Waterford County Council: A History of Service


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An introduction to the early years of Waterford County Council from its first meeting on 22nd April 1899

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  • Property owners, occupiers of property who paid rates direct or through landowners as an addition to rent and a lodger paying more than £10 rent per annum You pay your money in order to have your voice/vote
  • Road Act, 1920 Council became responsible for registration of mechanically propelled vehicles and the licensing of them. This tax had first been introduced in 1909. Tarring of Roads “dangerous to horse traffic” (24 November 1942) Speed Limits 10 miles an hour (30 November 1908)
  • Many of those employed by Waterford County Council during the War of Independence were unable to carry out their duties due to their commitments to the Irish Republican Army. These men were later paid by Waterford County Council on receipt of a certificate from their commanding officer.  
  • Waterford County Council: A History of Service

    2. 2. Waterford County Council Members 1899 Copyright Waterford County Archives Service
    3. 3. 1898 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT <ul><li>Under Section 68 of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT (IRELAND) ACT, 1898 the administrative county of Waterford as it exists today was created. </li></ul><ul><li>1 November 1898 The extent of the county was defined in an </li></ul><ul><li>order made by the Local Government </li></ul><ul><li>Board.  </li></ul><ul><li>Apart from Boundary Extensions to Waterford Corporation in 1966 and 1980 the County Boundary remains as decided in 1898. </li></ul><ul><li>For electoral purposes the Waterford County was divided into 20 electoral areas with each area returning one member and these divisions remained in place until 1924. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>1 st April 1899 The LOCAL GOVERNMENT </li></ul><ul><li>(IRELAND) ACT, 1898 came into </li></ul><ul><li>operation. </li></ul><ul><li>6 April 1899 Elections to the new Councils established </li></ul><ul><li>by the Act were held throughout Ireland. </li></ul><ul><li>22 April 1899 The first meeting of the newly elected </li></ul><ul><li>Waterford County Council was held. </li></ul>
    4. 4. WHAT CHANGED? <ul><li>GRAND JURY </li></ul><ul><li>- limited franchise </li></ul><ul><li>-Grand Jury members were large landowners </li></ul><ul><li>-funded by county cess and poor rate (tax due from landowners) </li></ul><ul><li>WATERFORD COUNTY COUNCIL </li></ul><ul><li>-elected by more extensive franchise of parliamentary electorate </li></ul><ul><li>-Council members were local farmers, shopkeepers, publicans etc. </li></ul><ul><li>- funded by rate (tax due from occupiers) </li></ul>
    5. 5. FIRST MEETING <ul><li>“ That we the Members of Waterford County Council at this our first meeting desire to place on record our unalterable conviction that nothing short of Legislative Indepdendence will ever satisfy the National aspirations of the Irish people.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ That we pledge ourselves to do all in our power towards restoring the evicted tenants to their holdings as we believe there can be no lasting peace in the country until these poor families have been restored to their homesteads” </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings moved from Waterford to Dungarvan and a move by L.W. Bonaparte Wyse and R.J. Ussher to hold meetings alternatively in Dungarvan and Waterford was defeated. “Trifling” alterations at a cost of £66:3:0 were required for Dungarvan Courthouse </li></ul>
    6. 6. WCC/1/1 Minutes of the First Meeting of Waterford County Council Copyright Waterford County Archive
    7. 7. ONE FOR ALL? <ul><li>25 April 1933 At the third attempt to adopt a rate, the Council met and the members were informed by the Minister </li></ul><ul><li>“ That there was no possibility whatever of any </li></ul><ul><li>increase in the amount of the Agricultural Grant as announced, and the Council should proceed with the necessary funding for the provision of their service” </li></ul><ul><li>There was no choice but to accept the rate of the Agricultural Grant for 1933/34 as notified by the Minister and the Council proceeded to adopt “…a more economical estimate compatible with the present decreased capacity of the Agricultural Ratepayer to pay…” </li></ul>
