|Rushden Echo, 10th February, 1933, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Resolution Against Economy Supported
Carrying “This Stunt” Too Far
An interesting debate ensued on this subject following a resolution received from the Eastleigh U.D.C.
Other resolutions before the Council were one from the Minehead U.D.C. on the subject of rating and a further one from the Eastleigh Council on housing.
The members present were Messrs. J. Roe, J.P. (in the chair), J. Spencer, J.P. (vice-chairman), W. C. Tarry, F. Green, J. Allen, W. E. Capon, C. Claridge, A. Allebone, C.C., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Hornsby, J. T. Richardson, and Dr. D. G. Greenfield, with the Clerk, Mr. G. S. Mason, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.
Apologies for absence were received from Mr. C. W. Horrell, C.A., and Mr. L. Perkins, M.B.E.
The chairman referred sympathetically to the absence of Mr. T. F. B. Newberry, who had been indisposed, and the Clerk was asked to convey to him the best wishes of the Council for his speedy recovery.
On the recommendation of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee, plans were approved as follows:-
Two houses in Purvis-road for Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons; amended plan for machinery store in Portland-road for Mr. F. Hawkes; wooden garage in Portland-road for Mr. F. Hawkes; additional sanitary accommodation at their High-street property for the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, Limited; garage in Park-avenue (wooden building) for Mr. S. Howitt; garage at No. 49, Oakley-road (wooden building) for Mr. J. A. Ashford.
Motor Caution Signs
A letter was received from the County surveyor stating that the Motor Caution Signs Sub-committee of the County Council have decided to erect priority signs with ‘Cross Roads’ plates fixed on the Rushden-Irchester-road at the cross roads near the “Oakley” Inn.
The Clerk was instructed to approach the Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Gas Company and the Electric Supply Company, Limited, with a view to their rendering new estimates for the public lighting of the town during the ensuing season.
The Health and Sanitary Committee reported that the report of the Medical Officer for the month of January had been received, and that the Sanitary Inspector had submitted a report of the work and inspections of his department during the past month.
The annual report of the Cemetery Registrar was received from which it appeared that for the year ended 31st December, 1932, there had been 125 interments at the cemetery.
Forty-two grave spaces were purchased, three were reserved for a period of 14 years, and four others renewed for a second period of 14 years.
Twenty-nine headstones had been fixed, 76 grave spaces enclosed with kerbing and 20 additional inscriptions had been engraved on existing memorials.
The fees for the year amounted to £246 13s. and no fees were outstanding.
A further list of applications for the renewal of licences to store petrol was received, and acceded to by the Council.
Milk and Dairies Orders
The Inspector reported that six samples of milk had been taken from purveyors in the district since the last meeting and submitted to the County laboratory for bacteriological examination.
The results were now received, all of which were satisfactory.
The Inspector reported that he had visited and inspected a house in High-street South which he found in rather a bad state of repair.
A sub-committee consisting of the chairman of the Health and Sanitary Committee, Mr. Tysoe and the Inspector was appointed to further inspect the house and report to a future meeting.
An application was received from Mr. B. Folkes to continue his tenancy of the Oakpits for a further year at the same rental, viz., £4 10s., and the Council acceded to the application.
The chairman said this piece of land was the part fenced in just past Mr. Tarry’s factory.
Mr. Wilmott said that there was a lot of land there not let and he wondered whether in view of the suggestion for allotments for the unemployed the Council could do something to see if the plots could be utilised. Also the disused land was a nuisance to plot holders because of the filth, etc., which came from it on to their holdings.
Mr. Richardson said that was not the only spot where such a nuisance occurred; it also occurred on the lands in Newton-road during the summer.
The chairman said there were a good many plots on the Bedford-road not utilised and any unemployed men could have land free of charge.
Mr. Wilmott: I don’t suppose they know that.
The chairman said he thought it was generally known.
The Surveyor reported that there was a quantity of surplus wood at the Sewage Farm and he was instructed to dispose of it at the best price obtainable.
