have within the last two years taken it down, and erected on its site and adjoining land their present chapel, which is a noble gothic structure, and forms one of the most ornamental architectural structures of the town. The Free Wesleyans have also erected in Brunswick- street a large and handsome chapel, at a cost of several thousand pounds. Private munificence has also in modern times made further provision for the ministry of religion in the town by the addition of two beautiful churches, viz. : St. John's Church, erected by Sir J. W. Ramsden, Bart., and St. Thomas's Church, near Lorgroyd-bridge, erected by the Starkey family. The Primitive Methodists and the Baptist Dissenters have also each of them a chapel within the town. Each and all of these places of worship have large and convenient schools erected in connexion with them at considerable cost. Within the last few years Josh. Sykes, Esq., of Marsh House, erected at his own expense, in Fitzwilliam-street, a Ragged School. Nothing is more important or essential to the life and developement of commercial industry than due facilities of communication to other towns or markets. In this respect Huddersfield has kept pace with the other towns of the district. In the year 1847 railway communications were established in various directions, converging at the

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large and imposing looking building which is the present station. It was at first thought to be much too large, but from the rapid growth of the town in commercial importance and activity, its accommodation is now found to be much too limited. Above 300 trains per day are now dispatched from it ; and it has been a growing feeling in the town that the present service is fraught with danger and incon- venience, and that largely extended station premises are necessary for the protection of life and for the public requirements of traffic. Pressing representations have been addressed by the authorities of the town to the railway companies upon this subject, which, it is believed, will shortly be attended with success ; for at the present time application is being made by the two leading com- panies, for powers to acquire additional lands for works. Meanwhile, up the neighbouring valleys, branch lines of railway have been extended to Holmfirth, Meltham, and Kirkburton, all converging to Huddersfield as the chief market of the district, and thus adding to its progress and importance. It must not be supposed that during the period of its growth and progress up to the present petition, Hudders- field has been indifferent to the advantage of municipal in- corporation. On the contrary, a strong feeling in favour of it has from time to time arisen. In the years 1841 and 1842, whilst the town's affairs were administered by the Commissioners under the Lighting and Watching Act of 1820, a movement was made for obtaining a charter of incorporation. A petition was prepared and very numer- ously signed, and was presented to the Privy Council, and supported by the attendance of a deputation before them. Unfortunately, however, a change of government occurred at the very crisis of the proceedings, and the application was unsuccessful. This petition was supported by Earl Fitzwillian and Earl Zetland, the trustees of Sir John Ramsden, the Lord of the Manor and chief land- lord of the district, who was then a minor, and their letters approving of the incorporation are still preserved, and will be further referred to by Mr. Clough, who then acted as solicitor for the promoters of the petition. The failure of this attempt to obtain a charter of incor-

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poration was of course very discouraging to the inhabitants. They continued to feel much dissatisfaction with the im- perfect and inadequate system of local government under the old Lighting and Watching Act. This feeling increased until at length the inhabitants determined to apply for a Local Improvement Act of Parliament. Even on this occasion, however, a considerable portion of the inhabit- ants were in favour of renewing the application for a charter rather than for the act; and at a public meeting of ratepayers, a resolution was carried pronouncing in favour of a corporation, and negativing the proceedings for the Improvement Act, which led to those proceedings being suspended for a time. In the following year, however, the promoters renewed their application to Parliament, and this time they were successful, and obtained the Huddersfield Improvement Act, which re- ceived the Royal Assent on the 14th August, 1848. This Act incorporates the provisions of the Towns' Im- provement Clauses Act, 1847, the Commissioners' Clauses Act, 1847, and the Town Police Clauses Act, 1847, and contains other useful powers and provisions having special local bearing on the good management and progress of the town. Under it the Board of Improvement Com- missioners was constituted which still forms the governing body of the town for lighting, police, sewerage and other departments of the local administration. V, The Board consists of 21 members, of whom Sir John Ramsden, the Lord of the Manor has the right, under special provision in the Act, to appoint three. This right, however, he has generously waived and abandoned in favour of the present petitioners, and in deference to the general wish of the inhabitants for municipal incorpora- tion. The other 18 commissioners are elected by the ratepayers annually, six going out each year by rotation, and the mode of election and qualifications of electors and Commissioners are those prescribed by the Commis- sioners' Clauses Act and the Towns' Improvement Clauses Act. The Commissioners must have either a £30 rating, or be possessed of £1,000 personalty, and the electors are all male persons rated to the general improvement rates. The system has the appearance, at first sight, of a very

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wide and liberal basis of franchise for municipal govern- ment. But on turning to the 181st section of the Towns' Improvement Act, which is incorporated in the Local Act, we find that the owners of all rateable property, of which the full nett annual value does not exceed £10, or which are let to monthly or weekly tenants or apartments, are to be rated to the rates instead of the occupiers thereof. This enactment excludes, in the first instance, all occu- piers under £10, and since the Parliamentary Franchise is now extended to all householders it is strongly at variance with the declared policy of the legislature. It is true that by the 184th section of the Towns' Improvement Clauses Act, 1847, occupiers under £10, being yearly tenants, may claim to be assessed and to pay the rates thereof, and are to be assessed, so long as they duly pay such rates. But this has been acted on and will naturally continue to be so, to a very limited extent only, owing to the trouble and expense involved in it. A formal written and signed claim is requisite, proof of yearly tenancy, satisfactory to the Commissioners, must be given, and the payment of rates frequently involves a disturbance of existing terms of holding. These causes operate to pre- vent all occupiers under £10, with but few exceptions, from becoming qualified as electors. Then again, the rating qualification is cumulative according to the scale prescribed by the Commissioners' Clauses Act, viz.;-Under £50 rating, one vote; above £50 and under £100, two ; above £100 and under £150, three ; above £150 and under £200, four; above £200 and under £250, five ; above £250 per annum, six. The area constituting the district under the jurisdiction of the Improvement Act is very limited as compared with the town or township. It is only that portion of the township which is within a radius of 1,200 yards from the centre of the Market-place. This district is, however, the most densely populated part of the township, its population is 24,100 and rateable value £100,108, being about one half of the rateable value of the entire area sought to be incorporated. There is, however, in the Local Act a provision for increasing the limits of that Act. No extension of limits has taken place under that

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section, and the present movement for incorporation may be said to be in lieu and substitution of an application for extension of limits of the special Act. The clause has a special reference to those portions of the township which are at present not included in the Improvement limits, and shows that it cannot be material to those districts whether they are brought within Improvement Commis- sioners' limits or corporation limits, since their objections apply equally to both.

After some few years' working of the Local Improve- ment Act, it was found necessary to provide a cemetery for Huddersfield, so as to enable the churchyards and other burial places to be closed, and thereby im- prove the sanitary condition of the town. Accordingly, in 1852, the Huddersfield Burial Ground Act was ob- tained, which extends to the whole township, and not merely to the Improvement Act limits, aud under its provisions a large cemetery has been provided, at a cost of about £11,500. The Improvement Commissioners are the Commissioners to execute the Act, and are em- powered to levy rates under it, which rates, like the poor-rates, form a bond of union and common interest between the various subdivisions of the township.

The Labouring Classes'® Lodging-house Act, 1851, has also been adopted by the Improvement Commissioners, and under its provisions there has been provided a large and commodious Model Lodging-house, having departments for males, females, and married couples, and a mechanics' home. This establishment has proved itself a most useful public institution, contributing by its example and means towards the diminution of overcrowded common lodging- houses with all their attendant evils of immorality, dis- ease, and impaired public health.

The Commissioners have also adopted within their district the Public-house Closing Act, and also section 50 of the Local Government Act, 1848, and the Markets' and Fairs' Clauses Act. Under these latter provisions the Commissioners have taken a lease from Sir John William Ramsden, Bart., of the markets, tolls, and rights which he holds under charters from the Crown ; and they now

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control and regulate the public markets and fairs in the town. Under these various statutes and powers the Improve- ment Commissioners now administer the local govern- ment of the town. And their administration has been such as to give satisfaction to the ratepayers and inhabit- ants. It is not because there is any fault to find with the administration of affairs by the Commissioners that the present movement for municipal incorporation has arisen, and this petition must not be supposed as casting reflec tion on the Commissioners' administration but as intended rather to secure a continuance of that good administra- tion on a more adequate area, and with enlarged powers ; and, ultimately, to include within it the water supply of the locality. The expenditure on the Cemetery has been already stated. It is £11,500; of which, however, £4,333 has been repaid and extinguished out of Cemetery receipts and Cemetery rates, leaving £5,666 still owing on that account. The expenditure on the Model Lodging-house has been £5,304; of which, however, £2,178 has been repaid out of the general rates, leaving £2,966 owing. The establishment is nearly, but not quite self-supporting, so far as general expenses; and may be said to be quite so, if there be taken into consideration the relief of rates afforded by the higher morality, and improved public health promoted by it. There have been extensive town improvements effected by the Commissioners in the construction of new streets for landowners, and especially for Sir Jahn William Ramsden, the chief landowner, under the 24th Section of the Im- provement Act, by which the Commissioners are enabled to construct new streets on the requisition of the land- owner, and recover the cost from him in the manner prescribed by the Town's Improvement Clauses Act, 1847, for rates for private improvement expenses. 'This system spreads the repayment to the Commissioners over thirty years, which, of course, renders it necessary for money to be borrowed to meet the immediate outlay, and the Improvement Act contains borrowing powers for this and

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ether purposes of the Act, limiting however the sum borrowed to £50,000. The amount borrowed by the Commissioners to cover their expenditure in the construction of new streets and other private improvements, and in public works of paving and sewering is £42,162; of which £11,000 has been for sewerage. Of these loans £22,428 has been repaid and ex- tinguished by means of general rates and special rates in respect of private improvements, leaving £19,733 still owing. The Commissioners have maintained since their estab- lishment, a very effective police force. It consists now of 31 men of all ranks, viz. :-One Superintendent, two Inspectors, one Sub-Inspector, three Sergeants, one Fire Brigade-Sergeant, twenty-three Constables, of whom twelve are 1st class ; four 2nd class ; and seven 3rd class. One of the constables also acts as markets' inspector and collector of market tolls for the Commissioners. The numerical strength of the police force has been increased from time to time, as the increase of population and property called for it. The following table shows the numerical strength and cost of the Commissioners' police force from the year 1860, in which are included all wages of day and night con- stables, clothing, accoutrements, stores, and rents, or interest, or cost of buildings and repairs and alteratlons, which have recently been considerable :-

YEAR. NO. OF MEN. cost. £ s. d. 1860 .................. 82 ................ 1,989 9 6 1861 .................. 81 ................ 2,080 11 10 1862 .................. 80 ................ 1,985 2 6 1868 ..... .o o a e a e e e e e e e a 28 ..........}.}.... 2,029 18 9 1864 .................. 81 ................ 2,185 1 1865 .................. 81 ................ 2,052 O0 1 1866 .................. 81 ................ 2 421 2 1867 .................. 81 ................ 2442 10 9

The Commissioners receive from Government a yearly grant of one-fourth of the police expenditure, on the certificate of the Government Inspector as to the efficiency of the force. Bosides the above expenditure on their own police, the

Page 21


ratepayers within the Improvement Commissioners' limits are subject to the county police rate. This is a disad- vantage which they suffer in consequence of their not having a charter of incorporation, as it is only boroughs which are under the Municipal Corporation Acts that are exempted by the County Police Act (3 and 4 Vict.) from contribution to the county police rates. This is undoubtedly an injustice which the town at present labours under. For it is unreasonable that places main- taining an effective police of their own should also con- tribute to the maintenance of another police service out- side their limits, and from which they derive no benefits. The contribution from the township of Huddersfield towards the county police rate is no less than £440 12s. 11d. per annum, and taking as a basis the provortions of rateable value within and without the Commissioners' limits, the proportion of this contribution which is borne by the ratepayers within the Commissioners' limits is about three-fourths, or £330, leaving £110 per annum for the outside area. The Commissioners, some few years ago, attempted to get rid of this anomalous and unjust state of things by applying for a mandamus to compel the overseers to levy the rates on the outside districts sepa- rately ; but they were unsuccessful. The proposed charter would, however, put an end to this evil and injustice, and it is on that amongst other grounds applied for. The proportion of police force to area population and rateable value is one to every 800 persons, to every £3,300 rateable value, and to every 25 acres. One powerful reason for the incorporation of the adjoin- ing districts into the corporate borough of Huddersfield rests in the improvement which will be effected in the efficiency and administration of the police service. The powers and authorities of the Commissioners' police force are very limited in the out-districts. The numerous populous suburbs which in reality form parts of the town, are under the jurisdiction of the county police, and there is a county police station, with prison, superintendent, and staff, established in Princess-street, in Huddersfield, within the limits of the Improvement Act. At this station the magistrates' court is held for

