|The Rushden Echo, 15th August, 1919, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Increased Interest on a Loan
Employees Ask for Advances in Wages
Proposed Sanatorium at Rushden House:
Wednesday, present Councillors F. Knight, J.P. (chairman), J. Claridge, J.P., C.C. (vice-chairman), C. Bates, J. Hornsby, J. Spencer, J.P., T. Swindall, L. Perkins, B.Sc., C. E. Bayes, J. Tomlin, W. Bazeley, J.P., T. Wilmott, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Acting Sanitary Inspector (Mr. A. E. Lloyd).
Plans, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, July 23rd, 1919, when there were present: Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, W. Bazeley, L. Perkins, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.
were presented for:-
Additions to factory in Station-road for Messrs. Jaques and Son, Ltd., and passed.
Shed for motor ambulance in the yard at the rear of the Council Buildings for the St. John Ambulance Association, and passed.
An application was received from the Wellingborough Motor ’Bus Company for permission to trim up the trees on the Wellingborough and Higham Roads owing to the danger to passengers.
The Surveyor was instructed to do what was necessary and charge the Company with the cost.
The Surveyor submitted an application from the Raunds Urban District Council to hire the steam roller.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application for such times as it was not otherwise required at the following charges:-
Per day of eight hours, without coal, £2.
1s. 6d. per hour extra for scarifying.
The above to include the driver and the use of the water cart.
A further letter was received from the members of the Brigade, asking the Council to re-consider their decision and forthwith adopt the scale of charges suggested by the National Fire Brigade Union.
The Fire Brigade Sub-Committee were requested to meet and confer with the firemen on the subject.
The report was adopted.
Finance & Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, July 30th, 1919, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, C. Bates, J. Spencer, 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:-
The Collectors accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the balances on the under-mentioned accounts were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £1,529 16s. 4d. were examined and passed for payment.
Sewage Works Loan
The Clerk submitted a letter from the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives asking the Council to increase the interest payable on this loan from 4 per cent. to 5 per cent. as from July 1st, 1919.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to agree thereto.
The Committee had under consideration the letter from the Council’s employees asking for an increase of 7s. per week.
The Committee considered the case of each employee separately and adopted a schedule of pay which they ordered to be printed and circulated amongst the members of the Council with a view to adoption.
On the consideration of the report Mr. Wilmott, with regard to the Sewage Works Loan, asked if the other authorities from whom the Council had had loans had asked for increased interest.
The Clerk: No, because they have no power, but the Boot Operatives’ Union can call in the money on six months’ notice. All the other loans are for a fixed term, and cannot be called in.
Mr. Wilmott said he was surprised at the Boot Operatives’ Union asking for an increase in the rate of interest. People who had lent money on mortgage were not yet able to demand an increase in the interest, and he thought the Boot Operatives’ Union should wait until they were. With regard to the exceptional circumstances, he was not on the Council when the loan was obtained, and he had nothing to say to that. He thought on principle the Union should start an increase when other people have theirs. He should have thought they would be the last to ask for an increase.
Mr. Bates: Is it the wish of the Council that the Union should call in the money? Others are offering a bigger percentage.
The Clerk: That is the point.
Mr. Wilmott: The mortgagees cannot withdraw theirs.
The matter then dropped.
With regard to the question of wages, Mr. Bazeley said that the employees had asked for time-and-a-quarter wages for overtime, and this was not mentioned in the report.
The Chairman: That was agreed to.
Mr. Perkins referred to the salary of the librarian.
The Chairman said that they had made recommendations to the Library Committee on this matter.
The report was adopted.
Health & Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, July 30th, 1919, when there were present: Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), F. Knight, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, J. Hornsby, and J. Tomlin.
Health & Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer for the month of July was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the month of July he had served 19 preliminary notices, calling attention to nuisances and other matters, all of which were receiving attention.
One lot of infected bedding had been destroyed after a case of consumption, and the room cleansed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace part of the bedding destroyed at a cost not exceeding £1 7s. 6d.
A quantity of unsound tins of fish, fruit, etc. voluntarily surrendered, had been destroyed as unfit for human consumption.
A book belonging to the Public Library, found in an infected house, had also been destroyed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the book.
Various yard paving had been repaired or renewed during the month.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
The quarterly report of the Cemetery Registrar was received, from which it appeared that there had been 41 interments during the quarter, four of which were non-parishioners. Fourteen grave spaces had been purchased and three reserved for a period of 14 years. The total receipts for the quarter had been £63 19s. 0d., and no fees remained unpaid.
The Committee considered the report very satisfactory.
The Surveyor was instructed to have laid out the unused portion of the Cemetery, and for this purpose to advertise for men at the rate of 1s. 1½d. per hour.
The report was adopted.
The Clerk said that the Ministry of Health had sanctioned the expenditure of £1,250 for the purchase of an electrically-propelled vehicle for sanitary purposes. The Treasury asked that Local Authorities should be urged to obtain necessary funds from local sources. This loan would have to be repaid within seven years.
