|Rushden Echo, 1st April, 1932, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Rate Reduced to 11s in £
Committees’ Care During Past Year
| As briefly reported in our issue last week a special meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday week, at which the Council agreed to a rate of 11s in the £ for the coming year, a reduction of 1s.
Introducing his first “Budget,” Mr. F. Green, chairman of the Finance Committee, stressed the care which had been exercised by committees during the past year and the very careful consideration given to the estimates for the coming twelve months.
Mr. Green said the Council had to raise by direct rates during the year £34,074 (less a surplus of £50), and an 11s rate would bring in £30,765, the difference coming from the balance-in-hand, £7,596.
He anticipated that the budget would balance, and that the sum of £4,277 would be left in hand to carry on the work of the Council.
The chairman, Mr. L. Perkins, uttered a warning than an increase might be necessary next year as the Council were spending a considerable sum out of the balance, which was being reduced from roughly £7,000 to £4,000.
Council v. Ministry of Housing Dispute
The members present were Messrs. L. Perkins, M.B.E., J.P., B.Sc. (chairman), J. Roe (vice-chairman), T. F. B. Newberry, C. Claridge, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., J. Allen, W. E. Capon, L. Tysoe, C. W. Horrell, C.A., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, and J. T. Richardson.
Mr. F. Green (chairman of the Finance Committee) said: “The finances of the town are in a very satisfactory state and can, I think, be compared favourably, with those of any town of Rushden’s size in the county, or in the whole country.
“As I am not Mr. Chamberlain,” he continued, “I am afraid I cannot guarantee you any reduction in income-tax, but I can promise you some relief in the rates, and after we have been through the estimates I shall ask you to adopt a rate of 11s in the £, being a reduction of 1s in the £.
“This has been made possible by the economical working of all the committees during the past year, which leaves us with an estimated balance-in-hand of £7,596, and also by the very careful consideration of the estimates for the ensuing year, together with a reduction of 5¼d in the £ in the precept from the County Council.
“We have during the coming year to raise by direct rates £34,074, and a 11s rate will bring in £30,756, the difference coming from the balance-in-hand.
We anticipate balancing our budget for next year and to have an estimated balance in hand of £4,277, which we consider will be ample to carry on the work of the Council.
“This I am sure you will all agree is a very satisfactory position.”
Continuing, Mr. Green said they estimated the grand total of receipts, including the amount raised by the rate and a Government contribution of £10,293 in respect of de-rating, at £74,153. The estimated expenditure included £23,999 payable under precept.
The chairman: We are reducing a balance of over £7,000 to somewhere in the neighbourhood of £4,000, and that in itself is about equal to a shilling rate, so it seems we are not spending much less.
Alderman Horrell said they had much to be thankful for. They had a credit of 5¼d from the County Council, but, as had been pointed out, the difference between the balances provided for a good deal more than that, so he thought they could satisfy themselves that the services of the town were not being cut down.
Mr. Swindall: I am sure that the townspeople generally will be very pleased when they know the rates are being reduced. With regard to Rushden Hall, a good many people thought it would be a burden on the rates, but as it is only costing 4d in the £ I think they have good value there for money.
Mr. Hornsby said they had come out better than was anticipated some time ago, and as they were passing through critical times he thought it was all to the good. He congratulated the chairman of the Finance Committee on the way he had introduced the budget. The deceased rate was due somewhat to the increased rateable value of the town. Fortunately they were getting a gradual increase in the rateable value, and that had contributed towards the result they saw that night.
The chairman: As we have spent so much out of our balance we might not be able to keep down to 11s in the £ next year. I hope the ratepayers will not think we have been extravagant if we have to increase the rates a year hence.
The estimates and rate were duly confirmed.
How Your Money Will Be Spent
After allowing for all receipts, Rushden Urban Council have to find a net amount of £34,024 for the coming financial year, and the way in which this sum is to be found and expended is shown below in Balance Sheet form.
