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The Rushden Echo, 16th December, 1904, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night, there were present Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), Fred Knight, G. Denton, J. Claridge, J. Hornsby, C. Bates, W. H. Wilkins, A. Mantle, W. Bazeley, F. Ballard, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).

Plans, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, the 16th November, 1904, when there were present :- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, G. Denton, A. Mantle, G. H. Skinner, and W. H. Wilkins.

Plans

were presented by :-

Mr. W. Nurrish for coal barn at the rear of his house on the Higham-road and passed.

Messrs. Knight and Bradfield for two coal barns at the rear of the villas on the Newton-road beyond the Council Schools and passed.

Water Works

An application was received from Mr. G. Hallam, the caretaker at the Wymington Pumping Station, asking for an increase of wages.

It was agreed that the same be accede to and his wages increased by 2/- per week from Saturday last.

Correspondence with the Clerk to the Beds. Rural District Council with regard to the supply of water to Wymington was read.

The Surveyor asked the instructions of the Committee with regard to a supply to Messrs. Nurrish, Nurrish, and Pallett, who now occupied three separate buildings in connection with their business.

It was resolved to authorise the Surveyor to dispense with meters if Messrs. Nurrish and Co., would agree to pay a water rate of the same amount as previously paid for their factory on Shirley Park.

Motor Car Act, 1903

A communication was received from the Clerk to the County Council asking for any observations or recommendations this Authority might have to make as to the erection of Notices in dangerous places.

The matter was referred to a sub-committee consisting of the Chairman, Mr. Ballard, and Mr. Bazeley.

High Street Improvement

The Sub-Committee reported that in accordance with the resolution passed at the last meeting the Surveyor had advertised for tenders for carrying out the necessary work in front of Mr. Chas. Barker’s property; the lowest tender for this part of the work amounted to £82 and was received from Messrs. Harrison and Winsor. The Committee had accepted this tender and the work was proceeding.

The Surveyor had also instructed Mr. Marriott to carry out the work in front of Mr. Browning’s property and Mr. C. E. Bayes that in connection with Mr. A. Willmott’s frontage.

The Committee estimated the total cost of the improvement, including road-making and a new footpath, at £204 and had instructed the Clerk to write to the County Council withdrawing the former application for sanction to spend £70 on part of the improvement and substituting an application to carry out the whole of the improvement at a cost of £204. The application was too late, however, for the last County Council meeting but the Chairman of the Roads and Bridges Committee with the County Surveyor had since visited the site and approved what was being done.

The action of the Sub-Committee was approved and adopted.

Public Lighting

The Lighting Sub-Committee reported in favour of erecting an additional lamp in Alfred-street and also recommended that the position of the lamp at the end of Messrs. E. Claridge and Sons factory be altered.

A memorial from the inhabitants on the Oakley Estate for additional lamps in that neighbourhood was received and the matter left in the hands of the Sub-Committee with power to act.

The Sub-Committee reported in favour of placing an additional lamp in Mrs. Warner’s yard in Beaconsfield Terrace subject to an understanding being arrived at with her as to the roadway in front of Beaconsfield Terrace being made a public road.

Portland Road

It was resolved that a Sub-Committee consisting of the Chairman with Messrs. Claridge and Ballard be appointed to interview the owners and see if some arrangement could not be made for the removal of the fence dividing the Upper and lower portions of this Road.

Council Chamber And Offices

The Plans of the proposed new Offices on the Newton Road were submitted by the surveyor and subject to modifications whereby the buildings on the Newton Road frontage would be one storey only, corresponding with the proposed Free Library, it was resolved that the same be approved and the Council be recommended to apply to the Local Government Board for sanction to a loan of £2,500 to carry out the works.

The report was adopted.

Finance, &c. Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 30th November, 1904, when there were present :- Messrs, J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, Geo. Denton, J. Hornsby, F. Ballard, G. H. Skinner, Fred Knight, J. Claridge, 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 4th Nov., 1904…
42
1
8
" " 11th Nov., 1904
40
11
2
" " 17th Nov., 1904
41
16
11
" " 24th Nov., 1904
40
11
10

Collector’s Account

By the Collector’s accounts produced it appeared that during the past month he had collected the following sums on the under mentioned accounts :-


£
s
d
General District rate……
646
0
0
Water Rate……
58
14
1
Fittings Account……
13
8
5
Total
718
2
6

Cemetery Registrar’s Account

The Cemetery Registrar’s account was examined from which it appeared that the following sum had been paid to him on the under mentioned account :-


£
s
d
Burial Fees……….
13
10
0

Treasurer’s Accounts

The Committee examined the Treasurer’s accounts from which it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him by the under mentioned persons on the following accounts :-

 
£
s
d
Nov. 4 County Council, College-street
150
0
0
Nov. 12 J. Sargent, District Rate
350
0
0
  " Water Rate
29
12
9
Nov. 16 " District Rate
200
0
0
  " Water Rate
29
1
4
Nov. 26 " District Rate
96
0
0
Nov. 30 " Fittings
13
8
5
  " Cemetery Fees
13
10
0
 
Total
£991
12
6

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


£
s
d
General Account
1847
9
0
Loan Account, No. 16
569
15
7
Total
£2,417
4
7

Trademen’s And Other Accounts

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Memorandum Of Water Rates

Rate made on the 27th day of June 1904.

