MEETING (other) – Local Government Enquiry at Coatham

Accreditation the Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea 21/07/1876


            On Friday morning (14/07), Mr. Arnold Taylor held at enquiry into the School-room, courtroom, respecting the formation of the parish of Kirkleatham into a Local Government district. From a letter which had been received from the Local Government Board it appeared that the desirability of forming Redcar and Coatham into one district had been under consideration, and this circumstance gave considerable interest to the proceedings. Mr. J .Rutherford attended on behalf of Mr. A. H. Turner Newcomen; Mr. Buchannan on behalf of the Guisborough Rural Sanitary Authority; while Mr. J.  G. Thompson watched the proceedings on behalf of the Redcar Local Board the one hour consumed that days ago while after speaking to them.

Mr. Taylor said that there had been a public meeting on the subject of that inquiry held on the previous evening, and three resolutions drawn up at that meeting had been handed to him. They were:-

(1) “That in the opinion of this meeting it is undesirable to separate or divide the parish in any way for sanitary or local government purposes, and that it would be most objectionable to divide the parish and unite the urban part thereof to Redcar.”
(2) “That it is impolitic to attempt a union of the whole or any part of the parish of Kirkleatham with the district of Redcar, especially as they have entirely different services of water supply and drainage outlets, and there is a strong local feeling in the parish against such union.”

(3) That Messrs Peter Wallace, William Wallace, John Proud, Miles Cadle, William Skinner, Joseph Husband be appointed a committee to represent the owners of property and ratepayers of the parish at the inquiry before Mr. Arnold Taylor on Friday (14/07)., and that there be authorised to take such steps as they think fit in support of the above resolutions.”

Mr. Rutherford read a letter which had been sent to the Local Government Board by the returning officer, giving reasons why the parish of Kirkleatham should be formed into a Local Government district, and said that in 1871 the population of the district was 1930, and the rateable value £11,035; the population was now 3950, and the rateable value was £23,249. The ecclesiastical district of Coatham included £16,780 of this sum, the rural part £4339.5s, and West Coatham £1829.10s. The parish consisted of 4330 acres, and it had now a population of 3950. Coatham had 524 houses, Warrenby 150, Todd .14, Dunsdale 72, and the remainder of the parish 30, making a total of 790 houses. In 1872 there were only 369 houses in the parish, so that the number had more than doubled since that time. Speaking for Mr. Newcomen, the owner of the Kirkleatham estate, he might say that that gentleman was strongly in favour of a Local Board for the parish been formed, and was as strongly opposed to any union with Redcar.

Mr. Taylor said he did not think the separation of the urban part of the parish from the rural part need occupy any of their attention; as he did not think it would be entertained by the Central Board.

Mr. Peter Wallis and Mr. Miles Cadle then gave evidence in furtherance of the views expressed in the resolutions printed above, the latter gentleman contending that Redcar and Coatham had separate interests, Coatham being a town where the merchants and manufacturers of Middlesbrough and Stockton had their residence, whilst Redcar was peculiarly a place of shopkeepers and lodging-house keeper’s. The towns were totally different in many respects.

Mr. Taylor said that that was what any stranger fail to see. He sees a fence when he enters Redcar, and he is told that that is the division between Redcar and Coatham, but for anything else he sees one town – a town with common interests both growing from the same cause, a seaside town and pleasure resort of apparently increasing importance. I think in a great??????? though Coatham was a place where the well – to – do visitors – or the fashionable people if you like congregate, and Redcar was the place where the shops were situated, and the business of the place carried on. One wants the other, Coatham cannot do without the Redcar shops, and Redcar wants the Coatham people to deal with them, and there is, therefore, a common interest between the two places

Mr. Cadle said there were a totally different class of people in each place, and that if it had been known that they were to be tacked on to Redcar, they would have voted against the Public Health Act being adopted. Several questions were asked by different persons in the room as to points that would arise in the event of the two places being united under one Board, which Mr. Taylor and served as far as practicable

Mr. J. Cowl then addressed the Inspector in favour of the two places been joined. He said he was present at the meeting on the previous night, and was opposed to the resolutions which were passed. He thought that there should be one Board for the two places – the two places were literally one town, and the interests of both places were one. There was a time when the lads of Redcar and Coatham used to meet and have their little fights out on the sands. (Laughter.) The Inspector: Perhaps the boys you allude to have grown to be men, and keep up the old feeling. (Renewed laughter.)

Mr. Cowl said that it was a fact that at present Coatham was poorly against Redcar, and Redcar against Coatham. In his opinion that time had gone by for such a feeling, and the two places should join together, and like business men, conduct their business in a fair and right spirit. He did not think there would have been any great objection to the union had it not been for the impression that the ratepayers of Kirkleatham and Coatham would have to assist in paying off the Redcar debt. The Inspector said that was quite a mistaken idea. If the places were united, and one Board established, Redcar would have to pay off its own debt. In answer to the gentleman, the Inspector said that should Kirkleatham parish and Redcar being united, the Redcar Board of Health would be dissolved, and a new Board established for the whole district. Of course the present officers, should they be dismissed would be entitled to compensation, which would have to be paid out of the Redcar rates.

Mr. J. G. Thompson said before the enquiry closed he wished to make a few remarks lest his silence might be misconstrued. The Redcar Local Board of Health had not, either directly or indirectly, expressed an opinion on the subject of the union of the two places. He also wished it to be distinctly understood that he did not endorse all the remarks that had been made. He agreed with some things that had fallen from the gentleman who had spoken, but, on the other hand there were many matters and facts which he might have stated on behalf of Redcar, but it was unnecessary, because when the Redcar Board was asked it would then be time to give their opinion. He was simply there to watch the proceedings on behalf of the Redcar Board.

Mr.Taylor said if the Local Government Board decided that the two places should be joined under one Board, nothing could be done in the matter until next session; and before being brought before Parliament a draft of the scheme proposed would be submitted to the two places interested, and the full list opportunities would be given for the expression of public opinion as to the details. On the other hand, if it was decided to form the parish of Kirkleatham into a district by itself, a provisional order could be issued at once. He promised to draw up his report without delay, and submitted to the Local Government Boar

A vote of thanks was then passed to the Inspector on the motion of Dr. Locke, seconded by Mr. William Skinner, and the inquiry closed.



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