Lockwood Local Board Meeting.
This Board held its monthly meeting on Monday evening, at the Red Lion Inn, Lockwood. Mr. R. Roberts, the chairman, presided ; Messrs. J. Shaw, J. Crosland, Haigh, Ashton, Whiteley, W. Shaw, A. Crowther, E. Greenwood, and J.T. Rhodes were present.
Stopping of the Road through Dungeon Wood.
Mr. Ashton, referring to the stoppage of the bridle way through Dungeon Wood by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company, who are constructing a new line to Meltham, stated that the chairman, the clerk, and himself had been through the wood, and Mr. Watts (the clerk) had said pretty confidently that it was a public road. But what he (Mr. Ashton) had to complain of was that, whilst they were parleying, the road was still stopped. It was the duty of the Board to open the road, and keep it open, until some arrangements had been come to. He moved that the Highway Committee be empowered to move all obstructions in the footway. A wall had been erected, and a board had been put up, notifying that trespassers would be prosecuted, and concluding with "by order." It had turned out that Mr. Brown, inspector, had caused that notice to be put up ; but until the railway company had proved they were in the right parties coming from the mills ought not to be prevented from travelling that way.
The Chairman remarked that by what they could gather from Mr. Watts, the deputation from the railway company, they would be able to establish their claims to the rights of the road; but he (Mr. Watts) thought the Board had better not take any harsh measures until he had communicated to his superiors. He believed Mr. Penin had ordered the wall to be built, and for him to order it to be pulled down, would be to clash with his superiors. He (the Chairman) was inclined to let the matter stand in abeyance for a short time, to enable Mr. Watts to correspond with Mr. Perrin, of London.
Mr. Crosland observed that there had scarcely been sufficient time for Mr. Watts, the engineer, to receive a reply from London.
Mr. Brown, the resident engineer, had denied that the notice had been put up ; but when the committee went through the road, Mr. Watts pointed it out to him.
Mr. Shaw : Is it not Mr. Armitage who has put the notice up ?
Mr. Crosland : No ; it's a new notice.
Mr. Ashton stated that there were notices forbidding persons to pass through the east and west side ; but the public were never prevented from travelling along the bridle footpath. The harshness was on the side of the railway company; and he reiterated that it was the duty of the Highway Committee to remove every obstruction instantly.
Mr. Haigh said the public were beginning to conclude that the Board were dilatory in the matter. The Company, who were getting the thin edge of the wedge, ought to have allowed the road to remain open as hitherto until the question of right had been disposed of.
Mr. Ashton added that Mr. Wrigley, who had enjoyed the use of the road 40 years, had declared that, if the Board did not take action, he would have the road opened himself.
Mr. Crowther would insist upon the road being opened, but would give reasonable time for the receiving of a reply from the superior officers of the Company.
Mr. Crosland suggested an alteration in the motion of Mr. Ashton, who, in reply, urged that five weeks had already elapsed and that there ought to be no further delay.
The Chairman said Mr. Watts was informed that the Board would maintain its rights at any cost.
Mr. Ashton repeated that the "blockade" ought to be "raised," and said if he could have his own way he should raise it.
It was then moved by Mr. Ashton, seconded by Mr. Haigh, and unanimously resolved, that if no communication be received from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company by Wednesday on the subject, that the Highway Committee take steps with a view to the removal of the obstructions.
Deposit of Plans.
Mr. Ashton remarked that it was usual for parties about to build to apply to the clerk, who prepared a notice embodying the conditions upon which plans of proposed new buildings were passed by the board. His (Sir. Ashton's) impression was that there ought to be printed forms, which could be obtained free of charge by persons about to build. He decidedly objected to parties being called upon to pay 2s. 6d. for entering a plan ; and he had received complaints of the custom. Architects had complained that the board went far beyond the Huddersfield Improvement Commissioners who made no charge.
Mr. Crowther saw no hardship in it ; and the Chairman had not heard of any complaint.
Mr. Ashton moved that the forms be printed, and that, on being applied for, they be given gratuitously to persons about to deposit plans.
The Clerk said the Board had sanctioned the practice. Most of those who applied for notices absorbed a great deal of time by asking questions and soliciting information.
Mr. Ashton : You must charge them 6s. 8d. (Laughter.) Several members of the Board thought no advantage would be gained by the motion, which was not seconded ; and the subject therefore dropped.
The Water Supply Question.
Mr. Ashton gave notice of his intention to propose the subjoined motion at the next meeting :—
That a committee be appointed from this Board to examine into and report upon the best and most practicable plan for obtaining a good and sufficient supply of water for the township.
It was, he said, high time the question was taken up in some tangible form.
In answer to one of the members of the Board, the Clerk said he had seen Mr. Armitage respecting certain land required in the improvement of the road at Crosland Hill. Mr. G. Armitage was quite willing to meet them, but preferred having the requirements of the Board in writing.
Mr. Crosland said no doubt Mr. Armitage would give the land that was required, but he wished to be furnished with the wants of the Board in writing.
The subject was referred to the Highway Committee.
During the month bills had been paid to the amount of £165 16s. 6½d. ; and accounts amounting to £14 19s. 8½d. were passed.