Page 22


the petty sessional division, and there all cases are tried, including those arising within the Commissioners' limits. The prisoners taken into custody by the Commissioners' police have to be taken from the police cells at the Com- missioners' police station to the county police station and magistrates' court for trial. The two forces have worked together as harmoniously as two separate forces can do, and the promoters of this petition do not desire to express any dissatisfaction with the services or co-operation of the county police force. But however great the cordiality between the heads of the two forces, this divided system is and must of neces- sity be inferior to a united and well-managed single authority. Subordinate members of the two forces cannot in all cases be relied upon to act with the same cordiality, or carry out in the same harmony the spirit of their superiors, and thus the interests of peace and good order must necessarily suffer. The divided system is inherently bad as applied to the police. Apart from other incon- veniences in the pursuit of criminals and detection of crime, there cannot be under a divided police system that unity of observation of disorderly or suspected characters which is so essential to the detection and prevention of crime. The chief of police ought undoubtedly to have a knowledge and supervision of a considerable area around popalous towns. There are persons resort to the towns at present from the suburbs and places outside, about whom our police know but little, but are dependent on the county police for information ; and, on the other hand, the county police are dependent on the town police for information as to the doings in town of suspected persons or known bad characters in the town. This state of things would be greatly remedied by the proposed charter of incorporation, which would enable an effective and united system of police administration to be estab- lished for the whole locality. Nor would this necessarily increase the cost of watching to any appreciable extent. The same number of men would serve in the districts under one system as the other, the management alone being changed ; and whilst the town within the Improvement limits would save their

Page 23


£330 a-year contribution to the county police rate ; the town outside and the other townships would also save their contributions, which would then become applicable to the borough police. The following statement will show the amounts thus available :-

£ s. d. Huddersfield, within .......... £330 12 11 outside ........ 110 } 440 12 11 LOCKWOOG 842 14 10 AlmondDUry 241 8 10 Lindley = 187 17 6 ............ sess s ee ee e e e e e e e e e e e e ees 157 18 1 TOtAI. . ee aa e e e e e e e e e e s £1,820 2 2

In addition to this, the county rate at present levied

on the townships proposed to be incorporated, is as follows :-

£ s. d. Huddersfi@ld 1,886 15 6 Almondbury .............................. '270 15 1 MkWWd 6 o o 6 a o a a 6 ao o o % o o o o o o % o ao o o a o c 262 10 DAItON ...o. ee ae » a a a a a a a e a e e e e a e e e e e e e os 166 19 7 Lindley 150 15 7 Tot@l.......................... £2,787 15 9

Passing from the police administration, the Improve- ment Commissioners have very efficiently promoted the sanitary condition of the town by the works of public and private paving and drainage, which they have executed. Details of these works will be given by the surveyor: suffice it to mention here that there are nine miles and 1,030 yards of paved streets, public and private ; also, nearly three miles of streets set out, but, as yet, incomplete; and there have been laid down during their administration of the Act, no less than eight miles 928 yards of main sewerage, varying in size from twelve inches to three feet in diameter, and into which great numbers of houses have been drained. It now remains to notice the populous townships or districts not included within the limits of the Improve- ment Act, which it is now sought to bring within the constitution of a municipal incorporation. And first let us turn to those within the township, viz.:-Marsh, Far- town, Deighton, Bradley. Marsh, with Paddock, is a very populous hamlet or suburb of the town, having a population of nearly 7,000,

Page 24


& rateable value of £12,000, and an acreage of 433. It is a very improving district, and possesses within itself every variety of town property:; mills, cottages, middle-class houses, and the first-class villas of suburban residents. It lies along the west and south-western boundary of the Improvement limits, and intervenes between the town proper and the township of Lindley-which township itself seeks unanimously to come within the charter area. Marsh has been constituted into a local board district ; but they have borrowed no moneys nor executed any public works of importance. Fartown is a still more important suburb and district, lying towards the north and north-west of Huddersfield. It is of much larger area than Marsh, comprising 1,268 acres, with a population also of nearly 7,000, and a rate- able value of £15,000. It has no local board constituted, but remains, as regards its highways, under a Board of Highway Surveyors. For sewerage and sanitary purposes it is therefore in a disadvantageous and inconvenient position. Deighton is a small hamlet lying to the north of Far- town, with an area of 367 acres, a population of 1,150, and a rateable value of £2,000. It is semi-agricultural in _character-possessing, however, within its area valuable mining works, as well as a village of about 150 houses. It has a Local Board ; but there have been no public sani- tary works executed, and no money borrowed. Bradley is a large hamlet lying still further to the north, and forming the most northerly portion of the township. It is semi-agricultural in character, except at the eastern end, where there are some extensive mills and trade buildings, the railway and station, and the canal. It comprises an area of 1,288 acres, with a population of 781, and a rateable value of £5,106. It has a Local Board, which, however, has executed no public sanitary works, and borrowed no money. The hamlets or districts of Bradley and of Marsh are the only two outlying portions of the township of Hud- dersfield which have presented petitions against the charter; and, of these two, Marsh has withdrawn opposition, and is now acting in concurrence with the

Page 25


promoters of the petition, so that Bradley remains alone in opposition. With reference to its position, the details will be hereafter more fully examined ; but it may be broadly said of it, in common with the others, that it is already within the township and within the Parliamentary borough, on which grounds alone the promoters could not think of permitting it to be excluded from their scheme. And it is, moreover, so situate as to hold the mouth of the river, and the key of the sewage of the whole district, which renders it still more proper and necessary to be brought within the scheme of incorporation for obvious reasons. Passing now to the other parts of the proposed borough, not included in the township of Huddersfield, we have first the township of Lockwood, which is a very important township, lying to the south of Huddersfield. It com- prises an area of 860 acres, a population of 8,445, and a rateable value of £20,709. It has risen very rapidly in all respects ; and is in character of property and popula- tion and industrial interests quite identical with Hud- dersfield, of which it, indeed, forms practically a part, and is only separated by the river, and into part of which the town delivery of letters extends. Lockwood has been formed into a Local Board district; and a portion of the township of South Crosland, which projected itself into it at the south-western extremity has been incorporated with it. The rapid rise of Lockwood is shown by the following statement of its population at different dates :- 1831, 3,134 ; 1841, 4,303 ; 1851, 5,556 ; 1861, 6,755 ; 1867, 8,445. The Lockwood Local Board has since-its establish- ment been an exceedingly active and effective Board. They have laid down a system of sewage for a part of their dis- trict falling to the river Holme, which is a tributary of the Colne, having its outlet near to the point of junction of the Holme with the Colne. They have borrowed £3,500, and have expended £2,400 on their sewerage, about £900 on a large and conveniently arranged board- room and offices, and £300 to £400 on other permanent improvements. They are now applying for a further loan of £3,000 for the execution of public works. - Moldgreen is a district lying to the east of Hudders-

Page 26


field. It is a Local Board district, which is constituted partly from the township and parish of Almondbury, and partly from the township of Dalton, in the parish of Kirkheaton. It comprises an area of 597 acres, a popula- tion of 6,960, and a rateable value of £12,224 18s. 3d., exclusive of that portion of Dalton which is outside the boundary of the Local Board district, which comprises an area of 991 acres, a population of 1,675, and a rateable value of £5,371.

The highways of Dalton are under the control and jurisdiction of the Moldgreen Local Board, but in no other respects are the two districts associated.

The Moldgreen Local Board is also a very active and efficient Board. They have laid down a system of sewerage for part of their district, and have executed public works of paving and drainage, and are now proceeding vigorously with them. They have borrowed £1,100. The character of the district is identical with Hudders- field, but Dalton outside the district is more of an agricultural character.

Almondbury is a village of greater antiquity than many of the surrounding ones, and is the locality of the Parish Church of a very extensive parish, comprising, amongst other townships, Lockwood and the Newsome District. The township of Almondbury has been carved into three Local Board Districts, viz.; Moldgreen (part of) already referred to. Almondbury proper, and Newsome. The Almondbury Local Board District has an area of 1,508 acres ; a population of 4,500; and a rateable value of £7,750. Newsome is a Local Board District, which has been carved out of the township of Almondbury, forming the southern portion thereof, and contains a population of about 6,000, and property of the annual rateable value of £7,200, with an area of 880 acres. No public works of paving or sewerage have as yet been executed by this Board, nor any monies borrowed. It contains several extensive mills and manufactories, and four villages, viz. : Newsome, Taylor Hill, Berry Brow, and Salford, situate on the western portion of the district, whilst the eastern

Page 27


portion is semi-agricultural and rises to a very high level, including the eminence of Castle Hill. It is from no want of activity or efficiency, either on the part of the local Commissioners in Hud- dersffeld or of the Boards of Health of the various surrounding districts, that the town and neighbour- hood have become dissatisfied with the present system of local government, and that the inhabitants have petitioned for a charter of incorporation. A variety of causes have led to this state of things. As alleged by the petition, the town has now become one of great importance and position as a manufacturing town, and as evidence of the rapid increase of population and of commercial and manufacturing industry of the town, it is alleged by the petition that the postal delivery has more than doubled in the last ten years, having risen from 28,612 in 1857 to 50,170 per week, or more than 3,000,000 ayear. The money order transactions have risen in the same period, from £59,747 to nearly £100,000 per annum. The railway traffic at the station, which is a great index to the life and activity of a town, has increased correspond- ingly, and now reaches 300 trains a-day. It is also the centre of the Poor-law Union, comprising 24 townships and a population of 135,000. Fora town of this magnitude and importance it is a necessity to have a recognised head and representative on the numerous occasions when its social and local interests require to be repre- sented. Without this it is, on many occasions, under disadvantage and deprived of its due rank and influence as compared with other centres of industry and com- merce. It is almost impossible to appreciate too fully the inconvenience and detriment, even in point of material interests, which a town suffers for the want of a proper and recognised head. People think less of an unincorpor- ated town, it loses its due weight and influence in public and national affairs, it continues in some senses a mere village, or Local Board district. A remarkable instance of this occurred in connexion with the recent Reform Bill, and in reference to the distribution of political power. Huddersfield, with its surrounding populous suburbs and districts, claimed an additional share of political represen-

Page 28


tation, a second member of Parliament, and had the proposed incorporation been accomplished last year' she would probably have obtained it, but she was compelled to take rank according to the population of her present Parliamentary Borough and thus was excluded. In this respect, therefore, there was a positive loss of influence in national affairs. and it is hoped by the proposed incorporation to obviate that disadvantage for the future. Also in respect of the convening and presiding at public meetings, the reception of distinguished visitors, and the taking the lead in public demonstrations and matters of national and general interest, the importance of a recognised head must be obvious. Huddersfield has suffered for want of this, and disputes, strifes, and ill- feelings have been in consequence engendered. There is no official or recognised head of the town. The chairman of Improvement Commissioners is at the head of the body, which is substantially the local governing body, analogous to a Town Council, having jurisdiction over police, streets, markets, and all sanitary arrangements, and yet his autho- rity is limited only to a comparatively small area. On the other hand, the constable, who is an official nominated by the ratepayers of the township, and presented for apoint- ment to the court leet of Sir John William Ramsden as lord of the manor, has only a nominal and shadowy position, with no practical authority or power, although his office, nominal as it is, extends beyond the Improve- ment area, and occupies the whole township. - There has been experienced, from time to time, much public incon- venience owing to the conflicting claims for precedence, and headship of the town, on the part of the persons filling these two offices ; and of late years it has been the practice to obviate this in some degree by arranging for these two offices being held by the same gentleman. But there is no reliance on such an arrangement being always observed. It is in no degree to be depended on, and at the present moment the two offices are again filled by different persons. This state of things would be set at rest by the estab- lishment of a corporation, which is therefore desirable, on that amongst other grounds.