The Cemetery Sub-committee reported that 43 applications had been received for the position of Cemetery Caretaker, and they had been through the list and reduced it to three. Two of these had been interviewed by the Committee, and the third, who was at present unwell, would be interviewed at the next meeting, after which the Committee would make a recommendation.
Assisted Housing Account
The Clerk pointed out that this account at the Bank had been overdrawn for some time and the Auditor had suggested that a portion of the sum which the Council had invested in 4 per cent. consols in respect of these houses be realised.
The Finance Committee recommended to the Council that the sum of £400 of the investment be so dealt with, and this was agreed.
Bedford-road and Newton-road Lands
The Finance and Estates Committee recommended to the Council that the rents of these lands, which are now collected annually in the month of September, be collected half-yearly in the months of March and September, and that the Collector be instructed accordingly. This was agreed.
The question of the various Loan balances was considered. It appeared that several of these balances were in respect of loans raised for the construction of houses and the Clerk was instructed to make application to the Ministry of Health for them to be liquidated by transference to the General Account. With regard to the remainder it was agreed that the lenders be requested to accept the amounts by way of reduction of principal.
The report of the Rating Committee was adopted on the proposition of Mr. Claridge.
Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, informed the Council that sanction for the loan of £16,600 for the erection of the 56 houses on the Irchester-road Estate had not yet been received and he thought it would perhaps be wise for the Council to write and suggest to the Ministry that time was getting on and if these houses were to be completed by the end of the year the sooner they got a start the better. If the Council could authorise the sending of a letter pointing out that the road was ready now for building the houses and it was a waste of time to delay matters, they might get the loan through.
Mr. Allen moved that such a letter be sent.
Mr. Swindall: I am not so concerned about the loan as whether we get permission to start with the building. That is what the builder is anxious about.
The chairman: We cannot get a start with the building until we get permission to raise the loan.
Mr. Swindall: There is plenty of money about and I should think it would be forthcoming.
The Clerk: It is no use the money being forthcoming unless we have permission to borrow it.
It was agreed to send a letter to the Ministry.
On the proposition of Mr. Allebone, Mr. Richardson was re-elected as the Council’s representative on the Tuberculosis After-Care Committee.
The Clerk read the following letter from Mr. F. W. Nunneley, secretary of the Northamptonshire Agricultural Show Society:
At the annual meeting of the above Society a very hearty vote of thanks was passed to the Rushden Urban District Council and to the local committee for all they did for the Society on the occasion of the annual show in your town last May.
A letter was received from the secretary to the County Education Committee requesting the Council to appoint a representative to the managing body of the Rushden Council Schools and the Rushden Intermediate School, in place of Mr. Claridge.
Mr. Green said he would like to ask that the matter be deferred for a month and in the meantime he would like to know whether it was necessary for the nominee to be a member of the Council, and secondly whether the same gentleman should be appointed to both offices.
The Clerk said there was no need for one gentleman to fill both positions.
It was agreed to defer the appointments for a month.
The following resolution was submitted for approval by the Minehead (Somerset) Urban District Council:-
“That this Council, acting as a rating authority for the Urban District of Minehead, respectfully requests the Minister of Health to consider introducing legislation to avoid the unnecessary expense entailed by a revaluation every five years, and considers that a revaluation every 10 or 15 years would be sufficient.”
Mr. Coles: I think we should support the resolution. It is a tremendous job to undertake every few years and if we could extend the time it would be an advantage.
Mr. Coles proposed that the Council support the resolution, and Mr. Allebone seconded. The motion was carried unanimously.
The following resolution was submitted by the Eastleigh (Hampshire) Urban Council for the Council’s approval:
“That in view of the continued shortage of houses at rents within the ability of the working classes to pay, this Council is of opinion that the time is inopportune for abolishing subsidies, and therefore urges the Government to withdraw its present Housing (Financial Provisions) Bill.”
Mr. Allen: I shall move we support the resolution.
Mr. Richardson seconded and this was carried.
