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The Rushden Echo, 11th & 25th February 1898, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night, there were present Messrs. J. Claridge, J.P., (chairman), F. S. Knight (vice-chairman), G. Denton, B. Mortimer, J. Spencer, W. H. Wilkins, T. Swindall, Paul Cave, and H. Brawn, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Medical Officer (Dr. Owen), the Surveyor (Mr. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. Martin).

Committee Work

The Council in committee reported:-

Plans were presented by Messrs. Miller and Skinner for a new road from Cromwell-road to Franklin-road, and passed; Mr. F. Showler for six houses in Denmark-road, and passed; Mr. H. Sparrow for two houses in Glassbrook-road, and passed subject to alterations in party wall; Mr. R. Marriott for four houses in Irchester-road, and passed subject to alterations; Mr. C. E. Bayes for seven houses in Oswald-street, and rejected for not complying with the building line on the estate plans already approved by the Council. Mr. H. Knight for 22 houses in Winchester-road, and rejected as they did not comply with the building line as shown on the plans; Mr. T. Ager, amended plan as to drainage for house on Rushden Hill and passed; Mr. E. Claridge for new shop fronts in High-street, and also alterations to the same premises, adjourned for a fortnight to allow the members of the Urban District Council to inspect the site; Mr. W. Penniss for factory and store shed in Griffith-street and passed; the trustees of the Independent Wesleyan chapel for additions to schools in Queen-street, and passed; Mr. B. W. Skinner for new shop and front and premises in Church-street, and passed; the plans sub-committee to see if any arrangements could be made for the removal of the steps of the front door; Mrs. M. Whitbread and Messrs. Whitbread, amended plans, and passed.

Road to Sewerage Works. – The Surveyor reported that a 12ft road through Mr. Clark’s field could be made for about £75. The Chairman reported that he had seen Mr. Clark, who declined to entertain any proposition to contribute towards the cost of the road. It was resolved (Mr. Cave not voting) that the road be made at the expense of the Council after the sewer be laid, it being understood that no claim for compensation shall be raised by Mr. Clark in connection with the sewer as regards drainage.

Fire Brigade Requisites. – The Fire Brigade submitted the following list of requisites:- 12 bell cords, hydrant plates, boards for houses, 12 hose straps, 1 long cord, sheet to cover engine and for use as jumping sheet. – Sanctioned. – The consideration of the provision of electric bells was adjourned.

Projection in the Newton-road. – Attention was called to an improper projection constructed by Mr. H. Knight to premises in his occupation in the Newton-road, and the Surveyor was instructed to require him to remove the same.

Mr. Brawn objected to the making of the road from Cromwell-road to Franklin-road.

The committee’s report was adopted.

County Council Representation

The Chairman referred to the recent Local Government Board inquiry with reference to the proposed increase of County Councillors and said he attended the inquiry with Mr. Wilkins and Mr. Denton. En route they heard there would be determined opposition on the part of Towcester (who were to be deprived of one Councillor) and also that Mr. Monckton would attend to oppose. On reaching Northampton, however, they found that Mr. Monckton would not oppose the additional Councillor for Rushden nor would Towcester representatives, only Towcester did not want to be deprived of one of their members. The Rushden representatives, therefore, had not much difficulty. Their friend Mr. Denton spoke on behalf of Rushden and said they were entitled to an extra Councillor, and to this there was no opposition. With regard to the division of Rushden into two wards, however, there was some difficulty, and that matter had not yet been settled. The Inspector took exception to the way in which it was proposed to divide the town.

Mr. Denton: Am I to understand that the Local Government Board do not sanction the division of the town into wards as suggested?

Mr. Wilkins said that Mr. Markham (the clerk of the County Council) wrote stating that no reply had yet been received from the Local Government Board and added that he would wire on receipt of a letter. The inspector would only have a natural boundary by means of roads, so that instead of Millfield estate being in the northern division it was transferred to the southern, and part of the Rock estate was transferred from the south to the north. The line suggested by the inspector was from Knuston spinney along the centre of the Irchester-road to Wellingborough-road, along the centre of Wellingborough-road to Mr. Skinner’s (the Green), then along the centre of high-street, to Queen-street, up Queen-street to Cromwell-road, along the centre of Cromwell-road to the footpath to Chelveston.

Mr. Cave: Rather confusing!

The Chairman: It is rather difficult. The other division was evener.

Mr. Wilkins said they would soon get used to it. There would be about 150 more in the south ward than the north ward under the alteration.

Mr. Spencer said that, as far as he could see, the polling stations might as well be in one ward.