Page 29


Another consideration which has prevailed in the public mind throughout the locality, has been the importance of uniting into a consolidated form the various local autho- rities and boards which at present control the affairs, of Huddersfield and of the populous adjoining townships. This feeling prevails not only in Huddersfield but in the other townships referred to, and combined with other causes has led to the present petition. The aggregate statistics of the locality are such as to show an over- whelming case for the application of municipal govern- ment:-14,413 dwelling-houses, 137 mills and 26 iron- foundries, with 10,281 motive power; 15 churches, 40 chapels, 88 day and Sunday-schools, 2 ragged schools, 6 mechanics' institutions, 1 public infirmary, 3 newspapers issued weekly. This area, however, comprises no less than ten districts, governing bodies, or boards, Improve- ment Commissioners, Marsh Local Board, Deighton, Brad- ley, Fartown, Lindley, Lockwood, Moldgreen, Almond- bury, and Newsome. Each of these has separate and inde- pendent jurisdiction, and it must be manifest that it is impossible under such circumstances to secure that har- mony and unity of action en subjects of common import- ance, which the public welfare requires. On questions of sewerage, sanitary regulations, water supply, and other local interests, diversity of views and of action must be expected. Admitting even that no further or new power can be acquired through the charter for the area incor- porated, it must be an obvious benefit to have the same powers exercised with uniformity through one governing - body instead of ten. _- But with all these governing bodies there do not exist among any of them any adequate powers for water supply. The defective water supply is an evil felt throughout the whole district, and is one great reason which has led to the present petition. There is no public complaint of the mode in which the Waterworks Commissioners have exercised their powers. On the contrary, those gentlemen have, by their disinte- rested services and economy of administration, earned the approbation of the community. But it has been felt

Page 30


that their constitution of powers are unsuited to the developed wants and condition of the locality. Their sources of supply are now inadequate; their area of supply too limited ; amd their constitution, being self- elected, too narrow and exclusive for the present times. The difficulties connected with the water supply were attempted to be overcome last year, when application was made to Parliament for an Act conferring further powers of obtaining, storing, and distributing water, and also for widening the constitution and basis of the Board. An elaborate system of representation of the Local Boards by delegates nominated to the Board of Water- works Commissioners, was incorporated into the Act; but the application met with opposition from various quarters, and was negatived by Parliament. Since which the feeling has prevailed in the locality that the best course for obtaining the sanction of Parliament to a com- prehensive waterworks scheme is, first obtain a charter of incorporation, and then, with a properly constituted body for the entire district, to renew the application to Parliament. In view of this course application has been made by the Improvement Commissioners to the Waterworks Com- missioners enquiring whether, in the event of a charter - being obtained, they would be willing to transfer their works and powers to the new corporation, and the answer given to that application gives the assurance that on proper terms there will be no difficulty in arranging for this transfer. Under these circumstances the proceedings were origin- ated for the present petition. They originated with the Improvement Commissioners who, at special meetings con- vened for the purpose on the 23rd and 28th March last, after considering the subject, resolved to invite the attendance of leading ratepayers from Huddersfield, and of delegates from the Local Boards of the adjoining districts for united conference upon it. The meeting for this united con- ference took place on the 10th April, when the districts of Moldgreen, Fartown, Lockwood, Deighton, Lindley, Bradley, and Marsh were represented. The subject was fully discussed, and the meeting adjourned for a month

Page 31


in order to give the representatives of the various Boards time to consult their Boards and districts. The adjourned meeting took place on the 15th May, and was again attended by Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners, Huddersfield ratepayers, and delegates from Lockwood, Moldgreen, Marsh, Deighton, Lindley, Bradley, Almondbury, and Fartown. At this meeting it was announced that Lockwood, Moldgreen, and Lindley would concur in the proposed application for a charter, the other districts were reported either as being adverse, or at all events not favourable. No definite resolution was passed at this meeting, but it was understood that the Improvement Commissioners were now to take the subject into serious consideration, and if they thought fit take the initiative in the requisite proceedings. Accord- . ingly at the next meeting of the Improvement Commis- sioners, on the 22nd May, the subject was further consi- dered, and a resolution was adopted unanimously as fol- lows :- That, having regard to the position of Huddersfield and adjoining districts, with respect to population, unity of com- mercial and public interests, and necessity of increased water supply ; for which and for other purposes a more united system of local government would be advantageous-it is, in the opinion of this Board, desirable that a charter of incorporation for Hud- dersfield and the adjcining districts should be applied for. A resolution that a public meeting of ratepayers should be convened was also passed ; and another one, requesting the variqus Local Boards concurring in the scheme to appoint delegates to act on a general committee. On the 29th May a public meeting of the ratepayers of Huddersfield, within the Improvement Limits, convened by Joseph Turner, Esq., the then Chairman of Improve- ment Commissioners, by placard, was held in the Theatre, and was numerously attended. The feeling in favour of: a corporation was so general, that an amendment which was moved against it found no seconder, and a resolution was passed with only five dissentients :-

That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable to obtain

a charter of incorporation for Huddersfield and the adj omng distncts

Resolutions were also passed approving of the action

Page 32


taken by the Improvement Commissioners, and autho- rising their further proceedings ; also, appointing a com- mittee of eight gentlemen to act in concert with the Improvement Commissioners, and delegates from other Local Boards as a general committee to promote the obtaining of the charter. The general committee held its first meeting on the 7th June, when the proceedings were fairly initiated, and a petition directed to be prepared ; and it was decided also to communicate with Sir John William Ramsden as the landed proprietor of the district, and ascertain his wishes and views. These communications were accordingly entered into, and resulted in Sir J. W. Ramsden, in the most generous manner, pronouncing in favour of the charter, although it involved the sacrifice of his powers of nomination of a proportion of the governing body of the town, as held by him now under the Improvement Act. Subsequently by letter of 23rd July, Sir John William Ramsden's desire to associate himself with the movement found most substantial and generous expression by his

offering to present to the town the gold collar and badge of office to be worn by the mayor.

The first duty of the committee in connection with the application for the charter was to settle the boundaries or limits to be submitted to her Majesty's Privy Council. To this subject they gave the most anxious consideration, and ultimately came to the conclusion to submit them as now tendered. The area looks a large one, but the com- mittee were led by strong reasons to adopt it. In the first place as regards Huddersfield itself, the whole town- ship being within the present parliamentary borough - ought, as a matter of course, to be wholly included. As regards the important adjoining townships of Dalton, | Lindley, and Lockwood, the inhabitants of them proposed - that they should come in wholly and not partly, which scarcely left the question open as regards them, and left it confined only to the township of Almondbury, in which, as regards both its sub-divisions of Local Boards there is conflict of opinion upon the subject. The committee, after careful consideration, came to the con- clusion that the whole area ought to be included, inasmuch

Page 33


as no line of separation could be drawn so as to include the populous parts of the township and yet leave any substantial area outside. They felt also that it might operate unjustly as regards the township itself to have a division, as the excluded portion might be burdened with an undue proportion of roads to maintain, whilst deprived at the same time of its best ratepaying property. The boundaries being thus settled, the petition was prepared and put into circulation for signature, and it was completed and lodged at the Privy Council Office on the 20th of July last. The petition is signed as follows :-

Rateable value. Huddersfield ithin 1 Signatures. £ - s. d. uddersfic within Im- provement limits ...... } 2,289 .... 62,054 8 4 Marsh ...................... 563 .... 6,100 ,~Fll't0W’na... 0000000 e e o o o o o e 459 o o e e 4,793 8 Deighton o a a s o s o o #9 Jd 9 o s s eo ea 92 o o s 1,414 5 6 Total Township ..... ... 8,408 .... 72,862 1 10 goldgrggn, with Dillton Pa -- 450 .... 10,032 O0 mondbury, in mond- bury district ............ } 129 .... 2,177 15 6 Almondbury, in Newsome .. 111 .... 558 4 6 Lockwood .................. 464 .... 10,508 6 Lmdley o o ) $ # o o oe e o o oe a e o 876 o oe eo e 9,143 13 4

Grosstotal.....;........ 4,933 .... 106,782 1 2

Five petitions have been presented against the Charter, having signatures and rateable value as under, viz. :-

In Huddersfield Township. Marsh Local Board ....... » -- 449 .... 8,285 15 Bradley .................... 138 ....

Total from Huddersfield - 587 .... 6,235 15

The proportions contrast strongly as regards this town- ship, and bring out a majority as follows :-

For the charter ............ 8,403 .... 72,862 1 10 Against .................... 587 .... 6,285 15 Majority in favour ..... & 2,818 .... 66,126 6 10

But the Marsh opposition being now virtually with- drawn, the figures of comparison for Huddersfield town- ship will stand thus :- For the charter ..... o o o o e a 8,408 .... 72,862 1 10 Against ............. se..... - 188 .... 8,000

Majority in favour ...... 8,265 .... 69,862 1 10

Page 34


Taking the districts in Huddersfield separately from which petitions against have emanated, the figures stand

thus :- Marsh-For the charter .... 5638 .... 6,100 99 Against ............ 449 .... 8,285 15 Majority in favour ...... 114 .... 2,864 5

In Bradley district the whole signatures are against, and none have been obtained for, of which the opponents must have what benefit they can extract from it. In truth, the promoters of the petition for the charter, knowing that the principal employers of labour and pro- prictors of that sub-division of the township were deter- minedly opposed to the charter, did not circulate their petition for the charter at all in this part of the township, fearing to promote dissension between immediate neigh- bours, between employers and employed, landlord and tenant, &c., and thereby lead to possible injury or trouble, and resting confidently on the merits of their case.

As regards Lockwood, the petitions pro. and con. stand thus :-

Lockwood.-For the charter - 454 .... 10,508 6 39 Against ........ 585 .... 2,185 19

Leaving a numerical ma- 71 jority against of ........ -- And a majority of rateable} 8,872 7 value in favour of ......

As regards Almondbury, taking the two Local Board districts of Almondbury and Newsome together, the figures will stand thus :-

Almondbury, 523 .... 4,824 9 9 Newsome, against .......... 404 .... 4,054 7 11 Total against 927 .... 8,878 16 11 Almondbury, for ...... 129 e » . Newsome, for ........ 111 Total for 240 .... 2,736

Majority against ....... & -- 687 .... 5,642 16 11

Page 35

35 Taking these districts separately the figures stand thus :-

Almondbury, against........ B28 .... 4,824 9 as fOr 129 l... 2,177 15 6 Majority against ........ - 894 .... 2,146 183 6 Newsome, against .......... 404 .... 4,054 7 11 o9 for .............. 111 .... 558 4 8 Majority against ...... 298 .... 8,496 8 8

The aggregate of the petitions against stand thus :-

Marsh ...................... 449 .... 8,285 15 Bradley .................... 188 .... 8,000 Almondbury |.............. 523 .... 4,824 9 Newsome .................. 404 .... 4,054 7 11 Lockwood ................. & -- 585 .... 2,185 19 Total 8 o eo # ao o a o a c s ao s o # s s 2,049 s o o 16,750 10 11

Comparing this aggregate with the aggregate signatures for, the figures are as follows :-

FOP s. -- 4,983 .... 106,782 1 2 Against .................... 2,049 .... 16,750 10 11 Majority in favour...... 2,884 .... 90,031 10 8

Of these petitions against, however, all but Bradley are in substance retired, and in this view the figures will

stand thus :-

FOP ................ ee -- 4,988 .... 106,781 1 2 Against .................... 188 .... 8,000

Majority in favour .... 4,795 .... 108,781 1 2

Turning from the comparative figures of the petitions pro and con, a few observations must be made as to their allegations. One observation applies to them all, viz. : that none of them go to the root of the petition, or challenge the propriety of the charter being granted to Huddersfield, with some boundaries ; but they merely go to the question of the propriety of including within the limits of the borough the particular part of the district from which the petition emanates. None of the petitions, therefore, have any locus standi in the general question of the propriety of a charter to the town, but are confined to the particular question of special grounds or circum- stances applicable to their own locality. In this view none of them can challenge the signatures from non-

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opposing townships. Another observation applies equally to all the petitions, viz. : they all sing to the praise and glory of their Local Boards, and allege their entire suffici- ency for all local government purposes, and the perfect satisfaction they give to the public. As already observed, the present petition is not founded on any complaint of the shortcomings of any Local Boards in particular. This may be said, however, that the application of the Local Government Act was -not and could not be intended by the Legislature to interfere with the natural growth of Municipal Institutions, which have for ages been the bulwarks of freedom and progress throughout this great country. If thisis to be their effect, then the establishment of Local Boards in the vicinity of towns will become an evil instead of a good, and would frustrate the very object of the Local Government Act itself as expressed in the preamble. This preamble clearly points to uniformity of authority and control in matters of sewerage, lighting, and water supply, the very objects which are sought for by means of the charter for Huddersfield, to replace the divided and incongruous system of ten local Boards. On the point of apprehended increase of rates in con- sequence of municipal institutions, it is to be observed that there is no inherent necessity for increased expendi- ture under a municipal, than under any other form of government. If public works be executed they must cost money, under whatever form of government they be executed, and in this respect a municipal government makes no real difference. Then, again, the basis of repre- sentation under a municipal government is wide, wider than under the Local Board District system, thus giving to the small ratepayers a greater proportion of representative power. - They will have a greater voice in the choice of the local government, and if they select a council on the basis of economy and limited expenditure on public works of bealth and improvement, they can do so. But if they select a council disposed to extend works of sanitary im- provement, they must pay for them and ought not to object to do so. There is, therefore, no logical necessity for increased expenditure on works under a corporation.

