|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 12th December, 1941, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Shelters, Ironwork and Planning
Park Rails to Go
Aid-to-Russia Scheme Annexed
A re-animated Rushden Urban Council talked town planning, iron railings, Co-operative-row, Morrison shelters and aid to Russia on Wednesday evening. Messrs. Capon and Roe not for the first time in history exchanged remarks (see black type). Mr. Allebone defended the County Council against insinuations of intended extravagance. Invited by the Rushden Trades’ Council to join in an aid-for-Russia campaign, the members decided to launch it themselves.
Coun. Roe expressed concern regarding the County Council’s decision to pay the whole costs of the Mid-Northamptonshire Planning Committee, instead of calling on the other authorities for not more than a halfpenny rate to cover half the cost.
“I don’t know whether this is a very wise step,” he said. “I fear that we soon may have no say in the matter of expenditure, and that it will be not a halfpenny rate but a penny rate. Perhaps Mr. Allebone can tell us where they are going to get the money from if not from the councils.”
Mr. Roe contended that the Council should withhold consent until it had obtained the opinions of the other authorities. The power, he said, was being taken out of their hands entirely.
The Chairman: There is no doubt about that.
Coun. Weale said the Plans Committee believed the attitude taken up by the County Council was one to which it was fully entitled. Though there was a loop-hole for the county authority to spend freely, he thought they should have confidence in the County Council members who represented the town. Should the Planning Committee propose any extravagant expenditure he was sure the Rushden members would take steps to curb them.
“It must be obvious,” said Coun. Allebone, “that there is only one source of the money that is by precept. It is what might be called elementary.”
Mr. Allebone appealed for a wider outlook than the parochial one. He referred to the prospect of an ultimate movement from the large cities and great development in the country areas, with permanent schemes involving the erection of hundreds of houses. The committee, he said, must have full power to deal with such questions, and when there was all this work to be done they must have confidence in their officers. They were satisfied in fact that they had a county officer who would put the thing in proper order even if it cost a little more than they liked.
“In view of some of the ‘planning’ in our own locality,” added Mr. Allebone, “I am out for proper planning for the future.”
The Chairman: It is an unknown quantity and we cannot realise the vastness of it all.
Coun. Roe said he was satisfied and frankly, was glad he had raised the point. “I have every confidence in the County Council,” he added, “but we tend to let these matters slip through our fingers too easily, and then we say ‘Who did it?’”
“Red Tape” Outcry
Following a memorial from the occupiers of Co-operative-row, which is not a highway repairable by the town, the Health Committee recommended that the Surveyor should have the roadway made “reasonably passable” after preparing estimates and apportioning the costs, which would have to be paid by the occupiers in advance.
“Surely,” said Mr. Roe, “we can cut out a little of this red tape! It wants doing so badly, surely it can be done at once. Can’t the Surveyor put up a notice that the road needs repairing and that if it is not done within 10 days it will be done by the Council and charged to them?”
The Clerk (Mr. W. L. Beetenson) : No Sir!
Coun. Capon: I think the word “elementary” applies here!
Coun. Roe: Well, when will it be done? Not before Christmas of next year!
Mr. Roe also called attention to Blinco-road, the Surveyor replying that this had not been repaired because the owners had not agreed.
Coun. Allen: They will never get it done except by the procedure laid down.
Coun. Davies said the procedure would not take so long as Mr. Roe imagined.
Coun. Waring: I hope you will approach the owners if you go along Woodland-road, otherwise you will have to sing for your money.
The committee’s report was adopted.
As the Home Secretary does not propose to make a general suspension of shop closing hours for the Christmas period the Council had to consider applying to the County Council for a local suspension order.
Coun. Roe: Some of the shopkeepers would like the hours suspended just before Christmas, but it is only an elementary matter! (Laughter).
It was agreed to apply for a suspension from December 19th to 24th, both days included.
Reporting that Morrison table type shelters (as already announced in the “Echo and Argus”) were now available for Rushden, the Clerk said that 200 had been ordered as a preliminary issue and would be dispatched at the earliest possible moment. The panels were already on the way. Arrangements had been made for an assembled shelter to be on view at the Gas Company’s showroom.
Of 193 forms of application for free shelters already applied for, 131 had been returned completed. Four forms of application for the purchased issue had been given out, and two of them had been returned.
Coun. Capon, still on the warpath, referred to the shelter which is to be exhibited. “May I ask,” he said, “if the Gas Company proposes that the chairman of the directors should be underneath it?”
Coun. Roe: I expected something of the sort, Mr. Chairman. There is one thing: if they were all Mr. Capon’s size we should be able to get more in!
A report on the requisitioning of unnecessary railings was presented by the Highways Committee. The Surveyor, it was stated, had completed his survey. No appeals had been received from owners of railings considered to be of special artistic merit or historical interest, but two owners had appealed against the removal of railings fronting their houses.
As recommended by the recent district conference of local authorities, the Council agreed to schedule all pallisading railings, but to allow iron copings, gates and posts to remain. The Surveyor was instructed to proceed on these lines and inform the two objectors that no distinctions could be made. Other railings and fences are to be scheduled with the exception of those required to prevent cattle from straying, for the safety of the public, for the protection of certain goods and for public utility undertakings.
Coun. Weale said the fact that there were only two objections spoke well for the town. The committee had to face the fact that the Government really required the metal, and they felt they must get as much for them as possible. They were, however, protecting the owners as much as possible by leaving the copings, gates and posts.
Coun. Waring: The report doesn’t mention whether the railings of public parks are or are not essential.
Coun. Weale: We came to the decision with regard to Spencer Park that the railings would go into the scrap.
“Leave It To Us”
Rushden and District Trades’ Council, desirous of organising a representative “Aid for Russia” committee, asked the Council of they would co-operate. The Finance Committee, however, instructed the Clerk to reply that, while they agreed that a committee should be formed, it was desirable in the best interests of the proposal that the Urban Council should convene a town’s meeting to consider the matter.
A resolution was put forward authorising the Clerk to call a town’s meeting for December 22nd.
Coun. Sugars, however, announced that the Clerk had now received further information which placed a new light on the matter. On his proposition the Council decided to discuss the question in committee.
It was learned later that the committee’s resolution was carried.
Coun. Sugars announced that 74.2 per cent. of the general rate for the second half of the year was paid by the end of November. This, he said, was a record.
Plans were passed of a transformer house in Glassbrook-road, an implement shed in Hayway for Mr. John White, and a shed in Duck-street for Messrs. R. Tarry and Co., Ltd.
Reports on milk samples showed 11 satisfactory and one “not so.”
Grazing rights at the sewage farm were again let to Mr. Ralph Dickens at a charge of £24 for the next 12 months.
Materials value £67 were scheduled on the monthly salvage report: Paper 9 ton 8 cwt., cast iron 3 ton 8½ cwt., steel turnings 4 ton 16 cwt., crushed tins 4 ton 9 cwt., bones 11 cwt. 1 qtr., kitchen waste 2 ton 6 cwt., bottles 94 dozen, with quantities of rags, brass, aluminium, old batteries and lead.
Members in attendance were Councillors T. W. Cox, J.P. (chairman), W. J. Sawford (vice-chairman), A. Allebone, J.P., C.C., J. Allen, A. H. Bailey, W. E. Capon, J.P., J. H. J. Paragreen, J. T. Richardson, J.P., J. Roe, J. Spencer, J.P., E. A. Sugars, T. J. Swindall, H. Waring, A. F. Weale and Mrs. O. A. H. Muxlow.