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The Rushden Echo, 10th December, 1909, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Can The Public Attend The Meetings
Should Council Employees Have Bank Holidays?

A meeting of the Council was held on Wednesday evening, when there were present Messrs. G. H. Skinner, J.P. (in the chair), F. Knight, J.P. (in the vice-chair), J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., G. Miller, C.C., F. Ballard, C.E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, A. J. Dobbs, G. S. Mason (clerk), W. B. Madin (surveyor), and W. G. F. Kingston (sanitary inspector).

Plans, Etc., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 24th Nov., 1909, when there were present :- Messrs. G. H. Skinner (chairman), C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, F. Knight, and T. Swindall.

Plans

were presented by :-

Mr. A. C. Ashby for alterations to his shop in the High-street and passed.

Mr. H. Adnitt for two houses on the Wellingborough-road and passed, subject to each house having a separate drain into the sewer.

Mr. P. Collins (amended plan) for additions to his factory in Denmark-road and passed.

Messrs. Jaques and Clark for shed to their factory in Station-road and passed, subject to a block plan being supplied.

Messrs. A. Groome and Son for the re-arrangement of the sanitary conveniences to their factory in the Higham-road and passed.

Kilburn-Place and Elm-Street

Mr. Patenall and Mr. Groome attended the meeting with regard to their objection to the Private Street Works Act being put into operation in these streets and agreed subject to the notices being withdrawn to gravel and make good the roads and paths and keep same in a proper state of repair.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accept Messrs. Patenall and Groome’s offer and to withdraw the notices subject to the work being carried out by the 31st December next.

Dell-Place

The Surveyor reported that the Gas Company had now carried their main into Dell-place and a public lamp had been erected there. This had exhausted his stock of lamp columns, and he was instructed to order three more with baskets complete.

Public Trees

The Surveyor was authorised to purchase, as a sample, a wire tree guard as advertised by the Quik-Lok Guard Company at the price of 2s.

Sandpit-Road

Attention was called to the bad state of this road, and the Clerk was instructed to write to the Northampton Brewery Company requesting them to put it into a proper state forthwith.

The report was adopted.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, the 30th November, 1909, when there were present :- Messrs. F. Knight (Chairman), G. H. Skinner, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, and J. Claridge.

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., 1909
30
4
6
Week ending 11th Nov., 1909
30
7
9
Week ending 18th Nov., 1909
30
7
3
Week ending 25th Nov., 1909
30
3
5

Collector’s District Rate Account

The Collector’s District Rate Account was examined from which it appeared that he had collected the following sum since the last meeting :-


£
s
d
General District Rate
558
14
7

Treasurer’s Accounts

The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts from which it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him on the following accounts since the last meeting :-


£
s
d
Collector, District rate
558
14
7
Free Library, fees, fines, &c
1
3
9
Total
559
18
4

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


£
s
d
General Account
666
14
6
Loan Account No. 16
410
1
10
Loan Account No. 19
387
17
6
Total
1,464
13
10

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £327 16s 3d were examined and passed for payment.

Memorandum of General District Rate

The Collector presented the following memorandum of General District Rate made the 12th day of May 1909.

 
£
s
d
£
s
d
Amount of rate
4240
0
2
 
 
 
Recoverable arrears of former rates
23
4
0
 
 
 
Provisional list
48
15
0
 
 
 
Amount collected
4140
11
10
4311
19
2
Recoverable arrears
32
13
11
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4173
5
9
Irrecoverable arrears
 
 
 
138
13
5

A list of the irrecoverable amounts was also submitted by the Collector and ordered to be written off.

Advertisement Hoardings

The Collector was instructed to present to the next meeting of the Committee a list of the advertisement hoardings in the town assessed to the District Rate.

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 1st December, 1909, when there were present :- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. H. Skinner, J. S. Clipson, C. E. Bayes, F. Ballard, and J. Paragreen.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported that seven cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., one of scarlet fever and six of diphtheria.

The Sanitary Inspector informed the Committee that, during the month of November, 24 informal notices had been served, calling attention to nuisances, etc., which were receiving attention.

The Inspector reported that the drainage of the yard and the floors of the cow-houses at the farm owned and occupied by Mr. John Smith on the Newton-road were in a very unsatisfactory condition. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on Mr. Smith requiring him to re-lay the cow-house floors and construct a cesspit for the reception of the drainage.

The Inspector also reported that a book belonging to the Public Library had been found in an infected house and destroyed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the book.

An application had been received from Mr. L. Parsons to be registered as a cow-keeper, and his name had been placed on the register.

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

Refuse Receptacles

The Inspector of Nuisances submitted a report with regard to a number of houses, showing the nature of the accommodation for the deposit of refuse.

It appeared to the Committee by this report that the several houses therein referred to were without a sufficient ashtub, ashpit, or other receptacle for the deposit of refuse, and it was resolved to report to the Council accordingly with a recommendation that notices be served upon the owners requiring them within 28 days to provide for each house a sufficient and proper receptacle.

Co-Operative Row

A letter was received from the Co-operative Society asking the Council to contribute towards the repair of the road, and the Clerk was instructed to reply that the Committee could not see their way to recommend the Council to incur any expenditure therewith.

Medical Officer of Health

Having regard to the difficulties experienced last year with regard to the appointment of a Medical Officer of Health, the Clerk was instructed to enquire from the Local Government Board if, in the event of the Council deciding to re-appoint Dr. Morris for a further period of one year, that Board would be prepared to sanction such an appointment. The report was adopted.

The Employees - Can They Have Bank Holidays?

Mr. Dobbs had given notice to move that all the Council employees have the bank holidays free and that they be paid for the time.