    8. 8. ALL FOR NAUGHT? <ul><li>The rate collection at the close of the year 1933/34 showed that £43,699:2:9 was collected out of a total warrant of £84,009:10:0 and the bank overdraft on that date amounted to £37,593:6:6 </li></ul><ul><li>  1934 The members were informed that the Minister had directed that a Local Inquiry be held into the performance of the duties of the Council pursuant to Section 72 of the Local Government Act, 1925 </li></ul><ul><li>22 May 1934 The Council met to consider the rate and adopted the estimate of expenses for the year 1934/35 </li></ul><ul><li>This was the last meeting of the Council </li></ul><ul><li>  24 May 1934 The Inquiry was held in the Council Chamber, </li></ul><ul><li>Dungarvan at 11:00am </li></ul><ul><li>On consideration of the report of J. P. Geraghty the Minister of Local Government and Public Health, Sean T. O’Kelly dissolved the Council and the functions of the Council were transferred to a Commissioner </li></ul><ul><li>6 May 1934 S.J. Moynihan was appointed Commissoner </li></ul><ul><li>21 June 1934 The first meeting of the Commissioner was held </li></ul>
    9. 9. FIRST REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONER <ul><li>“ On the dissolution of the Council in June 1934, approximately 40% of the Rates for the previous financial year was outstanding” </li></ul><ul><li>… Prior to their dissolution, the County Council had adopted the rate 1934/35, the warrant for the year amounted to £115,643. While the demand showed a considerable increase as compared with the previous year, the increase can be attributed to the fact that for the year 1933/34 the Council assumed a fictitious credit of £15,000 (the difference between the Agricultural Grant for 1932/33 and that for 1933/34) with the object of avoiding any increase in the rate for the latter year. The inadequate estimate referred to, is responsible for part of the present overdraft…”  </li></ul><ul><li>August 1942 Local Elections were held </li></ul>
    10. 10. SERVICES <ul><li>ROADS AND BRIDGES </li></ul><ul><li>PIERS AND HARBOURS </li></ul><ul><li>SANITARY (WATER) </li></ul><ul><li>HOUSING </li></ul><ul><li>HEALTH </li></ul><ul><li>AGRICULTURE </li></ul><ul><li>EMERGENCY SERVICES </li></ul><ul><li>PLANNING </li></ul><ul><li>SOCIAL ASSISTANCE </li></ul><ul><li>REGULATION OF BUSINESS </li></ul><ul><li>COUNTY LIBRARIES </li></ul><ul><li>ARTS </li></ul><ul><li>ARCHIVES </li></ul><ul><li>HERITAGE </li></ul>
    11. 11. ROADS <ul><li>Turnpike Roads - a series of barriers were placed and a toll was levied on travellers when they passed through these barriers. The toll was used in order to maintain the road for the use of those using the roads </li></ul><ul><li>Under the 1727 Repair of Roads act Grand Juries were empowered to appoint “…some able knowing and skilful person as surveyor” but the work itself was contracted out to local contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Under the Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898 the County Councils were required to introduce a system of roads classification – Main and Rural. W.E. L’Estrange Duffin made the first submission on Main Roads to the Main Roads Committee on 29 October 1900 </li></ul><ul><li>On 2 October 1905 an order was made by the Local Government Board approving a Direct Labour Scheme for certain roads in the County under the charge of the County Surveyor </li></ul>
    12. 12. BRIDGES <ul><li>Private builds – Dungarvan, Lismore… </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Jury – co-operation with Commissioners of Public Works </li></ul><ul><li>Waterford County Council continued the work of the Grand Jury </li></ul><ul><li>However, During the period of the First World War little could be accomplished and during the War of Independence and Civil War many roads and bridges were damaged </li></ul><ul><li>The County Surveyor, John Bowen, was responsible for the efforts to safeguard the roads and bridges during this period. </li></ul><ul><li>On 16 August 1921 he reported to the Council that a great deal of destruction of bridges and obstruction of roads had occurred   </li></ul><ul><li>The bridges and roads damaged included: </li></ul><ul><li>Mauma Road Glendalligan Mount Congreve Reisk Fenor Pouldrew Kilbunny Clodiagh Killoteran Kilmeaden Whitfield Pembrokestown Old Dalligan Ballyvoile Millvale Tickincor Feddans Ballythomas Cappoquin Boola Tallow Camphire Monavugga Gurteen Ballycashin Kilfarrissey </li></ul>
    13. 13. PIERS AND HARBOURS <ul><li>Grand Jury and Commissioners of Public Works were responsible for piers and harbours </li></ul><ul><li>Waterford County Council inherited this function from the Grand Jury </li></ul><ul><li>Constructed and maintained piers and harbours </li></ul><ul><li>Oversaw harbours and piers – notice prohibiting the use of firearms from Helvick Pier (31 st December 1953) </li></ul>