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And as regards costs of administration and management, it is obvious that something must be saved by concen- trating into one establishment the officials who are now spread over éen establishments. Another observation, which applies equally to all the petitions against the charter in connexion with the question of comparative expense is, that they ap- prehend great increase of rating for things they will derive no benefit from, and that, as regards water supply in particular, they have the means within themselves of providing supplies at cheaper rates than their proportions of a comprehensive water scheme. On the question of comparative expense there can be no solid objection. It is a view of the question which the petitioners have carefully considered, and it is sufficient to say that they are prepared to meet whatever may come upon them in this respect. And with so small a phantom of opposition, it is a consideration which ought not to weigh against the merits of the petition. With respect to the special merits of the Bradley oppo- sition, the following observations remain to be added :- The opposition originates with Messrs. Haigh, who are the leading ratepayers of the hamlet. They are owners and occupiers of extensive mills, and as employers of labour and otherwise, they have great influence and con- trol over the other ratepayers, who are chiefly the operatives employed by them, or small farmers, or shop- keepers, dependent upon or connected with them. They at present in substance, rule and govern the district, and they probably apprehend an extinction of their personal rule, as well as some possible increase in their rates. Their petition alleges that their district is chiefly agri- cultural. It is so in one sense but not in a purely agri- cultural sense. The farms are not in large holdings but small ones, and are of the same character as the farms in the other open portions of the district proposed for in- corporation. The holdings are connested with trade. Huddersfield is their natural market both for their produce and from which they receive tillage. Theirinterests are inseparably

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united. They attend the markets there, Mr. Haigh him- self, the head of the opposition, has a place of business there and attends the markets. He also, as a county magistrate, sits on the Bench there to adjudicate on borough cases, and yet refuses to be included in the corp orate district.

As already mentioned, Bradley holds the key of the sewerage of the entire district. It is also already within the township and Parliamentary borough. It possesses the first railway station out of Huddersfield, and we all know what progress and improvement are implied by the possession of a railway station near large towns. It pos- sesses also much land available for villas and suburban residences. Its water-shed is to a great extent towards the river Colne and it is within the conservancy district of Huddersfield as recommended by the Rivers Pollution Commissioners in their report.

There seems no reason why in process of time this district of Bradley should not become a populous suburb, like Headingly or Woodhouse in the borough of Leeds, Shipley in Bradford, Edgbaston in Birmingham, and other like places, all included in the boroughs adjoining them. On these grounds the promoters submit that the opposition of Bradley should be over-ruled, and that the entire district should be included in the municipal borough.

But at all events they submit that if the Privy Council should in their wisdom consider that the district is in great part of too agricultural a character to be included, then at all events the extreme eastern portion which holds the river and the railway station should be separated from the other part and included, and in this view the promoters would submit the line of the turnpike road as the boundary, from its point of exit from Deighton to its crossing of the river at Cooper-bridge.

Sir John Ramsden's general concurrence in the wishes of the petitioners has been already adverted to. He is however Lord of the Manor of Huddersfield, and his manorial rights are preserved by special clause in the Improvement Act. He is apprehensive that in some way

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his rights may be affected by the charter and desires an analogous clause to be inserted in the charter. His legal representative is here to tender that clause. The pro- moters can only say with reference to this clause that they have no disposition or intention by means of the charter to infringe or prejudice in any way Sir John's manorial rights. He has met the wishes of the inhabitants in this matter in a free and generous spirit, and in the same spirit the promoters would wish to meet his views as regards the protection of his manorial rights. The only apprehension of the promoters is, lest by admitting unusual or special matter into their charter they should invalidate or preju- dice it. They have taken the opinion of an eminent counsel, Mr. Cleasby, Q.C., upon the subject, and he advises them distinctly that he cannot see how Sir John's rights can be affected, and therefore a clause is unnecessary. The committee would have been glad if Sir John's advisers could have arrived at the same conclusion, and thus obviated further question. But this is not so and it remains to be considered whether a special clause can be framed so as to preserve the rights and yet be consistent with the validity and effect of the charter. This is a point which will have to be settled by the law officers of the Crown, and the promoters are willing for the clause to be now brought in and referred to their decision as to its insertion and its terms. Having now stated the general merits of the petition for incorporation and the petitions in opposition thereto, the only matter upon which further observation is neces- sary is with respect to the division into wards of the area proposed to be included in the charter. This is a subject which has called for very anxious consideration, and the promoters have met with more difficulties in settling it than they at first anticipated. They have in the first place to preserve an equitable balance of representation between the districts outside the limits of the present Improvement Act and the district within those limits, the rateable value of those respective portions of the borough as compared with each other is about equal, viz., £100,000 each. This proportion the committee adopted in the outset as an equitable basis for the balance of such repre-

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sentation, viz., that it should be equal on both sides of those limits. Another consideration which has been strongly impressed upon the promoters relates to the preservation, so far as practicable, of the boundaries of the existing Local Board districts and their formation into separate wards, with a view to their being formed here- after into separate rating districts, each rated for its own improvements and not for the improvements of other districts. This consideration is the more important, inasmuch as some of the districts have already exe- cuted considerable public works, and have borrowed monies upon security of their separate rates, which obser- vation applies also to the area within the limits of the Improvement Act. With these difficulties before them, the promoters have also felt it desirable to limit, as far as practicable, in number the Council for the new borough. It is obvious, however, that consistently with preser- ving the Local Board districts as wards, and with the equality of representation of the outer and inner divisions, the number of the Council must necessarily be large. After consideration of a variety of schemes, ranging downwards from the number of 48 Counclllors, which, with Aldermen, would give a total of 64 for the Council, the Committee have ultimately approved a scheme of 18 Councillors within the improvement limits, which, for the purpose of reducing the number of the Council, the portion of the committee representing the present im- provement district have been willing to accept for that area, and 21 for the outer districts, making in the whole 39; and, with 13 Aldermen, an entire Council of 52, which is the smallest number that the promoters can consider at all practicable consistently with the various considerations above referred to. For the area within the improvement limits the Committee have decided to submit two ward schemes for your of three wards of six Councillors each ; and one of six wards with three Councillors each. Of these they submit the former as the preferable one; but the Improvement Com- missioners, by their sub-committee appointed to examine the schemes, have pronounced in favour of the six-ward scheme.

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The comparative merits of the two schemes are these, that the three ward scheme will be the more economical in working out, having regard to election preparations and other such matters, whilst the six ward scheme will have the advantage of distributing and localising more equally the attention of members of the Council, who, having in special charge the interests of their particular wards, will better secure to each a fair share of the attention of the Council in general to their particular wants and improvements. - With these observations the promoters will be satisfied to take your decision in favour of either of the schemes as you may judge best. The Commissioner-I think your proposed number of aldermen will be wrong. It is necessary that it should be a number divisible by two in order that one half may retire from office in rotation pursuant to the Municipal Corporations Act. Mr Batley referred to the Act, and stated that the suggestion should be attended to, and that the committee would reconsider the ward schemes and present them at to-morrow's sitting. He intimated that in all probability t would be necessary to increase the number of Council from 52 to 56, in order to comply with the provisions of the Act. Mr. Batley then proposed, after taking the statement intended to be presented by Mr. Hesp, to pro- ceed to call evidence in support of the petitioner' case. Mr. Hesp stated that portions of the estate of Sir John William Ramsden were intended to be included in the limits of the proposed borough ; and the rights and privi- leges belonging to him were extremely valuable to him. Sir John was most desirous of giving every assistance and facility to the promoters of the proposed charter of in- corporation, provided his rights were not thereby affected, save as regarded the power of appointing Commissioners, which he had already consented to waive. Sir Jolin claimed that, should the charter be granted, his several rights and privileges should be reserved in like manner as they were reserved to him by Acts of Parliament. In reply to the Commissioner, Mr. Hesp stated that Sir John William Ramsden's rights were so extensive and multifarious, it was thought they

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might possibly be affected by the charter of incorporation, unless there was some reservation clause inserted. The Commissioner said the merits of the clause could be entered into hereafter. Mr. Batley -You are not prepared with the clause ? Mr. Hesp-No. “ Mr. Batley-I now propose to call evidence in proof of the signatures of the petition and the correctness of the - rateable values attached. Iam not aware that there is any contention on this subject. The petitioners from Bradley and Almondbury who appear here to oppose the charter are only interested in or entitled to challenge the signatures from their respective localities, have already stated, and I will now repeat the figures from these loca- lities which will be probably agreed to as correct, so that only such formal proofs will be requisite as will satisfy you in taking the signatures and rateable values as estab- lished and admitted. Mr. Shaw stated that as regards Bradley there would be no contention respecting the signatures, as the figures were substantially correct, and would be checked so as to be agreed upon. Mr. Midgley also stated that the figures given for Almondbury were correct, and would not be disputed. Robert Skilbeck, Esq., was then called and exansined as to signatures obtained by him. He stated that as chairman of the Improvement Commissioners and as one of the committee promoting the petition, he had assisted in obtaining signatures to the petition, and had obtained 324 signatures, to which he had attached his initials as attesting witness, and could verify them all as the . genuine signatures of inhabitant householders and rate- payers within the proposed borough limits. Mr. Joshua Sykes gave similar evidence verifying in like manner 888 signatures, and Mr. David Hutchinson verified 756 signatures. The Commissioner intimated that it would be un- necessary to adduce further evidence as to the genuine- ness of the signatures, which appeared to be admitted on all sides, and he would now wish to have some evidence of the accuracy of the rateable values attached to the

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signatures, after which the promoters might pass to the merits of the case. Mr. John Dodson was then called, and stated that he was rate collector for the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners, and that he had attached correctly from the rate-book the rateable value of the occupations of all the persons signing the petition who were rated within the Commissioners' limits. Mr. Alfred Kendall and Mr. Isaac Kaberry, clerks to Messrs. Brook, Freeman, and Batley, stated that they had compared the signatures with the rate-books, and attached the correct rateable values thereto, as regards the petitioners resident in the township of Huddersfield outside the Improvement Commissioners' limits, and also as regards Newsome. Mr. E. Hawkyard and Mr. John Sykes gave similar evidence as regards the Lockwood signatures, Mr. John Richard Sykes as regards Almondbury, Mr. John Crosland for Lindley, and Mr. Godfrey Berry for Moldgreen. The Commissioner expressed himself satisfied with the evidence, and stated that Mr. Batley might release the other witnesses upon it who were in attendance. Mr. John Henry Abbey was then called, and stated that he was the surveyor for the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners, and also to the Lockwood Local Board, in which capacity he had had the full control and manage- ment of the streets and roads, and of all sanitary works in the paving and drainage department. Since the adoption of the Huddersfield Improvement Act, there had been formed and paved two miles and 105 yards of streets dedicated to the public, and one mile and 435 yards of streets not yet dedicated. There were now in the limits of the Huddersfield Improvement, altogether, nine miles and 1,030 yards of paved streets and macadamized roads dedicated to the public, and one mile 435 yards of paved streets not yet dedicated ; and also three miles and 311 yards of streets now being constructed but incomplete. The sewerage of the town was at present discharged at six different outlets, viz., one at Longroyd Bridge, one at Aspley, one at Lower Aspley, one at Shore-foot, two at

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Grove Wood-bridge; all within the limits of the Hud- dersfield Improvement Act. The Improvement Com- missioners had just completed a sewer of 1,070 yards in length, for the drainage of the Hebble Valley, with the view of purifying the Hebble Valley beck, which is very much fouled by sewerage and other impurities coming from districts beyond the limits of the Improvement Act. The Improvement Commissioners have laid down and completed eight miles and 928 yards of main sewers, varying in size from 12 inches up to three feet diameter, into which large numbers of houses have been drained. This was in addition to a large extent of private drainage charged to the owners. He had prepared the plan attached to the petition, and could verify the same as correct, and as representing correctly the divisions of the several hamlets and Local Board districts included. The total area proposed to be incorporated comprised 10,436 acres, having a population of 72,455, and a rateable value of £199,477, as shown in detail upon the following table, which he had prepared, viz :- Township or district. Population. Rateable value. - Acres.

