1860s Council Minutes


The Vestry Minutes for the years 1862-70 show the increasing responsibility being placed on parish councils for raising rates for public services such as provision for the poor, highways, police work, sanitation and water supply and for education. Each year officials were elected to be responsible for these services - constables, waywardens, light inspectors and overseers of the poor.  The town was already lit by gas lamps in the central area, paid for by house-owners in the areas that benefited from being lit.  

Two petitions to Parliament were signed, one in March 1868 about the burden of taxation generally, and the other in 1870 protesting about compulsory education of the labouring classes beyond the age of ten. 

Water supply and sanitation were of concern, and Mr Ord at Somerton Brewery complained about the insanitary condition of the town, because his business relied on the clean water from the well in his works.  By 1870 a search was started for a reliable source of clean water to serve the town.