We have featured earlier Council Communications Books in previous blog posts – 1914 – 1915 and 1915 – 1917. This is a collection of entries from the final one covering the First World War period.
Because of shortages of materials, the Local Government Board on 29 June 1917 drew attention to timber supplies, urging road works to be limited just to repairs. The circular also suggested the use of alternative materials such as asphalt. Food was also at a premium, and local Food Control Committees were being set up. There were attempts to increase the number of allotments, in order to supply people with a daily ration of 1/2 lb of vegetables each. Similarly there was a drive to collect waste paper, scrap metal and other inorganic waste that could be reused in the future. The reduction of the availability of coal meant that the use of peat was being encouraged.
In an attempt to encourage the Government to provide compensation for damage by aircraft and bombardment, a circular from the Committee on War Damage dated 30 June 1917 asked for more information on any damages or deaths in the area, and associated costs.
On 21 November 1917 there appeared a letter from MP Andrew Bonar Law, reminding everyone to continue to buy National War Bonds with their savings, rather than deposit money in banks, in order to help financing the war effort.
There were various employment issues dealt with during this period. There was a circular on 11 February 1918 from the Amalgamated Society of Gas, Municipal and Council Workers. Since October 1917 there had been a 12 1/2% bonus payments to skilled workers of 21 years plus working on munitions work in engineering shops, foundries or boiler works. This was now extended to electricity workers, Sheffield iron and steel works, bolt and nut manufacturers, brass founders, brass workers, bridge builders, constructional engineers, hollowware manufacturers, spring manufacturers, stampers and wagon builders. This bonus would terminate at the end of the war. A letter from the female clerks at the Town Hall dated 4 February 1918 requested equality with male clerks, who had already received an extra War bonus.