Huddersfield ...... 24,100 .... 100,108 .... 750 Marsh ............ 6,822 .... 12,000 .... _ 488 Fartown .......... 6,971 .... 15,000 .... 1,268 Deighton .......... 1,151 .... 2,000 .... _ 867 Bradley ............ 781 .... 5,106 .... - 1,288 Lockwood ........ 8445 .... 20,709 .... 860 Moldgreen* ........ 8,685 .... 17,596 .... 1,588 Lindley ............ 5,050 .... 12,008 .... 1,494 Newsome .......... 6,000 .... 7,200 .... _ 880 Almondbury........ 4,500 .... 7,150 .... 1,508

72455 .... 199,477 .... 10,436

*Moldgreen district includes that portion of Dalton township which is outside of the Moldgreen Local Board district. The water shed of the whole area proposed to be incorporated, with the exception of about one-half of the hamlet of Bradley, was towards the River Colne ; and in the event of any legislation for the sewerage of towns to be kept out of rivers, the sewerage of the district would necessarily have to be passed through the whole township of Huddersfield including Bradley, to such low-lying lands as could be made available for the reception of sewersge

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for land irrigation. In this respect he considered it important that Bradley should be included in the proposed area for incorporation. In his opinion the proposed area for incorporation was a proper and necessary one, which it was important to include in one administration for sewerage and sanitary purposes. Local Board had laid down a system of sewerage for one part of their district, and although they had taken advantage of all their available fall, the out-fall was at too high a level and caused flood- ing and inconvenience to a number of the houses in wet seasons and during heavy freshets on the river. car- rying forward the outlet into the Huddersfield limits this would be avoided, and on that, along with other grounds, he considered it important to unite the two systems of sewerage administration. The Lockwood Local Board had expended about £2,400 on sewerage, £900 on new boardrooms and offices, and £400 on permanent improve- ments. They had borrowed £3,500, and are now applying for sanction to borrow £3,000 for the construction of new streets. Lockwood possesses an inadequate water supply, and although there were streams and springs within a limited distance that could be made available to improve the existing local supply, still he was of opinion that one general scheme for the whole locality was better than a number of smaller ones. There are a considerable number of shops in Lockwood, still great numbers of the inhabit- ants attend Huddersfield provision market for the pur- chase of provisions. - The districts of Almondbury, New- some, Lindley, Deighton, and Bradley were all under the management of local boards, but no system of sewerage had been laid down nor any sanitary improvements or public works of any consequence executed in these locali-. ties, although some of them much need it. - The village of Salford which is in the district of Newsome adjoins closely upon Lockwood, and is in all respects similar to Lockwood. The water supply in Newsome, Almondbury, and other portions of that district was very defective. Cross-examined by Mr. Shaw-He considered that for the purposes of irrigation by means of sewerage, the available lands would be the low-lying lands beyond Bradley, in the townships of Kirkheaton and Mirfield, to

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reach which the sewerage must necessarily be conveyed through Bradley. He was not aware that the levels of any part of Bradley were so high as to render it incapable of being supplied with water from the present Longwood Reservoir. The water shed of a portion of Bradley-being in extent about one-half lying to the north of the whole turnpike road-was towards the river Calder, which was the open and agricultural part of the Bradley district. Robert Skilbeck, Esq., stated that he was chairman of the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners, and also held during the last year the office of constable of Hud- dersfield. The opinion of the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners as a body was unanimous in favour of the charter of incorporation being obtained, so as to include the town and the adjoining populous districts. This was also the feeling of a large majority of the inhabitants of Huddersfield. - It was contemplated after the obtaining of the charter, to make an application to Parliament for a comprehensive scheme of water supply, which was a con- sideration of great importance to the whole locality. Mr. Skilbeck then stated in detail the various steps adopted by the committee in conxection with the prepara- tion of the petition, and stated that he had attended the public meeting of ratepayers within the Commissioners' limits, convened to consider the propriety of an application for a charter of incorporation, on which occasion a resolu- tion in favour of the petition was adopted with only four or five dissentients. Mr. T. W. Clough was next examined, and stated he had resided in Huddersfield nearly 27 years, during which period he had been in practice there as a solicitor. In the year 1841 his firm had acted as solicitors for the promoters of an application to the Privy Council for obtaining a Charter of Incoporation. The committee then consisted of the constable and upwards of 20 other influential inhabitants within the borough. Public meetings were convened upon the question at which resolutions in favor of a Charter of Incorporation were passed by large majorities, and a petition was prepared, the signatures to which were obtained by members of the Incorporation Committee, and not by paid agents and

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amounted to 2,505, and representing a rateable value of £23,021 17s. 10d. The feeling was at that time not unanimous on the subject as a counter petition was originated within the borough which was signed by 133 inhabitants representing a rateable value of £18,385 0s. 4d. This petition was duly presented to the Privy Council, and was supported by an influential deputation who attended in London for that purpose. He (Mr. Clough) had corresponded on that occasion with the Earl Fizwilliam and others, the trustees of Sir John Ramsden, and also with Mr. Stansfield, the borough member, both of whom had thoroughly approved the petition, and promised it their support, but during the proceedings a change of Government took place, the late Lord Wharncliffe became President of the Privy Council, and he appeared to have been strongly opposed to the granting of Municipal Charters of Incorpo- ration for political reasons, and in the result the application for incorporation was refused. At that time - the part of the township of Huddersfield, now within the limits of the Improvement Act, was under the jurisdiction of the Commissioners, under the old Lighting and W atch- ing Act of 1820. The Commissioners under this Act were - self-elected, and were not subject to any election by rate- payers. Thelord of the manor had the right of appointing three of such Commissioners. The township was subject as to certain parts to the jurisdiction of five different sets of Highway Surveyors, the Lighting and Watching Com- missioners, the Waterworks Commissioners, and the private Gas Company, until the passing of the Hudders- field Improvement Act, 1848. He (Mr. Clough) was - concerned as solicitor in the obtaining of this Act, and for 17 years held the office of clerk to the Commissioners under. The Act gave to the town far greater powers of Local Improvement than previously existed, but its appli- cation was confined to the old area, comprised in the Lighting and Watching Act only. Previous to the passing of this Act, a local enquiry had been held by Messrs. Henry Horn and Ambrose Poynter, two surveying offi- cers, appointed by her Majesty's Government, who had presented a report containing most important evidence

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on the sanitary condition and local management of the town, of which he (Mr. Clough) was in possession of :copious extracts. The town had been greatly improved since the passing of the Improvement Act, many of the finest streets and best public buildings. had been erected. The sewerage and drainage, watching, police, paving, and scavenging departments were all placed under more united and better supervision. The dwellings of the poor had also been greatly improved and the lodging-houses better regulated. The Commissioners have adopted the provisions of the act for enabling them to work the Model Lodging House. Out of the Improvement-rates they purchased freehold premises at Chapel Hill, which were converted into a Model Lodging House, which he believed was the only one in England constructed and supported out of the public rates. - This establishment had a mechanics homeo accommodating 42 inmates at a charge of 4d. per night, a married couples department for 12 married couples, at a charge of 6d.; a male department accommodating 68 inmates at 3d. and a female department for 10 inmates at 3d. These charges included the charge for bath room and lavatory, the use of day room, fire and cooking apparatus, and the use of a library of books contributed by gentlemen of the town. The total cost of this estab- lishment from the commencement, including furniture and fittings, was £5,034 9s. 1d., which had been borrowed for the purpose, but one-thirtieth part was being repaid by annual instalments, and if these annual payments be deducted the establishment bids fair to become before long a self-supporting institution. The Improvement Commissioners had also greatly improved the provisions for the extinction of fires, and had effected great changes in the sanitary condition of places for the slaughter of cattle. The hackney carriages are also better regulated and put upon a more satisfactory footing, and the Commis- sioners had abated to some extent the smoke nuisance arising from mill chimnies. The lighting of the town had also under their management been greatly improved. In the year 1852 they had obtained an Act of Parliament for establishing a burial ground in order

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to close some crowded burial grounds within the town, and thereby improve its sanitary condition. _ Although much had been done under the Improvement Act in improving the local administration of the town, still in his opinion much remained to be done in the shape of a covered market, cattle market, fair ground, and other improvements for which the existing system of local government was defective, and he concurred in the general opinion that for these and other purposes, especially in reference to the water supply, it was exceelingly desirable to have a charter of incorporation for the district. The limits of the Huddersfield Improve- ment Act were far too contracted, having regard to the development and extension of the town. - They could, however, ouly be extended within the township itself, under the Improvement Act, while the town itself had extemdled in other directions outside ths township, to which the Improvement Act would be inapplicable. He considered that for a long time Hudderstield had not held its proper position in comparison with neighbouring towns, which had arisen mainly in consequence of the great number of divisions and districts into which the neighbourhood round Huddersfield had been divided for local purposes. The want of an acknowledged head was another consideration which he thought of importance, great inconvenience having arisen from having "* two heads " to the town-the chairman of the Commissioners and chief constable. ‘ Mr. Shaw-T'wo heads are certainly better than one. Mr. Batley-If they agree, but not if they quarrel. Mr. Clough said theinconvenience would be put an end to by a charter of incorporation. The appointment of the chief constable of Huddersfield still rested with the old Court Leet of the Lord of the Manor upon the nomination of the inhabitants, and although by custom the chief con- stable has been in the habit of presiding at all public meetings of the inhabitants, yet this custom arose at a time when he was the principal conservator of the peace of the district, and holding what was then a high and distinguished office, which circumstances are entirely changed by the effects of more recent legislation. He

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{(Mr. Clough) had been concerned in endeavouring to - relieve a portion of the township of Huddersfield from contributing to the cost of the county police; but owing to the existing state of the law that was unable to be accomplished, and this contribution would remain an unjust imposition upon the improvement limits until the borough is made into a municipal borough. In his opinion also the basis of representation and mode of election under the Municipal Corporations Act were greatly supe- rior to those which prevailed both under the Improvement Act and under the Local Government Act applicable to the outer districts. The system of preparation of lists and of election under the Commissioners' Clauses Act, 1847, which is the one applicable to the town, is very defective, inasmuch as there is nothing in the shape of a burgess list or public list of persons qualified to vote. This leads to great uncertainty at the elections not only on the part of the candidates, but also of the returning officer, in taking the elections and making proper returns. He (Mr. Clough) did not apprehend any material increase in the expenses of local government in consequence of the municipal incorporation of the district. He fully con- curred with the feeling which prevailed throughout the district in favour of obtaining a charter of incorporation. Cross-examined-There would be no difficulty in supplying Bradley with water. By an extension of the waterworks it was possible to supply the district of Almondbury. He was at a public meeting, held on the 29th May, when an almost unanimous vote was given in support of the charter. He saw no other mode of obtaining a supply of water for the whole district than by the adjoining townships joining Huddersfield, and going in for extensive works in order to procure a proper supply for the rapidly increasing population surrounding. John Day, Esq., was called, and stated that he was chairman of the Local Board of Moldgreen, and with the exception of about one year had been a member of that Board since its establishment in 1859. The district was a rapidly increasing one in manufacturing and other branches of industry, comprising several large mills and works ; and the general population are occupied in indus-

