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The Rushden Echo, 11th April, 1924, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
No Increase in The District Rate
Applications for Housing Subsidies
Shortage of Bricks

Wednesday, present : Messrs. L. Perkins, B.Sc., J.P. (chairman), C. Bates (vice-chairman), T. Swindall, T. Wilmott, C. E. Bayes, C. Claridge, F. Knight, J.P., C. W. Horrell, C.A., F. Corby, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, and G. W. Coles, J.P., with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper).

Plans, etc., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, March 26th, 1924, when there were present: Messrs. T. Wilmott (chairman), L. Perkins, C. Bates, F. Corby, G. W. Coles, J. Hornsby, and C. W. Horrell.

Plans

were presented for:

Two houses on the Higham-road, one each for Mr. H. Lack and Mr. D. Farmer and passed.

Houses on the Newton-road for Mr. H. Hodgkins, and passed.

Bungalow near the Old Windmill, off the Wymington-road, for Mr. H. Murdin, and passed.

House in Newton-road for Mr. H. Penniss, and passed.

Two houses in Oakley-road, one each for Mr. W. Wright and Mr. Arthur Sanders, and passed.

House in Oakley-road for Mr. J. A. Ashford, and passed.

House in Newton-road for Mrs. K. B. Rice, and passed.

Applications for subsidies in respect of the whole of the foregoing houses were received, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Surveyor to issue certificates in respect of same as coming within the Council’s scheme for the subsidy of £100 each.

Store to box factory in Cromwell-road for Messrs. H. W. Chapman, Ltd., and passed.

House in Essex-road for Mr. F. Wrighton, and passed.

House on the Hayway for Dr. Greenfield, and passed.

Drying-shed for the Rushden Chrome Tanning Co., Ltd., at their works off the Kimbolton-road, and passed.

Garage adjoining No. 4, Griffith-street, for Mr. W. Childs, and no exception taken.

Sewers

In view of the erection of the house in the Hayway by Dr. Greenfield and the undertaking given to Mr. C. A. K. Green last year, it was resolved to recommend the Council to continue the sewer up that road as far as Mr. Green’s house.

Miscellaneous Buildings

Applications were received from Mr. S. L. Hunt, of No. 17, York-road, and Mr. E. Warren, of High-street, for permission to erect cycle-sheds near their premises, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to take no exception thereto.

Main and Classified Roads

The surveyor submitted his estimates of the expenditure on these roads for the year ending March 31st, 1925, as follows:

Main roads

£2,230

Classified roads (1)

£850

Classified roads (2)

£735

It was resolved that the figures be adopted and submitted to the County Surveyor.

With regard to the tar-spraying required on these roads, the Surveyor was instructed to obtain prices from contractors and submit to the next meeting.

Team Labour

Tenders were received for the supply of team labour for the ensuing six months, and it was resolved to accept that of Mr. Holley and to obtain any additional labour from Messrs. Ashford and Co. and Mr. C. Spriggs.

Road Materials

Tenders were also received for the ensuing year’s supply of road materials, and the Chairman together with the Surveyor were authorised to make a selection therefrom and place the necessary orders.

Public Lighting

It was resolved to recommend the Council to cease general lighting on April 12th, but to continue lighting the lamps in High-street for a further month from that date.

It was also resolved that the lamps at the north corner of the Triangle, Washbrook-road, near the Vestry Hall, on the Memorial site, and at the south end of Bedford-road be kept lighted all night.

Building Bye-Laws

A letter was received from the Ministry of Transport returning the draft bye-laws and suggesting various alterations and amendments for the Council’s consideration.

The matter was referred to the Chairman and Surveyor to consider and report to a future meeting.

Newton-Road Improvement

The surveyor was instructed to commence the work of this improvement on the west side of the Clerk’s House, in accordance with the plan previously approved by the Council, and for this purpose to arrange with a local builder to supply the skilled labour necessary.

Roads Act, 1920

The Clerk reported the receipt of a further letter from the Clerk to the County Council with regard to the cost of fixing the notices notifying the making of the Order closing certain streets to heavy vehicular traffic, and suggesting wooden posts in lieu of iron.

The Clerk was instructed to reply that the committee did not see the necessity of erecting posts of any description in these particular streets, as there were buildings on either sides, and they were of opinion that if the notices were attached to such buildings it would meet the case.

Higham and Wellingborough Road Corner

A further letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council asking the Council to reconsider their decision to contribute only £12 10s. towards the improvement of this corner.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to increase the contribution to £25.

The report was adopted.

In regard to the last-mentioned improvement, Mr. Wilmott said that applications for the increased contribution had come from both the Higham Town Council and the County Council. It would be a great improvement, and that, and also because of the two applications, was why the committee recommended the increased grant.

Mr. Knight asked what was the whole amount to be paid and what were the respective shares to be paid by the three authorities.

The Clerk said that the County Council were to do the work, and the Rushden and Higham Councils would pay £50 between them.

