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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 11th April, 1930, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Rushden’s Rate Down by Fourpence
Baths to be Self-Supporting
Big Housing Scheme Launched
Dr. Greenfield on Good Milk Supply

The change in the way in which the finances of the County Council and the Rushden Urban Council are allocated in the new financial year caused a little debate which nearly became cross-talk at the beginning of the meeting of the Rushden Council on Wednesday. Questions and subsequent speeches did not seem to clear the air completely.

Incidentally, while the rates of other authorities in the neighbourhood have been considerably raised, that for Rushden is lower than that for the previous twelve months by 4d., but it is to be the same in the coming half-year as in the six months now ended.

The members present were Messrs. D. G. Greenfield, M.D., J.P., (chairman), G. W. Coles, J.P., (vice-chairman), Tom Wilmott, J. Roe, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, C. Claridge, J. Allen, F. Knight, J.P., L. Tysoe, C. W. Horrell, C.A., L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, and J. T. Richardson, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. J. W. Lloyd), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper).

The New Rate

It was reported that the Council in committee had considered the estimates for the ensuing year as recommended by the various committees.

The estimated expenditure, including calls from the County Council and the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board, amounted to £75,008 19s. 11d., and the receipts, including the block grant in respect of de-rating, £33,106 3s. 10d., leaving a balance to be provided of £41,902 16s. 1d.

The estimates were approved and it was resolved to recommend the Council to fix the rate at 13s. in the £ for the year and to instruct the Rates Clerk to prepare a rate of 6s. 6d. in the £ on account thereof for scaling at the annual meeting of the Council.

Presenting the above minutes, Mr. Roe said that each committee had presented their own estimates, which made generous allowance for likely expenditure. He hoped the committees would keep within their estimates and then there would be, even on the reduced rate, a good credit balance at the end of the financial year. The total estimated expenditure for the year ending March 31st, 1931, including the County Council and Water Board calls amounted to £75,008 19s. 11d. The County Council precept was for £30,811 5s. 2d. Last year the County Council and the Wellingborough Guardians precepts together amounted to £21,180., so this year Rushden would have to find an additional £9,631 5s. 2d. The other extra expenditures which they were providing were, £500 for the equipment of Rushden Hall, £280 for lavatories in Jubilee Park, a new motor lawn mower, shelters, etc., £600 for the Harborough-road and Pyghtles-terrace improvement, £300 for a new cemetery fence and £50 for the mortuary. The baths, including the repayment of interest on the loan they estimate would cost the town £670. Last year the receipts were about £650, and if they had another successful season the baths would not be a charge on the rates. The estimated receipts for the year, including the grant from the Government in respect of de-rating, amounted to £33,106 3s. 10d., leaving a balance to be provided for of £41,902 16s. 1d. A general rate of 13s. in the £, less proceeds of 1d. rate transferred to housing account, amounted to £35,340, which, with the balances in hand would give an estimated surplus of £1,488 10s. 11d.

Mr. Spencer said there was one point which the chairman of the finance committee had given which seemed in error. The additional amount which the County Council were asking from Rushden was £6,000 and not £9,000. He feared that the rural districts were taking money from the urban districts. He hoped that the town’s representatives on the County Council would watch any tendency in that direction. The increase in the County Council demand was an exceedingly large one. Had their finances not been in a very sound condition they would have had to raise their rates considerably.

Mr. Horrell said he was not clear what it was that Mr. Spencer wished the representatives on the county authority to do.

Mr. Spencer, referring the members to the official list of the individual items in the estimates, said there was an additional demand from the County Council of £6,000 and not £9,000 as stated by Mr. Roe. The Rushden rates might have been 2/- higher but for the good state of their finances.

Mr. Horrell said that Mr. Spencer had omitted to mention the Exchequer grant through de-rating.

Mr. Spencer contended that that was entirely separate and independent of the County Council call on Rushden.

Mr. Tysoe: Can our Clerk throw some light upon this? It is as clear as mud to me! (Laughter).

Mr. Allebone: I quite agree with the County Council being careful over the expenditure of money, but I cannot quite understand Mr. Spencer’s remarks about the Rushden representatives watching carefully that expenditure. It must be common knowledge that there is a big scheme of education which will possibly mean a big charge from the County Council. Mr. Spencer must know that if the County Council has got to spend money there is only one source to take it from, and that is the authorities under its immediate jurisdiction. I would like to ask Mr. Spencer on the question of this education programme if he would suggest that the Rushden representatives should oppose it on the ground of expenditure. Personally, I cannot oppose this expenditure on education, which is bound to come in the next year or so.

Mr. Spencer: I want the inhabitants of Rushden to know that there is £6,000 additional expenditure from the County Council. My one fear is that the Urban District Council will be penalised for the rural districts. I only wish our County Councillors and aldermen to take into consideration that the urban districts are not penalised at the expense of the rural areas.