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trial pursuits, precisely analogous in every respect with that of Huddersfield. Moldgreen is separated from Hud- dersfield by the River Colne. The principal communica- tion is by a long narrow and exceedingly inconvenient bridge, which, in his opinion, was very inadequate as a means of communication ; and efforts had been made to _ accomplish its improvement, but had hitherto been unsuccessful. The water supply of Moldgreen was very defective, and stood in great need of improvement. They had concurred and supported the application of the Hud- dersfield Waterworks Commissioners in 1866, for an increased water supply, which had been rejected in Parliament, because the promoters were unable to give any guarantee in the shape of a rate in aid in the event of casualties. The inhabitants of Moldgreen were tho- roughly in favour of being included with Huddersfield and the other districts, in order that, among other im- provements, a combined effort might again be made for an improved water supply. In March last the Board had been invited to meet the Improvement Commissioners for the consideration of the question of a charter of incor- poration. Meetings had taken place, which he (Mr. Day) had convened and presided over, and at which resolutions were passed in favour of the charter ; and he and Mr. Enoch Sykes had been appointed to act upon the general Incorpo- ration Committee, and had so acted in the proceedings in connection with the petition and fnr promoting the charter. The Moldgreen Local Board had laid down a system of sewerage for part of their district, and had executed cor- siderable works of improvement in roads, footways, sewers, &c. They had borrowed £1,186 for public works. He was not of opinion that the proposed incorporation would affect materially the expenses of local administra- tion of the Moldgreen district. As one of the largest ratepayers, and an inhabitant of the district, he concurred in the opinion that it was desirable to have a charter of incorporation. Mr. Enoch Sykes, of Primrose-hill, gave similar evidence as to the defective supply of water in that part of the Moldgreen district, and the desirableness of a charter being granted, in order to facilitate the application to

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Parliament for a better supply. He also said that the district of Newsome was very poorly supplied with water, and in his opinion would be greatly benefitted by the proposed incurporation. Edward Armitage, Esq., of Marsh, said that he resided in the Local Board district of Marsh, in the township of Huddersfield. - Was a member of the firm of Armitage Brothers, who held considerable property in Huddersfield, and occupied a warehouse there. The hamlet of Marsh embraced the village of Paddock. Paddock was a popu- lous place, and comprised several mills and manufactories. The industrial and other interests of the inhabitants of the Marsh district were identical with those of Hudders- fiel1, and he considered the two localities should be unrited for all purposes of local administration by means of the proposed charter. The district of Marsh was situate between the town of Huddersfield and the township of Lindley, which was also favourable to the proposed incor- poration. He had attended a public meeting held in Marsh on the subject of the incorporation, at which a resolution in opposition to the charter had been carried by a majority, but he was of opinion that the ques- tion had not been very fairly put to the meeting by the chairman who, when he called for the show of hands in favour of the charter, had asked one hand to be held up, but both hands had been held up against the charter. He knew that a great change of feeling had now taken place in the district of Maursh, and that the opposition to the charter had been withdrawn. Mr. Eli Stott stated he was a member of the Local Board of Marsh, and confirmed the statement as to the with- drawal of the opposition petition which had emanated from that district, after explanations from the promoters of the petition. The opinions of the leading ratepayers were very much changed, and the Local Board had appointed Mr. James Crosland and himself as delegates to act upon the committee of promoters, and they were accordingly acting upon the committee and supported the application for the charter. J. E. Norris, Esq., town clerk of Halifax, was called, and stated that he was he town clerk of Halifax, and had

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held that office for some years. He was a native of Halifax, where he had been in practice as a solicitor for twenty-five years. Was acquainted with the local government of that town, and also well acquainted with the town of Huddersfield and its neighbourhood. He had also had extensive opportunities of observing the working of corporate institutions in towns in the West Riding and other places. He considered the application of the Municipal Acts to large towns, especially where the town itself was made up as in Huddersfield of fractional parts of districts, having sepa- rate Institutions and separate Local Boards, to be a great benefit to the town. Nolarge undertaking for the general improvement of the town can be successfully carried out until there is unity of purpose and unity of design. Many public works had been successfully executed in Halifax, almost all of which were remunerative and yielded a surplus, which was carried to the general funds in re- duction of rates. They had made great progress at Halifax, which they attributed chiefly to the unity of purpose under the Municipal Acts. He considered it one o the most unaccountable facts in the history of the West Riding that a town like Huddersfield should so loag have remained indifferent to the obtaining of a charter of incorporation, which alone would enable it to take its proper position in the list of towns and boroughs in the kingdom. With respect to the boundaries, he was of opinion that an ample area ought to be taken for the administration of polices, lighting, and watching. In Halifax, since its incorporation, it was found that the area was contracted, and it had been largely extended under a subsequent Act of Parliament. A Mr. William Rowland Crofts stated that he was a member of the Lockwood Local Board, and had a thorough know- ledge of that district. He concurred in the opinion given by other promoters as to the desirableness of a charter of incorporation including Lockwood and other districts along with Huddersfield. The boundary line between the two was at one point within 600 from the Hud- dersfield Market-place. Lines.of houses, mills, factories, - and other buildings extended from the boundary line

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into Lockwood. The town delivery of letters also extends into Lockwood. The gas mains also and supply of water were to a certain extent brought also from Huddersfield by pipes across the river into Lockwood. - Lockwood was a rapidly increasing district, buildings were extending in numerous directions for a mile from the boundary line, and the land was being rapidly taken up for building purposes in anticipation of the charter being granted. The land was chiefly leasehold, held for 999 years from the proprietors of the Lockwood estate. The population had more than doubled itself since 1831, and the rateable value had increased in a corresponding ratio.. The pro- portion of population to area was about the same as Huddersfield. There were six miles of highways within the township of Lockwood, and the total number of houses 1,698. The inhabitants were chiefly of the artisan class, most of whom were employed within their own district, with a few of the middle class and wealthy manufacturers scattered amongst them. The working class in the Lockwood district were not migratory in their habits, but generally well settled in the district, indus- trious and frugal. In five years there had been built by artisans out of two clubs within his knowledge 70 dwell- ing-houses. The occupations and industry of the inhabi- tants of Lockwood were identical with Huddersfield. Lock- wood comprised several important public places-one large Mechanics' Institution, one church with schools attached, four large chapels, one working man's club, several day and Sunday schools and large local board meeting room and offices. The water supply of Lockwood was very defective, causing in dry summers much suffering and in- convenience to a large proportion of the inhabitants. Owing to this the progress of the district was impeded, building prevented, and the rate of mortality increased. In his opinion the best way of obtaining a satisfactory water supply was by means of the districts being united under a charter of incorporation and then making a combined application to Parliament. The Local Boards of Moldgreen and Lockwood, had some time ago endea- voured to obtain a water supply for the two districts independently of other districts, which scheme had been

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abandoned in 1865. The same scheme had been recon- sidered by the Lockwood Local Board, but was again abandoned as being beyond its separate means. Various other proposals had been suggested and considered without-any practical result. He was of opinion that the basis of representation under a Municipal Incorpora tion being enlarged beyond the Local Board system would be an advantage to the district. He considered the system of voting under the Local Government Act was bad and unjust. He had known one firm in Lock- wood give 56 and another 48 votes, under the accumulative- system of voting. For these and other reasons he was strongly in favour of a charter of incorporation. Mr. John Fligg Brigg stated that he was chairman of the Almondbury Local Board. Almondbury was a very ancient town, older as a town than Huddersfield. It is situated on high ground, about two miles south-east of Huddersfield ; was a manufacturing place, its inhabitants being all engaged in the industry of the district. It had diminished in importance of late years, the rise of Huddersfield had depreciated Almondbury. Its elevated situation had tended to diminish its intercourse, and t throw it on its own resources. In his opinion a closer connection with Huddersfield would be a decided advan- tage to Almondbury, and under a united system of management through the medium of a charter of incorpora- tion, he thought it would have in course of time better roads, better sanitary measures, and be better supplied with water, and better enabled to keep pace with the general improvement of the district. He was therefore in favour of the charter of incorporation being granted. The feeling of the inhabitants in Almondbury was very much divided upon the question of the charter of incorporation. The opposition to it arose mainly from the apprehension that extra rates would be the result, which apprehension he believed had been increased by exaggerated statements on the part of some of the opponents of the charter. The rates in Almondbury were at present high, being about 1s. 14d. for highways, in addition to a gas rate and a general district rate. Some of the larger rate payers in the township were in favour of incorporation

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but in point of numbers as well as in rateable value, he believed the opposition was greater.

Cross-examined by Mr. Midgley -He had been present and presided at a public meeting of the inhabitants con- vened to consider the question of incorporation, at which a resolution against the charter had been passed by a majority. The majority, however, was but small, and so far as he could judge, the weight of rateable value at the meeting was in favour of the charter. He had not endea- voured unfairly to influence the meeting, or the show of hands, upon the subject. He had taken the opinion of the meeting three times, but that arose from his difficulty in determining which side had the majority. First he had called for a show of hands, then for the second, and ultimately he had divided the room and counted the votes.

Mr. William Hannan stated that he had held the office of superintendent of police within the limits of the Hud- dersfield Improvement Act for about five years, but had retired from the police service altogether. He had had an experience of 20 years in the police service. Was well acquainted with the police establishment and arrangements at Huddersfield. The police force consisted of 31 men of all ranks. - The total cost of the police service, according to the published statement for 1864, was £2,442 10s. 9d., which included all wages of day and night constables, clothing, accoutrements, stores, and rent of buildings and repairs and alterations, which had been considerable. The Commissioners received yearly from Government a grant of one fourth of their expenditure upon the certificate of the Government Inspector as to the efficiency of the force. The police appointed under the Improve- ment Act have only limited powers or authority outside the limits of that Act. - He considered it very important that the police force of a town like Huddersfield ought to be under one supervision and management for a consider- able area around the town ; and at all events to include the populous suburbs, and for this purpose he considered the charter of incorporation desirable.

Mr. Roger Houghton, of Almondbury, confirmed the

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statement of Mr. Brigg with reference to that district ; and as a member of the Local Board, and an inhabitant of the district, he concurred in the propriety of obtaining a charter of incorporation. At the conclusion of the evidence of Mr. Houghton, the Court rose until the following (Thursday) morning, at eleven o'clock.


The Commissioner resumed his sitting this morning, when Mr. J. H. Abbey was recalled. He put in a plan of the ward divisions for the proposed borough, showing five wards within the Commissioners limits, namely :;: two having six councillors and three having three councillors each, making 21 in all, and seven wards of three councillors each for the out-districts, making an equal number of 21 councillors, and in the whole 42 councillors, and with 14 aldermen, a total council of 56. The wards within the Commissioners limits were as follows, viz.:; No. 1 is situated on the southern and south-western side, bounded on the south by Lockwood, on the west and north by Gedholt, Marsh, and Fartown ; on the east side by Bradford-road, the Railway Viaducts, St. George's- square, Upperhead-row, South-parade, Chapel-hill, and Engine-bridge. The population is 8,270, and the rateable value £29,679. Ward No. 2 is bounded on the west by No. 1 ward, on the east by Dalton and Moldgreen ; on the north by Fartown, and on the south by West-parade, Westgate, Kirkgate, and Dock-street. The population is 7,445, and the rateable value £29,301. No. 3 ward, which includes the business part of the town, is bounded on the north by No. 2 ward, on the east by Upperhead-row, on the west by Buxton-road and New-street, and on the south by South-parade. The population is 2,115; and the rateable value £13,168. - No 4 ward adjoins No. 3 ward, on the east side, and No. 2 ward on the north ; and the southern and eastern boundary is Ramsden-street and the River Colne. The population is 2,255 ; and the rate- able value £15,048. The remaining ward, No. 5, contains

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the south-eastern portion of the town, from Chapel-hill to Upper Aspley. The population is 2,490, and the rate- able value £12,878. Mr. Abbey, having put in his ward scheme, said he had examined the levels of the present store reservoir of the Waterworks Commissioners, and of the proposed one in the projected scheme before Paliament last year. The levels of the present store reservoir at Long- wood was 675 feet above Ordnance datum. The centre of the village at Almondbury was at a level of 500 feet, and the whole of the village proper was below the ordnance contour of 600 feet. There were only 28 acres in Almond- bury above the height of the proposed reservoir at Black- moor Foot, projected by the Huddersfield Waterworks Commissioners. At the highest point in Bradley, the levels were 625 feet, being 50 feet below the present reservoir at Longwood. Cross-examined-The ward scheme is not mine ; but the Incorporation Committee's. At present the only reservoir which supplies Huddersfield with water is situated at Longwood. Mr. W. R. Haigh, merchant, said he was formerly a member of the Newsome Local Board. The Board and the inhabitants presented a petition against the charter some time ago ; but a change of opinion had taken place. At a meeting, held on Monday last, which was consi- derably attended by ratepayers, and which he himself attended, a resolution was unanimously passed with- drawing the opposition to the scheme. The meeting of ratepayers confirmed the resolution of the Local Board. He had always been in favour of a charter, believing the district would be benefitted by it in a variety of ways. Mr. James N. Sykes said he was a resident and rate- payer of Lindley-cum-Quarmby, and chairman of the Local Board, the district of which comprised the whole township. The feeling of the district-members of the Local Board and ratepayers-was unanimously in favour of the charter ; and a resolution was passed, at a public meeting held on the 14th May, 1867, affirming its desirability. He was a member of the Incorporation Committee.

