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The Rushden Echo, 26th August, 1904, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Mr. J. S. Clipson presided at the meeting of the Council on Wednesday evening, and there were also present:- Messrs. Swindall (vice-chairman), F. Knight, Denton, Hornsby, Bates, Bazeley, Claridge, Ballard, Skinner, Madin (surveyor), and Wing (assistant clerk).

Plans, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, the 27th day of July, 1904, when there were present:- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, F. Ballard, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, G. Denton, J. Hornsby, G. H. Skinner, F. Knight, and W. H. Wilkins.

Plans

were presented by:-

The Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd., for a coal store at the rear of their factory in Portland Road, and passed.

Public Lighting

It was resolved that the full lighting of the street lamps be commenced on Saturday, the 20th of August, 1904.

The report was adopted.

Council in Committee

A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 10th day of August, 1904, when there were present:- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, J. Claridge, Geo. Denton, W. Bazeley, F. Ballard, C. Bates, F. Knight, G. H. Skinner, and W. H. Wilkins.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-


£

s

d

Week ending 14th July, 1904

39

12

4

Week ending 21st July, 1904

39

8

5

Week ending 28th July, 1904

39

1

5

Week ending 4th August, 1904

32

19

9

Collector’s Accounts

The Collector’s accounts were examined, from which it appeared that during the past four weeks he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

Water rate

47

9

1

Water rate

30

0

0

Water rate

18

19

0

Total

96

8

10

Cemetery Registrar’s Account

The Committee examined the Cemetery Registrar’s Account, from which it appeared that during the past four weeks he had received the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

Burial Fees

38

10

0

Sale of grass

2

12

6

Keeping graves in order


12

6

Total

41

15

0

Treasurer’s Receipts

By the Treasurer’s account produced it appeared that during the past month the following sums had been paid to him by the under-mentioned persons on the following accounts:-


£

s

d

July 19, County Council, Main Roads, 1904

400

0

0

              County Council, Main Roads, 1905

235

0

0

July 23, J. Sargent, Water rate

47

9

1

July 26, J. Sargent, Water rate

30

0

0

July 27, J. Sargent, Water rate

18

19

9

July 30, Beaverstock, Pawnbroker’s license


1

0

Aug. 10, J. Sargent, Cemetery fees, &c

41

15

0

Total

773

4

10

And that the following balances were in hand on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

General Account

1176

19

9

Loan Account, No. 16

569

15

7

Total

1,746

15

4


Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported as follows:-

“There have been nine cases of infectious disease notified since the last meeting, viz.:- Seven of scarlet fever and two of enteric. No cause could be found to produce the disease, everything being in good order, drains perfect, premises clean and well kept.”

The Sanitary Inspector informed the Committee that the cases of scarlet fever occurred in Crabb-street, Park-place, Station-road, Midland-road, Church-street, and Newton-road, and the cases of enteric in Wellingborough-road and Beaconsfield-place. One of the scarlet fever cases in Crabb-street had died, but all the rest were doing well and everything possible was being done to prevent the spread of the disease.

The Inspector further reported that he had taken a sample of water from a well at No. 76, Wellingborough-road, where one of the cases of enteric occurred, and submitted to the Medical Officer for examination. The Medical Officer declared the water to be unfit for drinking purposes, and a label had been placed on the pump to that effect and the parties warned not to use the water.

Public Offices

The Clerk was requested to write to the Local Government Board enquiring when the Council might expect to receive their decision with regard to the application for sanction to a loan for the erection of new offices.

High-Street Improvement

The Sub-Committee reported that Mr. Browning had agreed to give up the land required by them for effecting the proposed improvement in High-street South subject to the Council building an enclosing wall on the High-street frontage seven feet six inches high, Mr. Browning providing the stones and also gates and piers if required.

The Sub-Committee further reported that Mr. Barker was prepared to give the land required from his frontage on the Council re-building the retaining wall and erecting an iron fence thereon.

It was resolved that the offers be accepted and the work proceeded with, with as little delay as possible.

The Clerk was instructed to submit the proposed improvement to the County Council with a view to obtaining their sanction thereto pointing out that it was only part of a larger scheme but that owing to the favourable terms arranged with the owners it was desirable that this part of the scheme should be carried out forthwith.

Wymington-Road

A communication was received from Mr. E. C. Browning stating that he was desirous of diverting the public footpath crossing his fields on the Wymington-road by removing the entrance from its present position to a gate higher up and requesting the Council to agree to the proposal.

The Committee unanimously resolved to recommend the Council to agree to the diversion.

Public Seats

It was resolved to remove the public seat on the Wymington-road higher up the road near to the proposed new entrance to the footpath.

It was also resolved that the surveyor be instructed to have the whole of the public seats re-painted.

Mr. Bazeley said that as the minutes stood, it seemed as if it was the committee who had decided upon the removal of the seat on Wymington-road. As a matter of fact that part of the report relating to the diversion of the footpath in Wymington-road and the removal of the seat should have followed the first paragraph under the heading of “High-street improvement,” as it was all part of the bargain with Mr. Browning.

