|Rushden Echo & Argus, 13th February 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Urban District Council
Almshouses Given to Town
The Sartoris almshouses in Wellingborough Road, Rushden, have been presented to the town by the trustees and were accepted with thanks at Wednesday’s meeting of the Urban Council.
It was reported that the solicitors to the trustees had offered to convey to the Council, as a gift, the houses erected by the late Mr. F. U. Sartoris in memory of his son, Maitland, together with the benefit of a trust fund, comprising £366 of securities, for the maintenance of the property.
The trustees were prepared to transfer the property unconditionally and leave the Council free to exercise its discretion in the selection of tenants.
This would enable the Council to deal with the houses as part of its ordinary housing estates, although it would no doubt be desired, when selecting tenants, to have regard to the objects for which the houses were originally provided.
Subject to what the Ministry of Health may say, the offer was accepted with thanks.
There were 170 new applications for Council house tenancies last year, reported the Housing Manager (Mr. H. C. Allen). This makes a total of 500 on the list, but it is thought that some of them “may not be pursued”.
A Southfields tenant was refused permission to erect a garage.
Economy in housing has been enforced by the Ministry of Health. It was reported that the Council could invite tenders for not more than 25 houses at present, and that the layout plan of the remaining portion of the Higham Road estate has been adjusted so that houses are built in blocks of four or six instead of in pairs.
After receiving this report, the council agreed to accept tenders for 24 houses.
Shrubs and trees are to be planted on the estate.
Coun. Cox said they were making fair progress in housing, but the committee had told contractors that the future programme depended on the progreaa they made during the next few months.
The Chairman (Coun. A. H. Bailey) congratulated the Housing Committee deputation, which obtained the Ministry’s consent to the latest scheme.
Coun. Brown, as chairman of the Health Committee, referred to the laying of a sewer in Quorn Road. “Whilst the committee regret the terrible time the occupants have had during the very bad weather,” he said, “we have not neglected the matter and have done all we could to get the whole thing completed”.
In reply to a letter from 19 residents of Quorn Road, the Highways Committee decided it could not undertake the making-up of the road at present, having regard to the restriction on highway work and to the considerable number of individual road frontages in the road.
When a house in Little St. was reported as being unfit for habitation, Coun. Brown assured Coun. Richardson that no action would be taken while the present tenant remained there. He added that the lady had declined an offer of alternative accommodation.
Twenty-nine building licences were issued last month for work to a total value of £1,334.
The monthly list of notifiable diseases included five cases of pneumonia. There were eight births and 19 deaths.
Building plans included: Dairy, Newton Road, for Mr. A. Nutter; building to house water softening unit, Irchester Road, Messrs. Strong and Fisher Ltd.; ice-creamery, Purvis Road, Mr. S. A. Holyoak; workshop at 119, Hall Avenue, Mr. W. T. Maddock. Plans for a temporary house at the rear of St. Peter’s Avenue were rejected.
New Greens to Cost £3,000
A £3,000 scheme for two bowling greens at Rushden Hall was adopted at Wednesday’s meeting of Rushden Urban Council and will go to the Ministry of Health for approval or otherwise.
The Surveyor (Mr. L. E. Johnson) submitted a scheme for greens within the walled garden of Rushden Hall. A scheme submitted by the Parks Committee proposes to convert the existing greens at Spencer Park into tennis courts.
It was agreed to apply for Government consent to borrow £3,015 to cover the cost of the proposed greens.
Coun. Green said the greens in Spencer Park had been deteriorating for some years, and he did not think there was any prospect of improving them.
A letter from the C.W.S. pensioners asking that facilities, including the establishment of a forum and social centre, should be provided for pensioners at the Hall, will be considered by the Finance Committee.
Scope is There
Coun. Richardson said the pensioners were grateful for what the Rotary Club and others had done, but they felt it might be possible, as in other towns, for a social centre to be organised properly. To this end they thought that the Council might inaugurate a town’s meeting.
“I feel that the scope is there, and that the possibilities are greater than we realise at the moment,” added Mr. Richardson.
Submitting a programme of concerts to be given by them at the Hall Grounds from March 28th to Sept. 26th, Rushden bands asked for a continuation of the payments made by the Council last year. The Parks Committee recommended a payment of £10 for each Sunday, covering two performances.
Asking if the Mission Band participated in last year’s scheme, Coun. Sawford recalled that when it was introduced they were not in favour of it.
The Chairman replied that the Mission Band had accepted the general terms.
Cars and Cattle
Car parking in Queen Street brought a complaint by Coun. Sawford about congestion there last Saturday. Nothing seemed to be done, although the committee had discussed the position. He thought it an urgent matter that cars should not be parked at the bottom end of the street.
The Chairman: The answer is still that it is a matter for the police to decide.
The Clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) said he had mentioned it verbally to the Police Inspector, who had promised to keep it under observation.
Coun. Brown asked if anything could be done to ensure that the movement of cattle along the public highway in Bedford Road was under proper supervision. More often than not, he said, the pavements were in a filthy condition, due to the lack of supervision of cows taken along the road to grazing land.
Mr. Brown added that the bank on the east side of the road had collapsed on to the pavement.
Coun. Allen said he understood the annoyance of residents, and was sure the Highways Committee would give both points their attention.
A letter from the County Medical Officer of Health stated that the mass radiography unit would carry out a second survey in Rushden during May and June. The survey would include factory workers, the general public, and schoolchildren under 14 years of age.
