|The Rushden Echo, 8th April, 1921, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Industrial Crisis
Preparing For Emergencies
|A special meeting of the Rushden Urban Council was held on Wednesday to consider important letters from the Divisional Food Commissioner and the Mining Department regarding the distribution of food in case of a coal strike. Mr. John Claridge, J.P., C.C., presided. There were also present Messrs. W. Bazeley, J.P. (vice-chairman), C. E. Bayes, T. Wilmott, F. Knight, J.P., L. Perkins, B.Sc., C. W. Horrell, T. Swindall, and J. Hornsby, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).
The Clerk read a copy of a letter from the Divisional Food Commissioner stating that it was proposed to revive Food Control Committees. The Chairman of the Council was requested to call a meeting to form an emergency committee to deal with the question. Officers who had served in that capacity before were likely to be required to act again. Volunteers might be necessary. In the case of a railway strike, it was hoped that particulars of abandoned perishable goods en route should be passed on to the consignees and arrangements be made to transport the goods. Mr. F. Knight proposed that the now disbanded Food Control Committee of Rushden be asked to meet again and deal with the matter before them, and that Mr. C. W. Wing and his staff be re-appointed to undertake the clerical duties.
Mr. Wilmott seconded, and it was carried.
The Clerk also read a letter from the Mining Department notifying the Council that the machinery for rationing fuel supplies should be set up again to find out what stocks were held, especially by the big institutions. Domestic coal was not to be used for any industries but the most vital. The local authorities were not empowered to commandeer stocks. The Coal Merchants’ Federation were to take on the distribution of fuel, and the Council were asked to nominate members to act with the coal merchants.
Mr. Swindall said there was a committee of the Federation at Wellingborough. He suggested that the Rushden merchants be asked to meet and form a committee, and that the Council act with that committee. Fortunately, there was not a great deal of industrial coal used in Rushden.
After some further discussion, it was agreed to ask Mr. Wilmott, Mr. Spencer, and Mr. Bazeley to serve on the prospective committee, and that Mr. Madin be requested to act as fuel overseer.
Householders, it was stated by the Clerk, were limited to 1 cwt. of coal a week, and must not have any further deliveries if they had in stock more than 5 cwt. Public lighting was to be reduced to the minimum.
Mr. Hornsby: We have already acted in regard to public lighting.
The matter was left to Mr. Madin to call a meeting of the local coal merchants at Rushden to meet the members nominated by the Council.
15th April, 1921
Good Reduction in The Rates
Wednesday, present Messrs. J. Claridge, J.P., C.C. (chairman), W. Bazeley, J.P. (vice-chairman), T. Wilmott, C. E. Bayes, F. Knight, J.P., L. Perkins, B.Sc., C. W. Horrell, T. Swindall, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, and C. Bates, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. Piper).
Plans, Etc. Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, March 23rd, 1921, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), W. Bazeley, C. E. Bayes, C. W. Horrell, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.
were presented for:-
A motor garage for Mr. W. Whitby, off Portland-road, and no exception taken.
Permission was granted to the occupier of No. 29, Trafford-road, to erect a bicycle shed at the rear of his house.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to name the street running at right angles to Newton-road, on the Council’s new Housing Estate, Oval Road, and the Surveyor was instructed to procure name-plates accordingly.
An application was received from Messrs. Boots, Limited, for permission to affix a hanging sign in front of their premises in High-street not less than 18 feet high, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
The Surveyor submitted amended quotations for the supply of a new set of tyres for this Lorry, the lowest of which amounted to £74 7s 6d, less 25 per cent. He was, together with Mr. Wilmott, requested to enquire with regard to the type of the tyre proposed to be supplied, and if satisfactory to place an order forthwith.
A letter was received from the County Surveyor asking for an estimate of the maintenance of these roads during the ensuing year.
The Surveyor was instructed to submit the following estimate:-
Wellingborough Road : £800, plus £120 for tar spraying
Irchester and Washbrook Roads : £300, plus £160 for tar spraying.
