|The Rushden Echo, 19th April, 1901, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The annual meeting of the Council was held on Wednesday night. Mr. F. Knight occupied the chair at the outset and there were also present Messrs. G. Denton, J. Claridge, J. Spencer, J. S. Clipson, G. Miller, W. H. Wilkins, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, and T. Swindall, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. J. B. Martin).
Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman
Mr. Knight said that before commencing the ordinary business he wished to thank the Council for the resolution passed at the last meeting and forwarded to him by Mr. Mason, and he also wished to thank Mr. Mason, and the other officers for the kind expression conveyed in the letter accompanying that resolution. It was now his pleasing duty to propose the election of Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year. The gentleman he was about to propose would not require from him any words to recommend him as regarded his fitness for the office. Almost every office that the town had at its disposal had at one time or other been filled by Mr. Denton, whose qualifications for the position of Chairman of that Council were ideal ones. He was quite sure that Mr. Denton would preside over their meetings with ability and impartiality. (Hear, hear.) Speaking for himself and the other members of the Council, he was sure their prospective Chairman would have all the help and support the Council could give him. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Spencer seconded the motion, fully endorsing what had been said by Mr. Knight, and the motion was unanimously carried.
Mr. Denton took the chair, and in returning thanks for the confidence reposed in him expressed the hope that the Council would give him the same support they had given to Mr. Knight. If the Chairman had not the support of the members it would be impossible for the business to be carried on satisfactorily, but knowing how loyally the Chair had been supported in the past he had no hesitation in accepting the position. At the same time he felt a considerable sense of responsibility, for hard work was the characteristic of the office, and without hard work one could not keep up the reputation set up by Mr. Wilkins, Mr. John Claridge, and Mr. Fred Knight, all of whom had brought great ability to the position and had devoted themselves most thoroughly to the work. He hoped, with the support of the Council, not to lower the dignity of the position, and he again thanked them for the honour they had done him.
Mr. Bazeley proposed the appointment of Mr. Spencer as vice-chairman.
Mr. Bates seconded the motion, Mr. Clipson supported it, and it was unanimously carried.
Mr. Spencer, in returning thanks, said that should the question of the Chairmanship arise and he could not take the position he should simply decline it.
The various committees were constituted as follows :-
Finance, cemetery, and sanitary committee :- The Chairman, the vice-chairman, and Messrs. Cave, Bates, Swindall, Skinner, and Claridge.
Sewage farm sub-committee :- Messrs. Bazeley, Skinner, and Swindall.
Plans, highways, and lighting committee :- The Chairman, the vice-chairman, and Messrs. Wilkins, Clipson, Miller, Bazeley, and Knight.
Water committee :- The whole Council, with a sub-committee consisting of the Chairman, and Messrs. Claridge, Knight, Miller, and Clipson.
Rating committee :- The appointment of this committee was deferred.
Plans, &c., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held on Wednesday, April 3rd., 1901. Present :- Messrs. W. H. Wilkins, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, and Tom Swindall.
In the absence of the Chairman, Mr. Wilkins was voted to the chair.
Plans were presented by:-
Mr. F. J. Abbott for two houses on the Higham-road and passed.
Mr. E. Dawson for house in Pightles Terrace and passed.
Mr. T. Swindall for six houses in Washbrook-road and passed.
Mr. Harry Knight for two houses in Wellingborough-road and passed.
Mr. Thomas Patenall for additions to his house on the Higham-road and passed, subject to the existing drain under the proposed additions being taken up and carried outside the building or cast iron drain pipes being substituted for the present pipes and to the rain water pipes in front being discharged over a trapped gulley.
Mr. W. W. Ferrar for house and stable on the Rushden Court Estate and passed, subject to the drainage arrangements being made to the satisfaction of the Surveyor, adequate ventilation being provided for the bedrooms without fireplaces and the bye law as to concrete being complied with, also to a sanitary pail being substituted for a cesspit.
Messrs. Cave Bros. for additions to house occupied by Mr. Robert Marriott and passed.
The Wholesale Co-operative Society a detailed plan of entrance doorway to their office in Portland-road and passed.
Carting Contracts for Road Materials. The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for tenders for carting road materials for the year ending 31st March next.
Factories Provisions against Fire. An application was received from Messrs. Jaques and Clark for a certificate under Sect.7 of the Factory and Workshop Act, 1891, as to their factory being provided on the storeys above the ground floor with such means of escape in case of fire as can reasonably be required. The Clerk informed the Committee that it was the duty of the authority to give such a certificate in respect of every factory erected after the first of January, 1892, if satisfied that the factory was so provided. It was resolved to recommend the Council to give Messrs. Jaques and Clark the certificate asked for and also to give similar certificates in respect of various other factories, a list of which was ordered to be furnished to the members of the Council with the Agenda for the next meeting.
General Builders’ Association. A communication was received from the Rushden General Builders’ Association with copy of resolution passed by that Association at a recent meeting with reference to form of Contracts. No action was taken thereon, the Committee expressing the opinion that every contract should be settled on its merits.
The report was adopted.
More Magistrates Wanted
Mr. Spencer, in accordance with notice, moved that the attention of the Lord Lieutenant of the County should be respectfully directed to the inconvenience from which Rushden suffered owing to there being no resident Magistrate other than the Chairman for the time being of the Urban District Council.
Mr. Clipson seconded the motion, which was agreed to, and the Clerk was instructed to forward a copy to the Lord Lieutenant.
The Council’s Employees
There was a notice on the agenda paper, in the name of Mr. Miller, to call attention to abusive treatment by some persons of the Surveyor and the Council’s employees while in the performance of their duty.
Mr. Miller said he mentioned the matter at the previous meeting, but the surveyor had now received an apology.
The Chairman took it that if the Surveyor and the men were abused again the Council would take some action in the matter, for they were determined to support their employees.
Queen Victoria Memorial
Mr. Knight read letters he had received from the Lord Lieutenant making an appeal to the inhabitants of the County for support for the fund being raised to provide a memorial to the late Queen Victoria, and setting out that any amount collected should not be more than a penny for a child and sixpence for an adult. He (Mr. Knight) had replied to the letters and had promised to lay the matter before the town.
The Council were heartily in support of the proposal, and left it to Mr. Knight to organise the matter.
Mr. Swindall asked whether the Council would take any action with regard to a local memorial.
The Council felt that while it might be advisable to do something in that matter, it would not be well to have two subscriptions for a similar object before the public at the same time.
The Water Supply
A report from Mr. Middleton on the operations at Sharnbrook was received, but at Mr. Middleton’s wish, was not made public, the matter being considered in committee.