Huddersfield Chronicle (13/Oct/1866) - Lockwood Local Board Meeting
LOCKWOOD LOCAL BOARD MEETING.
The monthly meeting of the Lockwood Local Board was held on Monday evening, in the Board Room. Mr. Alfred Crowther presided. There were present Messrs. T. Haigh, W. Whiteley, J. Ashton, W. Shaw, J. Sharp, J. Rushworth, and J. Shaw.
The CLERK (Mr. E. Fenton) read the minutes of the previous meeting. A letter from the ladies’ sewing meeting in connection with the Lockwood Mechanics’ Institution Bazaar, was read, thanking the Board for their kindness in allowing the use of the room for sewing purposes previous to the opening of the bazaar.
After the passing of accounts the discussion on the repair of the Dead Waters Road was resumed, the CHAIRMAN asking at the outset whether it would not be advisable, in the absence of Messrs. Berry, Greenwood, and Croft, to postpone the subject until next meeting.
Mr. ASHTON opposed a further adjournment.
Mr. ABBEY wanted to know whether it was Mr. Sharp's intention to challenge the principle on which the road was going to be made.
The CHAIRMAN — The question is shall we go into the matter ; I am in your hands.
Mr. ASHTON said, in the absence of any motion the Board must enter into the subject. He had been away many a time, and had always submitted to what had been done ; and he hoped every gentleman when absent would do so too.
Mr. ABBEY suggested that it be some consideration with the Board whether or not in future it was to be a public or a private road, because he thought that was a very material element in the question.
The CHAIRMAN replied that his impression was that, if repaired as they thought of repairing it, the road should be dedicated to the town.
Mr. ASHTON said that was his impression ; and further than that, he might say it had been suggested to him that Sir John Ramsden proposed to cut the road right through to Longroyd Bridge.
Mr. WILLIAM SHAW said he had heard the same.
Mr. HAIGH would not dispute the principle on which Mr. Abbey intended to make the road, but his objection was to the amount, which he yet thought was very extra-vagant for a road like that. Although it might be called a public highway, it was a way to nowhere, it was only a private way. There would be no amount of traffic, and if the Board expended the amount of money proposed, he did not see how they were to get it back from the owners of property there. The amount of money to be expended depended on the character of the road, and he thought £500 or £600 was too much to expend on Dead Waters Road. He admitted that the sewerage should be done effectually, and also the lighting. He did not see the necessity of setting the road, and he therefore moved that the question of repairing Dead Waters Road be adjourned to a more favourable opportunity. The gentlemen who had been named had gone away on the understanding that consideration of the matter would be postponed until another month.
Mr. RUSHWORTH thought, as the job had gone so far, the Board ought to go through with it.
Mr. JOHN SHAW seconded the motion.
Mr. ASHTON deprecated a further adjournment of the subject, on the ground that it was necessary that something should be done to the road. He for one demurred to the precedent of adjourning questions because certain members who had a “pet measure” were away. If the road was not repaired in the way Mr. Abbey had specified, the probability was that it would be indicted as a nuisance, which it was at present. Some deduction would have to be made, inasmuch as the Gas Company would lay the mains and put down lamps for the purpose of lighting the road. With regard to doing away with the setting because the road was not open at the other end, he held it to be ridiculous where there was a road only 15 feet in width. The Board had power to recover money expended in such improvements from persons who refused to pay their quota ; so that that was no argument why the repair of the road should not be gone on with. The estimate was 80 low that if the work was to re-let there would, he said, be considerably more to pay for its completion.
Mr. ABBEY said similar work was done to the worst parts of Huddersfield, and yet there were no outstanding accounts there. A charge of £4 per cottage was made, and the payment of the money extended over a period of six years.
Mr. ASHTON moved, as an amendment, that the contract for repairing Dead Waters Road be let to Mr. George Pollard and that the repayment of the expenses incurred extend over a given number of years. He was sure the Board would not be too exacting from the owners and occupiers of property.
Mr. RUSHWORTH seconded the amendment, for which four members of the Board voted — namely, Messrs. Whiteley, Ashton, W. Shaw, and Rushworth. The Chairman did not vote, and the other three members voted in favour of the resolution, which was lost.
IMPROVEMENTS IN SWAN LANE.
Mr. ASHTON made some allusion to Swan Lane. The High way Committee, he said, recommended the purchase of a cottage on the south side of Swan Lane, for the purpose of widening the street opposite the Town Hall, in the occupation of Spencer Dawson, and which is the property of Mr. John Shaw, for the sum of £8, on condition that the Board make certain improvements — namely, flag the footpath down to the corner at the entrance of Mr. Shaw and Mr. Abbey’s dwellings. The Highway Committee also recommended an exchange of property with Mr. Law Walker — namely, a small plot of land, required for widening Swan Lane from Mr. William Abbey’s property to that occupied by Mr. Elijah Carter, the Board to make what alterations were required on Mr. Walker's property.
Mr. WHITELEY moved that the first recommendation be carried out.
The motion was seconded by Mr. RUSHWORTH, and carried.
The adoption of the second recommendation was moved by Mr. HAIGH, and seconded by Mr. SHARP, who afterwards drew attention to the footpath from Yewgreen to Swan Lane, part of which, he observed, was in a filthy state.
In reply to the Chairman, Mr. SHARP said he had not named the matter to the Highway Committee.
The CHAIRMAN thought a word to the wise would be sufficient, and the subject dropped.
PROPOSED PEOPLE’S PARK FOR LOCKWOOD.
