South Yorkshire Times, September 1st 1951
Darfield Council Chairman Orders “Next Business”
A walk-out by Coun. A Collindridge at a previous meeting had a sequel at a meeting of Darfield U.D.C. on Friday when the same member failed to get a seconder to a Notice of Motion which he had brought before the Council in a letter.
At a previous meeting held on July 13th, Coun. Collindridge questioned “the correctness of the meeting” and after discussion left the Council Chamber.
On Friday, approval of the minutes of the previous meeting had been moved, and seconded when Coun. Collindridge rose to protest, “I gave notice of motion.”
The Chairman: (Coun. J. Hill): Yes, that will come up in correspondence.
Coun. Collindridge: But I cannot raise it if you accept this motion.
The Chairman: It will be raised in correspondence as a special item on the agenda after the minutes.
Coun. Collindridge began to quote from what appeared to be standing orders, when the chairman protested “You are out of order altogether. I am conducting business according to standing orders, and I ask you to accept my ruling.”
Coun. Collindridge: What I am going to raise is council business and it is of no value unless you accept it before the minutes are passed.
The Chairman: The first item on the agenda is approval of minutes.
Coun. Collindridge: I challenge your ruling.
Coun. F. Bly: Is any member of the Council entitled to challenge the ruling of the chairman?
The Chairman: No, and in the interest of the good conduct of public affairs I would ask Coun. Collindridge to adhere to the ruling of the chair. His letter will be read in correspondence and dealt with. I am ruling according to standing orders. I say “next business”.
Coun Collindridge: Then no member is entitled to ask a question?
The Chairman: I have said next business,
“Put Your Question”
The minutes being approved, the Chairman then mentioned that Coun. Collindridge had sent a letter regarding a question he desired to raise relating to the minutes of a meeting of the council held in July. Coun. Collindridge was now entitled to put a straight question without discussion. “I am asking you now to put your question – a straight question.“ he said.
Coun Collindridge then said that prior to the July meeting of the Council each member received a letter requesting attendance at a meeting on Friday of that week. It was stated that if all the members agreed to the meeting, the legal requirements would be met. Coun. Collindridge then asked, “In view of the fact that there was an objection are you satisfied of the validity of the minutes concerned?
The Chairman said he was definitely satisfied in view of holiday week and the fact that as there were important documents to sign it was essential that the meeting should be held. Had they not had the meeting, housing matters would probably have been delayed a month. It would probably not have been possible to get a quorum of the council on holiday week.
Coun. Collindridge was on the point of speaking again when the Chairman checked him with the remark “I have given the reason the meeting was called and you are not entitled to reply.” The chairman then closed the discussion with the remark, “Next business. We will receive the committee reports.”
Arising out of collectors’ reports on rent arrears, it was decided that notice be given to four tenants of Council houses that unless arrears of rent are paid off in six weeks, notice to quit would be served. In one case the period of grace was limited to four weeks.
Moving the adoption of these minutes, Coun. F. Bly, chairman of the Finance Committee, said they were very much perturbed about the increase in rent arrears. On the whole they had a very good set of tenants who recognised their responsibility and tried to pay their way and of course it was absolutely necessary in the case of Council houses that the current rent should be met week by week. On the other hand, there were a few who did not recognise that responsibility and the committee were very determined in insisting that obligations should be met. Coun. Bly pointed out that the rate contribution to housing was something like 1s 8d in the £ and he said they were not prepared to allow an accumulation of arrears which would ultimately reflect itself in the housing revenue account and be a further charge upon the general rate fund. They had a young collector who was doing his best and they were prepare to assist their officials in every way in seeing that rent was paid week by week. He appealed to the defaulters to see that the arrears were paid off as soon as possible.
Supporting Coun. Bly, Coun A. Collindridge said that as a Council they always gave consideration to tenants in arrears who had dropped on hard times and he hoped they would continue to show that leniency.
