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Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

26th February, 1909

Rectory Road Widening
The Question of Re-Assessment
The Duck-Street Improvement

A meeting of this Council was held on Wednesday night, when there were present:- Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), G. H. Skinner (vice-chairman), F. Knight, G. Miller, F. Ballard, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, C. Bates, J. Paragreen, and A. J. Dobbs, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. W. G. F. Kingston).

Plans, Etc., Committee

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


were presented by:-

Mr. Joseph Harrison for additions to his house, No. 277, Wellingborough-road, and passed subject to compliance with Bye-laws Nos. 67 and 68.

Mr. J. Harrison for two houses on the Wellingborough-road and passed subject to compliance with Bye-laws Nos. 67 and 68 and to each house having a separate drain connecting it with the public sewer and a satisfactory refuse receptacle provided.

Mr. F. Corby (amended plan) for alterations to his factory in John-street and passed.

Mr. C. A. K. Green for additions to his residence on the Hayway and passed.

Mr. W. B. Sanders for additional means of exit from his factory in High-street and passed.

Steam Fire Engine

The Fire Brigade Sub-Committee reported that in consequence of some defects developed in the boiler tubes it had been found necessary to ask Messrs. Shand Mason and Co., the makers, to send a representative to Rushden to fit in new tubes. Correspondence between the surveyor and Messrs. Shand Mason and Co. as to their charges was read and it was resolved to recommend the payment to them of the sum of £4 in discharge of their account.


The Clerk reported the receipt of a letter from Mr. W. J. Wood offering on behalf of his Mother to give up free of cost sufficient land at the junction of this street with Fitzwilliam-street to enable the Council to widen Duck-street to such an extent as they might consider desirable, the Council to re-erect the wall and construct a footpath.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accept the offer with thanks and to carry out the improvement forthwith.

Elm Street

The Committee, having personally visited this street, resolved to recommend the Council to make up the same under the Private Street Works Act, 1892.

Land, Midland-Road

An application was received from Mr. Neville for permission to garden the small strip of land adjoining the brook under which the town sewer is laid.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application and to let Mr. Neville the land, rent free, up to the 25th March, 1910. The rent after that date to be agreed subsequently, the understanding being that Mr. Neville would give up possession when the land was required by the Council.

Street Corners

The Surveyor reported that Mr. W. W. Smith and Mr. G. Fountain, the owners of the land at the junction of Griffith-street with High-street South, had both expressed their willingness to give up the necessary land to improve the corners there, providing the Council would undertake the work and rebuild the walls.

The Surveyor was instructed to prepare an estimate of the cost and submit to the next meeting of the Committee.


The Surveyor was instructed to prepare an estimate of the cost of planting with shrubs and fencing in the open space at the bottom of this road and submit to the next meeting of the Committee.

Referring to the improvement to be made in Duck-street, Mr. Ballard asked what amount of land the Council were acquiring.

The surveyor: Fifty-three square yards.

Mr. Ballard asked what the cost would be.

The Surveyor: About £25.

Mr. Ballard: I am very glad the committee can see their way to carry out the improvement. I think it is very desirable.

Mr. Bates referred to the paragraph in the report dealing with land in Midland-road and expressed the hope that if the Council required the land Mr. Neville would have reasonable notice.

The Chairman: As far as possible. Of course, if the Council wished to erect public baths there, or anything of that sort at short notice – (laughter) – Mr. Neville would come out at once.

The report was adopted.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings, on Wednesday, the 3rd March, 1909, at 10.30 a.m., when there were present: Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), F. Ballard, 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:-




Week ending 4th February, 1909




Week ending 11th February, 1909




Week ending 18th February, 1909




Week ending 25th February, 1909




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:-




General District Rate




Collector’s Fittings Account

The Committee also examined the Collector’s Fittings account and found that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-




Other Roads




Cemetery Registrar’s Account

The Cemetery Registrar’s account was also examined, from which it appeared that the following sum had been paid to him since the last meeting:-




Burial fees, etc.




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:-




Collector, District rate




Collector, Fittings




Free Library, Fees, Fines &c




Cemetery Registrar, Burial fees




Northants Union Bank, Interest on Loan 19








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




General Account




Loan Account No. 18




Loan Account No. 19








Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £811/18/5 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 February, 1909, at 7 p.m. when there were present:- Messrs. G. H. Skinner (Chairman), W. Bazeley, C. Bates, F. Ballard, and J. Paragreen.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported that 15 cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., six of diphtheria, six of scarlet fever, and three of erysipelas. He had examined two samples of well water and found both fit for domestic use.

