By 1917 food supply had become a pivotal issue in the war effort. It was a situation that had taken on greater significance as the German Uboat campaign took its toll on the nation’s maritime supply routes. Lord Rhonda, at the Ministry of Food, directed local authorities to set up ‘Food Control Committees’. Their purpose was to bring local control over food conservation, equitable sharing of food to all social classes and to control prices. In Halifax the committee had its headquarters in ‘The Old Town Hall’ on Union Street at the junction with Westgate. The chief executive was Percy Saunders.
Lord Rhonda’s guidelines outlined a need for balanced representation on the committee to include some working class representatives and at least one woman. However, it seems that when they were initially set up this was not the case and some degree of protest followed.
The building is currently occupied (2020) by an optometrist but the name ‘The Old Town Hall’ can be clearly seen in the glass skylight above the main entrance door.