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The Rushden Echo, 12th February, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Public Swimming Baths

Municipal Housing

Infectious Disease

Houses Unfit For Habitation

The Citizen’s Army - Breezy Debate

Wednesday, present Councillors J. S. Clipson, J.P. (Chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., L. Perkins, B.Sc., C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J.P., J. Spencer, J. Hyde, T. Willmott, and G. H. Skinner, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).

Sympathy

At the commencement of the meeting the Chairman said that one of their members, Mr. John Spencer, had sustained a great bereavement in the death of his daughter, and moved that an expression of sympathy with him in his bereavement be passed. [Editor's not: This was Adelaide aged 18 - see cemetery burials. Other Spencer deaths in 1916]

Mr. Swindall seconded, and the vote was carried by all the members upstanding.

Volunteer Training Corps

On the reading of the minutes, Mr. Perkins said he wished to call attention to an omission from the minutes read at the January meeting and dealing with the business at the December meeting. At the December meeting, after they had gone into committee on the housing question, he introduced the matter of forming a Citizens’ Corps for Rushden. He proposed that the chairman be asked to preside at a town’s meeting to be called to form a Citizens’ Corps, which was seconded by Mr. Claridge and supported by Mr. Clipson and Mr. Swindall. He did not think this question was read out in the minutes at the January meeting, and he wanted to know if it could now be inserted in the December minutes. He wished it to be added to the minutes in order to explain his own position. He had been asked to become a vice-president of the newly-formed Citizens’ Corps and had refused. All the members of the Council had been invited to become vice-presidents, and it might appear that he was inconsistent in refusing to accept that position after having brought forward at the Council meeting a proposition that the Council call a town’s meeting to consider the formation of a Corps. As a member of the Council he did not care to be “co-opted” by a self-appointed committee.

The Chairman said that at the December meeting he brought forward the question and asked if it was the wish of the Council to call a meeting to form a Citizens’ Corps. The Council decided against calling the meeting.

Mr. Spencer said he opposed the suggestion in December on the ground that there were plenty of opportunities for those wishing to serve the country to do so. He opposed the suggestion because he thought that the middle classes had not responded to the call of the country; he thought there were opportunities enough for men to serve the country where it was most needed, and so he opposed the new organisation, and he should do so again.

Mr. Perkins : I do not care for the way in which the whole business was done. I object to a spontaneously-generated committee deciding who should be who and what should be done. It was all cut and dried when we went down to the hall, and a gentleman from Wellingborough said “These are my officers.” That is not my idea of the Citizens’ Corps. I hope this explanation will go forward as to why I have refused to be a vice-president of the Corps.

Mr. F. Knight : That vote at the Council meeting was taken, not on the question of whether a Citizens’ Corps should be formed, but whether this Council should or should not at that time move in the matter. That was the vote, pure and simple. It was not whether there should be a Citizens’ Corps in Rushden but simply whether, at that juncture, the Council should take the first step. As to Mr. Perkins being so anxious to put himself right with the Council and the town and to prove, if it was necessary, that he has been inconsistent, I do not think he need do that, because everybody knows it. He says he has been anxious all through that the Citizens’ Corps should be formed; he says the matter was “cut and dried,” and it is because Mr. Perkins did not cut and dry and bake it himself that he is not satisfied. None of us wanted to do it. Mr. Perkins had the same chance to assist as the rest. He attended the meeting, but slunk off before the meeting was over. Every member of the Council agreed that, if there was any particular desire among the inhabitants of Rushden that a Corps should be formed, the Chairman should call a meeting which he did, and everybody had the opportunity to go to that meeting. A great number did go, and the response from that meeting was that nearly 200 joined the Citizens’ Corps. If Mr. Perkins will not be a vice-president, we are sorry, but if he won’t he has his reasons, as he explained to-night, because he did not start it and run it. The Citizens’ Corps would have been very glad to have his support, but because he could not do as he liked he has turned up rough about it. I am surprised that Mr. Perkins, with his democratic views, is not satisfied with the decision of the majority of the Council. If Mr. Perkins will not be a vice-president, I hope the Corps will be a success without him.

Mr. Perkins : The motion to call a meeting was defeated, and Mr. Knight bitterly opposed the whole business.

