Typically elected by local rate payers and property owners, Local Boards were formed following the Public Health Act 1848 and the subsequent Local Government Act 1858, and had responsibility for the oversight of sewers, water supplies, public toilets, street cleaning, slaughterhouses, pavements, and burial grounds within their district.
The Austonley Local Board was formed on 29 March 1860 after the Local Government Act 1858 was adopted by the township. The board initially comprised nine elected members.
Austonley Local Board was abolished towards the end of 1894 when the district became an individual ward of the new Holmfirth Urban District Council.
The O.S. map from the early 1890s shows that the district controlled by Austonley Local Board (shaded in green) comprised the Township of Austonley (including Holmbridge), an almost entirely uninhabited detached strip of Wessenden Head Moss to the west (also part of the Township of Austonley), and the southern portion of the Township of Holme.