Mr. Spencer said it was the right thing to do.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 2nd, 1924, at 10 a.m., when there were present : Messrs. L. Perkins (chairman), C. Bates, F. Corby, J. Hornsby, C. W. Horrell, Fred Knight, and T. Wilmott.

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £881 8s. 8d. were examined and passed for payment.

General District Rate

It was resolved to instruct the Rates Clerk to prepare a rate at 3s. 4d. in the £ for the half-year ending Sept. 30th next and submit to the Council for sealing at their next meeting, to be held on the 9th inst.

The report was adopted.

Regarding the rate, Mr. Swindall said he was pleased that, while other Councils had had to increase their rates, Rushden had kept the same.

Parks Committee

A meeting of the Parks Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 2nd., 1924, when there were present : Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), L. Perkins, C. Claridge, G. W. Coles, J. Spencer, and T. Swindall.

Bowling Greens

An application was received from Messrs. John Cave and Sons, Ltd., for definite facilities for the exclusive use of the greens on certain dates for matches in connection with their factory club.

The Clerk was instructed to reply that the arrangements already made for the ensuing season made it impossible to allot any particular dates for matches arranged by their club, and that the committee felt that any facilities granted to one factory club might justly be claimed by other factories in the town.

Park-Keeper’s House

A letter was received from Mr. W. G. Wilmott stating that he had sold the house at present occupied by the park-keeper and that the purchaser would require possession at Michaelmas next.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to erect a house for the keeper either on a site in the Park or immediately adjoining, to be decided upon at a later date.

Labour Meeting

An application was received from the Rushden Trades and Labour Party for the use of the Park on Sunday, May 4th next, for a public meeting.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application subject to the Labour Party making satisfactory arrangements with the Band to whom the Park had been allotted for that date.

The report was adopted.

Health and Sanitary Committee

A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 2nd, 1924, when there were present: Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), L. Perkins, C. E. Bayes, C. Claridge, F. Knight, J. Spencer, and T. Swindall.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The report of the Medical Officer for the month of March was received.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting 19 nuisances had been dealt with, of which number, together with the outstanding nuisances, 13 had been abated.

The following foods had been found upon examination to be unfit for human consumption and destroyed in the usual way : One ox liver, two tins of corned beef, and several tins of fish, fruit, etc. The total weight was lqr. 5½lb.

There had been no occasion for any rooms to be disinfected during the past month, but one bed had been destroyed.

The Inspector also reported that the w.c. to No. 5, Sartoris-road, was out of repair, thereby causing a nuisance. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on the owner requiring him to abate the nuisance within 28 days.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work and inspections during the past month.

Rats And Mice (Destruction) Act

The Inspector reported that under this Act three premises had been inspected and two treated; the results were satisfactory.

Petroleum Acts

An application was received from Mr. Arthur Okins, High-street South, for a renewal of his licence to store 100 gallons of petrol on his premises. It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application subject to the store being to the satisfaction of the Inspector.

Grove-Road, York-Road, and Manton-Road Backways

The Sanitary Inspector reported that he had visited and inspected these backways and found same in a very bad state of repair. He was instructed to have an estimate prepared of the cost of repairing them with cinder, etc. and then communicate with the abutting owners with a view to their agreeing to pay their apportioned charges in respect thereof.

Overcrowding

The tenant of No. 42, Cromwell-road, attended the meeting with regard to the notice served upon him to abate a nuisance thereat, caused by overcrowding. He was doing his best to comply with the notice, but it was impossible for his lodgers to find other accommodation in the time given.

It was resolved that the time in the notice be extended by one month.

Scavenging

Tenders for scavenging were received, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accept that of Mr. N. M. King for the ensuing six months.

Collection of Tins. – For the collection of tins, etc., the tender of Mr. H. Wilmott was accepted.

Cemetery

The petition from the Harborough-road residents asking for facilities for entering the cemetery from the top end of that road, referred to this committee by the Council at their last meeting, was considered and adjourned until the next meeting.

Caretaker’s House. – It was decided to have two rooms at this house renovated, and the Surveyor was instructed to put the work in hand.

The report was adopted.

Housing Committee

A meeting of the Housing Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Thursday, April 3rd, 1924, when there were present : Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), C. E. Bayes, J. Hornsby, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.

Messrs. Brown and Co’s Contract

The Chairman reported that in consequence of the cancellation of the contract with this firm for the building of ten houses on the Newton-road Estate the Architects had been in communication with Mr. Arthur Sanders as to the price he would accept to complete the contract. His figure was £2,439, and the Architects did not anticipate a lower figure if other builders were approached.

It was resolved to instruct the Architects to accept Mr. Sanders’s price and have the work proceeded with at once.

Renovations

An application was received from the occupier of No. 46, King’s-road for the cost of the materials required in renovating two rooms in that house, amounting to £1 2s. 6d. The Surveyor was instructed to inspect the property and if he considered the work necessary to authorise the expenditure referred to.

Further applications were received in respect of houses on the Newton-road Estate, but the committee decided not to entertain them at present.

