Yorkshire Evening Post (13/Jan/1920) - The Ramsden Estate: Huddersfield Ratepayers in Favour of the Purchase Scheme

The following is a transcription of a historic newspaper article and may contain occasional errors. If the article was published prior to 1 June 1957, then the text is likely in the Public Domain.



The Ramsden (Huddersfield) Estates Bill, which the Huddersfield Corporation is promoting for the purpose of acquiring the Ramsden Estate on behalf of the ratepayers, was considered at a meeting of ratepayers held at the Town Hall last night. The estate was purchased by Mr. S. W. Copley, a Huddersfield gentleman, from Sir John Ramsden, for £1,300,000, and Mr. Copley has offered the Corporation an option of purchase.

Councillor Wilfred Dawson, explaining the objects of the Bill, said that Sir John Ramsden had been a very good landlord indeed. (Hear, hear.) The town was under a great obligation to Mr. Copley, who was giving them the opportunity of purchasing the estate at the price which it cost him. (Applause.) The estate contained 4,642 acres, of which 1,273 was built upon, leaving 3,770 to develop. It included, in addition to the land, the Estate Buildings, Cloth Hall, and other buildings in the town, 70 farms, 2 houses, 380 cottages, and many other things. The estate generally was in very good condition. Much money had been spent on the property, and a large proportion of the land was laid out for building purposes. The annual revenue was, approximately, £65,000. He had had a good deal of experience of financial transactions, but had never seen one that had anything like the potentialities of this one.

Alderman W. Wheatley and Colonel Freeman spoke in favour of the Bill.

Mr. Swales, solicitor, on behalf of the Property Owners' Association, said that the gross estimated income was £65,000 per annum, and assuming that the money was borrowed at 3 per cent., £66,000 would be required to pay interest alone, apart from expenses of management and provision of sinking fund. He failed to see how that was sound finance. Some of the ratepayers were afraid lest a rate in aid might be necessary.

Mr. Dawson. in reply, said that there might be a small rate in aid for the first five years, as the transfer expenses would have to be paid within that period. As to the management of the estate, that would be under the control of the Town Council, and if the members of the Council did not do the work satisfactorily they could be "fired" each November.

The Mayor moved, and Alderman Smith seconded, a resolution authorising the promotion of the Bill, and the resolution was carried, with only one dissentient.