The Chairman, (Coun. J. Hill) said he was pleased the chairman of the Finance Committee had called attention to the matter in public. Where hardship or sickness existed, the council gave every consideration to the circumstances but in these cases, there was no hardship as they were all working. It was not fair to the other ratepayers that people able to pay should fall into arrears with their rent as this ultimately increased the burden on the general ratepayers.
The finance committee had also reviewed cemetery costs and had placed before the meeting a table of fees for which they recommended that Home Office approval be sought. This matter, said Coun. Bly had been under consideration for some time, but they had only just received the information they required in ascertaining what would be fair increases. In the preparation of this schedule the cemetery committee and particularly the chairman (Coun. Brokes) had done a very good job. They had considered the position very carefully and had come to the conclusion that, if the cemetery was to be maintained as it should be, the Council had no alternative but to accept the increases. Coun. Brookes said that for some years the gaps between income and expenditure in respect of the cemetery had been increasing, and during the past year it had been wider than ever. The committee had come to the conclusion that it was absolutely essential that they should revise their charges and had given the matter every consideration.
At a meeting of the public health committee on August 21st, the Divisional Medical Officer (Dr. R. S. Hynd) gave a detailed explanation and complete history of the outbreak of para-typhoid fever in Darfield in July. He paid tribute to the help he had received from the sanitary inspector (Mr. C. Cawthorne) and to the very willing co-operation of the public. After some discussion it was resolved that the best thanks of the council be tendered to the medical officer and his team for the efficient manner in which the outbreak was dealt with.
It was agreed that the attention of the Dearne Valley Water Board be drawn to variations in the hardness, colour and chlorination of the public water supplied during recent weeks. Daily tests by the sanitary inspector had revealed variations in the hardness from 8 to 60 degrees. The minutes revealed that arrangements had been made for the transfer of the Council’s account to the C. W. S. Bank Limited, on the following terms: general account interest at one per cent per annum; deposit account (subject the seven days’ notice only) – one and three quarter per cent per annum. Darfield Community Association are to be asked to press on with the preparation of plans to obtain a building licence for the hall before any work on the site is prepared.
The Pleasure Grounds and Allotments Committee having examined a scheme for the extension of the welfare park it was resolved that the scheme be approved and the cost calculated. The Council agreed to give the prize for the Garden Society’s competition and thanked the Garden Society for the splendid efforts made in cultivating and planting the roundabout at the end of Nanny Marr Rd.
It was noted with regret that owing to the breakdown of the mower the bowling greens in the Welfare Park were not being cut as often as was necessary. The Surveyor was instructed to borrow a machine pending repair of the Council’s mower. It was decided that provision of cycle stands be deferred pending receipt of quotations for suitable steel stands.
Tenancy of an allotment in Clarney Avenue was granted to Mr. C. E. Brookes with a restriction against keeping pigeons on it. Coun. W. Brookes declared his interest (the applicant being his brother) and took no part in the discussion or voting.
Plans for alterations to the Cross Keys Hotel, Darfield, were approved.
The Surveyor was instructed to take up with the G.P.O. the question of a telephone kiosk fitted in Nanny Marr Road but not connected.
The Chairman of the cemetery committee (Coun. W. Brookes) reported that a schedule of proposed increases in cemetery charges would be submitted at the next meeting of the finance committee. It was reported that an additional £428 4s 6d for pipework on the Saltersbrook estate would bring the total tenders for roads and sewers to £21,318 12s 6d.
The housing committee accepted the report of the special committee of West Riding County Council (National Assistance Act) regarding provision of temporary acconn but were not disposed to accept a recommendation that the Council consider provision of housing accommodation for families recommended by the County Council for re-housing.
It was agreed that subject to the approval of the Ministry of Local Government and Town Planning a tender be negotiated for the two houses, two shops and one flat on the Saltersbrook Estate similar to those now in course of construction It was decided that an application be made for permission to raise a loan for £6,921 to cover the cost of fitting fire grates in 250 pre-war Council houses.
It was noted than at an increase to £39 per annum in the honorarium paid to the local Fuel Overseer had been approved by the Ministry. Mrs. Mary Thompson of 50, Nanny Marr Road, was appointed a local school manager.