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The Northampton Mercury, 18th August 1922, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Urban District Council

The Council Housing Scheme
Tenders for Eight More Houses
A Batch of Important Business
Election of Overseer

  Wednesday, present Messrs. T. Swindall, J.P. (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., T. Wilmott, C. E. Bayes, C. Claridge, C. W. Horrell, C.A., F. Corby, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, C. Bates, and G. W. Coles, J.P., with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Assistant Surveyor (Mr. Lloyd).

Parks Committee

  A meeting of the Parks Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 19th July, 1922, when there were present Messrs. F. Knight (Chairman), T. Swindall, C. Claridge, G. W. Coles, and J. Spencer.

Bowling Green

  The Surveyor reported the receipt of the various requisites.

  It was resolved that the No. 1 Green be formally opened by the Chairman of the Committee on Saturday, 29th instant, at 3p.m.

  The Clerk was requested to insert advertisements in the “Evening Telegraph” and “Rushden Echo” announcing the opening and to invite the members of the Town Bowling Club and the Managers’ and Foremen’s Club to be present.

  The Surveyor was instructed to purchase a mowing machine and to cut out ditches at each end of the Green.  He was also instructed to order a portable desk for the use of the caretaker.

Football Pitches

  The allocation of the pitches for football, referred back to the Committee by the Council at their last meeting, was again considered at length.  It appeared that through a misunderstanding with the Church Army F.C. the Trades F.C. had neglected to make an application.  The Committee expressed regret thereat, but were quite unable to alter their previous allocation of pitches for the coming season.

  The report was adopted.

  Mr. Knight said the green had been duly opened as arranged, and the number of players and spectators since the opening showed that the green was much appreciated.  Inquiries were constantly being made as to when the tennis courts would be ready.  He thought the working of the greens and courts would be no loss to the Council, as there would be so many using them.

Plans, &c., Committee

  A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 26th July, 1922, when there were present Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), L. Perkins, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, C. W. Horrell, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.

Plans

were presented for:-

  Grand-stand on the Cricket and Football Ground for the Rushden Sports Ltd., and passed.

  Two houses in Pratt-road for Messrs. W. Packwood and Son and passed subject to the drainage arrangements being revised to the satisfaction of the Surveyor.

  An application was received from Mr. W. Skinner, of 47, Kings-road, for permission to erect a wooden barn 6 ft. by 3 ft. at the rear of his house, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to take no exception thereto.

Infringment of Bye-Laws

  Mr. Herbert Smith, at the request of the Council, attended the meeting to show cause why the building recently erected by him on his allotment at the rear of his house, No. 133, Cromwell-road, without having first submitted a plan, and not in accordance with the Bye-Laws, should not be removed, altered, or pulled down.

  Having heard Mr. Smith, the Committee, after his retirement, considered the matter at length and ultimately unanimously agreed that the building, admittedly contravening the Bye-Laws, could not be allowed to remain, and resolved to recommend the Council to request Mr. Smith to remove it forthwith, and in default to give instructions to the Surveyor to carry out the necessary work of removal.

  The Surveyor reported that Mr. A. J. Jeffries had commenced to occupy the house recently erected by him on the Hayden Estate without having first obtained a certificate of completion.

  It was resolved to recommend the Council to allow Mr. Jeffries six months in which to complete the house.

  The Surveyor also reported that Mr. Gramshaw had erected a small wooden building at the rear of his shop in High-street without the permission of the Council.

  It was resolved that Mr. Gramshaw be required to submit a plan to the next meeting.

  The Surveyor further reported that Mrs. Collins, of Griffith-street, had converted an open shed near her house into a leather warehouse without having first submitted a plan.  The Committee decided to recommend the Council to take no exception thereto provided that an undertaking be given that the warehouse would not be used as a workshop.

Factory & Workshop Act 1901

  A notice was received from H.M. Inspector of Factories requesting the Council to inquire into the means of escape in case of fire in respect of the factory of Messrs. Fred Knight, Ltd.

