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January to April 1958, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th January 1958

Wanton Damage: Council Plans An Exhibition

Copper pipes and fittings wantonly wrested from the walls of Rushden’s new public conveniences are to be exhibited in a High Street window as a spur to the prevention of hooliganism.

They were shown to members during Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday, and the window facilities were offered by Mr. R. R. Griffiths after Mr. Alan Allebone had appealed for public co-operation in bringing guilty parties to justice.

Chief debate of the evening concerned the housing programme for 1958-59

Housing Committee minutes stated that it had been deferred pending the preparation of suggestions by the Surveyor, but some members were sure it had been decided to build about 50 houses mostly for clearance replacement.

Differing Opinions

Another debate revealed that the Housing Committee is not in a hurry to change the baths at the former almshouses in Wellingborough Road, whereas the Health Committee thinks that baths suitable for old people should be installed at once.

New amusements for children were advocated by Mr. Griffiths during discussions on a proposed new playground near Highfield Road.

Mrs. G. Marriott was dubious about slides, because she had found one in Spencer Park covered with mud, but Mrs. A. Muxlow declared slides to be “a delight.”

Loans Again

It was decided to re-invite local loans for periods of two years at interest of not more than 6¾ per cent, but Mr. F. E. Brown said it was not proposed to take any out before the beginning of February.

Dressing-rooms at Jubilee Park are expected to be ready by the end of the month.

The Highways Committee has invited the Junior Accident Prevention Council to consider the question of cycling on footpaths by newsboys.

A County Council letter dated December 4 stated that tenders for the road improvement near St. Mary’s Church were to be invited within the next few weeks.

Work was likely to begin shortly on the construction of a bus waiting bay in Higham Road, but the south bound voluntary traffic diversion still awaited the acquisition of land at the corner of High Street and Station Approach.

The County Surveyor has agreed to widen the footpath near Bedford Road, south of the entrance to the abattoir.

50 Being Built

The Housing Committee reported that 50 dwellings were under construction and that eight had been completed and occupied recently.

A contract was entered into with Kimbell (Road Construction) Ltd., of Boughton, at £2,443 for the construction of footpaths and road surfacing in Mallery Close and Short Stocks. Subject to Government approval the same firm will complete the surfacing of Blinco Road and part of Short Stocks at an estimated cost of £1,080.

Because of increasing arrears three council-house tenants are to be given notice to quit.

The Housing Committee has promised to keep in mind an inquiry from Hamblins garage as to whether the council would be prepared to sell or lease plots of land on housing estates for the building of lock-up garages by private enterprise.

It was reported that 57 of the 200 unfit houses, included in the five-year programme, had been cleared. Scheduling of houses in Dell Place and Sussex Place awaits consideration of re-housing questions.

A sewer to drain land near Sanders Lodge is estimated to cost £6,600. There are to be negotiations with the land owners.

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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 14th February 1958

School staff worse off than cattle

Horses and cattle have some advantages over the staff of South End School, according to one speaker on Wednesday, when Rushden Urban Council decided to ask the county authorities for immediate improvements to the playground.

Mr. A. H. Bailey, on whose motion the resolution went through unanimously, complained that children of all ages and both sexes were herded together in a playground where they often had to go through pools of water to a doorway which might well be inscribed: “Abandon hope all you who enter here.” He blamed the medical as well as the health authorities.

The chairman of the school managers, Mr. R. R. Griffiths said he had seen horses and cattle having greater privacy in toilet matters than the staff of South End. The managers, who had tried to get improvements, felt that the school should be pulled down and a new one built on ground at the back.

County Alderman C. J. Faulkner, though making clear that he did not oppose the resolution, defended the county authorities on the grounds that they had spent £4,154 on South End in three years and were proposing to make a corridor so that classes need not be disturbed. He spoke of ex-Church of England Schools needing attention in rural districts and explained why attempts to acquire land adjacent to South End School had been delayed.

‘One of Worst’

Mr. Bailey retorted that South End was “one of the worst schools in the county.”

A housing programme of 46 homes in Short Stocks and Rose Avenue, including a three-storey block of flats (for elderly people) and maisonettes, was approved. Mr. Griffiths thought it “not very ambitious,” but Mrs. G. Marriott said her committee thought it large enough in view of the high interest rates.

Hot Water

It was agreed to apply for consent to borrow £4,600 to provide 54 houses on the Irchester Road estate with hot water supplies to the kitchens and bathrooms.