The Surveyor was instructed to place orders for road materials as required during the ensuing six months with the same firms dealt with during the past year.
Team Labour, Day-Work
The Surveyor was also instructed to advertise for tenders for the supply of Team Labour (Day-work) for the ensuing six months.
Coffee Tavern Lane
The Surveyor reported that Messrs. B. Denton and Son proposed setting back their fence on the north-east side of this Lane, and would surrender a certain portion of land to the highway provided the Council would construct a footpath there.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to accept the offer, and construct the footpath, and that the thanks of the Council be conveyed to Messrs. Denton therefor.
It was resolved to cease general public lighting on March 26th, and that the lamps in the High-street remain lighted as last year.
Fire Station Cottage
The question of the tenancy of the Fire Station Cottage referred back to this Committee by the Council at their last meeting was considered. The Captain and Hon. Secretary of the Brigade attended the meeting and urged upon the Committee the desirability of a fireman residing in the cottage.
Having regard to the valuable stock and machinery now stored at the Depot, the Committee were of opinion that it was of paramount importance that the foreman should reside on the premises, and with his experience as a fireman they had no doubt that he would be able to perform all the duties hitherto undertaken by the fireman resident there. Under these circumstances saw no reason to alter the decision arrived at at their last meeting.
On the reception of the above Committee’s report, a letter was read from Capt. R. F. Knight stating that he understood that the Committee had decided, after hearing the views of himself and Mr. Packwood, not to alter their previous decision to require the removal of the fireman from the Fire Station in order that the Council foreman might reside there, near so much of the Council’s stock. Captain Knight made a last appeal that the Council would not do what he considered a great injustice and set-back to the Fire Brigade. If no fireman was on the premises the efficiency of the Brigade would necessarily be reduced. The present fireman at the Fire Station had been there for 14 years, and undoubtedly it was owing to having a resident fireman that many serious fires had been prevented.
The Chairman said that a very strong case was made out by the Fire Brigade members. There was also a good case for the Council.
Mr. Knight said he was in entire agreement with the Brigade. If it was necessary that the foreman should live in the house the Committee should have carried their resolution to its logical conclusion.
Mr. Swindall: Was it originally intended that a fireman or the foreman should live at the house, and has the foreman any experience of a fireman’s duties?
The Chairman: It was originally intended that the tenant should be the foreman, but he happened to be also a fireman.
Mr. Bazeley: The foreman has had four years’ experience of firemen’s duties.
Mr. Perkins said that more damage might be done at a fire in five minutes than the foreman would save in the way of old road materials in five years. It was a bad as taking people away from the pumps at the mines.
Mr. Spencer said the matter had been brought up 12 months ago, and the whole of the pros and cons were thoroughly discussed.
Mr. Perkins moved, as an amendment, that the matter be referred back.
Mr. Knight seconded.
Mr. Bazeley pointed out that the present tenant was not paid to be on the premises all day and night. In his absence his wife called the firemen when required.
Mr. Hornsby supported the resolution.
Put to the vote, Messrs. Wilmott, Bayes, Knight, Perkins, and Bates voted for the amendment and Messrs. Hornsby, Spencer, Swindall, Bazeley, and Horrell for the resolution. The Chairman gave his vote for the amendment.
The report was adopted.
Finance & Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 6th, 1921, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge, W. Bazeley, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Collector’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums during the past month:-
The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the balances were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £1,503 18s. 7d. were examined and passed for payment.
Memorandum of General District Rate
The Collector submitted the following Memorandum of General District Rate made the 6th day of October, 1920:-
The Rates Clerk also submitted a list of the irrecoverable amounts, and it was resolved to recommend the Council that they be written off as such.
The Estimates for the ensuing year were considered and agreed upon.
The total estimated expenditure amounted to £24,078 17s 0d, and the total receipts to £4,887 9s 1d., there was a balance in hand of £2,460, leaving a deficiency of £16,731 8s 9d.
