Winslow Rural District Council

The Local Government Act 1894 led to the establishment of Winslow Rural District Council (RDC) as well as the Parish Council. The Bucks Herald (22 Dec 1894) reported the result of the first election for the two councillors to represent Winslow.

J. East (old guardian) 157
W.S. Neal 146
Not elected - E. Illing (Lib.), 145
F. Monk, 97
E. George [=George Edwin] (Labour), 8. 
The declaration of the poll was delayed until about 1 p.m., in consequence of a re-count being demanded.       

Buckingham Advertiser, 5 Jan 1895
RURAL DISTRICT COUNCIL.-The first meeting of the new Council, was held on Friday, at the Board Room, and was attended by the whole of the nineteen members.  The business consisted of the declaration of acceptance of office by each Councillor, and the appointment of Chairman and Vice-chairman.  For the former post there were nominated Mr. Thomas Biggs, of North Marston, and Mr. E. H. Baylis, of Hogston, both members of the old Board – on a show of hands Mr Biggs was chosen.  For the Vice-chairman, Mr. Wm. Hedges, of Littlecote, Stewkley, and Mr. James East, of Winslow, were nominated, and the latter was chosen.  The Chairman, Mr. Biggs, is a Progressive Conservative, and the Vice-chairman, Mr. East, a Liberal.  The Board decided to alter the day of meeting from Wednesday to Friday.

 Buckingham Advertiser, 20 July 1895


On Tuesday week, Mr. R. Deane Sweeting, M.B., held a public Government inquiry at the Board Room, Winslow, when among others present were Mr. Thos. Biggs, J.P. (Chairman of the District Council), Mr. James East (Vice-Chairman);  Mr. T. P. Willis (Clerk), Mr. T. F. Vaisey (Medical Officer of Health), Mr. Wise (Sanitary Inspector), Revs. S. Phillips, John Pither, and H. K Byard, and Messrs Monk, Neal, J. Ingram, G. Owen, C. Watson, S. J. [=A.J.] Clear, W. N Midgley, J. Keys, W. H. Stevens, C. Saving, E. Sturges, W. Jones, Hitchcock, F. Roads, H. Ingram, T. Rawlins, James Lee, W. Lorkin, John Varney, &c.

The proceedings commenced by reading the notice from the Local Government Board:- “Whereas by Section 43 of the Public Health Act, 1875, power is given to the Local Government Board by Order to require any Local Authority to undertake or contract for the removal of house refuse from premises, and the cleansing of earth closets, privies, ashpits, and cesspools, for the whole or any part of their districts.  And whereas the Local Government Board have directed that a local enquiry shall be held with a view of enabling them to determine whether they shall issue an order under the said Section, requiring the Rural District Council of Winslow, in the County of Buckingham, to undertake or contract for the removal of house refuse from premises, and the cleansing of earth closets privies, ashpits, and cesspool, for the contributory place of Winslow.”

Mr. Sweeting said the nature of the inquiry was this, it arose from an application of the Winslow Board of Guardians (now the District Council), to have byelaws passed, bearing on the occupiers of the different parishes of the Union.  Dr. Bulstrode was sent down by the Local Government Board, and made an extensive Inquiry, the result of which was he made a report which advised the Board not to assent to the issuing of byelaws for Winslow, but for them to contract for the disposal of their refuse themselves.  Copies of this report had been sent down to Winslow, and circulated.  The object of the present Inquiry was that evidence should be received for and against a compulsory order from the Local Government Board to the District Council to contract for the disposal of their scavenging.  He should be pleased to receive any evidence, either for or against this.

The evidence of Mr. T. F. Vaisey, Medical Officer of Health, was then taken.  He said as regards the great part of Winslow there was sufficient ground to dispose of the refuse and ashes, but in High Street and the Square, and Piccadilly and Horn Street there was very limited accommodation behind many of the houses, in consequence the ash-pits were sometimes left unemptied for over 12 months, and the smell then became very bad.  People were in the habit of leaving their ashes till there was enough to fill a load.  There was no regular system of scavenging, and they had to depend upon the neighbours lending them cart, etc.  In his opinion there ought to be a regular system of scavenging to compel people to have them emptied every week, unless they preferred to do it themselves.  In the greater part of Winslow the occupiers could do their own scavenging, two-thirds could do so or more, but the remaining one-third should certainly be undertaken by the Sanitary Authority.  Perhaps one-third was too much to say, out of 360 houses probably, 270 or three-fourths could do their own scavenging…

… Mr. Neal asked Mr. Vaisey if he did not think the hog buckets at people’s doors were a nuisance.