Medical Officer’s Report

Dr. Owen presented his annual report. – The Chairman: The death rate is about the same as that of the district generally? – Dr. Owen: Yes. – The Chairman (to the sanitary inspector) : Is the Typhoid stamped out? – Mr. Martin: Yes. – Mr. Spencer: The birth rate is about the same? – Dr. Owen: Yes. – The Chairman: The report is satisfactory. – Mr. Denton: I don’t think it is altogether satisfactory. It shows that we shall not have to relax our efforts in sanitary matters, but do everything we can to prevent a recurrence of these outbreaks. They are preventable and it is unsatisfactory on those grounds. – Mr. Swindall: When the scheme for the ventilation of the sewers is carried out a lot of it will be prevented. – The report was adopted.

Water Supply

A letter was received from the Local Government Board with reference to the application of the Urban Council for sanction to borrow £650 for experimental boring for a water supply. The Board said they had observed from Mr. Eunson’s report that, owing to the peculiar geological strata, great care must be exercised in the choice of a site; and they asked for a special report from Mr. Eunson or some other expert, with geological map and section of the site proposed to be selected.

The Clerk said he had seen Mr. Eunson and now had a letter from him stating that he had now laid out the position for the borehole and proposed to begin work at once. Mr. Eunson suggested that the Council could not do better than ask for a report from Mr. A. C. Cameron, of Bedford, head of the geological department of the neighbourhood.

Mr. Wilkins said that Mr. Eunson’s report at their interview, put in writing, with a geological map, would be sufficient, and this suggestion was agreed upon. On the suggestion of the clerk it was resolved to send a copy of Dr. Owen’s special report on the water supply to the Local Government Board so that they could see what steps the Council were taking.

The Chairman, replying to a question, said the proposed bore would be 30 ft. from the present engine house.

An Alleged Encroachment

Mr. Cave said that in North-street Messrs. Phipps were fencing in their property and it looked as if they were going beyond their boundary. He (Mr. Cave) had given up 2ft 6in on the opposite side, and now Messrs. Phipps were encroaching to that extent. If Messrs. Phipps were allowed to encroach, he should set his fence out.

Mr. Spencer said that unless there were plans to the contrary he thought, with Mr. Cave, that an encroachment had been made.

Mr. Cave was eventually asked to meet the Plans Committee and view the site.

The Steam Roller

Plate off the last Steam Roller
Plate off the last Steam Roller
Mr. Cave complained of the careless manner in which the driver of the steam roller on the roads manipulated his engine. Who was responsible for any damage done?

Mr. Denton: We are.

Other complaints were made, and the Surveyor was instructed to refuse to allow the engine to work unless a properly qualified man was in charge.

The Rushden Echo, 25th February 1898

At the fortnightly meeting on Wednesday in the Vestry-hall, Mr. John Claridge presided, and there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (vice-chairman), W. H. Wilkins, G. Denton, H. Brawn, G. Miller, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, B. Mortimer, J. Spencer, and P. Cave, together with Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk), and Mr. Madin (surveyor).

Committee Work

The committee report was:-

Plans were presented by Mr. C. E. Bayes for seven cottages in Oswald-road and passed; Mr. Harry Knight for 22 houses in Winchester-road and passed; Mr. Harry Knight for porch to office in Newton-road and rejected as coming in front of main wall to which the committee could not consent; Mr. Tom Swindall for seven houses in York-road and passed; Mr. H. Gross for one house in Cromwell-road and passed subject to drain in passage being laid in concrete. &c; Mr. Ridgeway for six houses and shop on New-road off Cromwell-road and rejected, the drains not being satisfactory.

Mr. E. Claridge. – With regard to the plan for new shop fronts and alterations to premises in High-street showing two proposed bay windows on the upper storey, Mr. Spencer proposed that the bay window at the north end be not allowed. Mr. Cave seconded. Mr. Swindall proposed as an amendment that both windows be allowed. This was not seconded. Messrs. Spencer, Cave, Denton, Skinner, and Knight voted for the motion, and Messrs. J. Claridge, Miller, Swindall, Mortimer, and Wilkins did not vote. No one voted against the motion.

Water Works. – The Chairman reported that Mr. Eunson recommended the appointment of Clerk of the Works for trial boring and suggested that Mr. Madin should act as such for the present. This course was agreed to.

Building Water. – The Surveyor was instructed not to lay further services for building purposes.

Washbrook and Higham Roads. – A plan was submitted by the surveyor, showing a suggested line of frontage to these roads as agreed upon with the owners of the Spencer Park Estate with the sub committee. The suggested line as shown on plan was adopted.