 
£
s
d
£
s
d
Amount of rate
504
15
6
 
 
 
Recoverable arrears of former rate
6
5
9
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
511
1
3
Collected
503
11
10
 
 
 
Irrecoverable
6
15
5
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
510
7
3
Recoverable arrears carried forward
 
 
 
 
14
0

A list of the irrecoverable amounts of this rate was submitted by the Clerk and it was resolved that the same be written off.

Health And Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported that 32 cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz: three of erysipelas and 29 scarlet fever. The scarlet fever appeared to be of a mild kind, no death having occurred.

The Sanitary Inspector informed the Committee that the cases of erysipelas occurred in Moor-road, Crabb-street, and Wellingborough-road, and that the cases of scarlet fever were distributed over the whole town. He submitted a full list of the cases notified.

The Inspector reported that on the 18th, 19th, and 21st instant he fumigated the whole of the day schools in the town, using 164 candles, and had supplied each school with a gallon of Izal for disinfecting purposes.

Notices were received from the Inspector of factories calling attention to alleged defaults on behalf of Messrs. John Cave and Sons, Limited, and Messrs. Jaques and Clark with regard to the lavatory accommodation in their respective factories.

The Sanitary Inspector was instructed to give his attention to the matters referred to in the notices.

Cemetery

The Sub-Committee reported that with regard to the extension they did not recommend the provision of a new fence on the south side of the Cemetery field as they considered the present hedge on that side would for the present, with a little attention, meet all requirements, they, however, decided to recommend that the planting of trees and shrubs be continued on that side.

The recommendations were agreed to and adopted.

Vestry Hall

A letter from the Local Government Board, dated 19th instant, was received enquiring what provision it was proposed to make for the accommodation of Vestry meetings if the proposed sale of the Vestry Hall to the Rector and Churchwardens takes place.

The Clerk reported that he had, without waiting for the committee, replied on the 21st November, that as the whole of the powers of the Vestry Hall were transferred to the Council in the years 1895 and 1896 by order of the Local Government Board under the Local Government Act, 1894, Vestry meetings were now only held for purposes connected with the affairs of the Church and as the Church Authorities proposed to acquire the Hall, it was presumed that it would still be used for such Vestry meetings but stated that if the Local Government Board considered it desirable that the Council should make provision for the accommodation of Vestry meetings there would be no difficulty in arranging that the proposed new Council Chamber should be used for such purposes if required.

The Committee approved and confirmed the action of the Clerk.

Higham-Road Sewer Ventilating Shaft

A further communication from the General Post Office was received with regard to this ventilating shaft, stating that the cost of erecting higher poles for the telegraph wires was estimated at about £18 and enquiring if the Council were prepared to bear the expense.

It was pointed out that this site for the shaft was decided upon some time previous to the erection of the present line of telegraph wires and was practically the only possible site in the near vicinity. Under these circumstances, and as the Council were acting under their statutory powers with regard to the erection of the shaft, equally with the Postmaster General with regard to the telegraphs, the Committee saw no reason why the Council should be called upon to bear the additional expense in question and the Clerk was instructed to reply to the Postmaster General accordingly.

Water Works

Wymington Supply. – A letter was received from the Clerk to the Beds Rural District Council complaining of the shortness of the water supply to the parish of Wymington and enquiring if something could not be done by this Council to increase such supply.

The Surveyor informed the Committee that everything possible was at present being done and that Wymington was getting exactly the same supply as Rushden, the only thing he could suggest was that the Authorities at Wymington should use less water for flushing purposes.

The Clerk was instructed to reply to Mr. Sharman to this effect.

Triennial Elections

Mr. Wilkins requested that there might be placed on the Agenda for the next Council meeting notice of motion by himself in favour of the election for Councillors being held triennially instead of annually as at present.

Income-Tax

The Clerk referred to the case of the Attorney General v. London County Council recently decided in the Court of Kings Bench under the Authority of which this Council would in future be relieved from payment of income-tax upon the properties owned and occupied by themselves and stated that he had been in communication with the Board of Inland Revenue thereon, who had replied that the case in question was under appeal and pending a final decision the present practice of the Board would not be disturbed.

The Clerk submitted a draft reply agreeing to accept the decision of the Board on the distinct understanding that if the judgment referred to be upheld on appeal the tax paid in the meantime be refunded.

