|Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
|8th February 1963
Rushden’s unemployment situation has not improved during the past week. More than six hundred people are unemployed. By this evening another forty workers will be unemployed, due to cuts in the labour force at three of the Eaton Group factories, and at Dilks and Martin, Victoria Road.
Eaton’s however, hope to reinstate some of these workers when trade improves. During the week a spokesman for Rushden Employment Exchange said that only “one or two” vacancies in industry in the area had been notified to the exchange.
Duck Street Must Wait a Year
Rushden Urban Council is not to make any provision in the estimates for 1963-64 for further improvements in Duck Street.
Improvement of the road is to be reviewed next year.
The council has received a letter from the County Council stating that 1 Duck Street had been acquired for highways improvement purposes, but would not be demolished for about 18 months.
The county authority asked if the council would be interested in using the property for short-term housing accommodation, but after the housing committee considered a report from the surveyor, the council decided not to obtain a tenancy.
A Thank You
Other letters received were from tenants of St. James’ Close, thanking the council for trimming trees at the rear of their houses; and from the clerk to the county council, stating that the proposed area conferences of officers to deal with cases of neglected or ill-treated children would also consider “problem families” in cases where the problems arose from failure to pay rent regularly.
The council is to send an appropriate officer, together with the medical officer, to the meetings when cases arise involving council house tenants.
Too cold for bellringers at Rushden
Cold weather has affected attendances on practice nights of Rushden St. Mary’s Church bellringers.
In this month’s issue of the parish magazine one of the bellringers writes: “Can you blame us for not spending ninety minutes in a cold church! It is a fallacy that short periods of ringing warm you up.”
He says that since the publication of the last magazine several people in the town have “questioned the lack of noise coming from the steeple on New Year’s Eve.”
“We thank these people for their inquisitive interest, for we presume, they were disappointed at not hearing the bells at the turn of the year we were too!
“At the same time, we must hastily add that there must be many more in the close vicinity of the noise who were equally pleased with the silence.
“Dare we thank them for their interest!
“The fact was we just could not raise a band of ringers owing to several reasons.” The magazine also reports that the new belfry doors have now been paid for and all those who have contributed to the cost are thanked for their “generous giving and unselfish loyalty.”
Repair your houses notice
Informal notices have been served on the owners of 28-38 Pemberton Street specifying the works which should be carried out to make the houses fit for habitation; it was reported at Wednesday’s meeting of Rushden Urban Council.
The Public Health Inspector reported that certificates of disrepair under the Rent Act, 1957, were still outstanding in respect of the houses, and that following complaints from tenants the houses had been inspected.
The Public Health Committee reported that it had approved the action taken and was to review the matter at its next meeting.
15th March 1963
Do Rushden’s ratepayers get value for their money? This question was asked by Mr. R. R. Griffiths, chairman of the urban council’s finance committee, on Monday, when a new rate of 10s in the £ was proposed and approved.
Mr. Griffiths said that the new rate, calculated in terms of the old valuation, showed an increase of 1s 4d, of which 1s 1d was required by the County Council and 3d by the local authority.
The council approved the estimates without dissent.
Having dealt in figures of thousands of pounds, Mr. Griffiths went on to relate townspeople’s rates to a weekly basis.
He said that on a house with a rateable value of £80, such as a post-war council house, the cost of refuse collection amounted to 6d a week, to dispose of the refuse cost 1½d, and looking after the town’s sewers and sewage disposal cost only another 6d.
For the same house the charge for all the water consumed during the week came to 1s 6¾d. The cost of all services provided by the council, the County Council and the Water Board was 15s 4d.
Mr. Griffiths said: “Some of my predecessors have related costs to bags of sweets, packets of cigarettes and other material comforts, but I am very satisfied that the public will have to go a long way today to find something that gives greater value for money than the services provided for which rates are levied wherever the money comes from to pay for these services.”
The sum to be provided during 1963-64 from rates and balances was £322,720 an increase of £44,640, of which £35,860 was due to the County Council, and, after adjustments, £9,742 was due to the local authority.
The complete estimates (with last year’s figures in brackets) were: Committee estimates £109,000 (£103,790), rate deficiency grant £24,000 (£28,000), adjustments of balances £3,520 (£4,052), the Urban Council’s own requirements £81,480 (£71,738), County Council precept £204,820 (£168,960), Water Board precept £32,320 (£31, 816), transitional adjustment of grants £580 (£2,046), making a total of £319,200 (£274,560).
The difference between £319,200 and the required £322,720 will be made up from the council’s working surplus.
Explaining the reduced rate deficiency grant, Mr. Griffiths said that the new values placed on properties in the district had brought the town’s figure of £37 per head of population much nearer to the national average of £45.
Included in the estimates under capital expenditure is the provision of car parking space at the swimming pool, the Kilburn Place housing scheme for old people, a relighting scheme for Station Road, Rectory Road and Washbrook Road, the provision of 41 garages on three of the town’s estates, and the erection of a new pavilion at Spencer Park.