With reference to the dispute between the Council and the Ministry of Health as to the size of the 12 houses proposed to be erected on the special crescent frontage in Irchester-road, the Chairman said that a letter had been sent to the Ministry asking them if they would receive a deputation, and the answer was in the negative.
The whole matter would come in due course before the Housing Committee.
Mr. Wilmott: Don’t you think you can decide it now, while you have got the whole Council here? It is most important to do it at once.
The Chairman then quoted the Ministry’s letter, which referred to the building of the small houses as the considered policy of the Minister: It was not considered that any useful purpose would be served by the proposed interview.
Mr. Tysoe: Can you read the letter stating our case?
The contents of the Council’s letter were outlined by the Chairman.
Ald. Horrell then moved that the matter be referred to the Housing Committee for a report to be made to the next Council meeting.
Mr. Wilmott: We know we can’t get all we want, but the committee is bound to come to the conclusion that these houses must be built. If we don’t get what we want, we must have what we can get.
Ald. Horrell said he thought perhaps the plans would be there and they could see what sort of frontages they were.
Mr. Allen: A little bit bigger.
It was left for the Housing Committee to consider the position.
The late Mr. T. Wilmott
The Chairman said he felt they should record on the minutes their appreciation of the work done by the late Mr. T. Wilmott, and that a letter of appreciation should be sent to the nearest relatives. On the last occasion they met the new of Mr. Wilmott’s death had come upon them very suddenly, and they felt that the act suggested was a debt they owed to him.
Mr. Newberry proposed that a record be made.
Mr. Spencer, seconding said he was associated with Mr. Wilmott the whole of the time he was on the Council, and could testify to the excellent work he had done.
Alderman Horrell said he had served on various committees with Mr. Wilmott and found him a very useful man, whose service commanded the thanks not only of the Council but the town in general.
The resolution was carried.
|15th April, 1932
Rate Reduction and House Rents
The unusually large number of twenty-eight Committee resolutions were adopted at the meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council on Wednesday.
Discussion took place on the reduction of house rents in proportion to the rate reduction, and the Rating Officer has been instructed to prepare a list showing the rents and rates chargeable to various types of property.
The Council considered complaints concerning shop blinds, hanging signs, and tradesmen’s goods displayed in front of their High-street shops.
The seat of the late Councillor Wilmott was declared vacant and nomination day in connection with the bye-election was fixed for April 20th and polling day for May 2nd.
Tea Room for Rushden Hall
The members present were Messrs. L. Perkins, M.B.E., J.P., B.Sc. (in the chair), J. Roe (vice-chairman), C. Claridge, T. F. B. Newberry, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., J. Allen, W. E. Capon, C. W. Horrell, C.A., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Spencer, J.P., 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 late Mr. T. Wilmott
The chairman reported the receipt of a letter from the family of the late Mr. T. Wilmott thanking the Council for their expression of sympathy in their bereavement.
The report of the Parks, Baths and Hall Committee stated that the Clerk reported that applications had been received from the various bands of the town for the use of the stand during the ensuing season and after consultation with the chairman he had requested them to meet and arrange dates.
A list of the arrangements was now submitted and approved, subject to the bands agreeing to give up the use of the stand on special occasions if and when required by the Council to do so.
The recommendation was approved.
The Surveyor reported that after consultation with the chairman he had arranged for the top dressing of the hard courts, and had also purchased a new tennis net. - This was approved.
The Council agreed to authorise the caretaker to expend a sum not exceeding £5 in the purchase of plants for the conservatory at Rushden Hall.
The Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee reported that Mr. Perkins had been appointed chairman in the place of Mr. T. Wilmott, deceased.
On the Plans Committee’s recommendation, plans were passed as follows:-
Alterations to beer-house at the corner of Queen-street and Cromwell-road for Messrs. Charles Wells and Co., Ltd.; garage near her house in Wymington-road for Mrs. Drabble; amended plan for workshop in Carnegie-street for Mr. J. Joyce; sheds in Midland-road for Mr. F. J. Lee; Bungalow in the road leading to the Home farm, off Skinner’s Hill, (Wellingborough-road), subject to the cesspool being constructed to the satisfaction of the Surveyor.