The Committee approved of the reply and authorised the Clerk to forward same.

The report was adopted.

Rushden’s Postal Arrangements

The Chairman, in accordance with notice, moved “That the attention of the postal authorities be directed to the present inadequate postal arrangements, and that they be asked to accelerate the delivery of the outward morning and afternoon mails, and also to meet the growing requirements of the town by constituting Rushden a head office.” He said that at the present the morning outward general mail from Rushden is made up at 11.15a.m., and is dispatched at 11.25 by bus to Higham Ferrers, and then at 11.58 through Wellingborough to Northampton, where it is due at 12.55 p.m. The London portion of the mail is not dispatched from Northampton until 3p.m. nor to Wellingborough, Kettering, and Leicester until 3.15p.m. If the same mail were sent from Rushden by Midland Railway at 11.29 a.m. which train is due at Northampton at 11.57 it would be in ample time for the important 12.15 p.m. despatch from Northampton to all parts of the country. The London delivery would thereby be accelerated more than two hours, while if special bags were made at Rushden for Wellingborough, Kettering, and Leicester, the mails for those towns, instead of making the altogether heedless journey by L. & N.W. from Wellingborough to Northampton, and back by Midland to Wellingborough, might be delivered four hours earlier than at present. The afternoon mail Rushden to London is made up at 3.15 p.m., and leaves at 3.41 p.m. by Midland Railway, being due at Bedford at 4.35. It then goes at 5.10 Midland branch line to Hitchin, and on by Great Northern to London, where it arrives at 7.30. If sent direct to London it would arrive at 5.52, that is, 1 hour 38 minutes earlier than by the present roundabout route, with a corresponding earlier delivery in London. If Rushden were made a head office, shortcomings of this character would be less likely to arise, or at all events would not be likely to go on unremedied year after year, while in many respects the town would derive considerable advantages if constituted a head instead of a sub-office.

Mr. Swindall seconded the motion which was carried unanimously, and the Clerk was instructed to send a copy of the resolution to the Postmaster General.

Triennial Elections

Mr. Wilkins, in accordance with notice, moved that application be made to the county authority for the Rushden Urban District Council elections to be held triennially instead of annually, commencing with the election of 1907, and for the present members of the Council to retain office until that time. He said the change would result in a considerable saving in two years out of three, besides obviating the friction which arose at elections. School Board and Guardians’ elections were always held once in three years and no one had suggested that an alteration was desirable.

Mr. Ballard seconded the motion and said he thought once a year too often to disturb the harmony of the town.

Mr. Claridge questioned whether they ought to decide on the matter that night without getting an opinion from the town on the subject.

Mr. Bazeley thought it was rather an inopportune time to petition the County Council. He did not think that working men who valued their votes would begrudge the small expense. They had some big questions to deal with, and no doubt the ratepayers would like to say what they thought about them. He would have been prepared to support a proposal to divide the town into wards, and so get a bigger vote.

Mr. Denton said there was one advantage in discussing the matter then and that was that they could discuss it without the introduction of side issues. He did not think there was any fear that the members would get out of touch with the electors.

Mr. Swindall said those towns which had adopted triennial elections found the plan very successful.

Mr. Hornsby could not support the motion for he could not feel justified in sitting there for five years without a vote of the electors.

The motion was carried by six votes to three, Messrs. Claridge and Mantle did not vote.

The Unemployed

Mr. Bazeley, in accordance with notice, called attention to the desirability of providing work for the unemployed. It was thought the Council might have the bank removed on the left side of Wymington-road and that on the side of the Newton-road from the Cemetery to the Newton turn, which would be great improvements. They might also approach the Church authorities and get the roadway improved by the churchyard wall. Then he thought it was about time they should try and get owners of private roads to put them in proper repair. There were a number of such places in bad condition, and it was thought that many of the owners might put the work in hand and would provide work for the unemployed. Those who were out of work did not want charity, but employment. He thought, too, that the Medical Officer should be asked to report on the condition of the cowsheds, which would no doubt provide work for the builders. He had been asked too, whether the Council were going to have any stone to be broken, but he did not advocate that. He thought that if the Council moved in regard to the other matters, it would do a great deal for those out of work. He moved that the suggestions he had made should be carried out.

Mr. Bates seconded the motion.

The Chairman said one or two of the suggestions had been made already, but it appeared that very little manual work would be provided for the money expended.

Mr. Bazeley: Every little helps.

In reply to a question the Surveyor said half a dozen men were being employed on the Cemetery extension.

The Chairman said the suggestion regarding Newton-road would necessitate an expenditure of about £350, only about £60 of which would go for labour.

Mr. Hornsby said the improvement was very much needed.

