Home Industry and Commerce Town Council Bolton Council – Buy Municipal Bliss with Municipal Beer.

Bolton Council – Buy Municipal Bliss with Municipal Beer.

October 1921

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 15 October 1921

Bolton Council

A Brilliant Idea.

Buy Municipal Bliss with Municipal Beer.

Rumoured Great Slaughter of Chickens at Wath Wood.

The monthly meeting of the Bolton-on-Dearne Urban Council was held on Tuesday night. Mr. C.W. Newell presiding.

Economy at Work

The Ministry of Health wrote in reply to a letter from the Council stating that with regard to the supply of milk to expected and nursing mothers and infants they were compelled to reduce the grant to local authorities for these services.

Mr. Williams: We might have expected an answer of that kind.

New Medical Officer.

Dr. J. W. Morris, the newly-appointed Medical Officer of Health submitted his report, which showed that during the past month there had been registered 22 births, a rate of 23.9, and 14 deaths, a rate of 15.2. Six of the deaths were of children under, twelve months.

The New Rate.

At a special meeting of the Council the estimates were considered, and it was decided to levy for the next six months a general district rate of 4/6 in the £.

Rents of Council Houses.

The question of the rents to be charged for the municipal houses was considered, and it was decided to arrange a conference of local authorities interested in the matter.

Municipal Beer.

A recommendation of the Housing Committee “that the committee take no action with regard to the allocation of the central shop in Furlong road, Bolton-on-Dearne, for use as licensed premises,” aroused a long discussion.

Mr. Williams moved that the minute be deleted. The matter affected a very vital principle—the principle of municipal ownership in preference to private ownership. He did not think the question of whether good or evil resulted from the drink traffic was one which the Council should debate. People would have drink, and if the Council did not provide it private individuals would. He did not think it was fair when the Council were providing what might prove to be non-paying amenities, such as tennis courts, bowling greens, etc. that private individuals should step in and take the “plums” of the district. The Council had struck out on progressive lines, and their policy had resulted in the growth of the district.

Provision would have to be made for a big influx of people. Many things had been done, and were being done by the Council, and much money was being spent by them to give the people what they required. Here they had an opportunity of making one thing pay for another, and they were turning it down. The issue lay between outsiders—privale individuals—and the Council, and he urged the Council to support his motion that the minute be deleted, and that the Council apply for a licence.

Mr. Inns: Do I take it that the idea is that beer-off premises should be run by the Council, and, if so, is it intended that beer only shall be sold?

Mr. Williams: I am not so much concerned! whether the Council run a beer-off or whether it is run by a local resident. As is well known, immediately a licence is secured for one of these shops the value of the site more than doubles. I say that the district itself  is entitled to that increased value.

Mr. Guest seconded the motion.

The Chairman: I don’t see why the Council should press this matter purely to oppose the interests of private enterprise. Why shouldn’t private parties get on?

Mr. Williams said the Chairman was getting away from the subject.

Mr. Inns: At the last housing meeting, I supported his motion, thinking I was supporting the Council, but since then I have come to the conclusion that I am supporting individuals, and this time I shall vote against the motion.

Mr. Probert said that if the Council had intended doing anything in this matter they should have done it earlier. If a private firm came into the district it would mean greater assessable value. He had not thought that the Council would make provision for the sale of drink purely for the sake of profit, that were to be obtained thereby. Already the Council were contemplated “a fully – fledged and up-to-date hotel,” one that would compare favourably with any in South Yorkshire, and he thought that application for an off-licence would prejudice the application for the hotel licence. In trying to get both they might lose both. He agreed there was a lot to be said for municipal control of services which vitally affected the life and welfare of the people, but there were other things to which the Council might, with advantage turn their attention before going in for off-beer licences.

The motion was lost, only the mover and seconder voting in favour.

“Chicken Mystery.”

The absence of Mr. Large from the meeting, owing to illness, was sympathetically referred to.

Mr. Bird asked whether, in view of the fact that Mr. Large’s illness was likely to keep him out of public life for some months, it would not be advisable to appoint someone in his place on the Boas. Committee of the Joint Hospital Board.

Mr. Williams made some jocular remark about appointing another man from Bolton on that committee, in order “to take a share of the chicken.”

Mr. Probert said it would be interesting for someone to investigate this “chicken mystery.” After making the journey to Wath, it was only right that something should be provided in the way of refreshment, but there were rumours abroad that “Christmas and New Year festivals were being held every time the committee met.”

Mr. Cutts moved that the clerk enquire of the Hospital Board whether there was any foundation for these stories, and particularly if it was true that on one recent occasion eight chickens were supplied to seven members.—Agreed.

Mr. Horn said that if the members of the Hospital Board would look at the House book they would see how many meetings were held and how many chickens were consumed.

Mr. Taylor said that he was a member of the Board, but there really was no work for the Board to do. Oa the House Committee performed it all. There would appear, he said, to be something very attractive to make them meet so often.

Mr. William4 seconded the resolution that the Clerk write the Hospital Board.

Mr. Cutts said this question was raised twelve months ago, but he had not got to the bottom of it yet.

Mr. Williams: I don’t think any member of the Council objects to reasonable refreshment, that there is a limit.

The Chairman: We don’t get chicken at the Doncaster Board of Guardians

Mr. Williams: You are right. I am a member of that authority

Committee Items

At a meeting of the General Purposes Committee, it was decided to request the Water Board to consider the question of constructing a reservoir in the district of Bolton on Dearne