Mr. Knight : No, I opposed this Council taking the first step. I never opposed forming a Corps, and Mr. Perkins ought to know it.

Mr. Perkins : The reason why I refused to be a vice-president was the way the business was conducted. Mr. Knight was put on the committee; the rest of the people had been cleared off after the national anthem, which is supposed to close the business. The whole thing seems to have been cooked beforehand. There is no need to suggest that I was cross because I was not successful. My impression is that Mr. Knight opposed the whole business here, then at the meeting he is on the platform.

Mr. Claridge said he was very glad the Chairman had called the meeting, but he should have preferred the Council calling it. He did think there was some hole-and-corner business connected with it. He was glad to see the bills calling the meeting, but he did not receive an invitation to attend.

The Chairman ruled the whole question out of order.

The Clerk explained that at the December meeting there was no decision and therefore there was nothing to report, and that was why it did not appear on the minutes.

Mr. Perkins, at the conclusion of the business, asked the Chairman if it was in order for one member to accuse another of “slinking” out of a meeting.

The Chairman said the whole discussion was out of order and he should not have allowed it if he had known what was coming.

Housing &c. Committee

A meeting of the Housing Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 25th January, 1915, when there were present :- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (Chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, and T. Wilmott.

The Conditions of Tenancy and form of application in respect of the houses were considered and approved, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to adopt same.

The list of applications was submitted and tenants selected for the first eight houses of the Class A type and four of the Class C type. The report was adopted.

Plans &c. Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, January 27th, 1915, when there were present :- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, J. Claridge, J. Hyde, F. Knight, and T. Wilmott.

Higham-Road

The Surveyor reported that the Committee met at the site of Mr. Tysoe’s new house on the Higham-road of Thursday, the 31st ult., but could not see their way to recommend the Council to accede to the request of Mr. Tysoe that the bank in front of his property be asphalted.

With regard to the grotto fence in front of the property, the Clerk was instructed to write to the owners, calling their attention to the fact that it had not been erected in accordance with the plan submitted and to inform them that the Council reserved the right to enforce the line of frontage shown on the approved plan at any time.

Shirley-Road

The Surveyor presented his final apportionment of the expenses incurred in making up Shirley-road, amounting to £267 5s 3d, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to adopt the same and to instruct the Clerk to serve the necessary notices on the owners concerned.

Fire Brigade

The Fire Brigade Sub-committee reported that the boiler of No. 1 steam fire engine had been examined and found in excellent order, the gauge only requiring slight adjustment.

The Sub-committee recommended that six lengths of hose be purchased of 75 feet each. The Committee approved, and resolved to recommend the Council accordingly.

Dangerous Corners

Hayway - A letter was received from Mr. C. A. K. Green agreeing to the Council’s proposals for the rounding off of this corner, subject to the work being done to the satisfaction of Mr. Talbot Brown, the Council paying Mr. Brown’s fee.

The Surveyor was requested to arrange to meet Mr. Green and Mr. Brown on the site.

Road Materials

The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for tenders for the ensuing year’s supply of road materials.

Housing &c. Acts

The Surveyor submitted a plan of the houses now being constructed on the Rectory Estate, and it was resolved that the streets on which the houses abut be known as Kings-road and the approach from Robinson-road be known as Kings-place. Arrangements were also made for numbering the houses.

Park-Road

The Surveyor was instructed to write to Mr. W. W. Smith, calling his attention to the dangerous state of the barbed wire fencing on his property adjoining the Park-road and request him to have it removed.

The report was adopted.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, 2nd February, 1915, at 10 a.m., when there were present :-

Messrs. J.S. Clipson (chairman), T. Swindall, J. Claridge, C. Bates, and F. Knight.