By the Commissioner- There has been no opposition in Lindley.

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Mr. John Haigh asked, would it not te advisable to divide the township of Lindley into three wards, one councillor to be sent from each ward. Commissioner-That is impossible. Mr. Sykes-That is impracticable. Mr. Shaw-You must elect for three years, and you cannot have less than three for any ward. Mr. Haigh said an opinion seemed to prevail that the representatives would be sent from Lindley proper. They wanted to take it in turns, and to send one. Commissioner-That is a question which will be dealt with hereafter. Mr. Henry Brooke, merchant, said he was a ratepayer resident in the township of Dalton,-the lower part, not in the district of the Moldgreen Local Board. He was also an Improvement Commissioner, and one of the com- mittee for promoting the petition for a charter. It was his opinion decidedly that a charter ought to be granted on the plan submitted. The character of Dalton was partly agricultural and partly manufacturing. The districts included in the ward scheme-Lower Dalton, Deighton, and Bradley-in the conditions of property and popula- tion, closely resembled each other ; and that was a reason why he thought they ougbt to be associated together. The three districts made up a balance of rateable value for one ward, about equal to the other wards. g By Mr. Shaw-The wants of the district are similar. Mr. Batley stated, in reply to Mr. Shaw, that the rateable valuable of Dalton was £5,371, population, 1,675 ; acreage, 900 ; Deighton, £2,000 ; population, 1,150 ; 367 acres; and Bradley- Mr. Shaw-We know that. (Laughter.) Mr. R. Skilbeck, recalled, said he had examined the ward scheme, and, in his opinion, it was the most suitable one, having due regard to equal representation. The thinly populated portion of Deighton and Bradley, being similar in their interests, principally agricultural, it was thought desirable they should have a ward to themselves, so as to secure them a certainty of a share in the represen- tation which they would be deprived of if united with populous wards. If Bradley and Deighton were annexed

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to Fartown, the effect would be that it would be virtually unrepresented.

Cross-examined by Mr. Shaw- There are 12 wards altogether, and Dalton, Deighton, and Bradley, would return three representatives.

The Commissioner asked for the number of inhabited houses.

Mr. Skilbeck replied that in Deighton there were 230,

in Bradley 143, and 348 in Dalton ; making 721 in the whale ward.

Mr. Skilbeck examined by Mr. Midgley-The population of the whole district of Almondbury and Newsome was 10,500. It was not intended that local boards should have control over the internal affairs of their respective districts. The Council would be the governing body. Three represen- tatives were granted for the whole district of Newsome and Almondbury, the rateable value together being the same as Fartown district, and not near so much as Lock- wood.

Mr. John Crossley, Halifax, said he had served the office of Mayor of that borough, and had been connected with the corporation since 1848. At Halifax they had every reason to be satisfied with the working of the municipal corporation ; and, if applied to Huddersfield, and right men were sent to perform the duties of coun- cillors, they would have every reason to feel satisfied with the change.

He was well acquainted with Huddersfield, and con- sidered its present administration of local affairs very defective. To have Improvement Commissioners with a jurisdiction over only a limited area, being practically a part only of the town, with separate Local Boards having independent jurisdiction over districts, which are virtually other parts of the town, must be a great evil and inconvenience. The conflict of opinion between these independent districts on questions of sewerage and other sanitary institutions must tend to public disadvantage.

He was strongly of opinion that a change of system is

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desirable for the interests and progress of the town. A more united system of local government, extending to include all the masses of population properly belonging to the town, seems highly necessary. He also found in Halifax that incorporation had caused more activity. Influential residents have interested themselves more actively in local affairs, and public spirit has been evoked with beneficial results to the town, and nv doubt the same result would follow at Huddersfield.

At first there was considerable opposition to the charter at Halifax ; but if they were to poll the town now there would be but one general voice in its favour.

The population of the borough of Halifax is now 56,000, including the additional area recently added to its limits. It has been found necessary to add to the limits of the municipal borough of Halifax; and this was because inconvenience was felt from the original area being too limited. He was decidedly of opinion that in the case of Huddersfield it would be found best to include in the ontset an ample area, looking forward and providing for the natural expansion which must take place in a town possessing such rich local advantages, and such activity of manufacturing and commercial enterprise.

Since the incorporation of Halifax the markets have been purchased and vested in the corporation. The market company never made £8 per cent of them, but the corporation purchased them at £11 per cent, and have still made large profits from them which are carried to the borough fund in aid of general charges, including interest on the Town Hall loan account.

The corporation of Halifax also acquired the gasworks, paying the owners £10 per cont on their outlay, and are now making from £7 to £8 per cent, or a net profit of from £4,000 to £5,000 a year, which is available for purposes of public advantage.

The water supply belonged to commissioners before the incorporation and there was merely a transfer at cost price. The corporation have spent upon them altogether £283,000, and are spending more ; but they calculate fully

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on its being a remunerative and beneficial expenditure for the town.

To the Gas Company they gave £37,000 for what cost them £15,000 and have spent some £75,000 additional to

great advantage.

The Halifax Corporation are in good credit in the money market, and their debenture debt is at rates varying from 4 to 4$ per cent. The average upon the entire loans £4 9s. per cent.

The Public Health Act had not been passed when Halifax obtained its charter, and as the corporation found it would give some additional sewerage powers, they adopted it in preference to seeking them by special Act of Parliament. They had gone to Parliament for four im- provement Acts since their incorporation, as occasion has arisen, viz., in 1853, 1858, 1862, and 1865, and are going again next session. "

Halifax has much increased since the incorporation, and

he was firmly of opinion that the incorporation had been a great public advantage, and that to be incorporated

would be a great public advantage in Huddersfield, indeed it was the only Local Government system applicable to so populous a district as Huddersfield.

By Mr. Shaw-They were perfectly satisfied with the debt at Halifax, large as it was. The rates of Halifax now amounted to 2s. 6d. in the pound ; before the corpo- ration was in existence they would be 1s. 10d. or 2s., but extensive improvements had since been made.

Mr. George Sykes, clerk to Messrs. Brook, Freeman, and Batley, verified the statement of signatures and rateable value of the petitions for and against the charter, as put in by Mr. Batley, stating that as regards Bradley ; he had checked the same with the opponents solicitor, and they had agreed on £3,000 as the rateable value represented by the petition against the charter. He also verified the statement of ward divisions put in, which was correct in its details of population and rateable value, viz. :-

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"230 | - Rateabl 'of No. of Popula-| £ ateable Ward. Name of Ward. tion. | Rat- value. Coun- ings. cillors. £ s. d. 1 Ward 8,270 162 | 29,679 1 6 2 59 »-- 2| 7,445 | 29,8301 14 6 8 w », -- 8| 2,115 130 | 13,168 17 8 4 59 ,-- 4] 2,255 | 167] 15,048 10 3 5 59 » -_ 5) 2,490 64 | 12,878 18 8 100,077 21 6 |Marsh ............ 6,822 60 | 12,000 O0 8 7 [Fartown .......... 6,971 47 | 15,000 8 8 |Deighton, Bradley, and Dalton (North Ward)............ 8,607 67 | 12,477 O 8 9 |Moldgreen ........ 6,960 42 | 12,224 18 8 3 10 |Lockwood ........ 8,445 65 | 20,709 8 11 |Almondbury and ~ Newsome ........ 10,500 57) 14,950 O0 8 12 |Lindley-cum- Quarmby ........ 5,050 66 | 12,008 9 8 70,980 | 1,154 | 199,446 7 3 42 AlderMeN see ee ee e ee e e e e e e e e e e e 6s 14 Total number of Council ............................ 56

Cross-examined by Mr. Shaw-The Commissioners' Improvement Rate was 2s. 1d. in the pound. Other rates were laid, and for the last five years the average amount of rates, including poor's-rate, was 3s. 11d. in the pound, or, without the poor's-rate, 2s. 1d. in the pound.

During the last two years the average had been 2s. 1d. in the pound. '

Mr. Batley-That is the ease for the promoters.

Mr. Shaw, in addressing the court on behalf of Bradley, said, if he had consulted his own view on the matter, he should not have troubled the Commissioner by calling any witnesses, because he should have taken the case on the part of the promoters, who were seeking to include Bradley, and he should say that they had failed to make out a case for that inclusion; but, in obedience to the wishes of his clients, who desired to express their strong feeling against any incorporation with the town of Hud- dersfield, he therefore proposed to call witnesses. Bradley

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had been a hamlet from time immemorial, and for ever had been disconnected fron: Huddersfield, and therefore it was the duty of the promoters of the movement to make out a case for the incorporation of Bradley with Hudders- field and other districts. Up to the present time, Bradley had been probably as isolated a place as any place could be from the town of Huddersfield. Huddersfield had turned its back upon Bradley-all the trade of the town was extending in the direction of Almondbury, Lindley, and Lockwood; and some strong reasons must be given why Bradley should be incorporated. It must be shown that there would be benefits accruing from the incorpora- tion, and not disadvantages; and if Huddersfield could show that, he would sit down and say to Bradley, "* By all means be incorporated." The only ground upon which the promoters could rely was that Bradley formed part of the ancient township, and was within the Parliamentary borough ; but these, he contended, were not sufficient reasons for incorporation. No body of men ought to be incorporated against their will. The promoters had, he would admit, come with an unanimous petition ; and, while he would not speak against the rights of the people of Huddersfield, he contended that the hamlet of Bradley ought not to be included. The strong ought not to sub- due the weak, and Huddersfield, because she was potent, ought not to say they would annex Bradley. Bradley was reluctant, and Huddersfield ought not to force the charter upon the people. The hamlet contained a popu- lation of 780 souls, inhabited houses to the number of 143; and rateable value to the amount of £5,108, of which sum £1,800-and here was the rub--was paid by two railway companies and a canal company. That was the secret why the promoters were anxious to annex Bradley. Was Bradley in a position to be annexed? It was the most distant of any hamlet from the town of Hudders- field ; there were no improvements going on there at all ; and, with the exception of a little manufacturing at Colne Bridge, the rest was simply and purely agricultural land. The charter of incorporation would confer none of those powers which of late years were considered so important : it would not be the cure for the ills which had been spoken

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of ; and would not avail them for any sanitary works which they wished to carry out. With regard to the want of a **head of the town," he should pass that by, as it did not affect the question at all. In making application for a water supply scheme, Parliament would enquire whether water was needed, and whether the source of the pro- posed supply was correct; and he could not understand why Parliament should decline to give Huddersfield an Act of Parliament, simply because it was not backed by a corporation. Bradley had no wants in common with Huddersfield and the other manufacturing districts ; and, on that ground, he submitted, ought not to be incorpo- rated. The 39 burgesses who had interests in common would out-vote the three representatives of Bradley. The rates for Bradley were about 4d. and a fraction in the pound on an average of years; and that was an important element in the case. The rates of Huddersfield had been at least 2s. 1d. on an average of the last five years. Bradley wanted no water: there was an ample supply ; and, if they did want water, it would be difficult to take it to the scattered and straggling farmers' houses. They wanted no gas ; but if they did, they could get it within 300yards of the centre of their own boundary, the mains of Rastrick and Mirfield companies extending that distance. They wanted no drainage : that which they had at present being ample for all purposes ; in fact, they had no wants which Hudders- field could relieve. With regard to the death rate, Bradley stood favourably in comparison with Huddersfield. Out of 143 inhabitant householders, 129 had signed the petition against the charter. Bradley was merely wanted as an outlet for sewage from Huddersfield ; and not for the purpose of being benefited. - She was required as the mouth of discharge for the impurities of Huddersfield ; but that was the lamest argument one man could address to another for the purpose of obtaining a charter of in- corporation. - The case of Huddersfield was shipwrecked with regard to Bradley by that admission. - Between Huddersfield and Bradley, on the road-side, there was nothing but level ground, the land being too low for building purposes, and frequently under water to a con- siderable depth. - Charters of incorporation were only for

