|The Rushden Echo, 12th February, 1904, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
| At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night there were present Messrs. J. S. Clipson (in the chair), W. H. Wilkins, G. Denton, F. Knight, J. Hornsby, C. Bates, T. Swindall, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, and A. Mantle, 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 27th day of January, 1904, when there were present:- Messrs. John Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, Fred Knight and W. H. Wilkins.
were presented by:-
Mr. G. Brown for house and shop on the Higham-road and passed subject to the ventilating shaft to the drain being amended to the satisfaction of the Surveyor.
Messrs. Harrison and Windsor for two houses on the Wellingborough-road and passed subject to the position of the ventilating shaft to the drain being varied to the surveyor’s satisfaction.
Mr. C. E. Bayes (amended plan) for house in Griffith-street and passed.
Mr. Albert Okins for a house in Wellingborough-road and passed.
Infringement of Bye-Laws
The Surveyor reported the erection by Mr. Thomas Surridge of a wooden building used as a stable at the rear of his house in Brookfield-road in respect of which no plans had been presented to the Committee.
The Committee’s attention was also called to similar infringements by Mr. Geo. Denton in respect of certain of the buildings recently erected off Rectory-road in connection with his new gas plant, and by Mr. Matthew Bates in respect of a wooden building near his house on the Rushden Court Estate.
The Clerk was instructed to write to the three gentlemen named asking them, if they had any explanation to make, to be good enough to attend the next meeting of this Committee.
The Surveyor submitted his estimate for constructing a culvert over the brook at the South end of the town beyond Harborough-road and opposite “Rose Hill”; the estimate which provided for a footpath over the culvert amounted to £761.
The Committee resolved to defer the further consideration of the matter for the present.
The Surveyor reported a blockage in the storm water drain laid in this road between Fitzwilliam-street and Duck-street and was instructed to carry out the necessary repairs.
The Surveyor presented a return of the amount of gas consumed by the engines at the Pumping Station at Wymington, showing a consumption of 267 feet per hour assuming that the engines worked 15 hours per day; the return extended from the 9th to the 21st January.
The Clerk informed the Committee that the Gas Company, under the provisions of the Gas Works Clauses Act, 1871, were bound to provide a testing place with all necessary apparatus at the place named in their special Act. The Council under the same Act had power to appoint a competent and impartial person to act as an examiner to test the gas at the testing place provided, and such examiner might there test the illuminating power and purity of the gas supplied at any time.
The special Act of the Gas Company provided that the testing place should be at the works of the Company, and the Company had provided such a testing place with all necessary apparatus.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to proceed to the appointment of a competent person to act as an examiner, and the Surveyor was instructed to enquire from other Local Authorities as to the persons acting in that capacity for them.
Plate Glass Insurance
A letter was received from the Northampton Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Company, Limited, stating that the Council’s men in picking up the road near Mr. Gardiner’s Central Dining rooms had broken his window which for ordinary accidents was insured with that Company, but stated that in this case the Council were liable and enquiring if the Council would undertake the replacement of the broken glass or would prefer to have the bill sent to them.
The Committee instructed the Clerk to reply that the Council were unable to accept any responsibility for the accident referred to.
The following report was received from the Secretary of the brigade:-
“In presenting my report of the work done by the Rushden Fire Brigade during the past year I wish to point out to the Council that owing to the rapid growth of the town and the consequent increase of fire risks, it has been thought necessary by the Captain to make new rules for the re-organisation of the Brigade; these rules will shortly be laid before you for confirmation.
“The fires in town during the year have been practically nil, which tends to show great care and watchfulness on the part of the inhabitants. (see appendix).
“The electric bells fitted by the Telephone Company have worked well. The chief difficulty now experienced is in connection with out-of-town fires, the want of horses on the spot causing great delay. Application will shortly be made to you for more modern appliances which the Brigade think absolutely necessary to cope with a fire of any serious dimensions.
“It is with extreme regret that the Brigade report the death of Fireman George Burgess whose loss to the Brigade is much felt.”
The following appendix accompanied the report:-
May 2 Called at 10.25 p.m. to Oakley Cottages, Wellingborough Road; hose cart, &c. Damage slight.
Aug. 5 Called at 12.50 p.m. to Melchbourne, stack fire, 16 hours away. Damage £180.
Aug. 8 Called at 10.52 p.m. to Hargrave, bed and bedding. Damage slight.
Sept. 19 Called at 6.45 p.m. to Green’s Yard, bed and bedding. Damage slight.
Dec. 8 A fire occurred in the house of Mr. George Chettle at 10.30 p.m. in which a room was burnt out.
Dec. 22 Called at 8 a.m. to Washbrook Road, roof alight; called but not required. Damage slight.
Jan. 14 Called to Police-station at 1.55 p.m., explosion of heating chamber.
Jan. 24 Called to a light showing 16 miles away.
February Called to a light showing at Irthlingborough.
December Called to Knuston Hall.
Two men, with stand pipe and hose attended 24 times during the year.
Washbrook Road Bridge
A letter was received from the Midland Railway Company with reference to the cost of raising the parapet on the footpath side of the bridge, the consideration of which was deferred until the next meeting.
