|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 15th February, 1952, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Pleas for Housing Economy
Rents for 1,100 to go up again
Rising rents, Gregory flats above official standard, and the granting of a building licence to a council employee meant much criticism for the Housing Committee at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday.
To cover the rising cost of maintenance and repair it was decided “with great regret” to advance the rents of 1,130 council houses by amounts varying from 7d. to 1s. 5d. a week on the pre-war types and from 10d. to 1s. 10d. on post-war types.
In recommending this, the Housing Committee understood that the new rents would compare favourably with those charged by other authorities, but Coun. E. J. Roe, while agreeing that increases were necessary, complained that the committee was providing for an unnecessarily large balance on the housing repairs account. His amendment to increase the contribution to this fund to £6 10s. per house instead of £7 10s. as proposed was, however, defeated.
In the case of Gregory flats, 32 of which are to be built on the Upper Queen Street estate if the Ministry approves, Coun. A. H. Bailey protested against the cost being increased by the use of copper or zinc for damp courses instead of the bituminous felt specified by the Ministry. They had reached a time, he said, when they could not afford the best and when tenants could not afford the “luxurious” electrical installations which were provided.
Coun. A. A. Allebone joined in the protest, and only the chairman’s casting vote carried the committee’s scheme. The flats will cost £36,423 and copper or zinc will be extra.
When it was reported that the Ministry of Transport has no money for traffic lights at the Church cross-roads, the council reluctantly agreed to recommend, as an experiment for a month, one-way traffic (north to south) from the junction to Skinner’s Hill and (east to west) in the section of Church Street between the junction and Alfred Street.
Coun. H. Waring commented scathingly on the creation of “a Hampton Court maze” and spoke of the three difficult turns that bus drivers would have to make.
Objecting in vain to the issue of a private building licence to a council employee, Mr. Allebone said it had not been long since the council agreed not to allocate houses to their officers. He could not think that anyone other than a council officer would have received a licence within such a short time of application.
Coun. J. T. Richardson replied that need was the deciding factor.
Mr. Allebone was appointed to attend, with Wellingborough and Northampton representatives, a conference with the Gas Consultative Council and press a protest against new gas tariffs recently announced. The new price for this area is 108 per cent. higher than in 1939, whereas for Kettering and Corby it is only 48 per cent. higher.
The council approved new house designs for submission to the Ministry. They provide for pairs of three-bedroom type houses and blocks of four houses, comprising three three-bedroomed houses and one two-bedroomed house.
Building plans were approved as follows: Pair of houses, Palm Road (Dickens Bros.); workshop, Rectory Road, Hamblins Motors, Ltd.; greenhouse, 9, Co-operative Row, Mr. H. Coles; warehouse extension to factory, Gordon Street, Eaton and Co., Ltd.; garage, 16, Griffith Street, Mr. A. W. Jacques; additions to house, Wellingborough Road, Mr. G. W. Marriott; conservatory, 18, Rose Avenue, Mr. R. Cox; house and garage, Link Road, Mr. D. F. Gibson; pair of semi-detached houses, Hall Avenue, Messrs. R. Nunley and R. Welsford; additions to bungalow, 148, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. B. Rollings; site plan for Gregory houses, Gloucester Crescent, Rushden U.D.C.; store and workshop, Fitzwilliam Street, Mr. T. Young; conversion of front room into shop, 11, Church Street, Mr. J. Knight; bungalow, Palm Road, Mr. C. Denton; extension to bungalow, 58, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. H. Ingram; garage, coals and boiler flue, Link Road, Mrs. H. Groome; garage, 163, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. A. Sawford; bay windows, 5, Purvis Road, Mr. C. Espin; extensions to factory, Oakley Road, Allebone and Sons; steel fire escape to factory, Fitzwilliam Street, C. W. Horrell, Ltd.; covered way, 15, St. Mary’s Avenue, Mr. L. Burgess; extension to garage, 80, Bedford Road, Mr. P. W. Wright; detached house, Park Avenue, Miss K. March; lay-out of housing estate, Park Avenue, Arthur Sanders, Ltd.; cattle shelter, Ferrers Mere Dairy, Mr. J. White; Nissen building, North Street, Vehicle Hire and Supply Co., Ltd.; site plan for bungalow and garage, Wellingborough Road, Mrs. M. Shrive.
Following an inspection by the chairman and surveyor of the direction signs at the junction of Skinner’s Hill and High Street South, the County Council are to be requested to remove the sign from the Green and to provide an advance direction sign near the entrance to Rushden Hall grounds.
The Highways sub-Committee was requested to report upon a suggestion that traffic using George Street should be restricted to proceed in one direction only, from High Street to Rectory Road.
After the surveyor (Mr. A. Millar) had reported that it was impossible to obtain the necessary licence for the steel required in the proposed erection of fencing on the Washbrook Road frontage of Spencer Park, it was agreed to erect chain link fencing with concrete posts.
The Parks Committee approved that J. Thurston and Sons, Ltd., should have the use of part of Spencer Park for a fair from the 18th to 28th September inclusive at a payment of £10 a day.
A letter was received from the Wellingborough British Legion Band seeking engagements, and it was decided to offer them an engagement to give two concerts on the same terms as those approved for the Rushden bands.
The surveyor reported that more children’s playground equipment would be available shortly, and the committee decided that it should be erected on land adjoining the Southfields estate.
The clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) reported upon the receipt from the County Council of a scheme for varying the county electoral divisions, and also the polling districts, to be effective as from the forthcoming elections. The scheme provides for the division of the Rushden Urban District into four electoral divisions, these to be subdivided into polling districts.
Coun. Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, Coun. Mrs. A. Rowthorn and Mr. T. W. Cox were appointed to serve on the South-East Northants Food Control Committee.
The present representative, Coun. J. T. Richardson, was re-appointed to the Rushden Tuberculosis After Care Committee.
A letter was received from the clerk to the Local Valuation Panel stating that it was not the normal practice to summon ratepayers from Rushden to sittings of the court at Kettering, the venue in the ordinary course being at Wellingborough, but that the council’s request that courts should sit at Rushden would be conveyed to the panel.
Members in attendance were Couns. C. G. Faulkner, C.A. (chairman), Mrs. W. M. Lean, E. J. Roe, A. A. Allebone, E. E. Newell, A. H. Dickens, A. H. Bailey, W. J. Keller, F. E. Brown, W. E. Capon, Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, J. H. H. Paragreen, H. Waring, W. J. Sawford, E. A. Sugars and J. T. Richardson.