    14. 14. SANITARY <ul><li>Public Health (Ireland) Act, 1878 – water, sewage, street cleaning, collection and disposal of refuse, abatement of nuisance and burial grounds </li></ul><ul><li>Sanitary Officers – inspecting housing, disinfecting housing, bedding and people </li></ul><ul><li>24 October 1961 Special Meeting of the Council to discuss the Report of the County Engineer on Water Services </li></ul><ul><li>On 9 April 1962 the Chairman of Waterford County Council C. Curran stated that as a result of massive protests at the increase in rates by the public the estimate initially presented by Waterford County Council was reduced. He stated that “This was a drastic and unavoidable step and has resulted in a sharp reduction in the level of a number of important public services” . </li></ul>
    15. 15. SANITARY <ul><li>In 1970 the number of household supplied with water was 50% (WCC and private) </li></ul><ul><li>Under the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act, 1962 WCC as a sanitary authority could compel the owner of any dwelling to connect to a water or sewerage system if the dwelling was not connected to a proper system </li></ul><ul><li>Refuse Collection was also the responisbility of the Council and in 1939 in Tramore “…two horses with suitable carts and drivers be employed during the Summer months to remove all rubbish…” </li></ul><ul><li>Burial grounds could be transferred to the Council </li></ul>
    16. 16. HOUSING <ul><li>Public housing was introduced with the Labourers (Ireland) Act, 1883 and Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890 </li></ul><ul><li>Board of Guardians were responsible for housing and then the Waterford County Board of Health until 1942 </li></ul><ul><li>1939 Cottage Purchase Scheme </li></ul><ul><li>1945 Scheme for 400 houses “…owing to the emergency the work could not be proceeded with” </li></ul><ul><li>11 November 1946 1283 cottages inspected and 986 in need of repairs </li></ul><ul><li>12 August 1946 Scheme to build 420 cottages at a cost of £648 per cottage and a rent of 7 shillings per week </li></ul><ul><li>Housing Act, 1966 </li></ul>
    17. 17. HEALTH <ul><li>1838              The Poor Law (Ireland) Act </li></ul><ul><li>1874              Public Health (Ireland) Act </li></ul><ul><li>1908              Tuberculosis Prevention Act: gave county councils the power to provide sanatoria   </li></ul><ul><li>1924              The Department of Local Government and Public Health was established </li></ul><ul><li>1925              Local Government Act: abolished rural district councils, created boards of health and public assistance  </li></ul><ul><li>1939              Public Assistance Act: abolished county boards of health and public assistance and transferred their functions to county councils but did not come into operation until 1942 </li></ul><ul><li>1945              Tuberculosis (Establishment of Sanatoria) Act </li></ul><ul><li>1948           Health Act: increased the health responsibilities of county councils </li></ul><ul><li>1970           Health Act: establishes 8 area health boards to take over local authority functions in health matters </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    18. 18. HEALTH: TUBERCULOSIS <ul><li>16 th July 1945 Joint meeting of WCC and Dungarvan UDC and medical representatives </li></ul><ul><li>Year Patients Year Patients </li></ul><ul><li>1935 241 1940 226 </li></ul><ul><li>1936 288 1941 213 </li></ul><ul><li>1937 353 1942 178 </li></ul><ul><li>1938 300 1943 227 </li></ul><ul><li>1939 340 1944 231 </li></ul><ul><li>On the 6 th of November 1947 Waterford County Council purchased part of the lands of Ballinakill, barony of Gaultier, county Waterford formerly known as Elva and now known as Ardkeen from John Henry de Bromhead at a cost of £10,300 </li></ul><ul><li>Ardkeen Chest Hospital was built to accommodate 246 patients and treat all forms of Pulmonary Tuberculosis   </li></ul><ul><li>On the 21 July 1952 part of the Ardkeen Sanatorium was officially opened with Dr. James Ryan, Minister for Health. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1957 it was recommended that Ardkeen be converted to a County Hospital </li></ul>
    19. 19. EDUCATION <ul><li>“ That it is our opinion that the claims of the Catholics of Ireland to equality in University Education should be recognised…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ That we are of opinion that the Irish Language should be placed on the same level as other modern languages in our Universities, Secondary and Primary courses of education” </li></ul><ul><li>Scholarship Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Higher Education Grants Scheme </li></ul>
    20. 20. AGRICULTURE <ul><li>Contagious Diseases of Animals Acts 1894 </li></ul><ul><li>County Committee of Agriculture – sub-committee of Waterford County Council </li></ul><ul><li>Sheep Dipping </li></ul><ul><li>Bovine TB </li></ul><ul><li>Seed Supply Scheme </li></ul>