The Finance Committee were asked to arrange for the loan.
The Chairman said that a letter had been received from the Ministry of Health with regard to the purchase of Rushden House as a Sanatorium for tuberculous patients.
The Clerk read the letter which stated that the Ministry of Health were advised that there was no ground for considering that a properly conducted institution would be a menace to health. They were advised that no risk would be incurred in living in the neighbourhood of such an institution, and that such an institution would not in any way be a source of danger.
Mr. Hornsby: In view of the number of doctors who say that it is not detrimental to health, I do not think that we need trouble further about it.
Mr. Swindall: In theory it is right, but not in practice.
Mr. Bazeley said that Brompton Hospital was right in the centre of a populous district, and that that would not be allowed if such institutions were a source of danger. He could not see one iota of danger. Seeing the prevalence of consumption something must be done. The boot industry knew the serious menace which consumption was to their trade.
Mr. Claridge said he was of the same opinion as he was before. He did not like the idea of a sanatorium being placed so near a town. He had always understood that it was dangerous. He did not think that the soil at Rushden House was suitable for a sanatorium. The Government Inspector ought to have examined the soil and everything connected with the house, but he did not. He had always understood that a light and sandy soil was needed for a sanatorium. He was very sorry the County Council came to the conclusion they did. It was all done in a hurry. He did not know until a week or two before the question came up at the County Council meeting, and then there was no time to do anything. It seemed to him like legislation in a hurry. He thought that it was a mistake to dump down an institution like this so near a town.
The Chairman said he agreed with some parts of Mr. Bazeley’s remarks. It was quite necessary, he knew, to provide for the people who were suffering from this malignant disease, but he thought the County Council might have paid them the compliment of asking whether they approved of a sanatorium so near one of Rushden’s most frequented promenades or not. Surely there were in the county other places to which no exception could be taken. Even if no danger from infection existed, yet to have a lot of people in that condition up and down the roads and on the railways and ‘buses must be depressing to the inhabitants. He thought it was, and he believed any reasonable man would think the same. As far as the purchase of the house and grounds was concerned, the County Council had made no big bargain, because they could have got something equally good at a great deal less cost. He understood that Rushden House would not be used for the patients, but for the doctors and nurses, and that the patients would be treated on the open-air principle. The County Authority did not ask the Urban Council to give an opinion on the matter. The County Council had never done anything for Rushden worth a “thank you.” When they had to appoint an alderman in place of the late Mr. George Miller they chose one from a village in the south of the county instead of one from Rushden. Rushden was a populous place, and paid something towards the county rate, and he thought the town ought to have fairer treatment from the County Council than they had had in the past. There were plenty of other places in the county more suitable for a sanatorium than Rushden, and the people of Rushden would much rather it should be elsewhere. Rushden had nothing to thank the County Council for in placing the sanatorium in their midst. It would have been much better if the County Council had taken the Urban Council into their confidence. The Urban Council could do nothing further in the matter, but he did not think they should let the question pass without a protest.
The subject then dropped.
The Clerk read a communication from the authorities stating that all duties connected with national registration were now at an end.
The Clerk reported that the term of the Food Control Committee had been extended for another six months.
The Chairman said he had received a letter from Mr. S. Field, wishing, through him, to thank the inhabitants of Rushden for the courtesy they had shown to him during his 17 years’ stay at Rushden. The Chairman added that they were all very sorry to lose Mr. Field, and they wished him and his family every success in their new sphere.
It was decided that the Clerk should write to Mr. Field, thanking him on behalf of the town for the way in which he had carried out his duties.
The Chairman said he had received a letter from Major Wetherell, stating that the Territorial Force had been re-formed and that they were having centres in three or four places in the county, of which Rushden would be one. Major Wetherell was making application to the War Office for a Hut, to be housed by the Territorial Force at Rushden, if land could be obtained on a ten years’ lease, as it would be useless to expect the War Office to erect the Hut for a less term.
The Chairman said that not many people would want to let a piece of land on a ten years’ lease, because they might want to sell it before then. He had made various inquiries, and had thought of a piece of land which would be very suitable, and that was the Council land on the north side of the sewer which runs from Hayway to the main sewer. If the Council would agree to it, he would let Major Wetherell know that the plot was available, and he was sure it would be acceptable. There would be no cost to the Council with regard to fencing, etc.
Mr. Claridge said they could very well dispense with this ground, and he thought they would be quite wise in allowing the Territorial Association to place a Hut there. He moved this.
Mr. Perkins seconded, and said that it would be convenient for Higham Ferrers as well as Rushden.
Mr. Perkins referred to the use of the Free Library by the Pensions Officer, and said it was rather depressing to see so many people waiting their turn in the lobby, without a room in which to sit down. He proposed that the librarian be requested to place at the disposal of the officer and the people on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings the small “reference room.”
Mr. Tomlin seconded, and it was carried.