The Chairman said that the public should know that only 16 applications had been made for subsidies in respect of the second batch of 50 houses and thus the remainder should be applied for before April 25thto be in time, although further application could be made by the Council to the Ministry for sanction.

Mr. Spencer said that the increased cost of building had deterred applications to his own knowledge. The Council estimate had been £415 and the cost had gone up to the exorbitant figure of nearly £600.

Mr. Perkins said that if people were waiting for lower costs they would be too late for the present batch of 50. Of the original 50, 48 were started on.

Mr. Claridge: Is the price higher than when the 48 were started?

The Chairman: There is an upward tendency.

Shortage of Bricks

The Clerk read a letter from the secretary of the Rushden Master Builders’ Association stating that building operations were being delayed so that the houses could not be completed by the prescribed date owing to the difficulty of getting bricks locally. So many bricks were being sent out of the locality that Rushden builders could not get nearly enough, and one had had to discharge two bricklayers for that reason.

The Chairman said that if bricks were scarce that was a reasonable cause of delay in building.

It was agreed that the Ministry of Health be supplied with a copy of the letter from the Master Builders’ Association and that the local firm of brickmakers be asked to consider Rushden needs first.

County Council

In accordance with notice given, Mr. Coles moved that the Clerk be instructed to inquire whether the Rushden Council’s application for an increased number of County Council representatives had been considered and with what result. He pointed out that as matters stood at present there must be a division of the town into three wards for the Urban Council election and two wards for the election of County Councillors, which would be both confusing and expensive.

Mr. Spencer seconded, and said that Rushden had always had to fight for everything they wanted from the County Council.

Mr. Swindall said that when he attended the meeting at Northampton on the subject he was told that the County Council could not add only one to its number, but when there was a redistribution of seatsRushden’s claim could be considered.

Mr. Coles said that details must not be allowed to stand in the way of Rushden’s just claim.

Mr. Spencer said that the local County Councillors seemed to have let one or two men run the show at Northampton. It did not reflect much credit on the Rushden representatives that they had not raised the matter themselves.

The Chairman said they had not been approached and so could not be blamed.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Superannuation

A letter was received from the officers and servants of the Council asking the Council to consider the question of adopting the Local Government and Other Officers’ Superannuation Act, 1922, in order that they might become entitled to the …(words missing)…the Act, which the writers understood had been adopted by the County Council and the Kettering and Wellingborough Urban Councils.

Mr. Spencer moved that the workpeople be included and that the matter be then referred to the Finance Committee.

Mr. Horrell said that the County Council had found it impracticable to include the workmen, owing to the big contribution.

Mr. Hornsby seconded Mr. Spencer’s motion.

Mr. Swindall said they ought to vote for the motion, as none of the Councillors was opposed to the workmen’s case being considered.

The Chairman pointed out that the workmen themselves had not made application, possibly owing to the 5 per cent contribution necessary from them.

The proposition was carried.

Lifeboat

It was decided that a meeting of representatives of the different organisations in the town be called to consider how to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Chalk

A letter was read from Mr. C. L. Bradfield asking the Council to take action regarding the disfigurement of nearly every wall, fence, and hoarding in Rushden with chalk marks, the substance of which bordered on indecency, suggesting that the children had not benefited by education.

Mr. Perkins said that the matter would be dealt with in the schools, but it was also a case for parents. Children could buy or find chalk. It was not a new complaint, limited to the present generation. Even those who had benefited by education had been guilty of chalking.

Mr. Knight said it had got to a serious state indeed. If anyone painted a gate, that was a signal for chalking all over it. He mentioned a case where new premises were badly disfigured and even before the people had got in the house. They did not want to punish the children. The Council were doing all they could to beautify the town so that strangers would know there was a real governing body.

The Chairman said there seemed to be an epidemic of chalking on people’s premises. There must be a great many amateur plasterers in the town. (Laughter.) But he had never seen anything “bordering on indecency,” and he considered that the town was wonderfully free from it.

Mr. Claridge: By some of the phraseology, it is done by big boys with a command of language.

No official action was taken in the matter.

[The question of an additional representative for Rushden, referred to at the above meeting, has been raised by Rushden representatives on the County Council, on various occasions, and the answer is always the same; “It would require a special Act of Parliament to give Rushden one additional representative, as things stand to-day.”

The law is that there shall be one County Alderman for every three County Councillors. The total number of County Councillors for Northants cannot, therefore, be increased by one only; any increase in the total must be three or a multiple of three, so that the number of Aldermen may be increased proportionately.

Rushden, in order to gain one more County Councillor, would have (1) to get two divisions to be willing to merge into one, so as to give a seat to Rushden, or (2) to show the need for increased representation in two other places as well, so that three additional Councillors could be appointed, involving, of course, an additional Alderman. And, even then, the County Council cannot make the increase; it would have to be decided by the Ministry, though, of course, a good case for an increase of three would not be likely to be thrown out. - EDITOR, “R.E.”]



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