The next topic for discussion was the public park question, moved at the last meeting by Mr. ASHTON, who now said he should not feel himself justified in asking for another adjournment ; but, if at a further stage of the consideration of this question, any gentleman proposed another adjournment, well and good. As far as he was concerned it became his duty, after two months’ notice, to goa little into the question. In the first place he knew many people outside had laughed at the idea that they, or perhaps he as one of the Board, should take up a matter of such great importance, and a matter which the borough of Huddersfield dare not deal with. If they looked at the great towns of England, they would find that the majority of them had a public park — some of them two, three, and he believed, in some cases, four parks. There were few towns in England which had the same natural facilities for a little beautiful park as they had in that locality. For the last 30 years — that was nearly as far back as he could go — they had been in the habit of travelling in the Dungeon Wood; and what he meant by a public park was not a great outlay of money, but merely the liberty to enjoy a walk through the wood without the fear of the law. Although some had laughed at the question, it was heartily supported by many of the ratepayers. A park would be a source of great and lasting benefit to the inhabitants of Lockwood, and it could be established at a very little cost to the ratepayers. He had seen Mr. Dunderdale, agent of the owner of the soil, on the subject, but had not received anything definite from him, because he (Mr. Ashton) thought it best to ascertain the opinions of the gentlemen at the Board before asking too much. He then pointed out the portion of Dungeon Wood which it was probable might be secured for a public park, and which would be equal to, and amply sufficient for, the wants of Lockwood. A plan of the ground had been sketched, and it lay on the table for inspection. They took as far as the ‘‘old footpath,” about which they had had some trouble with the railway company. The game preserves would be made more retired than before ; and persons would be prevented from trespassing on the top part. No injury would be done to the lower part inasmuch as it was not proposed to make any extensive alterations, The alterations required would be an improvement of the fences, the placing of a few seats at distances, and little alterations in some of the rugged roads, and perhaps a little rustic railing in places which are somewhat dangerous. There was already one bridge over the line, and a road under the line. Very little expense would be sufficient ; but it might be asked, where was the money to come from? There was a little property which belonged to the town, which he did not think had brought in £20 the last 40 years. They proposed that the property should be sold, and the proceeds of the sale devoted to the effecting of the improvements required in the Dungeon Wood. Were they to adopt it as a public park, it would, he felt satisfied, be one of the greatest boons that could be conferred on the town. He knew certain objections would be raised to the scheme; and some would say they ought to have water before luxuries. He went as deep as any one for water; and the same argument would apply to the lighting of the town, from which great advantages had been derived. It was better to seek water in the light than in the dark. The same objection had been made with regard to the drainage, it being asserted that the inhabitants should be supplied with water first. Steps must taken in one of the movements, or probably they might all be under consideration at one time, and then nothing would be done. Mr. Dunderdale had told him he wished to let the land in the neighbourhood of Dungeon Wood for dwellings. The wish could be realised by getting a supply of water up to the place and converting a portion of the wood into a people's park. e aristocracy of Lockwood would then remove in the direction of the park — (laughter) — and the value of Squire Beaumont’s property would be increased very materially. He believed there were 1,600 ratepayers in Lockwood, and if they were rated at 1d. in the pound — and he believed no poor man would object to pay that sum — would yield £80, which was more than would be required to keep it in a desirable state of repair, and it might be taken on the rateable value. The rateable value of the township amounted to £20,000, which, at a 1d. in the pound, would produce £83 per year. After the first, considerably less than that sum would keep the park in repair. The cost of keeping the park in repair, he estimated, would amount to fi in the pound on the rateable value, which would give something like £40 per year. The rent might be set down at £18 a year. Last year 33. 11}d. was taken out of every pound of poor-rates for the services of the police at Lockwood ; the calls upon the township towards the support of the county police would be close upon £500 this year, which would be 6d. in the pound of the rate. He would far more gladly pay 2d. in the pound towards the support of a peoples’ par than pay 6d. in the pound for policemen. He expected he should receive the aid of all those who took an interest in the working classes, and especially of the friends of total abstinence. Probably the park would draw men from other places which was most injurious both to the constitution and the morals. (Laughter.) Mr. Sharp may laugh ; but I believe there are times when working men ought to have pleasure and enjoy themselves. Very few harmless sports could be indulged in at Lockwood on account of the position in which the township was situated ; and therefore they ought to have some place where they could go and sit and listen to the singing of the birds, and enjoy the felicities of life. The Board had power to raise the money in the manner he had described. The site possessed the greatest natural facilities for a public park in the district. Huddersfield had desired a park, but where could they have it. Here they had a spot close to the railway station, and not far from the centre of Lockwood. The improvements could be effected for £120, and the park might be kept open for £20 a year afterwards. He hoped the Board would be unanimous on the subject, and that if the proposal should be carried it would meet with that success which had attended the efforts of the promoters of the Mechanics’ Institution bazaar. In conclusion, he moved that a committee appointed to see Mr. Dunderdale, the agent of the owner of Dungeon Wood, and to examine the ground in question, and report to the Board at the next meeting.
Mr. RUSHWORTH seconded the motion.
Mr. SHARP thought there was a necessity for a public burial ground at Lockwood. This he considered to be a matter of sheer necessity, and not of luxury like the one before the meeting.
Mr. WHITELEY — It is something like a life and death question.
Mr. Wm. SHAW — Mr. Ashton wants to keep us alive as long as he can.
After some further conversation, Messrs. Ashton, Rushworth, Haigh, and W. Shaw voted for the resolution, Mr. John Shaw stood neutral, and Mr. Sharp voted against the resolution, which was carried. number of plans were passed, and, after a discussion on a subject which the reporters were requested not to notice for the present, the meeting terminated.