Parish Council and Village Hall
Swannington Parish Council
Local Government Act 1894
During the parliamentary debate on the 1894 Local Government Bill, Henry Hartley Fowler, President of the Local Government Board, said:
“62 counties, 302 Municipal Boroughs, 31 Improvement Act Districts, 688 Local Government Districts, 574 Rural Sanitary Districts, 58 Port Sanitary Districts, 2,302 School Board Districts … 1,052 Burial Board Districts, 648 Poor Law Unions, 13,775 Ecclesiastical Parishes, and nearly 15,000 Civil Parishes. The total number of Authorities which tax the English ratepayers is between 28,000 and 29,000. Not only are we exposed to this multiplicity of authority and this confusion of rating power, but the qualification, tenure, and mode of election of members of these Authorities differ in different cases.”
The government chose the civil parish as the basic unit of local government in rural areas. Each parish council’s area of responsibility was a geographical area known as a civil parish. The civil parishes were also grouped to form rural districts which became the geographical areas of rural district councils.
The Act led to the formation of both Swannington Parish Council and Ashby Rural District Council at the end of 1894.
Parish Meeting to elect a Parish Council
The 1894 Act included an option to elect a parish council at a parish meeting by consent of the electors, otherwise a formal election would take place.
The 7th December 1894 Coalville Times reported on a parish meeting to elect the first council.
The nominated names were then put to the meeting in alphabetical order, and the voting resulted as follows:
- Elected – 78 Thomas Atkins, 70 Levi Lovett, 59 James Glover, 53 George Choyce, 53 William H Johnson, 50 Thomas Wheatley, 48 Joseph Horne
- Tied for eighth place: 41 George Henry Poynton, 41 George Underwood Rowse. A second show of hands gave George Underwood Rowse victory by 45 votes to 43.
- The following were not elected – 37 Stephen Cox, 36 F Hallam, 35 William Wardle, 34 J B Brearley, 34 Jas Fewkes, 33 J Brewin
Somewhat late in the day, Thomas Wheatley then objected to the election taking place by show of hands. This forced a formal election with secret ballot to take place.
First Balloted Election
The 21st December 1894 Coalville Times reported the election results as
- Elected – Atkins 115, Lovett 96, Fewkes 85, Glover 74, Choyce 74, Poynton 57, Horne 50, Wheatley 49
- Unsuccessful – Brewin 45, Rowse 44, Johnson 42, Brearley 38, Hallam 37, Wardle 33, Cox 23
Swannington Institute – Village Hall
Wyggeston Hospital provided the land in 1931 for the Miners Institute.
The Leicester Evening Mail on the 4th November 1932 reported:
Miners’ Institute Opening
Carnival Tomorrow at Swannington
The new miners’ institute built at Swannington with funds provided by the Leicestershire Miners’ Welfare Committee, is to be opened by Mr. William Eames, of Coalville, to-morrow night, when a whist drive and carnival dance will be held.
Mr. Leonard Swanwick of Coalville the architect, and the contractor, Mr. G. J. Lidwell, of Swannington, the contract price being £1,446.
The building was taken over by the Parish Council in 1949.