Due to the rapid growth of the docks and Barry, the population grew dramatically. In 1881, there were five hundred people recorded as living in Barry, but by 1911 the census reveals that there were thirty three thousand, seven hundred and sixty three people residing in Barry. People from all over Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England came to the town looking for employment.
The Urban District Council was formed in 1894. It replaced an earlier Local Government Board who did not have the powers to cope with the expansion of the town. The council offices were based first at Vere Street, then moved to Holton Road and finally to the Public Offices on Kings Square in 1908.
The 1889 census revealed that at this time there were nine people living in every house in Barry. This proved that a major issue the Council needed to address was overcrowding. There were water supply problems and unsanitary conditions all over Barry, including inadequate drainage and cesspools. There was also reportedly a stench that was deemed to be a health hazard. In 1891 a young man died from Typhus fever, which led to the local board taking action, and they issued property owners notices to clean up the filth that was dumped in the back lanes of Holton Road. Boarding houses were now to be regulated, and flushing toilets installed along with a new sewerage system in 1894.
By 1895, the Public Medical Officer for Barry announced that these measures had worked and that the sanitary condition of Barry was now satisfactory.
The Local board also approved many private improvements to the roads and pavements. This included new roads that led from Cadoxton to Central Police Station via Weston Hill and Barry Road. The new roads were lit with gas lamps, and the roads proved to be a great way of getting rid of some of the mud.
The Corporate Arms of the Town of Barry
The Coat of Arms was awarded in 1939 when Barry was incorporated into a Municipal Borough.
The Arms are to honour the town, the people, the industry, three of the families that were important to the development of the town and also the natural resources that are in abundance in Barry.
There is a gold shield in the centre of the arms. This symbolises the profits that have been made from trade and industry. The three bars that adorn the shield are taken from the Ancient Arms of the DeBarri family.
The two fleur-de-lys at the top of the shield are taken from the Arms of the Right Honourable Lord Davies of Llandidnam to show respect for his creation of Barry Docks.
The red dragon on the bottom of the shield is the symbol for Wales and also the badge of the Barry Railway Company.
On the crest is a black ship with a sail that is adorned with diamond shapes. The ship is shown sailing on wavy lines of silver and azure. This symbolises the sea and the roaring success of Barry Docks and the coal exports.
The shield is supported by two unicorns and these are from the Arms of the Lord of Plymouth. He was the last Chairman of the Barry Railway Company. The right unicorn is decorated with a shield that has the Arms of the DeBarri family on it, who were granted land here after the Norman conquest. The unicorn to the left is decorated with the Arms of the town of Barry.
The base of the arms represent the natural resources in Barry. These include the sandy shores and the sea.
The motto on the arms is Cadernid, Cyfiawnder, Cynnydd which is Welsh for Stability, Justice, Progress.