An application was received from Messrs. M. C. Wilson and Son, auctioneers, for permission to erect a hanging sign from their office in High-street. The sign would be 2ft. 6ins. by 3ft. and would be 11 feet from the ground.
The Highways Committee recommended the Council to accede to the application and also to instruct the Surveyor that in future no applications for signs would be considered that exceeded the above dimensions.
The Council approved the recommendations.
Dr. Greenfield: I think the Council some years ago adopted a resolution about lighted signs not being allowed, but that has not been adhered to. There are signs that come on and off and twinkle. It is all right in Piccadilly Circus, but in a narrow street it is diverting to the eye, and I think we should ask the Clerk to look up the resolution and see whether all the signs are in accordance with it.
The chairman: As the summer season is approaching there will not be any urgent need, but the Committee will consider the matter.
The Lighting Committee reported that a lad, reported by the Police for extinguishing a lamp in Harborough-road on the 17th February, attended the meeting and was censured by the chairman. The lad promised not to offend again and it was decided to take no further action in the matter.
A notice was received from the Rushden and District Electric Supply Co., Ltd., of their intention to lay underground cables in Fitzwilliam-street, Duck-street and College-street.
A memorial was received from the owners and occupiers on the south side of the street asking the Council to extend the footpath there.
The Surveyor was instructed to prepare an estimate of the cost of, and submit it to the owners and upon their agreeing and paying their respective proportions, to put the work in hand.
The Highways Committee reported that their attention had been called to the dangerous state of many of the sun blinds to the shops in the High-street, and particularly the flaps used in connection therewith, and they recommended the Council to instruct the Sanitary Inspector to interview the owners concerned and inform them that their blinds and flaps must be constructed so as not to be dangerous to the public.
The recommendation was approved.
Mr. Swindall: Must not these blinds be a certain height from the ground.
The chairman: There is a limit but as the people in Rushden are not of very great stature, it has not been necessary to enforce it and we have not been particular in that direction.
Mr. Coles: I think it is not so much the height of the blind, in my opinion, as the flaps at the side that are the danger.
Mr. Roe: This resolution affects various tradesmen in the High-street but we have had numerous complaints and the Committee have gone into the matter thoroughly. As a tradesman I support the resolution. A very great deal of damage can be done. We get as much sun as anybody but we have never used these flaps because they are a nuisance to pedestrians and also to traffic coming from side streets. The flaps hang very low over the pavement and drivers cannot see what is coming along the main street. We have got over the difficulty by putting a slip over the front of the window and if other tradesmen tried the same I think they would find it satisfactory and we should have no more complaints.
Dr. Greenfield: May I ask whether it is a matter for the Sanitary Inspector or the Police.
The Clerk: It is a Council matter.
Dr. Greenfield: What about the obstruction of the pavement?
The Clerk: That is a Police matter, whether it is fair for tradesmen to put their goods over the pavement and leave them standing there from morning till dark. We ought to be able to say something. Perhaps the Committee will consider it.
The Chairman: Our High-street is rather peculiar, as some parts belong to the shop owners. In some cases I know the Police have prosecuted where goods have come over the line.
Dr. Greenfield: In several cases they are using the pavement day to day.
The Clerk: Half way across the pavement.
The chairman: If the Press report this and the offenders see they are liable to prosecution there may be an improvement.
The Surveyor was instructed to see Mr. A. Sanders, the owner of the land abutting a field footpath at the rear of Purvis-road, with a view to its diversion, and report to the next meeting.
An application was received from the Showmen’s Guild for permission to use part of Spencer Park for Amusements during the latter half of Whit week, and the Council acceded to the request on payment of a charge of £12 10s.
A letter was received from the Rushden and District United Working Men’s Club Fund for Blind and Crippled Children asking for permission to hold their annual fete and gala in the Hall Grounds, on Saturday the 18th June, 1932.