  The Surveyor stated that he had inspected the factory and presented a report with regard thereto.

  The Committee, after considering the report and taking into account the various exits and the number of people employed therein, were of opinion that under the circumstances of the case reasonable means of escape were provided, and the Clerk was instructed to so inform the Inspector.

Classified Roads

  A letter was received from the Ministry of Transport agreeing to the Surveyor’s estimate of the cost of repairing these roads for the current year, as follows:-

Wellingborough-road

£881

Irchester and Washbrook-roads

£857

  The latter amount included a sum of £423 for the construction of certain lengths of footpath in Washbrook-road.

  It was resolved to recommend the Council to proceed with the footpaths at once.

Main Roads

  The Surveyor reported that the audit of the main roads accounts for the quarter ended 31st March last was completed on the 12th  instant.

  A scale of charges in respect of the steam roller, petrol lorry, and electric vehicle had since been received and would operate from 1st April last.

Field Footpaths

  The Sub-Committee appointed at the last meeting reported that they had visited and inspected the stiles on the footpath from the Higham Ferrers boundary to the Chelveston boundary and from thence to the cricket field, and recommended that five new stiles be provided, not to exceed 3 ft. 6 in. in height, and that the bridge over the brook be repaired with sleepers.

  The Committee agreed and resolved to recommend the Council accordingly.

West Street

  Correspondence with the abutting owners on West-street was read with regard to the repair thereof, from which it appeared that all were agreed with one exception.  The Surveyor was instructed to again communicate with Mr. Watchorn’s solicitors with a view to them also agreeing, in which case he was requested to proceed with the work at once.

Hanging Signs

  An application was received from Messrs. Lands, Ltd., for permission to erect a hanging sign from their premises about 9 ft. 6 in. high, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to take no exception thereto.

Public Lighting

  The Lighting Sub-Committee recommended that the sign pointing to Kettering on the lamp column near the Vestry Hall be replaced by a larger one, that the illuminating power of the lamp there be changed to electricity, and that this and also the lamp at the apex to the Memorial site be kept lighted all night.

  The Committee agreed and resolved to recommend the Council accordingly.

  It was also resolved to recommend the Council to commence winter lighting in High-street on August 19th, and in other parts of the town on 8th September next.

  The report was adopted.

  With regard to the infringement of the bye-laws by Mr. Herbert Smith, Mr. Bates suggested that an amended plan might be submitted which could be satisfactory to the Council.

  Mr. Knight thought an amended plan might be sent in by Mr. Smith.

  The Chairman said that no steps to demolish the building would be taken for a week or two, so that Mr. Smith would have the chance of sending in the amended plan.

  Mr. Spencer, with regard to footpaths, said he hoped it would not be long before there was a footpath along the Wellingborough-road.

  Mr. Claridge: What about Irchester-road?

  Mr. Spencer: The houses in Wellingborough-road were built before those in Irchester-road.

Finance and Estates Committee

  A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 2nd August, at 10 a.m., when there were present Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), L. Perkins, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, J. Hornsby, 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:-


£

s

d

Week ending 6th July, 1922

129

7

11

Week ending 13th July, 1922

132

0

2

Week ending 20th July, 1922

129

11

8

Week ending 27th July, 1922

123

11

0

Collector’s Account

  The Collector’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums during the past month:-


£

s

d

General District rate

1580

7

10

Market Tolls

5

1

6

Cottage rents

262

9

4

Burial fees, etc

9

10

6

Treasurer’s Accounts

  The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting of the Committee:-


£

s

d

Collector, Rate

1580

7

10

Collector, Market tolls

5

1

6

Collector, King’s-road rents

62

16

7

Collector, A Housing rents

199

12

9

Coxton Shoe Co., Fire Certificate


2

0

Mrs. E. L. Brooke, Pawn-brokers Certificate


1

0

Public Library, Fees, etc

3

11

7

Cemetery Registrar, Burial fees, etc

9

10

6

Total

1861

3

9

And that the following balances were in his hands:-


£

s

d

General account

463

16

0

Loan account No. 16

33

2

3

Loan account No. 33

5009

11

3

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

  A number of accounts amounting to £1,113/11/7 were examined and passed for payment.

