|The Wellingborough News, 28th August, 1902, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The ordinary meeting of the Rushden Urban Council was held in the Vestry Hall on Wednesday evening. Mr. George Denton, C.C., presided, and there were also present Messrs. J. S. Clipson (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J Claridge, C.C., J. Hornsby, C. Bates, T. Swindall, W. Bazeley, F. Ballard, J. Spencer, J. Green, and W. J. E. Hayes (deputy clerk).
The following plans had been dealt with by the Plans Committee:- Mr. C. Claridge for house on the Victoria Estate, Knuston-road and passed; Mr. F. Corby for engine-house to his factory in John-street and passed; Mr. W. H. Radford for two new shops in the High-street and rejected on account of the plan showing the intention of the owner to bring forward a balcony forming part of the buildings three feet beyond the front main wall of the adjoining building (the Chairman explained that the plans had since been amended); Messrs. B. Denton and Son for engine-house to their factory in Rectory-road and passed; Mrs. M. Noble for two houses and shop on the Wellingborough-road and rejected on account of the insufficiency of the air space provided at the rear.
Cottage at The Fire Station
It was resolved by the Plans, Highway, and Lighting Committee that the tenancy of the cottage at the fire station be offered to Mr. G. Burgess at a weekly rental of 5s., leaving the question of his appointment and remuneration as caretaker of the station for further consideration.
The annual report of the county surveyor on the main roads for the year ending 31st March, 1902, was submitted. The following are the remarks with reference to the roads in the urban district of Rushden “The roads in this district are excellent, alike in shape, condition, and surface. I was particularly struck with the fact that the surface kept good even at the break up of a severe frost, when most of the roads in other districts were in a shocking condition, and this tends to show that the roads are fairly strong. Considerable lengths were recovered this year, and the roads are now in such good condition that I hope to see in future a reduction in the cost of maintenance which is somewhat high. 1M 5 ¼ F. Kettering and Higham Ferrers road; From southern boundary of Higham borough at Wellingborough-road to boundary of county, about two miles south of Rushden; remarks, an excellent road and well maintained. 1M 4 ½ F. Wellingborough and Kimbolton; From parish boundary between Irchester and Rushden on road to Ditchford Mill to western boundary of Higham borough near Kettering and Higham Ferrers road; remarks, in splendid surface and condition and one of the best roads in the county.” In moving the reception of the report the Chairman said he was sure that it was a matter of satisfaction to the members to receive so favourable a report. It must also be satisfactory to the surveyor to know that his work was appreciated.
The Surveyor submitted his estimate for the completion and maintenance of this street amounting to £130 10s. The estimate was approved and the Clerk instructed to inform Mr. Marriott that on the payment of the amount the Council would be prepared to enter into the usual agreement.
The Surveyor submitted a return prepared by him in pursuance of the order made at the last meeting of the Highways Committee, showing the various field footpaths in the Urban District with the number of gates and stiles thereon. The return shows 11 footpaths and a total length of nearly eight miles. The Clerk was instructed to communicate with the owners of the lands through which the awarded footpaths ran requesting their consent to the Council placing hand gates at the points where the paths leave the high roads and constructing steps to such of the stiles as they might think desirable. - Approved.
It was resolved that the street lamps be re-lighted on Saturday, August 23rd.
Form of Contract
The Clerk reported to the Highways Committee that Mr. Marriott, the contractor for the private street works in Harborough-road had taken exception to the form of contract in use by the Council on account of its having no “arbitration clause” and had requested that such a clause might be inserted in the present contract.
The committee saw no reason to vary the form of contract as used for the past 10 years and were not prepared to recommend the Council to agree to the alteration asked for. Mr. Swindall said he should like to take a vote of the Council on the question. He could hardly conceive that in this century, and in an enlightened place like Rushden, anyone should be denied the right of arbitration. The only objection advanced was that the form of contract had been in use for ten years, but the practice was now widely adopted. The Chairman remarked that the question was mainly one of order. On the committee’s report the vote would only apply to one contract, which was now almost completed. Mr. Swindall might raise the whole question in another way with regard to the form of contract. Mr. Swindall remarked that he should be willing to do that. He did not like the matter coming before them from time to time, and it should be settled by the Council one way or the other. Mr. Bazeley said that the matter was brought before them by the Builders’ Association, and twice discussed, to his knowledge, and rejected, on the ground that it would weaken the hands of the surveyor. He thought there should be a third party to whom questions in dispute could be referred. Mr. Knight pointed out that there had been no case for ten years. Mr. Swindall pointed out that the Council was all the while taking up larger and more important works. Mr. Ballard pointed out that as the work in this case was nearly completed they had no option, but he certainly thought Mr. Swindall would be justified in raising the whole question. The report of the committee was then adopted.