Mr. Roe: The figures I gave Mr. Spencer are perfectly correct. The County Council precept last year was £21,180, and this year is £30,811 5s. 2d., so that there is an additional £9,000. The question of the county main road does not come in at all. We are not spending this money this year, so therefore we shall not get it.

Mr. Spencer: I must give you the benefit of the doubt of the £3,000.

The Chairman: This County Council precept is one we cannot alter. I asked Mr. Roe to preface his remarks with a brief summary of the financial position this year in order that the public may be as fairly informed as possible as to why the rate is fixed as it is.

New Buildings and Paths

The Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee recommended that plans be passed for a house on the Wellingborough-road for Mr. E. L. J. Woodley, subject to satisfactory arrangements being made with the County surveyor with regard to the building line; a bay window to house known as “Hillside,” Higham-road, for Mr. H. J. Goodband; three garages in Adnitt-road for Mr. M. Stringer; a garage in Oval-road for Mr. C. H. Jeeves; and four garages in Denmark-road for Mr. H, Pratt, and passed subject to his erecting a 4½ inch wall on the west side.

The Surveyor reported that he had interviewed the owners of the Adnitt-road estate with regard to the laying of the sewer in the road, but they were unable at the present time to agree to do so.

A letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council stating that the Roads and Bridges Committee had agreed to recommend an expenditure of £250 in the ensuing financial year for the provision of a tarmacadam footpath for approximately 500 yards from the Tecnic Works towards Wymington turn.

A further letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council stating that the Roads and Bridges Committee had agreed to recommend that a tarmacadam footpath be constructed on the north side of Higham-road from Kilburn-place towards Higham Ferrers at an estimated cost of £315.

The Surveyor submitted a letter from the County surveyor stating that a sub-committee of the Roads and Bridges Committee had considered the question of the accounts to be paid by the County Council in respect of the proportion of scavenging – applicable to maintenance. They had agreed to recommend the payment of one-third of the cost not exceeding £100 for this district.

The Committee agreed and resolved to recommend the Council to enter into an agreement with the County Council accordingly.

Presenting this report, Mr. Allebone said they would be pleased to note the County Council had recommended the expenditure of £250 to provide a footpath on the Bedford-road, and also on the north side of Rushden Hill towards the Higham boundary. With regard to scavenging, he said the sum was not what they anticipated getting, but it was uniform with what the other authorities were getting.

Mr. Tysoe: I want to congratulate the County Council on this footpath scheme. It has been wanted for many years, and I have always emphasised the necessity for a footpath on the main roads. Pedestrians have been seriously neglected and drivers of the motor cars know the difficulty through there being no footpaths.

The recommendations were adopted.

Public Lighting

It was resolved to cease full lighting on May 10th next, but to continue the all-night lamps as usual.

Mr. Allebone said that each year it had been customary to remove the heads of the lamps. They found that it had cost the Council upwards of £20 to remove the lamps, and if any members saw they were not removed they would understand the reason. It would save the Council that £20 and it would be more protection to the heads of the lamps than in previous years.

Bigger Putting Green

The Baths and Parks Committee reported as follows:-

Spencer Park bowling greens and tennis courts:- It was resolved that these greens and courts be opened, subject to weather conditions allowing, on Thursday, April 17th. Putting green:- The Surveyor reported that the putting green had been extended from 12 to 18 holes and it was essential that extra equipment be purchased. He was instructed to obtain what was necessary. It was also resolved that the Green be opened on the 17th. Motor mower:- The committee again considered the question of the provision of a motor mower for use in the park and the emergency sub-committee were empowered to obtain prices and particulars for a 20 inch mower and accept the one most suited for the work.

Mr. Hornsby: There will be no alteration in price?

Mr. Coles: No, they are getting the extra six holes for the same price.

In reply to Mr. Claridge, Mr. Coles said that the cost of the motor mowers they were considering was in the neighbourhood of £50 to £55.

The recommendations were adopted.

Swimming Bath

It was resolved that this bath be opened to the public for the season on Easter Monday, April 21st.

Petroleum Acts

An application was received from the Rushden Engineering Co. for a licence to store an additional 500 gallons of petrol in a tank near their present one. The tank had been inspected and approved.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application.

Milk and Dairies Orders

An application was received from Mr. Frederick J. Quennell, of No. 19, Wentworth-road, to be registered as a retail purveyor of milk at his premises.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto subject to the store being to the satisfaction of the Inspector.

Dairies, Cowsheds and Milkshops Orders

The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was received, from which it appeared that he made his quarterly inspection of dairy cows in milk in the district, visiting 17 premises and inspecting 179 cows, making an individual examination of each udder.

With the exception of one case the whole of the cows were clinically normal and the majority in good condition.

St. Crispin Estate

A letter was received from the Head Postmaster at Wellingborough, stating that it was proposed to recover the letter-box situate on this Estate as the returns, which had been taken on various occasions, did not warrant the retention of the box.