Coun. Brown said he was very pleased that the general public were to be included. Quite a number would have liked to be examined last time.
Coun. Capon: I understand there will be an office opened for appointments, so that there will be no waiting.
Mrs. Muxlow: We hope to avoid delay because we have learned a lot by experience.
“Purity Hall Mark Valued”
Further ice cream tests were called for at Rushden Urban Council meeting on Wednesday by Coun. Waring, who said there was an all-the-year-round trade in Rushden. It would be a great selling point for tradesmen if they could boast of the purity of their productions.
Coun. Brown gave an assurance that tests would be made.
Coun. Allebone: Perhaps we shall have a brand known as “Ellis’s Approved.”
“We have had great difficulty in obtaining samples in recent weeks,” said the Inspector (Mr. Ellis), whose approval is the hall mark. “They make it at week-ends, and we are not out on Sunday.”
Two salvage trailers, costing £60 each, were placed on the list of requirements for the next financial year.
Asked by the Ministry of Transport to reduce road work, the Highways Committee have replied urging that in view of local conditions, maintenance work should not be curtailed in the district. Their report refers to large highway maintenance arrears and the very small number of men employed in the work.
Tenders received for the making up of Blinco Road under the Private Street Works Act are substantially higher than the estimates submitted to the frontage owners. It was therefore agreed to submit fresh estimates and apportionments before placing an order for the work.
In view of the Surveyor’s report that further repairs to the roof of Rushden Hall were of immediate urgency, £300 was included in the estimates for this purpose.
The Hall Grounds have now been derequisitioned by the War Department, and the Council will instruct professional valuers to act for them in obtaining compensation for damage.
It was agreed that part of the greenhouses and garden at the Hall should be used to propagate plants for general use in the parks, cemetery and open spaces.
A letter from the Trades Council complained of the condition of the football pitches in the Spencer Park. The Surveyor reported, however, that although the drought last autumn caused the ground to crack, conditions had now improved.
Rushden Youth Committee, who asked for a netball pitch at the Hall, will be offered one at Spencer Park at £1 per annum.
“Holidays for the Boys” Storm
“Holidays for the boys” were discussed at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday, when two members protested strongly against the increasing number of conferences to which officials and councillors are sent at the ratepayers’ expense.
The comments arose on a resolution authorising the senior Sanitary Inspector and the chairman of the Health Committee to attend the annual conference of the Sanitary Inspectors’ Association at Blackpool from June 7th to 11th.
Coun. A. F. Weale said that while not taking definite exception to the resolution, he felt he must call attention to the large number of conferences which were being held. Before appointing delegates to any one of them they should have a full list of the associations which wanted representatives from the Council or its officers, so that they knew exactly what the expenditure was going to be.
Some of these conferences were definitely too long; they broke into practically the full week, and he felt they ought to be curtailed. He did not think the Council ought to place the cost upon the ratepayers, or at any rate they ought to trim it down to a large degree.
Coun. A. A. Allebone said he quite agreed with all these remarks. He did not think the committee chairmen should attend these conferences; he could not see how any layman perhaps occupying a chair for the first time could gain any benefit from them.
“Whatever we do,” added Mr. Allebone, “we don’t want to be accused of ‘holidays for the boys,’ but I am afraid that is what it will come to.”
The chairman (Coun. A. H. Bailey) said the question could be examined at the next meeting of the committee.
Thirteen members then voted for the resolution, but Councillors Allebone and Weale held up their hands against it.
Later in the meeting the Surveyor and the chairman of the Highways Committee were authorised to attend the conference of the Institution of Municipal Engineers at Scarborough from June 1st to 4th. The Chief Financial Officer was appointed to attend the annual conference of the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants at Scarborough from June 16th to 18th.
Big Fall in Income Likely
Prospects of a sharp loss of income as the result of the nationalisation of transport and electricity alarmed members of Rushden Urban Council at their meeting on Wednesday.
Instead of paying rates on the transport and electricity undertakings it has acquired, the Government will make annual lump sum payments, two-thirds of which will be handed to the County Council.
According to the Finance Committee, under Part V. of the Local Government Bill, Rushden Council will receive £1,198 during the next financial year, and the combined amount payable to the two Councils in respect of Rushden represents a decrease of £1,398. The exemption of transport and electricity undertakings result in a reduction of about £20 in the product of a penny rate at Rushden.
Coun. Allebone said it was a serious matter if they were going to be worse off to the extent of a fourpenny rate. If the amount offered was less than they had received in rates they were going to be underpaid; it simply meant that they were to subsidise the two undertakings.
Coun. Waring said he did not know what the two authorities would pay into the national funds. He understood some time ago that any adverse effect of the changed system would be “cushioned” over a number of years.
The Chief Financial Officer (Mr. A. E. Harrison) said that during the current financial year the Council had collected in rates for the properties concerned a net sum of about £5,000. They now expected to get a lump sum of £1,198, and the County Council would get twice that amount.
“Some authorities are gaining and some are losing.” Said Mr. Harrison. “We are losing, and some authorities will lose very seriously indeed.”
Coun. Sawford said the County Council did not know just where it would stand; the county as a whole might be better off, or it might be worse off. They had got to take the broad view, unfortunately. If Rushden was worse off, other towns would be better off.
The Clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) said the Urban Councils Association was active in opposing “this very complicated Bill” in all its stages through the House of Commons. Quite frankly as an individual authority he did not think there was anything the Council could do except support the Association.
Mrs. Muxlow said the County Councils Association was also watching the Bill.