A letter was received from the Rushden Swimming Club asking for the use of the bath on Mondays and Tuesdays from 7.30 to 9 pm. during the ensuing season.
The Baths Committee reported that they could not see their way to acceding to this request but agreed to allow the use of the bath to the Club for the same hours as last season, viz., from 7 to 8 pm during the early and late months and 8 to 9 pm during the middle months. The Emergency Sub-Committee were empowered to make some slight adjustments to the diving boards.
The Surveyor reported that the
The Parks Committee having considered the question of the time of closing the Hall Grounds in the evenings, recommended the Council that it be fixed at half an hour after sunset during the ensuing summer months. This was approved.
The Parks Committee reported that they had again had under consideration the question of the supply of refreshments and they recommended the Council that the conservatory and the room next thereto be utilised for the purpose, it being understood that the caterer would only have the exclusive use of the room for serving customers from 3.30 to 6 pm each day.
The Committee also recommended the Council to instruct the Clerk to advertise for tenders from caterers and also upon a satisfactory tender being received to at once purchase two dozen chairs and eight tables for use in the tea room.
These recommendations were approved.
The Parks Committee recommended to the Council that the Bowling Greens and Tennis Courts at Spencer Park be opened to the public for the season on Saturday, April 30th, subject to weather conditions allowing. The Council agreed.
The question of the opening of the Swimming Bath was referred to the Emergency Sub-Committee of the Baths Committee.
The Housing Committee reported that they had considered the letter from the Ministry of Health dated the 16th March, 1932, stating that the Minister was not prepared to sanction a loan for the erection of the 12 larger sized houses applied for, and that therefore no useful purpose would be served by the proposed interview. In the circumstances the Committee recommended to the Council that the tender of Mr. R. Marriott be accepted, the lowest, at £4,067 for 12 houses of the smaller type, subject to the approval of the Ministry.
They also recommended that an application for sanction to a loan of £4,140 be made to the Ministry of Health for carrying out the work.
These resolutions were adopted.
Mr. Allen (chairman of the Housing Committee) said the resolutions arose out of those referred back to the Committee at the last meeting.
Mr. Coles: I want to ask the chairman of the Committee whether the Committee are considering further work on the Westfield Estate, and if so, what progress they are making.
Mr. Allen: The progress is determined by the resolution just passed tonight. The matter will come before the next meeting of the Committee.
The chairman: The number of vacancies has been reported to the Ministry of Health. The next business will be to get on with the road making.
A report was received from the Collector with regard to the arrears of rents, and the Council decided to serve a notice to quit in one case and to defer the other.
Letters were received from two tenants of houses on the Newton-road complaining of the annoyance caused to them by a tenant living nearby.
The Clerk was instructed to write to the tenant concerned warning him that unless the trouble immediately ceased the Council would terminate his tenancy.
The Health and Sanitary Committee reported that they had received the report of the Medical Officer for the month of March, and the Sanitary Inspector also submitted his monthly report of the work and inspections of the Sanitary department since the last meeting.
Milk and Dairies Orders
The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was received from which it appeared that on the 8th and 14th March he visited 17 premises in the Urban District, inspecting 152 cows, the whole of which were clinically normal and the majority in good condition.
The Health and Sanitary Committee considered the report an excellent one.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that three samples of milk had been sent to the County Laboratory for bacteriological examination since the last meeting. He now submitted the results which were all satisfactory.
An application was received from Mr. J. W. Houghton, of 11, Windmill-road, to be registered as a retail purveyor of milk. The Inspector stated that he had visited and inspected the proposed store which was quite in order.
The Council acceded to the application.
Rats and Mice
The Sanitary Inspector reported that the men engaged for the destruction of the rats in the hedgerow adjoining the land used for a refuse-tip on the Bedford-road had completed their work with good results. The Council approved the payment of their charges of £3.
The Surveyor reported that the horse engaged at the farm having become unfit for further work had been destroyed on the advice of the Veterinary Inspector, and he had, after consultation with the chairman of the Health and Sanitary Committee accepted an offer of £2 10s for the carcase.