The Council were asked to support the following resolution, also submitted by the Eastleigh Urban Council, who suggested calling an urgency meeting of the Urban District Councils’ Association to discuss the question:
“That this meeting deeply deplores the too-long continuance of the Governmental policy of refusing sanction to all but the barest minima of local expenditure and urges that the time is ripe for at least partially raising the embargo on such expenditure, especially in respect of works which involve no central contribution to the outlay.”
Mr. Spencer moved the support of the resolution, which, he said, had the object of finding employment and at the same time helping trade.
Mr. Allen seconded.
Mr. Hornsby: I am somewhat in a dilemma. I don’t know just what to do, and I should certainly like advice before I vote. Sixteen months ago we were told the country was on the verge of bankruptcy (Mr. Claridge: It was.) and we received a communication from the Ministry urging us to be careful in expenditure and to economise in every direction possible as there was no money to be spent. Well, twelve months ago last January, on the 1st of January when income-tax was due I read in the papers that people were queuing up to pay, so there was some little money in the country. Later on the sum of £300,000,000 was oversubscribed in three hours, and still later when we were told to economise as there was no money to spend I noticed that a large quantity of gold went out of the country to America. We still carry on, but certainly there is a great shortage of work. There were only 180,000 more unemployed than in December, but I suppose that is only a minor matter. Is there really a need for all this economy? In my humble opinion wise spending, judicious spending, was never more essential than to-day and has been for the last 18 months. But is not this something like pouring water on a duck’s back to try and drown it. If to pass this resolution would do any good I would support it whole-heartedly. I would like to see the Government and others too, captains of industry, endeavour to take action to relieve unemployment, and if everyone, and the Government included, put their shoulders to the wheel something might be done. Can you inform me as to whether there is any real need for economy, whether there is money in the country, whether there is need for improvements to be carried out and whether wise spending should be carried out by local authorities as well as by the Government departments?
Mr. Allebone: Surely Mr. Hornsby has got hold of the wrong end of the stick. This resolution is to raise the embargo and get on with these works.
Dr. Greenfield: I think we are trying to dabble in something which does not concern us too much. I am not an economist and I don’t understand these things, but it seems a pity to fly in the face of a policy with such resolutions as this when the opinion of economists of world-wide standing is not to spend money at the moment. I know others express the contrary view but the League of Nations, which cannot be accused of any political bias, states that the spending of money on something that is not going to produce money is not going to do any good. I do not know whether the rest of the Council know more about economies than I do but I think it is rather a pity to vote for something outside our sphere and I shall vote against it.
Mr. Wilmott: This economy stunt has run too far. There are millions in the banks and people are hoarding money up stead of putting it into business and sending it round. You cannot hoard money and increase your business; you have got to let it go, and I think the Government is carrying this too far and I shall support this resolution.
Mr. Allen: This resolution deals with public works, such as housing and roads, and these schemes are absolutely necessary to the health and benefit of townspeople all over the country. Take the question of housing alone; we are nowhere near meeting the housing needs yet and the holding up of money is going to affect seriously these schemes for housing, besides other things on which you get a return. You get a return for your money as well as increase the number of people in employment. I think the Government has gone too far in the question of economy and it is time money was released for works of public importance. It would employ many men and bring benefit to the whole of the community, and on this ground I shall support the resolution.
Mr. Coles: I should like to add a word of support. Reference has been made to the economic experts, but you can find experts who will give any opinion and it is just a question of which one you will believe. I have no confidence in these economic experts at all. If the money were freely used it would create work and human flesh and blood and happiness is of greater importance to me than money. There is plenty of money in the country and I see no reason why it should not be released partially. The object should be to bring the greatest happiness and health to the greatest number.
Mr. Spencer: I think the main object of the resolution is to call the attention of the Government to this question and influence them by local authorities insisting on these works being undertaken. I am sure we all appreciate Dr. Greenfield’s sincerity in opposing it but the only way to influence the Government is by these various resolutions to get them to investigate affairs, at least, and possibly act.
The Chairman said he did not think the resolution affected the Council, but it very likely did Eastleigh Council.
The resolution was carried, only Dr. Greenfield voting against.