Records of the Council and committees of Hull City Council and it's predecessors, since 1755

1835 saw the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act which was to change the way local councils in England would be run and administered. Hull was no different, and the council that was elected to run the town after the act was very different from that of the one before it. It was elected from a wider constituent base as a result of the new property qualification. The way Hull, like many other towns chose to run its business would be through the establishment of various committees, whether standing or permanent (for example the Water and Works Committees) or through special or specific ones (such as the Greek Gypsy or Profiteering Committees).

Over the years the areas in which the Corporation of Hull began to involve itself grew as it looked to improve life in the town. There were moves to extend the public utilities with improved water and power supplies, transport and telephones, which prompted their own committees. The council would also establish committees in reponse to private initatives, central government legislation and cultural activities such as public libraries.

The Corporation merged with a number other bodies, such as the health boards in 1876, the school boards in 1903 and the Poor Law Guardians in 1930. This meant new responsiblites and new committees. Hull was granted county borough status under the 1888 Local Government Act and became a full city in 1897.

Despite the ravages of the Second World War, the government of the city continued, through its regular committees as well as a specific Emergency Committee. Post war there were many changes, with for example the the nationalisation of the water industry which meant the end of the water committee. Local Government reform in 1975 saw the creation of Humberside County Council which resulted in areas such as Education and the Fire Brigade transferring to the new county. From being a county borough, the new council that was left became a district council, with committees such as Leisure Services and Planning. In 1996 Humberside was abolished under more local government reforms and a new unitary authority for Hull was created. In 1999 the committee system was reorganised completely, with a leader and cabinet style executitve arrangement.

How are the records arranged?
The records are arranged by committee, with dates of operation. Some, for example the Cattle Plague Committee (Ref C TCCA) and the Bridges (Ref C TCBR) and the Grammar School Committees (Ref C TCG) have full catalogues available on our online catalogue, whilst others have only paper catalogues available in the searchroom. There is a list of almost 200 committees with links (where applicable) to further information on our online catalogue.

What records will I find in the collection?
The collection contains a wide range of records. The main records are the committee minutes and any associated reports. However, there are also letters, applications, plans, memos, posters and regulations amongst the collections.

What can the collections be used for?
As well as a record of the decisions of the council and being useful for a history of Hull itself, the records can also be used to show the development of aspects English local government from the 19th century onwards. It may also help some family historians as there are many names of individuals who have worked for the council over the years.

Access conditions
Access to unrestricted material will be granted to any accredited reader. However, access to some of the material in this collection is restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act. Access to material closed under DPA may be accessible for research, according to the exemptions set out within the DPA. Please see our closure guidelines or contact the History Centre for further information.