Mr. Denton said the two things could not be mixed up – they must be kept separate, though there was undoubtedly an understanding that the Council would agree to the diversion of the footpath on consideration of Mr. Browning giving up the land for the High-street improvement opposite the Compass.

Mr. Bazeley: It should be put so, so that the public would understand the bargain as well as the Council.

Mr. Hornsby: I am sorry the committee agreed to the diversion of the path. I think the public should be considered, not the individual.

Mr. Claridge: The public are gaining more than they lose.

Mr. Hornsby said that the seat could not be better placed than at present. Invalids recovering from a long illness appreciated the seat where it was now, and he strongly protested against its being moved higher up the hill.

The Chairman said that the improvement of High-street more than counterbalanced the alterations at Wymington-road.

Mr. Bates said he would rather see the seat further down the hill than higher up.

The Chairman moved that the report be adopted.

Mr. Claridge seconded, and said he thought the arrangement was a very reasonable one. The diversion of the footpath would, he thought, be no inconvenience to the public.

Mr. Knight supported, and said he thought it would be better to have the entrance to the path higher up the field as then they would get on to level ground, and it would be more convenient that having to mount the bank to get to the stile. The town would get a good bargain in the High-street improvement, and it was an opportunity not to be missed. He considered that Mr. Browning had made them a very liberal offer.

As an amendment, Mr. Bazeley moved that the matter be referred back to the committee to see what terms they could make with Mr. Browning for the High-street improvement without this condition with regard to the diversion of the path. They were taking too parochial a view of the question. It would be coming once more under the dominion of the squire and the parson if a man, because he had money, could dictate to the town what he wanted doing. It would be going back to the old village customs. If the Council gave way in this instance, there was no reason why other landowners should not ask for the diversion of footpaths. It was a serious matter, and not so trivial as it looked. It meant giving up a field that had been used by the public for years, and now it would be fenced round and the public prohibited from using it.

Mr. Bates seconded the amendment.

The Chairman said they must remember that Mr. Browning was giving up 280 square feet, all at the front of the street.

Mr. Claridge said that any proposed diversion of the footpaths in the future would be dealt with on its merits.

Mr. Skinner said that in this case the public would be giving up nothing, as the diversion would make the path no further round.

Mr. Swindall said that several Wymington people to whom he had spoken did not think the diversion of the footpath would lengthen the journey at all.

Messrs. Bazeley, Bates, and Hornsby voted for the amendment, which was lost, and the report was adopted.

The Proposed Municipal Buildings

A letter was received from the Local Government Board sanctioning the loan for the municipal buildings on the site of the Vestry Hall.

A long discussion ensued as to whether it would be better to go on with the scheme as originally decided or whether it would be better to sell the Vestry Hall and select another site.

Mr. Skinner said that if they could get a fair price for the Vestry Hall they would not want a loan, as they could build the offices on the Newton-road site.

In reply to Mr. Ballard, Mr. Claridge said he understood the Rector was prepared to offer £450 for the Vestry Hall.

Several members said that if it was decided to sell the Vestry Hall it should be sold by tender to the highest bidder.

Mr. Bazeley said that if offices could be built at a fair price on land in a central position, with a chance for further developments, that would be the best course for the Council to adopt.

Mr. Denton said the alternative to the present scheme would be to find a new site and go in for a fresh scheme, and that would be an expenditure of at least double the present proposals. They would not get the building on a new site under £4,000. By far the cheapest scheme would be the present one.

Mr. Claridge said he did not think any of them would consider a new scheme if it was to cost double the present scheme.

Mr. Knight: If you have got to buy further land, I don’t think the offer regarding the sale of the Vestry Hall is worth considering. The only thing I should fall in with, if we do not carry out the present scheme, would be to build on our own land.

Mr. Ballard did not think they could consider the Newton-road site. All the Council were against it when they considered it before.

Eventually it was decided to refer the matter to the committee meeting in a month’s time.

The Roads

That part of the County surveyor’s report dealing with the Rushden roads – already published in the Rushden Echo – was read.

The Chairman: The report is very satisfactory, and reflects great credit on our surveyor.

Patriotic Fund

Earl Spencer wrote calling attention to this fund.

The Chairman said there would be a subscription list at the banks in Rushden.

Mr. Denton said that while the employers of Rushden were responsible for accidents to their workmen the War Office was trying to shirk their responsibility and were treating the men very scurvily.

Mr. Knight thought the fund should come out of the taxes, and then everyone would pay their share.

Mr. Ballard deprecated the military spirit which led to the loss of life.

The M.R. Station

Mr. Ballard: Has any reply been received from the M.R. Co. as to improvements at Rushden station? On the Saturday before the August Bank-holiday the people leaving for their holidays got drenched before starting.

The Clerk was asked to write to the Company again.



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