SEDGLEY HISTORY - THE COUNCIL HOUSE, HIGH HOLBORN

The 19th century problems of sewage disposal, refuse removal and the supply of pure water emphasised the need for an improved local government structure. The Local Government Act of 1858 started to address these issues through the formation of Local Boards. By 1867 the Manor was controlled by two Boards, Lower Sedgley and Upper Sedgley. The former covered Coseley, Woodsetton, Brierley, Ettingshall and the latter Sedgley, the Gornals, Cotwall End and Gospel End.

The seat of administration for the Manor was built in 1881/82 for the Sedgley Local Board. John Hughes, Chairman of the Local Board, laid the foundation stone on February 14th 1882. There were the usual offices and an upstairs assembly room furnished to reflect local pride and power. However, more changes followed the Parish Councils Act and in January 1895 the Board's gentlemen were succeeded by 22 members of the newly formed Sedgley Urban District Council. This arrangement was to last for another 71 years.

Sedgley's first public library was opened in this building in 1951 and with the reorganisation of local government in 1966 it provided office space for Dudley MBC and eventually became the locality's Social Services centre until 2000.

In November 2001, no longer needed and the worse for wear, a market value of over 95,000 was asked - freehold included. A planning application, by Selbourne Homes, for 14 apartments was made in April 2003. This would leave the front elevation intact, disguising a large rear extension. The building is of 'special interest', but not 'listed'.


The photograph of the frontage (summer 2000) is accompanied by an (unfortunately dark) interior shot of a portion of the old council chamber (April 2002). The chamber has now been divided into a number of offices, one of which is shown here.

Council House - Frontage
Old Council Chamber