A visit had been paid during the month to the knacker’s yard in the occupation of Mr. George Chettle on the Newton-road. Everything was satisfactory excepting the drainage, which was discharged into a ditch running into a pond from which cattle derived their water supply; this should be removed at once.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve formal notice on Mr. Chettle to abate the nuisance referred to by the Medical Officer, and for this purpose to construct a properly built cesspool in brick lined with cement and with no overflow pipe.

The Sanitary Inspector reported a nuisance at the stables at the rear of the Victoria Hotel by pigs being kept on the manure pit there.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve formal notice on the occupier requiring an abatement of the nuisance.

The Inspector reported that 39 visits had been made to houses in connection with infectious disease. Seven houses had been fumigated after diphtheria, four after scarlet fever, and one after consumption. One factory had been fumigated in consequence of several cases of scarlet fever having occurred there.

Acting on the advice of the doctor in attendance the Officer had destroyed a crib and bedding on which a patient had been suffering from diphtheria and had replaced same.

The Committee approved.

Twenty-five lists containing the names of 441 outworkers had been received from factory owners. Twelve factories and workshops, 27 slaughter-houses, six bakehouses, one dairy and cowshed, 51 common yards, 10 sundry and 21 re-inspections had been made during the month.

The Surveyor reported that he had visited Messrs. Noble and Co.’s factory in Moor-road where a number of persons were employed in the manufacture of boots and shoes and found that the sanitary conveniences consisted entirely of ordinary uncovered pails without any means of deodorising the stools. He did not consider the accommodation provided sufficient and suitable, having regard to the number of persons employed, and suggested that the owners be requested to provide proper w.c. accommodation throughout.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to give notice to the occupier of the building in question requiring him to make the alterations suggested by the Surveyor.

Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milkshops Order

The Veterinary Inspector’s quarterly report was received, from which it appeared that on the 25th, 26th, and 27th February and 1st March, 1909, he visited 28 premises belonging to 25 cowkeepers and inspected 288 milk cows and heifers, making special examination of their udders and throats. The Inspector stated that he was pleased to be able to make a very good report on the result of his examination.

The Committee expressed much satisfaction with the report.

Medical Officer

A letter from the Local Government Board was received stating that they sanctioned the re-appointment of Dr. F. H. Morris as Medical Officer of Health for the Urban District of Rushden from the 24th January, 1909, to the 2nd July, 1909, inclusive, with a salary at the rate of £50 per annum for his services. The sanction was limited to the last mentioned date in view of Dr. Morris’s age. The Board requested that prior to the expiration of the above named period they might be furnished with a dated copy of the resolution of the Council making further arrangements for the discharge of the duties of the Office.

The Clerk was instructed to acknowledge the receipt of the letter and to enquire if the Council are to understand that the Local Government Board do not approve of Dr. Morris being continued in office after the 2nd July and if their letter is intended as an intimation that their sanction to his further re-appointment may not be expected.

It was resolved to recommend the Council, in the event of the Local Government Board replying to the above in the affirmative, to forthwith advertise for applications for the office of Medical Officer at a salary of £50 per annum.

Messrs. Groome’s Factory

The Chairman reported that he, with the Clerk and Sanitary Inspector, visited this factory on Thursday and interviewed Messrs. Groome with regard to the sanitary conveniences. Messrs. Groome undertook to consider the matter at once with a view of adopting the water carriage system.

Advertisement Boards

The Inspector informed the Committee that his attention had been called by a member of the Committee to boards exhibiting advertisements placed on the pavement outside the Coffee Tavern.

The Clerk was instructed to write to the Company calling their attention to the matter.

Small Pox Hospital

The report of the Sub-Committee on their visit to the hospital was submitted, and it was decided to ask the Council to meet in Committee at the close of their next meeting to consider the report and take such steps with regard thereto as they may think desirable.

The report was adopted.

Overseers and Re-Assessment

The question of appointment of overseers then came on for consideration.

Mr. Bates asked Mr. Skinner if the overseers would be prepared to have a re-assessment of the town by an independent man. There was a lot of grumbling about the present assessment.

Mr. Skinner: That’s a matter for the Wellingborough authority to take up, but it’s a big job and I would rather not be on this year if it is going to be done.

