Birth of the Urban District Council

The administrative unit for local government ad been, fo many, many years, the Parish Council. All matters of local interest, the welfare of the poor, neighbourly disputes, sanitation, moving vagrants out of the parish, keeping some semblance of law and order fee under the purview of the parish council, usually made up of well to do citizens.

Stony Stratford historically had two parishes, and Wolverton, after the arrival of the railway acquired two, and then three. Each village had its own parish.

In the 19th century life became a little more complex and after 1832, Poor law Unions were created to administer welfare over a cluster of parishes. Wolverton and Stony Stratford were included in the Potterspury Poor Law Union. county councils emerged in the 19th century to administer, for example, a County police force and later take over the highways from the Turnpike Trusts. After 1888, County Councils had more powers and began to oversee education and health care.

But until the end of WWI the parish council was still very much part of most people’s lives in North Bucks, but the war had brought about revolutionary change. Even though the two Stony Stratford Parish councils had coordinated activity for meany years, they were still separate legal entities.

In 1914 Wolverton and Stony Stratford formed the Wolverton and Stony Stratford Rural District Council. The equivalent Newport Pagnell Rural District Council included New Bradwell.

In 1918, at the end of the war, the Wolverton and Stony Stratford Rural District Council resolved to seek the status of an Urban District Council. This gave them more powers, including, for example, the ability to borrow money to build housing stock. On April 24th 1919 the Wolverton and Stony Stratford Urban District Council formally came into being – 100 years ago!

The following year New Bradwell elected to join the council and the name was changed to the Wolverton Urban District Council. Its jurisdiction included Wolverton, Old Wolverton, Calverton, Stony Stratford and New Bradwell.

Comments

  1. Bev Humphries

    My father Fred worked for the WUDC in many guises; Sewage plant operator, dustman, roads repair, grave digger,gardener (Council greenhouses at the rear of Furze Way and next to Wolverton Cemetery).

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