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The Rushden Echo and Argus, transcribed by Gill & Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

13th January 1956

Sharp rise in rent arrears

Council rents should remain at their present level for another year, according to reports given to Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday. Rent arrears have increased, however, and prompted an anxious inquiry by Mr. E. A. Sugars.

Commenting on the December arrears figure of £271, which showed a sharp rise from October, Mr. Sugars said that most people were earning good money, and the council had to think of what might happen if employment became short.

Mr. J. E. Wills replied that 133 tenants owed for one week, 31 for two weeks and a few for three weeks. The position, he thought, was not as bad as Mr. Sugars believed.

Local valuation courts sitting to deal with appeals against the new valuation lists are “highly probable,” it was reported by the Finance Committee.

It was agreed that the annual expenses allowance for the council chairman should be increased from £50 to £100 per annum, with effect from last May.

Notice was received of the County Council’s proposal to enlarge Tennyson Road Boys’ School.

Road Re-named

An order by which Kimbolton Road, Rushden, is renamed Northampton Road, received the council’s seal, and houses are to be re-numbered according to a plan drawn up in co-operation with Higham Ferrers Town Council. The road extends from the A6 to the town’s western boundary near Ditchford Lane.

After Mr. R. R. Griffiths had complained about the condition of Rectory Road Mrs. W. M. Lean said that the whole system of traffic was going to be considered when the Rectory Road demolitions were complete.

Mr. Griffiths also criticised the letting of a fairground site to Mr. Charles Thurston at £100 per annum for three years when another firm had offered £230. He was told by Mr. C. Ginns that Mr. Thurston had been coming to Rushden for many years, whereas the Parks Committee knew nothing about the other tender.

Park Buildings

A Parks Committee scheme to pull down the stone outbuildings at Rushden Hall and substitute a brick building came in for much criticism. It has not yet come to the resolution stage, however.

Although 15 objections are outstanding, the council resolved to carry the Woodland Road sewering scheme through, and Mr. A. H. Bailey expressed the hope that reference to court would not be necessary. The sewering, he pointed out, would add to the value of the land.

Local loans to the council are going ahead, reported Mr. Bailey. He said the council had received five offers totalling £1,500, together with quite a number of inquiries.

Appreciation of the good water supply at a time when other districts are short of water was expressed by Mr. Griffiths. Mrs. Muxlow, who presided, said all members would endorse this tribute to the Water Board officials and members.

The council offered no objection to the application for an increase of fares which is to be made by the United Counties Omnibus Co. Mrs. Brown said that the advances sought for this area were not very considerable.


16th March 1956

New High Street lighting ‘urgent’

A Highways Committee recommendation that the Ministry of Transport should be urged to approve the scheme already submitted for the lighting of High Street and Bedford Road was approved by Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday.

The committee had considered a Ministry circular and reviewed capital schemes included in the 1956-57 estimates. They concluded that reconstruction of footpaths in Roberts Street, Grove Road, Kings Road, Kings Place and Highfield Road was unlikely to be approved at the present time, but that lighting in High Street and Bedford Road should be carried out having regard to the tenders already obtained and the urgent need for improvement.

It was reported that loan sanction had been obtained for the improvement at the junction of Rectory Road and Portland Road, and having regard to the progress made and the present condition of the site, the committee felt that the re-development of the site should be completed.


In support of representations made to the Ministry by the U.D.Cs’ Association, claiming that local authorities – at present limited to providing garages for council house tenants – should be empowered to provide garages for private cars, the council agreed that they would probably desire to exercise the desired powers if they were available.

The Highways Committee report referred to cars being parked on grass verges and in streets because their owners were unable to obtain garage accommodation.

The Public Health Committee was authorised to accept the most favourable tender for the construction of a sewer in Woodland Road, and it was agreed to make application for consent to the raising of a loan of £1,660 for this purpose.

Park Brook

Mr. C. Ginns stated that, in connection with the Parks Committee estimates, the proposal for culverting the brook through Spencer Park had been reviewed, and the committee had decided not to make any provision for the work to be carried out during 1956-57.

A scheme for the construction of a surface water sewer in Wellingborough Road, at an estimated cost of £1,200, to obviate flooding at the bottom of St. Margaret’s Avenue and Park Avenue, was approved in principle by the Public Health Committee, but deferred pending the review of capital estimates.

It was reported that the clerk had been instructed to ask if the omnibus company would make a contribution towards the cost of a bus shelter in Irchester Road, near Boundary Avenue, estimated at about £90.


13th April 1956

Council slashes its housing programme

Restriction of capital outlay was the theme that ran through Wednesday’s meeting of Rushden Urban Council – a meeting that lasted less than 15 minutes.

One economy measure was to reduce the year’s building programme by 20 houses. It was resolved to invite tenders for 38 houses and 12 one-bedroom flats at Short Stocks and Mallery Close. Eleven bungalows planned for Little Street will be built when the site is ready – it is to be prepared at a cost of £968.

Mr. J. E. Wills said that in view of the increased interest rate he thought this was the best solution.

In view of a letter from the Ministry, the scheme to erect 42 garages in Upper Queen Street was deferred for “at least six months.”

A contract was placed for works to paths and yards at houses in Spinney Close, Irchester Road and Westfield Avenue.

Four property improvement grants were made, but Mr. Cyril Faulkner has given notice to ask the Housing Committee to review its present policy in making these grants.

The council will take steps to acquire three small sites – in Blinco Road, Allen Road and Lawton Road – in respect of which no owner can be traced.

Plea to Parents

A plea for parents not to forget diphtheria immunisation now that poliomyelitis occupies the public eye was made by Mr. A. H. Bailey, in the absence of the medical officer.

It was decided to install wash basins and paper towel dispensers at the new public conveniences in Newton Road. The council also decided to press for permission to build conveniences in High Street this scheme having been prepared some time ago and deferred pending the submission of tenders.

Plans for a relief sewer from Duck Street to the sewage disposal works were deferred, but the council will ask the Ministry to approve action in connection with a relief sewer near St. Margaret’s Avenue (cost £1,200).

A letter from the Ministry of Transport ruled out any further reconstruction of footpaths for the present.

It was learned that the Ministry of Transport will now be willing to prohibit waiting by vehicles near the steps from the high causeway in High Street South. The council, already in favour of this plan, also agreed that waiting should be prohibited in front of South End School.

The improvement of the Rectory Road-Portland Road junction was mentioned as a plan which is going ahead.

It was decided to inform Mr. George Lindgren, M.P., that the council supports the general principle of a private Parliamentary Bill to repeal industrial derating.

Camp Closure

Asked by the Eastern Command Land Agent if it could find accommodation for some of the families who will be affected when Podington Camp is closed, the Housing Committee has replied that in view of other urgent cases on the waiting list and its present limitation of applications to British subjects, it cannot accept any responsibility.

Mr. J. E. Wills expressed regret, and spoke of the committee’s onerous task in recent months in selecting four or five tenants from a list of 150, most of whom had been on the waiting list for two years.

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