Mr. Ballard said there was no doubt there were complaints about inequalities in rating in the town, and from his point of view, as a layman, there was justification for the complaints. He did not wish to cast any reflection on the present overseers, but he would like if it was possible for the overseers to consider whether the time had not arrived when there should not be a re-assessment.

Mr. Skinner: Well, so far as we are concerned, we cannot get away from the allowance of 20 per cent. of the rent.

Mr. Ballard: In some cases.

Mr. Swindall thought they ought to wait a year or two, until Rushden was in a better position. He thought the present was a very bad time for a re-assessment. He would like to know how long it was since there was a re-assessment.

Mr. Skinner: About 15 to 20 years, I should think.

Mr. Ballard: I happen to know a man whose rent is £19 and his house is rated at £20.

Mr. Skinner: And public-houses are rented at £30 and rated at £80.

Mr. Ballard: That is another thing but would Mr. Skinner look into these things without an independent valuer?

Mr. Skinner: Personally, I should not undertake it.

Mr. Ballard: Well, we know where we are now.

Mr. Miller: I should like to know the cost. I rather fear that a re-assessment at this time would be to the detriment of the revenue rather than not.

The Chairman said it had been suggested that a re-assessment would raise the rateable value of the town by £4,000.

Mr. Dobbs thought it was quite time there was a re-assessment so that it could be ascertained where there was unfair rating. A re-assessment had paid Northampton very well, and probably would pay Rushden.

Mr. Skinner: The difficulty is this. Wellingborough is considerably below us in assessment, and if we raise our assessment it will put us in an unfair position with regard to them. If there is to be a re-assessment it ought to take place all over the Union.

The Chairman said the Clerk had suggested that idea. At any rate the discussion had cleared the air. The Government was bringing in a re-valuation Bill shortly, and it was a question whether it would not be best to wait until the Bill was brought in.

Mr. Ballard: But, you see we have the House of Lords at present.

Mr. Miller: Fortunately.

The Chairman thought there was every indication that a Bill would be passed.

Mr. Knight: I think that settles the matter for the present, but glaring inequalities ought to be dealt with by the overseers at once. Whether there was a re-valuation or not, many people would be dissatisfied, but I think the overseers should be willing to take suggestions where present assessments need re-consideration.

Mr. Skinner: I am sorry to say that all our work lately has been to reduce assessments.

Messrs. J. T. Colson, J. Claridge, H. H. Hobbs and L. Baxter were then elected overseers, no action being taken with regard to a re-assessment.

The Rectory-Road Improvement

A letter was received from the Local Government Board sanctioning the borrowing by the Council of £1,000 for the purpose of carrying out the Rectory-road Improvement.

Mr. Swindall: The matter should come before the Plans Committee without delay.

The Chairman: At their next meeting.

Mr. Knight thought it was desirable, now that the loan was granted, that the matter should be proceeded with at once. The tenants of the property needed for the improvement ought to know as soon as possible when possession was wanted.

The Clerk explained that a quarter’s notice to the end of June would be given by Mr. E. Claridge to his tenants, and the improvement could be proceeded with in July.

Dates of Council Meetings

It was decided to hold a special meeting of the Council on March 24th to clear up the year’s accounts, and as the next ordinary meeting would fall in Easter week it was resolved to meet a week later.

The Small Holdings Association

The Chairman said the Small Holdings Association was holding a meeting at the College-street schools on Thursday night and he would be glad if as many members of the Council would attend as were able to do so. The County Council had sanctioned a scheme to let the Society the Rectory farm, 264 acres, and as the tenancy commenced at Michaelmas it was time things were got into shipshape order. As a young society, they would need all the advice and financial help anyone in Rushden could give them. The Allotments Association had promised advice and assistance, and he thought perhaps the members of that Council might do the same. Perhaps some of them might take up shares.

Mr. Skinner: Is all the land taken up?

The Chairman: Not quite.

Mr. Skinner: How many tenants are there?

The Chairman: There are plenty of tenants, but some of them have not the necessary capital to satisfy the County Council. If outside help were forthcoming, they could manage it, however.

Mr. Miller said he was sure the Council sympathised with the object of the society – getting men back to the land.

Mr. Skinner: Years ago, when anyone started farming, it was the custom to send a team to give them a start. I shall be very pleased to do that again.

Mr. Ballard: That is very practical, and I hope it will not be lost sight of.

Mr. Skinner: I shan’t run back, but I shan’t find them in beer. (Laughter.)

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