|The Rushden Echo, 13th August, 1915, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Municipal Housing Scheme
Complaints of The Delay
Wednesday, present Councillors T. Swindall, J.P., (chairman), John Spencer (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, L. Perkins, B.Sc. T. Wilmott, and G. H. Skinner, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason) the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).
Councillor Perkins attended the meeting in officers’ uniform.
The minutes of a special meeting of the Council, dealing with national registration were read and adopted as follows:-
A special meeting of the Council was held on July 21st. The Clerk read a letter from the Local Government Board enclosing an order setting forth the duties of the Council as the local Registration Authority under the Act. The first duties appeared to be to divide the district into suitable areas and to appoint enumerators for the delivery and collection of the registration forms, and it was resolved that these matters be referred to a sub-committee, consisting of Messrs. Swindall (chairman), Bates, Claridge, Knight, and Wilmott. The Clerk further stated that it would be necessary to provide an office for the work and to appoint a small staff. It was resolved that the committee-room be set apart for the purpose and that the Clerk be authorised to engage a staff.
A meeting of the Special Committee appointed for the purposes of the National Registration Act was held at the Council Buildings on Monday, the 26th July, 1915, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), C. Bates, J. Claridge, F. Knight, and T. Wilmott.
A communication from the Registrar General was read expressing the opinion that each enumerating district should consist of approximately 200 houses.
The Committee divided up the district into 21 areas averaging about 150 houses each.
The Clerk reported that about 14 offers of voluntary help from the staffs of the schools had been received and with further assistance from the staff of the Council and his own office, the number required would be available.
The Clerk reported that he had arranged with Mr. Rial and Mr. Brightwell to take charge of the Office and undertake the duties in connection with the work required under the Act.
The report was adopted.
Mr. Perkins asked if the particulars as to the number of houses, etc. taken from the national register, would be available. It might be useful to have the information.
The Clerk: All the particular information must be kept secret, but as to the general information there would be no objection to having it. The Council would be the custodians of the register and would have to notify every change of address. The register will remain here permanently.
Finance and Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 28th July, 1915 at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), C. Bates, J. Claridge, F. Knight, and T. Wilmott.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £563/15/2 were examined and passed for payment.
The report was adopted.
Plans, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 28th July, 1915, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), J. Spencer, J. Claridge, F. Knight, and T. Wilmott.
The Committee did not consider it desirable to commence full public lighting in August as in previous years, and decided to postpone the giving of any instructions until their next meeting.
Mr. Bates: Is there any reason for reducing the public lighting?
The Chairman: Other towns are doing it.
Mr. Bazeley: As a matter of economy?
The Chairman: To a certain extent.
The report was adopted.
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 28th July, 1915, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Spencer (chairman), T. Swindall, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, and G. H. Skinner.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that since the last meeting there had been two cases of scarlet fever and one case of pulmonary tuberculosis notified, and two re-notifications of tuberculosis.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the month of July, 26 written and verbal notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances and other matters, all of which were receiving attention.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
The Inspector also reported that although several works had been carried out to the property in Woburn-place, yet some of the houses were still in a very unsatisfactory condition, and he was instructed to make a special report to the next meeting.
Notification of Births Act, 1907
A circular letter from the Clerk to the County Council was received stating that the County Council had adopted a scheme providing for a sufficient number of Health Visitors to carry on uniformly over the whole county the work of health visitation, and asking this Council to adopt forthwith the Notification of Births Act, 1907.
Mr. Spencer, introducing the report, said that the health visitors were doing a good work in the county.
The report was adopted.
Serious complaints were made with regard to the delay in finishing the municipal houses.
Mr. Bazeley said that the town was losing a great deal of rent owing to the slow progress being made with the building of the municipal houses. It seemed to be no use the Council putting pressure on the contractors, for it appeared to make no difference.
Mr. Claridge: When will the first four be finished?
Mr. Madin: At the end of September.
Mr. Claridge: Not before?
Mr. Madin: I am afraid not.
Mr. Knight said that the Council would strongly support the Housing Committee in any strong pressures they took. The time taken in finishing the houses was altogether unreasonable. The town was losing heavily in the matter of rent through the houses not being ready for occupation. There were scores of people who wanted houses and could not get them because the contractors were playing fast and loose with the Council. The contractors were busy with contracts which had been taken since the Council’s contract was signed.
Mr. Bazeley: I know what will happen. Some of us, who favoured municipal houses, will be told that they have been erected at a loss, whereas the loss will be due to the delay. I think the committee might fix a time and hold back the cheques until the work is done.
Mr. Claridge moved that a cheque due to the contractor be held over subject to the approval of the Housing Committee.
Mr. Bates seconded and it was carried.
Mr. Beaverstock’s pawnbroker’s certificate was renewed.
The Local Government Board notified that the notification of births was now compulsory.
The circular sent by the Local Government Board to all local authorities urging the need for economy in public work was read by the Clerk.
Mr. Bazeley: It does not apply to Rushden. They know we always study economy here.
Mr. Bates: We have already made a start in the matter of public lighting.
The Chairman: We are pleased to see Mr. Perkins here and congratulate him on behalf of the town on his receiving a commission.
National Register at Rushden
On Registration Monday, August 9th, the Rushden workers, fully equipped for their work, began their task of numbering the inhabitants. The preparation had taken place a week previously under the supervision of Mr. George S. Mason, clerk to the Rushden Urban District Council. The clerical staff consists of Mr. W. W. Rial and Mr. E. L. Brightwell (assistant secretaries).
The town of Rushden has been divided into 21 registration districts, and the books of the enumerators were prepared in accordance with this arrangement. An excellent staff of enumerators have volunteered their services. The enumerators for the nine districts in the northern division of Rushden are:- Misses Mason, Watson, Hollis, C. Scholes, and Packer. Messrs. F. Woodward, Arthur Mantle, E. L. Brightwell, and J. W. Lloyd. In the southern division there are 12 enumeration districts, and the enumerators are:- Mrs. Norman, Misses Madin, E. Colson, Nellie Groome, Osborne, and Hanger, Messrs. W. L. Beetenson, R. Tusting, Herbert Lack, H. Hales, V. Carrington, and C. W. Wing. Each enumerator takes a separate district, and in some cases they are being assisted by other helpers.
were gathered together on Saturday last at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. G. S. Mason, and an opportunity was given of considering all points of difficulty likely to occur in the process of enumeration. The party included Mr. T. Swindall, J.P. (chairman of the Rushden Urban District Council), who has taken an active interest in the work of numbering Rushden’s residents.
The work of the enumerators being voluntary and the registration being, as most people will readily recognise, of national importance, the people of Rushden may be trusted to make the enumerator’s task as light as possible by taking due caution in the filling in of the form. Especially people are urged not to fold the papers, and they should put the surname first in bold letters. For example, it should not be “John Smith,” but
The task of enumerating is proceeding apace in the urban district of Rushden. The 21 districts are large, some containing nearly 200 houses, but they are being rapidly canvassed; indeed, one of the enumerators Mr. E. L. Brightwell was able to report that he had completed the delivery of his papers by tea time on Monday after 5½ hours’ hard work. Up to the time of writing, only two houses in Rushden have been found to be unoccupied. The enumerators report that on every hand they have met with a favourable reception for the most part, and there is a willingness on the part of the inhabitants of Rushden to render the enumerators the assistance requisite for their work. The forms should in every case be quite ready for collection next Monday morning, when the enumerators will call.