|The Rushden Echo, 12th December 1913, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Municipal Housing Scheme
Re-Considered on The Ground of Cost
Wanted a Resident Registrar of Marriages
The Health of The Town
Wednesday, present Councillors C. Bates, J.P. (chairman), J. S. Clipson (vice-chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Spencer, L. Perkins, B Sc., T. Swindall, F. Knight, J.P., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., J. Hyde, Ven. A. Kitchin, T. Wilmott, and G. H. Skinner, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).
Finance and Estates Committee
A special meeting of the Finance Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 19th Nov., 1913, at 2.30 p.m., when there were present:- Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), J. S. Clipson, J. Claridge, F. Knight, and T. Swindall.
The Committee had a long conference with the District Auditor, Mr. G. L. Gibson, as to the re-organisation of the collector’s department consequent upon the resignation of Mr. Sargent.
The Auditor expressed his hope that on any arrangement being made the Council would appoint an Accountant or Finance Clerk as an entirely separate officer from the Collector so that a proper internal check on all the accounts should be instituted.
Mr. Spencer: Does this mean another officer at a considerable salary? Do other towns of equal size with ours possess such an officer? If you are going to appoint another officer it will be an additional burden on the rates.
The Chairman: This will make no difference to the expense of collecting the rates. I understand the auditor asked us to do what had been done in similar towns. I think the collecting will be done as cheaply as before, only on better lines.
The matter, which is in the hands of the Finance Committee, was left in abeyance.
Council in Committee
A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 19th November, 1913, when there were present:- Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, J. Hyde, F. Knight, L. Perkins, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.
Housing, Etc., Acts
The Chairman reported that he, with the Surveyor and Clerk, had opened the tenders for the erection of 32 cottages. A list of the tenders received was circulated amongst the members, together with a balance sheet, showing the estimated annual expenditure on the basis of the lowest tender being accepted and the weekly rents of the two classes of houses being fixed at 4/0 and 5/6 as suggested by the Local Government Board.
The lowest tender was considered in excess of the Surveyor’s estimate, and the balance sheet showed a large deficiency. It was unanimously agreed that none of the tenders could be accepted, and a sub-committee, consisting of the Chairman, Mr. Wilmott, and Mr. Swindall, was appointed to go through the specification with the Surveyor to see where a saving could be effected.
It was decided to have a further meeting of the Council in Committee on Wednesday, December 3rd, to receive the report of the Sub-Committee.
A further meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 3rd December, 1913, when there were present:- Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), J. S. Clipson, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, F. Knight, L. Perkins, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.
Housing, Etc., Acts
The Sub-committee appointed at the previous meeting reported that they had carefully considered the specifications with the Surveyor and had made such alterations therein as would lessen the cost of each house by about £25. The Surveyor had also prepared a plan of a third type of house rather similar in dimensions, at a further reduction. An amended balance sheet was again presented, based on these figures, showing a small deficiency with the rents raised to 5/9, 5/3, and 4/6 according to the class of house.
It was unanimously resolved, on the proposition of Mr. Bazeley, seconded by Mr. Knight, that the Surveyor be instructed to amend his specification of the first two classes in accordance with the Sub-Committee’s report and obtain revised tenders from the three lowest tendering contractors.
It was resolved that he prepare a specification of the third class of house and obtain tenders there for from the same three contractors.
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 26th Nov., 1913, when there were present:- Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), J. S. Clipson, J. Claridge, J. Hyde, F. Knight, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.
were presented by:-
Messrs. George Selwood and Co., for a shoe factory in Harborough-road and passed.
Mrs. Francis for a lock-up shop on the Higham-road and passed subject to sufficient ventilation being provided.
Mr. James Jaques for house on the Wellingborough-road and passed subject to evidence as to party wall and a separate drain being provided.
Mr. Leonard Baxter for house on the Wellingborough-road and passed subject to evidence as to party wall and a separate drain being provided.
A further letter was received from Mr. Charles Clark, pointing out that when the plans for his house were passed he was required to set back his front wall, and under the circumstances contending that the Council were liable for the ditch in front. The Surveyor pointed out that when the plans were presented all he did was to require the builder to comply with the building line.
The Committee saw no reason to recommend the Council to depart from the decision already arrived at.
The Surveyor reported that no works had been done by Mr. Marriott to comply with the notice requiring him to clean out the ditch on the south side of the Washbrook-road; he had, however, offered 15/0 towards the expense of so doing.
It was recommended the Council to accept the offer, subject to Mr. Marriott also providing the necessary pipes for the gateway.
Side Street Off Rectory-Road
The Surveyor reported that there appeared to be some misunderstanding on Mr. Claridge’s part as to the exact offer made by him towards the partial making up of this street, and the Clerk was instructed to write to him on the subject with a view to a definite arrangement being come to.
A letter was received from Messrs. Cave Brothers, stating that they proposed shortly to develop their building land on this road, and asking if the Council would be inclined to purchase a portion for improving the line of the street.