Mr. Ballard, referring to the testing of the gas for public lighting, asked if it were possible to test the gas for strength as well as for illuminating power.
The Clerk said there was a method, but it would not be of much advantage to the Council as the Gas Company were not bound to supply gas of any particular strength for motive power.
Mr. Denton said he was not at all satisfied with the committee’s report. He thought an independent test should be made.
The Clerk said that if the gas were tested at any other place than the Gas-works, where, according to the Company’s Act of Parliament, the testing apparatus was provided, it would have no effect except to gratify curiosity. If the gas were tested anywhere else and found to be below the standard the test would have no legal value.
Mr. Denton thought an outside test would be very valuable even if that were so.
In reply to Mr. Wilkins, the Clerk said a testing apparatus would cost £100, and the cost would probably be surcharged by the auditor. If an examiner were appointed, he could go to the gasworks at any time, without notice, to test the gas.
Mr. Bazeley said he could see the force of the Company’s getting an Act of Parliament now. It cost a bit of money, but safeguarded the Company well.
Mr. Ballard said the question really arose on the increased consumption of gas at the waterworks, an increase of 25 per cent. being reported.
The Chairman said it was difficult to say what the consumption should be, unless they knew what amount of water they were pumping.
Mr. Ballard remarked that there had been a great improvement in the gas for lighting purposes.
Mr. Denton: The gas is all right now. It was bad before, but as they were experimenting with a view to giving us a cheap supply we were prepared to put up with it.
The report was adopted.
Finance, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Finance, Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 3rd day of February, 1904, when there were present:- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), J. Claridge, Geo. Denton, A. Mantle, C. Bates, J. Hornsby, and Tom 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 Collector’s accounts were examined from which it appeared that during the past three weeks he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-
Collector’s Fittings Account
The Committee examined the Collector’s fittings account from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-
The Treasurer’s account was also examined from which it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him during the past three weeks:-
The following balances were found to be in hand on the under-mentioned accounts:-
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that five cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz.,:- one of typhoid fever, one of erysipelas, one of diphtheria, and two of scarlet fever; he had visited the cases of typhoid fever and diphtheria but could find nothing at all likely to cause the disease.
The Sanitary Inspector informed the Committee that the case of diphtheria occurred in High Street South, that of typhoid fever in High Street South, erysipelas in Victoria Road, and the cases of scarlet fever in Windmill and Irchester Roads; he had visited all the cases and supplied disinfectants.
With regard to the case of typhoid fever in College-street reported at the last meeting, the patient was now convalescent, but the Officer had found it necessary to destroy a quantity of bedding which he found in a bad state; this had been done and the bedding replaced at a cost of £1/6/-, the bill of which had been sent into the Clerk.
The Officer also reported that he had visited and inspected all the Cowsheds and Dairies in the district and supplied each owner with a copy of the new regulations. He found the Cowsheds and Dairies in a satisfactory state as regards cleanliness but with regard to the structure and drainage he found several which were not in strict compliance with the prescribed regulations. The Inspector had also supplied a copy of the regulations to all milk dealers carrying on business in the district of the authority.
A circular letter was received from this Institute inviting the Council to appoint delegates to the annual Congress which is to be held at Glasgow in July.
It was resolved to consider this matter at a future meeting.
The Collector submitted a water rate which he had prepared for the current quarter amounting to £490/0/1. The rate was examined and approved by the Committee.
It was resolved that the Council be recommended to make and seal the rate at their next meeting.
General District Rate
The Collector submitted the following memorandum with regards to the General District Rate made on the 1st day of July, 1903, at 2/- in the £ on £30,344/6/9 net annual value.
A list of the amounts irrecoverable was also submitted, and it was resolved that the same be written off.
The Collector submitted the following memoranda with regard to the water rates made on the 13th May, 1903, and the 19th August, 1903.
Lists of the irrecoverable amounts were also submitted by the Collector and ordered to be written off.
Mr. Knight asked whether it would not be well to join with Higham in providing disinfecting apparatus.
Mr. Denton said he had had a conversation with the County Medical Officer on the subject, and before doing anything it would be well to get information from him on the subject, but at present they would not save much, as the bedding which was destroyed was usually past saving by disinfection.
The report was adopted.
The Water Supply
In reply to a question by Mr. Bazeley, Mr. Denton said the Water Committee had considered the question of keeping the water supply on all night, but found it impracticable.
The Surveyor bore this out, and, in reply to a further question, said that the cause of an unusually short supply in one part of the town was caused by one of the valves not being properly turned on, the man whose duty it was to turn it on not having the strength to completely turn it. This had now been remedied, however.
Mr. Mantle wrote resigning his position as a manager of the provided schools in consequence of his appointment as an officer of the County Education Authority.
It was understood that the necessary steps will be taken to fill Mr. Mantle’s place, and it was further agreed that steps should be taken to declare Mr. J. Spencer’s seat on the Council vacant.
Private Streets Works Act
Mr. Swindall gave notice that he would call attention to the question of putting Private Streets Works Act into operation with regard to Allen-road and Upper Queen-street. He thought some work might thus be found for the unemployed and if the work were not undertaken soon it would be delayed another year.