Workmen’s Wages

  Letters were received from the National Provincial Council, Manual Workers (non-trading services), and the Secretary of the Municipal Employees Association with regard to the workmen’s wages and referred to a meeting of the whole Council in Committee to be held in September next.

Classified Roads

  The Surveyor submitted a letter from the County Surveyor requesting that a Census of Traffic in respect of Wellingborough-road be taken on the 13th to the 19th August instant and he was instructed to make the necessary arrangements.

Rushden Trades Hospital and Convalescent Home Fund

  The Clerk read a letter from the hon. secretary to this Fund asking the Council’s permission for their employees and staff to become members thereof.  The amount asked from the employees was one penny each per week and from the employers 1s. per annum in respect of each contributor.

  The Committee agreed and instructed the Surveyor to confer with the employees and, subject to them also agreeing, to join the Fund forthwith.

Surveyor’s Office

  It was resolved to recommend the Council to temporarily engage Miss Madin in the Surveyor’s office during the absence of Mr. Lloyd on his annual holiday.

  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 2nd August, 1922, when there were present: Messrs. L. Perkins (chairman), T. Swindall, G. W. Coles, C. Claridge, and J. Hornsby.

Health and Sanitary Reports

  The report of the Medical Officer of Health for the month of July was received.

  The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the past month 15 preliminary notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances and other matters, and the number of nuisances now outstanding was nine.

  A quantity of bedding had been disinfected at the depot and a quantity destroyed, all after cases of infectious disease;  five rooms had also been disinfected.

  Two heads of pigs, 13 tins of canned fruit and vegetables, and a quantity of bacon, all voluntarily surrendered, had been destroyed in the usual way as being unfit for human consumption.

  The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.

Housing, Town Planning, Etc., Acts

  The Sanitary Inspector also reported that under these Acts he had visited and inspected the houses Nos. 69 and 71, Duck-street, which he found in a very bad state of repair.

  He was instructed to request the owners to effect certain repairs to the property in order to put it into a habitable state with as little delay as possible.

Hospital

  Tenders were received for the sale of the old vehicle at the Hospital, for which there was no further use, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accept that of Mr. W. A. Leeson, the highest.

House Scavenging

  The Surveyor reported that the collection of house refuse was now somewhat in arrear and in his opinion it was necessary to at once revert to the system of three horses and carts again.

  The Committee agreed and resolved to recommend the Council accordingly.

Health Week

  The letter from the County Council suggesting that a Health Week be held in October next, referred to this Committee by the Council at their last meeting, was considered.

  It was resolved to recommend the Council to convene a meeting of the various Friendly Societies, Organisations, and Clubs of the town to fully consider the matter.

  The report was adopted.

  The Chairman said the meeting would be held on Monday, August 21st.

Housing Committee

  A meeting of the Housing Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Monday, 31st July, 1922, when there were present Messrs. F. Knight (Chairman), T. Swindall, C. E. Bayes, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.

Deputation to Ministry of Health

  A letter was received from the Ministry of Health stating that in view of the definite limitation in the number of houses to be erected under the State Assisted Scheme it would be appreciated that the opportunity of making adjustments which would permit of the allocation of further houses for Rushden was extremely limited and that it appeared that the number which had already been sanctioned placed this Council in a relatively favourable position with the majority of local authorities.  The Minister would, however, be ready to arrange for one of his officers to discuss the matter with representatives of the Council, and suggested that a small deputation of two or three should attend on Friday, 4th instant, at 12.30 p.m.