The Clerk was instructed to reply that the box was a great convenience to the actual users and to express the hope that it would be allowed to remain.

In reply to Mr. Allebone, the Clerk said that the Head Postmaster had written promising to leave the box in its present position for a further trial.

Rushden Hall

The Clerk submitted a letter from Messrs. J. T. Parker and Son, offering to sell to the Council on behalf of Mrs. P. J. Deighton, the Porter’s lodge in connection with this estate, being Lot 2 on the Estate plan, for £375. The vendor to erect a brick wall from the end of the existing building to the point indicated upon the plan prepared by the Surveyor, and the Council to erect and maintain a fence from that point to the brook.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accept the offer subject to the sanction of the Ministry of Health being obtained.

It was also resolved to recommend the Council to at once apply to the Ministry of Health for sanction to the loan of £5,600 for the purchase of Rushden Hall, together with the Porter’s Lodge.

Mr. Perkins asked if they were going to ask for a separate loan for any improvements that would be contemplated. He thought it would be an advantage to embody everything in one loan.

The Clerk: If we begin to do that it will be some months before we can get the application in and then it will be considered by an inspector. In that case we should not get it completed before next September.

Prospect Avenue - Private Street Works Act

The Clerk reported that with the exception of one, the whole of the abutting owners on this street had paid their apportioned charges in respect of the making of this street.

He was instructed to inform the person concerned that unless the charges with interest were paid at once the Council would have no alternative but to exercise their statutory powers.

Rates Department

An application was received from Mr. H. B. Holyoak for an increase of salary and it was resolved to recommend the Council that his salary be increased by 5s. per week, dating from the 1st instant.

Clerk

The committee had under consideration the remuneration paid to the Clerk, and it was resolved to recommend to the Council that his salary be increased from £500 to £600 per annum, dating from the 1st. instant.

Still More Houses

Mr. Perkins, moving a resolution that the Surveyor be instructed to prepare plans for a further lot of houses on the Irchester-road estate, said that they had been delayed somewhat owing to the Ministry of Health calling on them to make the extension of Purvis-road. There had not been a meeting of the housing committee recently, but he had consulted the Surveyor, who found that he was in a position to go on with the proposed scheme, which had really been sanctioned by the Council already. There would be a meeting of the housing committee, so that the members did not feel that work had been done without consulting them. He asked that power be given to go on so that the matter might be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.

Mr. Allen seconded the resolution.

Supporting, Mr. Spencer said that he thoroughly approved of the action. The housing committee had always been unanimous that there should be more houses.

Mr. Claridge: We are not committing ourselves to any number. How can you advertise for tenders without knowing the number?

Mr. Perkins: We are committed to a scheme of about 100 houses, but I think the recommendation of the committee would be to send to the Ministry a scheme of about 54. We don’t want to start with 100 houses.

The motion was carried.

Thanks

Before the conclusion of the meeting Mr. Knight proposed thanks to the chairman for his services during his year of office. He said they would all agree that Dr. Greenfield had conducted the business of the town both ably and satisfactorily. He did not think he had known a year when the work had gone through with more satisfaction, and he had not heard any complaints from the inhabitants of the town and he felt that if they had had anything to complain of they would have done so. There had been a considerable amount of business done and it seemed to be increasing every year.

Seconding, Mr. Hornsby said he did not think they could have had a more courteous or fairer chairman than Dr. Greenfield, and he had conducted the business of the Council in an admirable manner and would be able to look back on the fact that during his chairmanship they had decided to purchase Rushden hall. “Of course,” added Mr. Hornsby, “we didn’t expect it would please everyone. A citizen told me that we should not know what use to put the Hall to, and he suggested that the best use we could put it to is to turn it into a mental institution and that the seventeen idiots who voted for the purchase should be put into it.” (Laughter).

Responding, Dr. Greenfield said he had a very pleasant term of office and he could say he had brought good will to his task. There had been three things of note during his chairmanship. In the first place they had a bath and they thoroughly enjoyed the use of it. The second, they were not so much in the limelight, but the efforts of the council had been completely supported by the dealers of milk in the town. They had a milk supply in Rushden which, he thought, was second to none in the country. This was nothing spectacular, yet it was a thing of immense importance, and was one that must be maintained for the health of the town. In the third place most of them would look back with pleasure on the purchase of Rushden Hall.

Dr. Greenfield added a reference to support of the council staff and said: “The pleasantest recollection of all is that I have never yet been on a public body so long in which so much utmost good feeling and fellowship has prevailed.”

Mr. Swindall proposed a similar vote of thanks to the vice-chairman and said that the success of Mr. Coles in council, and committee had been very marked.

Mr. A. Wilmott seconded and Dr. Greenfield supported.

Mr. Coles, in a brief response, said that he thought it extremely good of Dr. Greenfield’s patients to arrange their illnesses so that he could attend the meetings.



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