Mr. Claridge : We settled this at the last meeting, and I question whether we are in order in discussing it.

The Clerk said he had considered that matter, but Mr. Dobbs’s proposition was not quite the same as that discussed at the last meeting, so he had placed the notice of motion on the agenda. At the last meeting the question before the Council was whether the employees should have a week’s holiday each year. This time it was whether they should have bank holidays.

Mr. Dobbs then moved his proposition, and said : I want to see all the men getting a holiday. It was argued at the last meeting that a week’s holiday was too much to give the Council employees, but I think it is the exception for Councils not to give their workmen the bank holidays, at the least. At Kettering, I know, the men have the bank holidays, besides Good Friday and Christmas-day. I hope the Council will support this, because there can be no argument morally against it. I do not think it would interfere with the work of the Council. I believe the work would be done just as effectively, and I do not think it would add a halfpenny to

The Cost

It is quite conceivable that one or two of the men could not be spared on a bank holiday, but they could have their holiday another day. It was argued at the last meeting that the men were satisfied and that they had not made any complaints, but that is no argument, because it is dangerous nowadays for men to make complaints, whether they work for Councils or for private individuals. As soon as they make it known that they are not satisfied, they are told to try somewhere else and see if they can get better conditions. Nobody can argue that the men should have to. I think the Council should favourably consider this resolution and should grant the men working for them the bank holidays and payment for the time they lose.

Mr. Bates seconded.

Mr. Swindall : Morally I support this proposition, but I think it ought to be discussed in committee, and I move an amendment to the effect that we refer the matter to the Plans and Highways Committee. Suppose next Whitsun-tide we have the widening of the Rectory-road and have 30 or 40 men working for the Council. I do not think it would be right for the Council to pay the men when they did not work. But I think we ought to give our

Regular Employees

the holiday.

Mr. Bayes seconded.

Mr. Knight : I think the proper thing to do is to refer it to the committee. No doubt various Councils in the district give their employees the bank holidays, but, from what I can gather, they vary somewhat as to how the time should be regulated. Some of the men work until 9 a.m. for cleaning the streets, and others until noon. I think the matter requires consideration in committee, and I have no doubt some arrangement can be come to. We are not moving this amendment with a view to shelving the question but to consider it very carefully. I have no doubt that the decision which the committee come to will satisfy the whole Council.

Mr. Ballard : as far as I am concerned, I would as soon consider it here as in committee, but if it is sent to a committee I think it should be a committee of the whole Council.

Mr. Dobbs : I should prefer it being considered to-night.

Mr. Bazeley : to grant the men the bank holidays would only be to extend

The Little Privilege

which the employees get at the present time. They have Good Friday and Christmas-day now and are paid for the time.

Several Members : No, no.

The Surveyor : Yes, they are paid.

Mr. Bazeley : If the Surveyor can arrange for those two holidays he can arrange for the bank holidays. Mr. Dobbs, I am sure, is quite prepared to give the Surveyor discretion if he wants the men to work some bank holidays, so that they will get another day. I don’t think we need to go into committee on the matter.

Mr. Clipson : I support the proposition to refer the matter to the committee, but if it is going to mean any delay I am quite prepared to move now that we give them the bank holiday on Dec. 26.

Eventually it was decided to discuss the question on Wednesday next.

Mr. Dobbs : That will be satisfactory to me.

The Public - Can They Attend The Council Meetings?

A letter was read from the Rushden branch of the Social Democratic Party asking for permission for the public to attend meetings of the Council.

The Chairman : We have not much accommodation. If we had thought of that, we ought to have had a gallery built.

Mr. Clipson : There will be plenty of “gallery” if they come! (Laughter.)

The Chairman : It opens up a very wide question. I move that we adjourn the matter until after the election next April.(Laughter.)

Mr. Ballard : Do you think it would be necessary to build a larger room?

The Chairman : There is not enough room here. At Wellingborough they let in some of the public, and shut them out when the room is full.

Mr. Claridge : Personally I do not object, but I do not think there is any convenience for the public. There would be sure to be

Whispering

and it would not be conducive to good order.

Mr. Dobbs : Is there any legal objection to the public being admitted?

The Clerk : No.

Mr. Dobbs : Provided a body of men were determined to come in, have the Council the power to keep them out?

The Clerk : Yes.

Mr. Dobbs : I move that chairs be provided, as many as we could conveniently place in this room. Personally I think it is only right to allow the ratepayers to come to the meetings. I am not anxious for them to come and see how I vote, but I am not ashamed of it. I think the persons who pay the money have the right to hear how it is spent.

Mr. Bates seconded.

The Chairman : We have gone on very nicely until now, I hope we shall not break the harmony.

Mr. Clipson opposed the proposition. The public now – he said – get to know the business so quickly and so effectually through the Press I think there is a great deal of

Unnecessary Discussion

through having the public in the meetings.

Mr. Ballard : I move as an amendment that the question be left until after the election next April. This room would be inadequate for the requirements, and if the electors feel that the time has arrived when they should know what their legislators are doing there is no doubt they will supply the new Council with sufficient room to accommodate them and all who wish to come. In this room it would be anything but satisfactory to admit even a dozen in addition to the Council. If after the election there is a feeling that the public should be admitted, the new Council would be in a position to provide another room. I don’t think this room is sufficient.

Mr. Miller seconded the amendment, which was carried by eight votes to three.

For Mr. Ballard’s amendment – The Chairman and Messrs. Knight, Claridge, Miller, Ballard, Bayes, Clipson, and Swindall.

For Mr. Dobbs’s proposition – Messrs. Bates, Bazeley, and Dobbs.


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