The Surveyor was instructed to reply that the Council were not inclined at present to entertain the idea.
It was resolved to recommend the Council that that part of this street lying between North-street and the eastern boundary of Messrs. Nurrish and Pallett’s factory not being at present levelled, paved, metalled, channelled, and made good to the satisfaction of the Council, be levelled, paved, metalled, channelled, and made good under, and in accordance with the provisions of the Private Street Works Act, 1892, and that the expenses incurred in executing such works be apportioned upon the premises fronting, adjoining, or abutting on the said street, according to the respective frontages of such premises; and, further, that the Surveyor be instructed to prepare and submit to the Council (a) specification of the above- mentioned works with plans and sections, (b) an estimate of the probable expenses of the works, and (c) a provisional apportionment of the estimated expenses among the premises liable to be charged therewith under the Act.
The Surveyor pointed out that it seemed desirable now this road was in course of construction to have an additional fire hydrant there opposite Messrs. Claridge’s factory.
The Committee agreed, and decided to recommend the Council accordingly.
The Lighting Sub-committee reported that they had given directions for a lamp column to be substituted for the bracket on the Council Schools in Alfred-street, for an additional lamp to be erected in Pratt-road and also in Newton-road, and that the lamp on the ventilation shaft near the Vestry Hall be provided with a double burner.
The Committee approved and resolved to recommend the Council to confirm the action of the Sub-committee.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to purchase a covered dust cart from Messrs. W. Smith and Sons at the price of £9.
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 2nd December, 1913, at 10 a.m. when there were present:- Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), J. Claridge, F. Knight, and T. Swindall.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected since the last meeting:-
The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the following balances were in hand:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts, amounting to £1499/7/7, were examined and passed for payment.
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 3rd December, 1913, when there were present:- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), C. Bates, W. Bazeley, L. Perkins, G. H. Skinner, and T. Swindall.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that twelve cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., eight of scarlet fever, one of enteric fever, one of erysipelas, and two of tuberculosis.
The Officer also reported a case of over-crowding at No. 11, South-terrace, thereby causing a nuisance. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on the occupier requiring him to abate the nuisance forthwith.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that 26 preliminary notices had been issued since the last meeting, calling attention to nuisances etc., all of which were receiving attention.
Two lots of bedding had been destroyed after deaths from consumption, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to replace one of the lots at a cost not exceeding £1/5/0.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
Messrs. Groome and Sons’ Cottages
The Inspector also reported that he had seen Messrs. Groome and Sons with regard to the laying on of the town water to their cottages in Oak-street, but as yet nothing had been done.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on Messrs. Groome requiring them to provide an adequate and proper supply forthwith.
The report was adopted.
Mr. Spencer moved “That this Council makes application to the Registrar General for a resident Registrar of Marriages for Rushden.”
For a long time past Mr. Spencer said it has been felt by the Nonconformists of the town that it is a great inconvenience that those who wished to be married at the Nonconformist places of worship should be compelled to go to Wellingborough to get their name entered at the registrar’s office. The late Rev. M. E. Parkin mentioned the matter to me, and Free Church ministers now think the time has come when nonconformists if not put on exactly the same footing as Church-people should at least have more consideration than at present. Church-people simply notify the parish clerk and then the banns are put up, but in the case of Nonconformists residing in Rushden they have to go to Wellingborough at great inconvenience in the case of working men and this is entirely wrong. In the case of births and deaths there is provision for registration at Rushden, but in the case of marriages there is a grievance existing. If an application be made to the Registrar General, I have reason to believe that this very small request will be granted. Nonconformists are in a majority in Rushden, at the Mission Hall, which is one of the smaller Nonconformist places of worship, there were no fewer than nine marriages last year, and when you remember the larger chapels the number must be considerable.
Mr. Skinner: Will it be any expense to the rates?
Mr. Spencer: No.
Mr. Bazeley seconded, and said the Labour members believed in equality of opportunity, but such was not the case as regarded Nonconformist marriages in Rushden. The nonconformist was handicapped as against the Churchman. He was sure that Mr. Kitchin did not wish to see that, and would support the removal of an obstacle of that character.
The Rev. A. Kitchin: Am I right in thinking that a wedding in a Nonconformist place of worship the Registrar has to be present?
Mr. Spencer: No.
Mr. Kitchin: Then the inconvenience consists in having to go to Wellingborough?
Mr. Spencer: Yes.
Mr. Kitchin: I should go rather beyond what Mr. Spencer proposes, but it is not practicable as there would have to be an alteration of the law. There should be no invidious distinctions made, but that is not before us at the present time. If we as a Council could take away any inconvenience which is felt in such a matter as a marriage I think we should make the representation asked for.
Mr. Claridge: Have those about to be married in a Nonconformist place of worship to go to Wellingborough personally or can it be a written notification?
Mr. Spencer: One of the parties must go personally.
The proposition was carried unanimously.