Mr. Vaisey replied yes, at the doors.

Mr. Bridger asked Mr. Vaisey whether he considered it healthy to have a lot of ashes under the shop of his business premises [27 Market Square?].

Mr. Vaisey said it must be very unhealthy.

Mr. Bridger said what was he to do then, if he had no other place to put them.  Underneath his shop he could show the Inspector a ton of ashes.

Mr. Monk : What do you live in such a house for then.

Mr. Bridger : I call that a ridiculous question…

… Mr. Neal : Don’t you think its hard for one section of the town to have to pay for empting the middens of the other.

Mr. Wise said perhaps it was, but on the other hand there was the danger of them percolating into the soil, and polluting the wells…

… In reply to Mr. Neal, Mr. Wise said there were Poors Pieces and the gardens on the back of the Laundry [land off Buckingham Road, now part of Courthouse Close] and Shipton gardens, where the refuse could be put.

Mr. Neal said it could only be put on at certain times of the year.

The Inspector : Mr. Wise contends that a great deal of it can be disposed of to the Allotment Holders.  Do you admit that?

Mr. Neal said he could not contest it, as they did so now.

Mr. Neal : Do you think they would be willing to pay 6d a load for it.

Mr. Wise said : Yes.

Mr. Neal : Do you know that ashes are the worst things out to put on some of the land.

Mr. Wise said they would be mixed with street sweepings, and other refuse…

… Mr. Wise, replying to Mr. Neal, said he believed Winslow was a very healthy place, and he should like to keep it so.  There had been no cases of typhoid while he had been in office, but he believed there had been two whilst he lived in the town.  He could not say what these two were attributable to.

Mr. Neal said it was attributed to the drains, but it was not so.  The real cause was that the soft water pipes had got turned into the well, and they were drinking water poisoned by birds and cats excrement.  The man who put it right said the town drains were perfect on that spot.

Rev. John Pither said as occupier of part of the house in question [9 Horn Street], he got an Inspector  from London, Mr. Hennings, to inspect it, and he said the drainage must be very imperfect somewhere, for the soil underneath the kitchen was saturated with sewage…

… The Inspector said the condition of this place was that of a town, not a village, and it required the systematic removal of its refuse, and not the fitful way in which it was now being done.  The object was to get the ashpits removed before they were full, and not to wait till they could not hold any more.  It was extremely irregular at present, some being empted every three months, some every six months, and some at much longer intervals…

…Mr. W.H. Stevens said the smells in Winslow very often did not come from the ashpits, but from manure on the fields, with which the town was surrounded.  He was certain that was where the smells came from.

Mr. Willis said his fields had no manure put on them for 15 years, and they did not want it, he was glad to say.

Mr. Stevens said he was not alluding to Mr. Willis’ fields.

After one or two remarks from Mr. Monk and the Inspector concerning Tinker’s End water supply, the latter declared the inquiry closed.

See Parish Council for what followed from the inspector's recommendations.   

1896: 8 Feb
  WINSLOW HIGHWAYS.- The Surveyor reported by appointment he met Councillor Neal and Mr. Monk, the late Surveyor of highways for the parish, and inspected the odd pieces of road and walks of Winslow, and took Mr. Monk’s statement of what the Surveyors had done in the past.- Mr. Monk said the Surveyors had repaired as follows:- Western Lane as far as Spring Close; Church Walk and Road as far as George George’s gate; pebble pitching to the Churchyard gate; and the Churchyard path, ever since the Church rate, was done away with; the back road to the Market Square, by the “Rose and Crown”; Bell Alley and the walk by Mr. Wigley’s (with fine granite); Hobhowchin Lane; the piece near Sanniford’s [Staniford’s] pump up to the gates; the road as far as Mrs. Loffler’s gate had been a parish road for 150 years, and the property upon both sides was originally parish property and was sold to help build the present Union House.  The remaining odd pieces the Surveyor had not repaired - The Council decided that they would repair all the above except the Churchyard paths.

April 1898 Winslow RDC election:
William Samuel Neal 222
Ebenezer A. Illing 117
Not elected - James East 111

For reasons which were not explained in the local press there was only one Conservative candidate against two Liberals. Perhaps the original plan was to avoid a contest by the sitting councillors, Neal (Conservative) and East (Liberal), standing unopposed, and Illing put in his nomination too late for another Conservative to stand. James East continued as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Guardians.

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Copyright 21 March, 2022