  The Committee decided that under the circumstances it was not desirable to send a deputation of six, as decided at the last meeting of the Council, and to ask the Chairman, with the Clerk and Surveyor, to attend at the Ministry of Health as suggested.

  The Clerk was also instructed to write to Mr. W. R. Smith, M.P., thanking him for his promise to attend with the deputation, but saying that the Committee thought it would not be necessary for him to attend.

  The report was adopted.

Housing

    The Chairman said that a deputation on the housing question – the Clerk, the Surveyor and himself – went to London and he was agreeably surprised at the very favourable reception they had.  They came away feeling that they had done some good.  Various suggestions were made on both sides.  Since the interview a letter had been received from the Ministry of Health.

  The Clerk read the letter from the Ministry of Health with regard to the interview which representatives of the Rushden Urban Council had with the Ministry on Aug. 4th.  It stated that the Ministry gave permission to the Council to obtain tenders for the erection of eight “A” type houses in blocks of four, on condition that the plans on which the tenders were invited should be approved of by the Ministry, and that the prices shall include drains, paths, fences, water and under-building, but not lighting.

  Mr. Horrell said it was very satisfactory.

  The Chairman said he believed that when the eight houses were built they would receive permission to build more.

Improvements

  Mr. Hornsby moved, according to notice: “That this Council considers the advisability of erecting public conveniences for both sexes and takes the necessary steps to carry it into effect.”

  Mr. Hornsby said that the conveniences were urgently needed.  Every other town made some such provision.  His proposal would be acceptable, he was sure, to the vast majority of the townspeople.  At the last election both parties had the question on the programmes put before the electors.  He suggested the appointment of a small committee – two members of the Health and Sanitary Committee and two members of the Highways Committee – to deal with the question and then report to the Councils.

  Mr. Spencer seconded, and Mr. Coles supported on the grounds of health and decency, the present arrangements being both inadequate and unsatisfactory.

  Mr. Wilmott said that when last the matter came before the Council the costs of materials were prohibitive, but prices had since come down, though they were not yet anything like normal.

  Mr. Knight said the Council had been unanimously in favour of the proposal for a long period, but the cost had been excessive.  He suggested that the question be referred to the Health and Sanitary Committee.

  Mr. Hornsby’s proposal as to the desirableness of moving in the matter was carried, Mr. Knight stating that he did not a present pledge himself to support the provision of conveniences for both sexes.  Mr. Knight’s suggestion that the question be referred to the Health and Sanitary Committee was carried.

Guarantee

  Mr. Bates, according to notice, moved “That all policies with the Local Government Guarantee Society be transferred to another office.”  He said he took this course because of the ungenerous way in which the Local Government Mutual Guarantee Society dealt with the case of Mrs. Underwood, whose husband – a Council employee – was killed.

  Mr. Spencer seconded.

  Mr. Horrell: Would any other company be more generous?

  The Clerk said the Court held the Urban Council were not responsible, therefore the Society were not legally forced to pay compensation.

  In answer to Mr. Knight it was stated that the Society “without prejudice” had offered £25 compensation.  He thought the sum should have been accepted.

  Mr. Bates’s motion was lost.

Overseer

  The Chairman referred to the death of Mr. J. T. Colson, one of the overseers of the town.  He moved that a record of the Council’s sense of loss at the death of Mr. Colson be placed on the minutes, and this was carried by a standing vote.

  Mr. Horrell moved the election of Mr. Frank J. Sharwood as overseer in Mr. Colson’s place, and said there were no two opinions as to Mr. Sharwood’s interest in the town or his fitness for the office.

  Mr. Hornsby seconded and it was carried.

Caution

  Mr. Claridge called attention to the need for “caution” notices at the bottom of Church-street and the bottom of Wellingborough-road.

  Mr. Corby: The bottom of Harborough-road, too.

  Mr. Knight said the matter should be brought before the Highways Committee.



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