A 1s rate was estimated to produce £2,000.
A rate at 8s 8d in the £, would produce £17,350, leaving a working balance of £619.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to levy a rate on account for the half-year ending September 30th next at 4s 4d. in the £.
On the reception of the Finance Committee’s report, Mr. Spencer asked whether the water-cart was to be used in High-street and elsewhere as it had been badly needed lately.
Mr. Wilmott concurred.
The Chairman said that no doubt the surveyor would attend to the matter.
The Chairman, referring to the estimates and the rate, said he felt that the Clerk had made very liberal estimate for the coming year’s expenditure and that consequently they would be well within their income with the rate proposed. The rate was a reduction of 6d in the Poor rate and 4d in the district rate.
In reply to Mr. Spencer, the Clerk said that the work being carried out in Spencer Park was allowed for in the way of part repayment of a loan.
The report was adopted.
Health & Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 6th, 1921, when there were present:- Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), J. Claridge, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, and L. Perkins.
Health & Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer for the month of March was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the past month 15 preliminary notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances, etc., and the number of outstanding nuisances at the end of the month was 42.
The carcases of a cow and a sheep, together with the organs of various other animals, all voluntarily surrendered, to the weight of 6 cwt 1q 9½lbs had been destroyed in the usual way as being unfit for the food of man.
A quantity of beds and bedding found in infected houses had been disinfected at the Depot, and returned to their respective owners.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work since the last meeting.
Dairies, Cowsheds & Milkshops Order
The quarterly report of Mr. Parks was received, from which it appeared that on March 14th, 15th, and 17th, he visited 29 premises and inspected 164 cows and heifers, making an individual examination of each udder. The Sanitary Inspector was requested to keep one of the cows mentioned therein under his observation.
Knacker’s Yard License
An application was received from Messrs. Chettle & Son for a license in respect of their slaughterhouse on Shirley Park, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
Increase of Rent, Etc., Act
A letter was received from the Secretary to the Town Tenants’ League asking the Council to instruct their Inspector to apply to the County Court for an Order suspending the increases permitted under this Act in respect of the property in Woburn Place.
The Clerk was instructed to reply that the remedy was in the tenants’ own hands and the Council could not undertake to initiate proceedings in the County court.
The Cemetery Sub-Committee reported that they had met at the Cemetery, and now recommended that tenders be asked for wrought iron gates at the Newton Road main entrance, that a tank be provided at the Newton Road end of the Cemetery to provide water for the public use and that a sum of £5 be allowed the caretaker for the purchase of flowers for the borders near his cottage.
The Committee approved and recommended the Council accordingly.
The Chairman said that as that was the last meeting of the Council over which he would preside, he wished to thank all the members for the kindness they had shown him during his year of office. They had assisted him very greatly, and, although they had had no contentious business, they had had the problem of grave unemployment to deal with. He was afraid the distress in the town was still very serious, and perhaps another appeal would be necessary to the public to support the fund to relieve that distress. Mr. Claridge also thanked Mr. Madin, Mr. Piper, and the staff for their assistance.
Mr. Perkins proposed that the best thanks of the Council be given to the Chairman for the able manner in which he had discharged his duties and the splendid way in which he had stuck to his post in spite of ill-health. They must all confess that Mr. Claridge had been perfectly fair in the onerous position. (Hear, hear).
Mr. Spencer seconded, and said they all appreciated Mr. Claridge’s work of the past year. They were pleased that he had recovered so well from his recent illness, and hoped he would continue to keep well.
Mr. Bazeley supported, and said he regretted that the Chairman had not had the best of health in the past year. Under the circumstances he had fulfilled his duties remarkably well. He hoped that Mr. Claridge in his latter days would be blessed with good health and happiness.
The vote was unanimously recorded.
Thanks were also given to Mr. Bazeley, Mr. Swindall proposing and Mr. Bayes seconding.