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towns and populous places, and there could be no reason for granting a charter to a place which was simply and entirely an agricultural district. For these reasons, there- fore, he submitted and trusted the Commissioner would report that the hamlet of Bradley ought to be excluded from the charter of incorporation. Mr. John Forge was then called, and he said he was agent for Sir Henry Blake, who owned about 900 acres of land at Bradley. The whole hamlet contained a total of 1,288 acres or thereabouts. The place, he considered, had been well governed by the Local Board ; the natural water supply was wells, and the water was of good quality. It would be a great disadvantage, and additionally expensive, for Bradley if it was connected with Hud- dersfield ; and he was entirely opposed to it being in- cluded. ' - Cross-examined by Mr. Batley-The land at Bradley was not laid out for building purposes. Plots had been advertised for four years ; but there had been no appli- cations. There was little doubt but that Bradley, if incorporated, would have to pay rates for improvements from which the inhabitants received no benefit. He was not able to tell whether Bradley could or could not be formed into a separate district under the Municipal Government for rating purposes ; but, if it could, they should object to being included to the very last. Mr. Samuel Wood Haigh, of Colnebridge House, said he was a manufacturer and a justice of the peace for the West Riding. The mills of their firm and adjoining land were rated at about £791. Twenty-four of those who signed the petition from Bradley were in their employ ; but he had never asked any one to sign it. Two meetings had been held, and the feeling on both occasions was unanimous against incorporation; and the people still held out. The drainage and roads were good ; there was plenty of water; and, if required, they had gas at hand. He did not see any advantage they could obtain by join- ing Huddersfield. The Cemetery at Huddersfield was three miles from Bradley; but there was ground for interment connected with the Church of Bradley. Al- though they had to pay the Huddersfield Cemetery rate,

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he believed there had not been a single interment from Bradley in the Huddersfield Cemetery since it was opened. In addition to the land being liable to floods, it was not eligible for building purposes inasmuch as the ground in some places was subsiding in consequence of coal workings. Cross-examined by Mr. Batley-W as not aware whether Bradley supported the recent application to Parliament for improved water supply for the district. Was aware that his brother went to London in connection with the application ; but did not know whether to promote or oppose He (witness) was on the continent at the time. Mr. T. Haigh Bradbury, one of the firm of Messrs. Thomas Haigh and Sons, Colnebridge, said the rates of Bradley had been 4id. in the pound on an average of six years. Mr. Hoyle and Mr. J. J. Scholes, members of the local board, agreed with the foregoing witnesses, the last wit- ness stating, in reply to the Commissioner, that the local government act was adopted at Bradley in 1862. Mr. Brook, registrar, said the death rate in the improve- ment boundary for the last two years had been 24} in the thousand, against 22% or 223 in Bradley. Mr. John Gibson, farmer and hotel keeper, and Mr. John Howgate, publican, the latter of whom went round to obtain signatures to the petition, against the incorpora- tion scheme, were also called. Mr. Shaw said that was the case on behalf of Bradley. Commissioner-With regard to Almondbury, do you wish to call any witnesses ? Mr. Midgley said he should call no witnesses, but would address the court in opposition to the charter. He said they had everything in the village to make the people comfortable and agreeable. They had what they con- sidered sufficient drainage ; a moderate supply of water ; they had a supply of gas, and lamps in the streets to the number of 20 or 30. The Local Government Act was adopted six years ago, and the Board consisted of 12 members. In the opinion of a majority of the rate- payers it was impossible for Huddersfield to supply the village of Almondbury with water, The nearest point

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to Huddersfield was about one and a half miles distant, and the furthest point about four miles. The district comprised about 1,500 acres ; a population of 4,500 ; number of houses 880, of which 703 were cottages, the average rateable value of these being £3 2s. each. The annual rateable value of property belonging to manufacturers was £873; and of farmers £3,072. There were four mills in the district ; three co-operative stores ; twelve provision dealers : six butchers, &c. The district was not an improv- ing one on account of its high elevation, part of it comprising the far-famed Castle Hill. They had a cemetery in the village, purchased within the last ten years, four acres in extent-two applied to the church, one to dissent, and one neutral ; and it was self-support- ing. (Laughter.) Mr. John Ashton, innkeeper, Lockwood, also addressed the opposition to the application for a charter. The Local Board, established six years, had well served the purposes of the inhabitants. The resolution in favour of the charter was passed conditionally on a guarantee being given that Lockwood should be supplied with water ; but that guarantee had not been given. Mr. Batley explained that the assurance had been given to that Board, in common with all the others, that, on the completion of the incorporation, a combined appli- cation should be made to Parliament on the water supply question. They could give no guarantee as to what Parliament would do; but they were all in the same boat, and the assurance given had been satisfactory on all sides. ~ Mr. Batley then addressed the Commissioner in reply to the arguments and statements put forward against the charter. that as regards the general merits of the case it must be considered as unopposed. The allegations of the petition had been thoroughly made out by uncontradicted proof, and the Commissioner could not hesitate in reporting to her Majesty's Privy Council to that effect and in favour of the charter being granted. He would, therefore, confidently leave that portion of the case without occupying time by any further observa- tions, but would confine himself ta the particular merits

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of the three localities from which petitions against being included in the limits of the charter had been supported before the Commissioner, viz :-Bradley, Lockwood, and Almondbury. With reference to Lockwood, the pro- moters relied, in the first place, on the great preponderance of and evidence in the district itself. The opposition petition represents only about one-tenth of the rateable value of the district, whilst the petition in support represented considerably more than one-half. The leading oppositionist had, in fact, been rejected at the recent local board election on this very question of incorporation, which showed the strong opinions enter- tained by the majority of rate-payers. In addition to this there were the merits of the case itself, the obvious propriety of including Lockwood in the area of the new borough, being already to all intents and purposes a part of the town itself, within the town delivery of letters, having the most complete identity of industrial interests and occupations of the inhabitants, and there being, moreover, a great necessity on sanitary grounds for a united management of the two systems of sewerage and for a combined effort towards an improved water supply. On these grounds he confidently submitted that it would be impossible to exclude Lockwood from the limits of the proposed municipal borough. With respect to Almondbury, the Commissioner would see from his own comparison of the contour lines on the ordnance map, that with the exception of 28 acres of the most elevated part, namely, the crown of the Castle Hill itself, the whole district was within a level available for the new water supply which was in contemplation. With this advantage, and with the possession of a large extent of elevated and eligible building land, with new and im- proved lines of road being now actually in course of con- struction between Almondbury and Huddersfield, how could it be otherwise than that the two districts would in course of a few years become more united together as one town. Added to this there was the present identity of occupation and industrial pursuits of the population at both places, and the fact that most of the inhabitants came daily to Huddersfield to work at the various mills,

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and came there regularly to the provision market. The promoters concurred with Mr. Brigg in the conviction that to include Almondbury within the borough would be an advantage instead of a detriment to it. Moreover, it is obvious on looking at the map that some portions of Almondbury ought at all events to be included within the borough, for it approaches within 300 yards of the present boundary line, and to exclude it altogether would present a line of boundary most inconvenient and disadvantageous. To separate the district of Almondbury, would, however, lead to the complications and difficulties before adverted to, and would ultimately operate adversely towards the interests of the inhabitants of the district itself. For thess reasons the promoters felt assured that the Commissioner would see the propriety of the whole district of Almondbury being included in the borough, and report to the Privy Council accordingly. With respect to Bradley he (Mr. Batley) desired on behalf of the promoters to say nothing to irritate the feelings of the gentlemen from that locality who opposed the charter, because in all probability they would all have to work together under the incorporated system hereafter, and he trusted that notwithstanding their strong feelings they would be able to do so harmoniously. The real oppo- nents from Bradley were the principal employers of labour there, and had great influence amongst the inha- bitants. They had influenced them to petition almost unanimously against the charter, and the nature of the case was explained by the admission made by Mr. Haigh in his evidence that no less than 24 of the petitioners were in the direct employ of that firm. It was true that the promoters had not a single signature of an inhabitant of Bradley in favour of being brought within the limits of the municipal borough, but neither on the other hand had the opponents from Bradley a single signature of an inhabitant of the township outside that district in favour of their view of being excluded. And surely if it were so unfair and oppressive a measure as had been asserted, there would have been found numbers of inhabitants of the other parts of the township to oppose it on grounds of common justice. An imputation had been made that

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the annexation of Bradley to Huddersfield was sought fo r by the promoters from interested motives, and in order to inpose upon Bradley, in relief of Huddersfield ratepayers, burdens of taxation for objects from which Bradley derived no advantage. He (Mr. Batley) wholly disavowed, on the part of the promoters, any such selfish and interested motives. They felt satisfied that it would be to the benefit and advantage of Bradley to be included ; that she was inseparably identified with Huddersfield and would participate fully in all the advantages resulting from incorporation ; that it was, therefore, just and right she should be included, and the wrong and injustice would be for her to share in all the advantages of incor- poration without bearing her fair share of the expense. He submitted that the case ought, as regards Bradley, to be treated as a township case, without regard to the hamlet subdivisions, and that having in the entire town- ship so large a preponderance of signatures and of rate- able value pronouncing in favour of the entire township being included, that ought to be the basis of comparison and to govern the result, and it ought not to be competent to a small cluster of inhabitants, in one corner of a town- ship, to take advantage of the minor subdivision into hamlets to effect an unnatural separation. - His learned friend (Mr. Shaw) had stated that people ought not to be incorporated against their will. In reply to that, he (Mr. Batley) need only refer to the celebrated case of the Manchester Charter, which had been litigated to the last Court of Appeal in the Kingdom, and in which it was established that the charter was properly granted on a petition of 5,000 out of 48,000 inhabitants, and notwith- standing a petition in opposition signed by a greater number of inhabitants than signed the petition for. It had been said that Huddersfield sought to annex Bradley, he (Mr. Batley) however, considered that remark in- applicable. The case was just the reverse. - Bradley is already annexed to and a part of Huddersfield, and it was the opponents who sought to divorcee and disconnect them. Bradley is within the township and within the Parliamentary Borough. Its being within the township shows that even in the remote times, when those

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divisions of the country were adopted, the interests of the inhabitants were known to be identified together as forming one community, and its being within the Parliamentary borough shows that in more modern times, so lately as 1832, the wisdom of the legislature confirmed the ancient connection, and again treated the inhabitants as one community identified together in local interests. Bradley will still remain part of the Parliamentary borough of Huddersfield. The recent Commission for revising boundaries of Parliamentary boroughs have had no jurisdiction to contract, but could only report for retaining or enlarging existing bound- aries. To exclude it from the municipal borough would, therefore, present an anomaly which he (Mr. Batley) believed would be without parallel in the country. Much ingenuity and acuteness had been brought to bear on the case for the Bradley opponents, and he believed if an instance could have been adduced of a place being within a Parliamentary borough and yet excluded from the municipal incorporation of the same borough it would have been named. He believed none such existed. he had challenged the other side to name one, and as they had failed to do so he submitted that so great an anomaly ought not to be now created. It had been urged that Bradley was an agricultural place, having no town interests or character. On this point the opponents were in this difficulty, that they had themselves some years ago represented Bradley as a "town or populous place," for it is only on that represen- tation that the Local Board district could have been constituted, the Act being only applicable, as stated in the preamble, to " towns or populous places." They are, therefore, under this inconsistency, that for one purpose they represent Bradley as a "town or populous place," but for another they represent it as a merely agricultural village. It is obvious, however, that for the purposes of municipal incorporation, it is as much ** a populous place" as for the other purposes. But even in its agricultural condition it is admitted by Mr. Haigh himself to be partly identified with Huddersfield. Headmits that the farmers bring part of their produce to Huddersfield ; where the

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rest goes to he does not know. But where could it go to, having regard to the distance of Bradley from any other market town ? Then, as regards water supply, Mr. Haish considered Bradley to be quite independent of Huddersfield. But why did Mr. Haigh's brother go up to London in con- nection with last year's water scheme for the locality ? It could not possibly be to oppose. What interest could Bradley have in opposing ? It must have been to support, which shows that in this respect as well as others the interests of the two places are inseparably connected. On all these grounds the promoters submitted with great confidence to the Commissioner, that he should report to her Majesty's Council in favour of a charter of incorpora- tion being granted for the whole area shown on the plan and included in the petition, to the end that under a united municipal council it might have the advantage of that "good and wise government" of its local affairs which, as stated in the preamble of the Municipal Corporation Act, is the purpose and object of that statute. The Commissioner intimated that he proposed to go over the outlying districts on the following day, and the route of inspection was then settled, after which _-_ Mr. Batley said he had great pleasure in thanking the Commissioner for the extreme courtesy and attention with which he had listened to the evidence laid before him. Mr. Shaw joined in the expression of thanks to the Commissioner. Captain Donnelly acknowledged the compliment ; and the enquiry terminated about four o'clock in the after- noon.


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