    21. 21. EMERGENCY SERVICES <ul><li>In March 1904 Sergeant Michael Grace, 25 Main Street, Dungarvan wrote to the Chairman of the Urban District Council stating the in accordance with a resolution of 25 April 1904 he formed a fire brigade with twenty local men.The men were to be paid 1 shilling each for practice and quarterly meetings of the fire brigade were to be held for practice four times in the year </li></ul><ul><li>1925 – Lismore Voluntary Fire Brigade </li></ul><ul><li>Air Raid Precautions Act, 1939 </li></ul><ul><li>Fire Brigades Act, 1940 Roger McGrath first Fire Officer </li></ul><ul><li>In December 1942 the members of the Fire Brigade were first appointed </li></ul><ul><li>Roger McGrath John Whelan Michael Dunne </li></ul><ul><li>Patrick Power James O’Connor Augustine Power </li></ul><ul><li>Philip Dunne James Power Michael Whelan </li></ul><ul><li>Patrick Nagle Oliver Walsh Kevin Dalton </li></ul><ul><li>John McCarthy </li></ul><ul><li>1962 Revised Civil Defence Crash Plan </li></ul>
    22. 22. PLANNING <ul><li>Town and Regional Planning Act, 1934 (optional) </li></ul><ul><li>National Planning Conference, 1943 </li></ul><ul><li>Local Government (Planning and Development) Act, 1963 (mandatory) </li></ul><ul><li>A sum of £3000 was to be included in the Draft Estimates for 1956/66 as a token provision for the expenditure to be incurred. At the meeting the County Manager, Simon J. Moynihan, reminded the Council that they were obliged to implement the terms of the Act as it had been brought into operation and was now law </li></ul><ul><li>Despite this reminder a motion to adopt the County Engineer’s Report and approve the establishment of a Planning Section and create the posts of: </li></ul><ul><li>Planner with the rank of Chief Assistant County Engineer </li></ul><ul><li>One Assistant County Engineer; One Draughtsman; One Building Inspector; One Clerical Officer; One Clerk-Typist </li></ul><ul><li>was defeated by seven votes to five </li></ul>
    23. 23. PLANNING <ul><li>On 5 February 1965 at the Meeting of the Estimates Committee of Waterford County Council it was resolved: </li></ul><ul><li>“ That provision for Planning and Development Act 1963 be reduced from £3000 to £1000 in Draft Estimates for 1965/66” </li></ul><ul><li>At the meeting of Waterford County Council on 5 March 1965 the Council was advised by the County Manager to make a provision of at least £3000 for the creation of a Planning Section for the County </li></ul><ul><li>A letter from the County Engineer J.D. Hally was also read. In this he stated that “…I want to make it clear that no Plan is being prepared nor will a Plan be prepared either provisional or definitive until such time as the staff for that purpose is made available. I further wish to make it quite clear that I do not accept responsibility for any difficulties that may arise due to the impact of the ad hoc decisions which will be made on applications, on any subsequent Plan which may be prepared” </li></ul><ul><li>A resolution was then passed providing the same sum as the previous year for planning, that is, £100 </li></ul>
    24. 24. SOCIAL ASSISTANCE <ul><li>Old Age Pension Scheme, 1908 </li></ul><ul><li>War Pension Scheme </li></ul><ul><li>Employment Schemes </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel Schemes </li></ul><ul><li>School Medical Inspection </li></ul><ul><li>School Milk Scheme </li></ul>
    25. 25. REGULATION OF BUSINESS <ul><li>Weights and Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Pawnbrokers </li></ul><ul><li>Registers of Explosives </li></ul><ul><li>County Development Team </li></ul>
    26. 26. TOURISM <ul><li>Tramore Fáilte, 1965 £25,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Tourist Roads </li></ul><ul><li>Tourist Signs </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul>
    27. 27. COUNTY LIBRARIES <ul><li>1905      Lismore Rural District Council adopted the Public Libraries (Ireland) Acts </li></ul><ul><li>1910       The first public libraries opened in West Waterford </li></ul><ul><li>1930       Waterford County Council adopted the Public Libraries (Ireland) Acts </li></ul>
    28. 28. PUBLIC AT PLAY <ul><li>Dance Hall Licences </li></ul><ul><li>Cinema Licences </li></ul><ul><li>Dog Licences </li></ul><ul><li>Arts </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage </li></ul><ul><li>Archives </li></ul>
    29. 29. WATERFORD COUNTY ARCHIVE <ul><li>OPENING HOURS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TUESDAYS 10-2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FRIDAYS 1-5 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BY APPOINTMENT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.waterfordcoco.ie </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>