Methley Urban District Council Amalgamation Process 1929/30

Meetings had been held with both Castleford and Rothwell District Councils with a view to possible amalgamation as other mergers were taking place elsewhere in  order to consolidate essential services.
At the monthly meeting of Methley UDC in November, 1929 Councillor Whittaker put forward a resolution to amalgamate with Castleford suggesting that it would be more  advantageous to negotiate at the present time than to wait.  He put forward a number of advantages which included current areas of community links with that town rather than Rothwell.

  • ·Methley people mostly do their shopping in Castleford.
  • ·Expected population increases in Castleford to say, 45000 would create better facilities.
  • ·Castleford market was second to none in the County and its continued success could lead to  cheaper rates.
  • Public baths at Castleford were available and now being used by Methley schoolchildren.
  • Castleford had a public library of good standing which included a reading room.
  • Child welfare services which included the Maternity Home and the services of two full time  health visitors.
  • ·Castleford had a Technical School and Evening Schools, their Education Committee having more  influence than Methley.
  • The Fire Brigade would also be at the disposal of Methley.  At present Methley takes second place in an emergency.
  • Both districts along with Whitwood were linked up for parliamentary, poor law purposes and representation on the West Riding County Council.
  • Both areas share the same water source.

Councillor Richardson (chairman) said that nothing new had been put forward and intimated  that the County Council would arrange a conference on the matter, he said that he  expected the village would get a fair deal wherever it  merged.
He also expected that the village would have the opportunity to object to any proposals that did not suit.  The Chairman added that  the Council had yet to debate if it wished to cease being a local authoruty.   Councillor Whittaker repeated that the Council could get the best terms if it entered into a merger voluntarily.

Major Briggs said that on analysis, no useful purpose could be served by proceeding at present.   He added that the biggest problem at the moment was sewage disposal and he suggested  that Methley would best be served by Rothwell in this matter.   He also said that rating had to be considered and at the present Castleford was the more heavily rated of the two authorities.   He said that arguments regarding markets, library and swimming baths did not affect possible amalgamation as Methley people would still use these facilities.   As regards the supply of utilities he did not think that this would affect any decision, also matters relating to Fire Services came under the County Council.   Mrs Briggs added that special health and maternity services could not be treated at Castleford in any case.  Councillor Hyatt added that because other authorities were amalgamating it was not justification that Methley should do the same.

A counter proposal by Mrs Briggs that the County Council be approached was carried and Councillor Whittaker’s resolution fell to the ground.

Methley did of course merge with Rothwell, I suspect largely as a result of the contribution by the power broker of the group – Mr DHC Briggs, Mineowner.   His arguments of sewage and rating I think carried the day.

Members of the Council met on the fourth Monday in each month at 4.30pm at the Red House. In 1927 the Urban District Council consisted of :-
DHC Briggs       –   Chairman
Wm Askew       –    Vice Chairman
Robert Booth,   Robert Bullimore,  John S Richardson,  George Bullen,  Arthur Ellis,  William Hyatt, Mrs Elizabeth Briggs,  Geo P Hollings,  James A Hodgson,   Geo W Purser.
Officers were :-
Robert Wigin     –    Clerk
Percy R Farrer   –  Treasurer
CC Hargreaves  –    MOH

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