Mr. Denton said he could not accept the implication that the Council should have seen to the works suggested before. It was their duty to do only that work which would benefit the public without throwing an unnecessary burden on the ratepayers. If they undertook the improvements suggested it should be when they were financially justified in doing so.

After further discussion, Mr. Bazeley accepted a suggestion that a committee consisting of the Chairman, Vice-chairman, and Messrs. Bazeley, Ballard, and Claridge, should be appointed to consider the matter with power to act, and the suggestion was unanimously agreed to.

Railway Facilities

A letter was received from the General Manager of the Midland Railway Company with regard to railway facilities in similar terms to that sent to Messrs. Cave last week and fully reported in last week’s Rushden Echo.

Mr. Wilkins proposed that as no material alteration could be made in the train service till next April, the Railway Company be asked to make the Thursday and Saturday afternoon trains daily trains.

The Chairman seconded the motion, which was carried.

Electric Lighting

A letter was received from Messrs. Leadbitter and Harvey, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, asking the Council’s consent to an application to be made to the Board of Trade for a provisional order giving power to the applicant (Mr. E. P. Harvey, of Richmond) to generate electricity in the district and supply the towns of Rushden, Higham, and Irthlingborough.

The Clerk said he wrote in reply that the Council would no doubt require to carefully consider the draft order before giving their consent, and he had received a first proof copy, with the charges blank.

Mr. Bazeley said Mr. Barker was in the town in connection with the scheme and would be pleased to explain it to the Council.

The Clerk said the Board of Trade would not issue a provisional order without the Council’s consent.

Mr. Ballard said the promoters were willing to make over their scheme to the Council if desired, but would expect to be engaged as engineers.

Mr. Denton thought that as there was little likelihood of the Council doing anything in the matter for many years, there was no reason to shut out others who were prepared to supply electricity.

Mr. Ballard said that if the provisional order were granted to a company the Council would be out of court unless they bought out the Company at a big price.

Mr. Swindall said he should not vote for any company having a provisional order. When the Tramway Company got into working order the Council could take the electricity from them in bulk if they wished.

The Chairman said there was no doubt a great advantage in having the electric current supplied to a town.

Mr. Wilkins : But we must have a voice in it.

Mr. Ballard moved that the Council refuse their consent to the application.

After further discussion it was resolved to defer the consideration of the matter to a special meeting.

The Proposed Tramways

The British Electric Traction Company wrote that they were applying to Parliament for an extension of the time in which to construct their tramways between Wellingboro’ Higham Ferrers, and Raunds, and proposed to abandon the line to Irthlingborough and Finedon as well as part of the lines in Rushden. They were also applying for power to supply electricity in bulk in the district from a central generating station. They would be glad to here that the Council were in favour of their applications.

Mr. Knight did not see that the Company had done anything to warrant support. They had left Rushden out except Washbrook-road.

Mr. Claridge: That is of no use at all.

Mr. Bazeley thought it would be an advantage to the town to have the trams even on the modified plans, though it would be better to have the trams running along High-street.

The Chairman did not think the Council ought to support the present scheme.

Mr. Ballard thought they ought to oppose it unless the Company carried out their original plan.

Mr. Knight : They leave out the very part of the scheme which would be an advantage to the people of the town.

In reply to a question, the Clerk said the Company proposed to supply electricity in bulk, but could not distribute it unless someone obtained a provisional order. This could be done by a private company or the Council might undertake the distribution.

On the motion of Mr. Knight, seconded by Mr. Ballard, it was decided to oppose the Company’s application unless they carried out their original scheme of 1900, thereby bringing the lines through the town. It was further decided to intimate to the Company that if they carried out their original scheme regarding Rushden, the Council would be inclined to favour the application for power to supply electricity in bulk.

A letter was received from Mr. Willan Jackson, clerk to the Irthlingborough Council, suggesting a conference between the Councils of Rushden, Higham and Irthlingborough with regard to the proposed schemes for electric lighting and tramways, but the Council did not consider the conference necessary.

Proposed New School

A notice was received from the County Education Authority to the effect that they proposed to erect a school at Rushden for the accommodation of 550 children.

Mr. Ballard said there was a notice in the Conservative Club asking ratepayers to oppose the proposal on the ground that it was an unwarrantable expenditure of public money simply intended for the purpose of crushing out the National Schools. He wished to know whether that was the idea.

Mr. Claridge : Certainly not, but it does not seem necessary to go to all that expense.

Mr. Knight : I don’t think they care what they spend. Expenditure at the present day has gone up out of all reason, both locally and imperially.

Mr. Denton said that if the managers of the National Schools put their buildings into proper order they would not be closed, but if the buildings were not put into order they would be closed and schools must be provided to cover the accommodation. Of course the Education Authority would hesitate before taking an extreme course, but the difficulty was to bring the old buildings up to present day requirements.



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