Mr. Bazeley called the attention of the Highways Committee to the obstruction of traffic and danger to passengers arising from the practice of tradesmen unpacking goods on the pavements and roadways, and afterwards leaving the empty crates and boxes standing thereon, particularly mentioning the corner of Queen-street. It was agreed to recommend the Council to instruct their inspector to warn the various parties concerned that the practice could not be allowed to continue, and, if such warning is not effective, that proceedings be taken against offending parties. Agreed to.
A letter was received from the manager of the Wholesale Co-operative Society, Ltd., with regard to the pavement in front of their factory in Portland-road, asking the Council to do the work of asphalting such a pavement, at the expense of the society, on the understanding that when the road is eventually made for taking over, the Council will, in making their apportionment of the cost then incurred amongst the frontagers, give credit to the society for the work now done. The Highways Committee recommended the Council to carry out the work on the terms named. Adopted.
The Finance Committee examined the surveyor’s cash account, with the wage books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:- Week ending 18th July, £36 2s. 7d.; 25th July, £35 8s.; 1st August, £35 6s. 10d., 8th August, £30 13s. 11d. The collector’s accounts showed the total receipts for the past three weeks to be £70 19s. 8d. (water rate). The treasurer’s accounts showed that £70 19s. 8d. had been received on the water rate account from the collector (Mr. J. Sargent), and £20 3s. 6d. from the Northants Union Bank re Robinson-road. The treasurer’s accounts showed the following balances :- General account, £2,170 13s. 5d.; loan account No. 11, £41 2s. 1d., loan account No. 16, £585 5s. 11d., loan account No. 17, £615 19s.; total, £3,423 0s. 5d.
Sanitary and Health Reports
The medical officer reported that two cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, one of erysipelas and one of typhoid fever. He further reported that he had inspected the localities thereof, and had also made a thorough examination of the premises, but could find nothing likely to cause the disease, everything being in order and in a satisfactory condition. The inspector reported the case of erysipelas in Queen-street, referred to by the medical officer, as being recovered, and that of typhoid fever in Robinson-road as doing well. He also reported that an inspection of the premises revealed nothing likely to cause the disease.
Shop Window Blinds
The Inspector reported that two tradesmen, both of High-street, had their shop window blinds up for the past two Sundays, notwithstanding repeated warnings to the contrary. The committee instructed the clerk to formally notify them by letter that if the cause of complaint occurred again the Council would feel reluctantly compelled to take such measures as may be necessary to prevent a repetition thereof.
Increase of Wages
Application was made by the plumber (Mr. Cartmail) for an increase of wages, and the finance Committee unanimously recommended the Council to grant him an increase of 2s. 6d. per week.
The following tenders were received for two new gates, painted and completed the same as existing ones, at the entrance to the cemetery from Park-road; Walker and Everard, £3 10s. Whittington and Tomlin, £3 17s. 6d. The surveyor was instructed to accept the tender of Messrs. Walker and Everard.
The Finance Committee was unanimously of opinion that the present was a favourable time for re-gilding the figures and hands of the church clock, and gave instructions for an estimate to be obtained from Mr. Fisher for the work.
The Finance Committee considered the question of the surveyor’s office staff, and it was unanimously resolved that the Council be recommended to advertise for an assistant surveyor at a salary of £80 per annum. In moving that the recommendation of the committee be adopted, the Chairman explained that at the meeting of the Joint Water Board on Monday the question was considered of appointing Mr. Madin as surveyor to the Board. That would involve the re-consideration of his position by the Board, and the giving of permission to accept the appointment. Mr. Knight asked if the agreement at present was not for the whole of the surveyor’s time, and was answered in the affirmative. Mr. Swindall asked if Mr. Middleton (the engineer) would not pay his own assistants, and the Chairman replied that Mr. Madin would not be the engineer’s assistant, but would represent the Board, and would watch the interests of that Council. Mr. Bazeley observed that Mr. Madin was well acquainted with the negotiations and the preliminary work, the Chairman adding that it was desirable also that someone acquainted with the previous arrangements should take part in handing over the work to the new Board, and form a link between the old and the new. Mr. Knight seconded the motion, which was carried. The Chairman then moved that the terms of the surveyor’s engagement should be so far modified as to allow of his accepting the position offered by the Joint Water Board. Mr. Clipson seconded, and it was agreed to.