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
£
s
d
7th Jan. 1914
35
12
10
14th Jan. 1914
37
13
8
21st Jan. 1914
34
7
10
28th Jan. 1914
35
12
6

Collector’s Accounts

The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected since the last meeting :-


£
s
d
General district rate
1007
9
5
Green Tolls
 
6
6
Burial fees, etc. 
 4
 11
 0

Treasurer’s Accounts

The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sum since the last meeting :-


£
s
d
Free Library, fees, fines, etc.
2
0
3
Collector, District rate
1007
9
5
Collector Green tolls
 
6
6
Cemetery Registrar, Burial fees, etc.
4
17
0
Petrol licences
 
2
0
Carbine licences
 
6
0
C. Robinson, Chimney on fire
 
2
6
J. Bugby, Game licence
 
1
6
County Council, Tarvia, etc.
253
4
10
Joseph Knight, Rectory-road
15 
15 
6 
 Total
 £1,284
5 
6 

And that the balances were as follows :-


£
s
d
General Account
1114
18
6
Loan Account No. 16
152
1
0
Loan Account No. 19
387
17
6
Loan Account No. 24
470
8
10
Loan Account No. 26
12
15
6
Loan Account No. 27
774
15
2

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £1,155 9s 4d 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, 1915, when there were present :- Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), J. S. Clipson, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, L. Perkins, and G. H. Skinner.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported that six cases of infections disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., two of scarlet fever, three of erysipelas, and one of tuberculosis.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the month of January 38 informal notices had been served calling attention to nuisances and other matters, all of which were receiving attention.

As instructed at the last meeting, the Inspector had written to the owners regarding the state of the backway between Irchester, Sartoris, and Wellingborough roads. The matter was receiving their attention and allowed to stand over until the next meeting.

One lot of bedding had been destroyed after a death from consumption and the room sprayed and fumigated. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the bedding at a cost not exceeding £1 5s 0d.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.

Housing, Town Planning &c. Acts

The Inspector also reported that he, with the Medical Officer, had visited and inspected Nos. 18 and 20 and Nos. 47 and 47a. Duck-street, and found same to be in a condition so dangerous or injurious to health as to be unfit for human habitation.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to give notice to the owners that a closing order would be made in respect of each of the houses unless same were put in proper state of repair by the next meeting.

The Committee decided to recommend to the Council that the Housing Committee be requested to favourably consider any application from the tenants of houses compulsorily closed for the Municipal dwellings now in course of erection on the Rectory Estate.

Factory Acts

Seventeen lists giving the names and addresses of 193 outworkers had been received also eleven lists relating to 28 outworkers receiving work outside the district.

Woburn-Place

The Sanitary Inspector was instructed to visit and inspect the property in Woburn-place and report to the next meeting.

Knacker’s Yard

The Inspector also reported that his attention had been called to a nuisance caused by the overflowing of the cesspool at the knacker’s yard situated off the Newton-road.

The Inspector was instructed to inform the occupier that he must make arrangements to prevent a recurrence of the nuisance.

Lumley’s P.H.A.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to purchase the last edition of Lumley’s Public Health Acts for use at the Council Buildings.

Public Swimming Baths

The Committee having had under consideration various sites, were unanimously of opinion that the most suitable was one adjoining the Ambulance Station in Midland-road, the property of Mr. Swindall, who had offered to sell the same to the Council at 3/3 per square yard.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to ask Mr. Swindall to give them an option to purchase about 1246 yards at the same price until such a time as circumstances would permit the raising of a loan for carrying out the works.

The report was adopted. [Swimming pool opens 1929]

Roll of Honour

A letter was received from the County Council inviting the Urban Council to prepare a list of all sailors and soldiers from the Urban District who are now serving the country. [Roll of Honour WW1]

It was decided that the matter receive due attention.

Building Bye-Laws

Mr. Swindall said that the committee asked to suggest needed revisions of the building bye-laws had met several times and had now come to a decision as to what they were prepared to recommend should be left out of the old bye-laws and what new regulations should be inserted.

It was decided to give the members an opportunity of inspecting the proposed bye-laws.

Special Constables

Supt. McLeod wrote asking the Urban Council to allow the Special Constables to use the recreation Ground on Sunday mornings at 10.30, commencing the first Sunday in March.

Several members thought it would be better to have the drills at an earlier hour, so as not to interfere with the Sunday Schools and Church services.

Mr. Swindall thought the cricket ground, which was enclosed, would be far better for the purpose.

Mr. Perkins proposed that the request be agreed to.

Mr. Hyde seconded, and Mr. Bazeley supported.

Mr. Wilmott said that number of the Special Constables came from Irthlingborough and Stanwick and could not get there earlier than 10.30.

The proposition was carried.


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