The minutes were confirmed.

Water Supply

The Chairman stated that Mr. Eunson had sent in his report, which went over the same ground as they had before.

The Clerk said this was the report asked for by the Local Government Board. It was a very technical one.

Mr. Mortimer: Have they started boring yet?

The Chairman said they had not.

Mr. Mortimer: The time is getting on. It is nearly March now.

It was decided to send the report to the Local Government Board.

The Alleged Encroachment

The Chairman referred to the alleged encroachment on the part of Messrs. Phipps spoken about at the last meeting by Mr. Paul Cave and said the Plans Committee had visited the site. The matter was so important that they had submitted a report in writing, as follows:-

“At the last meeting of the Council Mr. Cave complained that the fence recently erected by Phipps and Co., Ltd., in North-street, was an encroachment of two feet on the public roadway and having offered to furnish proof in support of his complaint, the matter was referred to the Plans Committee to investigate and report. The Committee conferred with Mr. Cave, examined the plans of the property, and had the soil removed sufficiently to expose the foundations of the old wall and pier. After the most careful investigation the committee report that Mr. Cave has failed to substantiate his complaint. At the boldest point the encroachment does not exceed three inches, and only averages an inch and a half the whole length of the fence. Of this, the committee were fully aware before the matter was mentioned by Mr. Cave and were prepared to recommend the Council to deal with it by notifying the matter to the owners with a view to its adjustment at some future time when building operations were being proceeded with.

Mr. Cave did not know why the committee had acted contrary to precedent by submitting a written report. He contended that the encroachment was more than three inches. He could not help it if he had not satisfied the committee.

The Chairman said that written reports had been presented on previous occasions.

Mr. Cave said he had not done with this matter. He had set his fence back over two feet in order to widen the road, but he should now claim his frontage and then they would find the road was not of the required width.

The Chairman: That is not the point.

Mr. Cave said it was the point with him. He had set his own fence back for the benefit of the road, and this was the return for it. It seemed to be making a law for one and altering it for another.

Mr. Denton said that if they could secure the widening of the road they ought to do so. If it would be possible to get the plans prepared at the time the roadway was taken over, it would be more satisfactory.

Eventually the matter was referred back to the committee to see if any additional information could be obtained. Mr. Cave did not vote.

The Accounts

including bills from Mr. A. Sharp for £24 17s 6d and Mr. W. W. Smith for £16 17s 3d for carting, &c.

Mr. Mortimer complained of the amount spent in this way. They were now spending about £10 a day on horses, carts, and men, and if they went on as they were doing they would beggar the parish and every ratepayer in it.

Mr. Spencer: How many men have we?

The Surveyor: About 50.

Mr. Mortimer: Are they doing any sewerage?

The Surveyor: Not at present.

Mr. Mortimer argued in favour of the sewerage in future being done by contract instead of day work.

Mr. Miller thought the time was almost ripe for the Council to go in for their own horses.

Mr. Mortimer said that that was that he was driving at.

The Chairman said they considered the charges of Mr. Sharp and Mr. Smith were very reasonable, namely, 6s 9d a day. It was a question if they could do it much cheaper.

Mr. Spencer said he had previously advocated that the Council should have their own horses and carts.

The Chairman said that in the interests of the Council he thought it would be desirable to have two horses. That matter had already had the attention of several members.

Mr. Skinner asked if Mr. Smith’s account included the night work.

The Clerk: No.

Mr. Mortimer said it seemed they were engaging about five horses and carts a day, and that meant about 35s a day.

In answer to Mr. Skinner, the Surveyor said they would shortly begin to decrease the expenditure on the roads.

Mr. Knight said that if Mr. Mortimer moved that the Council purchased horses he should support him, though he did not think they would do it much cheaper than 6s 9d a day.

Mr. Mortimer and Mr. Skinner said they could.

Mr. Swindall: Yes, if you give a man 9s a week.

Mr. Mortimer said he gave his men not less than 15s a week on the land.

Eventually Mr. Mortimer gave notice that at the committee meeting he should bring forward the question of the Council purchasing horses and carts.

The Windmill Estate

The Finance Committee recommended that another 14 days’ grace be given to the owners of this estate. This was adopted, but no further notice will be given.

An Improvement

The Chairman said that two or three members of the Council were passing the corner of Washbrook-road leading into the High-street and considered that the high bank might with advantage be thrown into the road, which here was very narrow.

Mr. Brawn: It is a high bank and is very dangerous.

The Chairman thought the cost would not exceed £5. It was a nasty corner at present.

The Surveyor was instructed to do the work.

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