The question of the provision of another horse was considered, and the Council agreed to authorise the Chairman of the Committee and the Surveyor to purchase one.
Mr. Allebone: How much is it proposed to pay for a horse?
The chairman: About £20 or £25 I think. We are not buying one from Aintree.
Mr. Swindall (chairman of the Committee) said there was no immediate hurry.
A letter was received from Messrs. B. Ladds, Ltd., with regard to the expenses of the Brigade in attending at the fire at their field on the Bedford-road on the 27th February last. The letter stated that they could not be responsible for the charges inasmuch as they did not call the Brigade nor was it necessary for them to be present.
The Finance Committee recommended to the Council that the charges amounting to £2 14s be written off as irrecoverable. This was approved.
The Clerk reported that the District Auditor on his recent audit of the Council’s accounts had suggested that a terrier of the Council’s properties be prepared. This was being attended to but he suggested it would be a great advantage if a map of the district with the various properties distinctly coloured, as prepared and now presented by the Surveyor, be lithographed and bound in with the Year Book. He had obtained an estimate of the cost of 250 of such maps amounting to £15 18s 4d.
The Council accepted the estimate.
The seal of the Council having been affixed for a rate for the half-year of 5s 6d in the £, Mr. Claridge asked that seeing that the rate had been lowered would it not be well for the Council house rents to be lowered proportionately.
Mr. Allen: The rents of the houses have already been lowered where necessary.
Mr. Coles: in past years Mr. Lack prepared a list showing reductions that should be made, and I want to suggest that he be asked to do the same again. This matter was discussed at the Finance Committee meeting.
A resolution to this effect was carried, and the Council agreed to advertise the list.
The Clerk: Would you also add that we are charging too little for some houses? The District Auditor says we could charge 2d or 3d more per week in some cases.
The chairman: This is a very wide question. The suggestion from the Auditor was that we were not charging enough in rent. Personally I think we have done well from the start, and because we have not had many leakages we have been able to do it economically. I am sure that we should not want to raise rents in view of the present position in the town. Personally, I do not think the Auditor is in a position to decide exactly what the responsibilities are. A record is kept of the whole income and out-goings of each of the various estates, and we should know if there was anything out.
A formal resolution was passed declaring vacant the seat of the late Councillor Wilmott, and the Clerk reported that he had fixed the 2nd of May as polling day; nominations to be in by 12 noon on April 20th, and withdrawals by 12 noon on April 21st.
The annual meeting of the Council was fixed for April 27th.
Chairman and Vice-chairman
Mr. Roe said that as this was the final meeting of the year he would like to propose a vote of thanks to the chairman for the able way he had carried out his duties during the year. He was sure the Council were well satisfied with the able and efficient way the business had been transacted. Mr. Perkins had been able to attend all the meetings of the Council and the business had gone through smoothly
Mr. Coles: I have pleasure in seconding. Mr. Perkins has carried out his duties to the satisfaction of all and has been punctual in attendance, and the business of the Council has gone through in an harmonious way. We are indebted to him for the time, energy, and ability he had brought to the office.
The vote of thanks was carried unanimously.
The chairman: I thank you for the resolution. It has been a very easy year of office because the class in front of me has been so attentive and diligent, and that is more than half the battle. We do not have any scenes in order to provide pretty newspaper headings, and all the Councillors are interested in their work.
Mr. Horrell: I should like to move a vote of thanks to the vice-chairman, who has also attended all the meetings and although he has not been called upon to occupy the chair we have had every confidence in him that he would prove himself worthy of promotion if called upon to do so.
Mr. Allebone: I have great pleasure in seconding. As Mr. Horrell has said, it has been an easy year, and the vice-chairman has not been called upon to do any work. (Laughter.) When chairman of the Finance Committee he carried out his duties in an able way. If, as we anticipate and hope, he is elected chairman of the Council at the next meeting, we have confidence that the duties will be carried out in an efficient manner.
Mr. Roe briefly replied and said his duties had been very light indeed.