Clearance orders were made in respect of Dell Place and Sussex Place.

Mr. C. Freeman announced that a meeting between a sub-committee and frontage owners who are objecting to proposed street works in Park Avenue, Rose Avenue and Upper Park Avenue will be held next Tuesday.

The surveyor (Mr. W. J. Anker) is preparing proposals for road and sewer works in Grafton Road to provide for the development of land already acquired by the council.

Homes to be built on the Rose Avenue site are expected to include a three-storey block of flats on the ground floor and maisonettes above.

The council is willing to sell land in Haydon Road and Talbot Road for the erection of six police houses.

House rent arrears recently amounted to £380.

On the question of baths at the former almshouses in Wellingborough Road, the housing committee reaffirmed its previous decision to consider replacing them as and when tenancies became vacant.

Further damage to the flushing pipes at the new conveniences in High Street has been reported.

The laying of a sewer to drain land near Sanders’ Lodge has been left in abeyance pending inquiries about possible developments.

The caravan centre in Bedford Road is to be drained at an estimated cost of £515.

Prompted by the National Society for Clean Air, the council is to encourage local firms to arrange for boiler operators to receive proper training.

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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 21st March 1958

Keeping Rate Stable Has Not Been Easy

Rushden’s general rate for the ensuing year is unchanged at 21s in the £. The rate was approved by the Urban Council on Monday, with no comment other than a vote of thanks to Mr. F. E. Brown, chairman of the Finance Committee.

In the budget speech Mr. Brown said there had been saving totalling £3,280 on the estimates of some committees, but it had not been an easy thing to maintain the rate at last year’s level.

The savings were £40 for allotments, £2,920 for health, £20 for library, £250 for parks and £50 for housing. On the other hand £780 had been overspent on highways, and £790 on finance (salary increases and treasurer’s department expenditure). The net saving was £1,710.

Schemes Postponed

Taking note of the Government’s directive to cut down on expenditure to help the nation’s economy, the finance committee had postponed certain capital schemes or reduced the expenditure, Mr. Brown continued.

Instead of rebuilding the outbuildings at Rushden Hall, the parks committee had been asked to content themselves with pulling down the old ones and leaving the site clear. Savings of £1,650 had been effected by asking the highways committee to delay further expenditure for the Duck Street car park and by asking the library committee to buy fewer books.

Following the example of other local authorities, the finance committee had decided to cut from 15 per cent, to 10 per cent the allowances made to owners of certain types of property who undertook collect the rates from their tenants.

It had been necessary to increase the estimates of the highways committee by £510, the health committee by £240 and the finance committee by £2,230.

It had been decided to cut the balance carried forward to the next year by £1,135. The County Council’s precept was up by 5d in the £ but the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board precept was down by 3d in the £. Exchequer grants were increased by a sum approximately equal to a halfpenny rate.

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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 11th April 1958

£19,000 plan to improve sewerage

A £19,000 plan to improve sewerage arrangements in the town was approved by Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday and will be submitted to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

The scheme is for a gravity relief sewer from Duck Street to the sewerage works, and is now preferred to an earlier alternative proposal for a pumping station in Duck Streetand a relief sewer in Wellingborough Road.

Answering Mr. J. E. Wills and Mr. F. E. Brown, who said that many council tenants were under the impression that their rents had gone up by sixpence, the treasurer (Mr. W. D. White)said the apparent increase was purely a matter of bookkeeping. Forty-eight rent payments were made in a year and a slight adjustment had to be made because last year was a 53-week year. There was no question of an increase.

Objections Withdrawn

After Mr. C. Freeman had announced that all objections to street works in the Park Avenue, Rose Avenue and Upper Park Avenue district had been withdrawn, it was decided to invite tenders for the work and apply for consent to the raising of a £14,000 loan.

Owners of property in Church Hall Road have petitioned the council to have the work done quickly.

“Barkers Close” (after the late Canon J. T. Barker) was approved as the name for a road to be constructed in the Rectory Field.

A resolution was passedconveying thanks to Mr A. T. Chambers for very long service with the Rushden Primary School managers, from which committee he recently resigned.

Mrs. G. Marriott spoke of bad lighting in Gordon Street and Mr. Brown mentioned that the interest on local loans to the council has been reduced to 6 per cent.

Tributes

The members stood in memory of two former chairmen, Mr. E. A. Sugars and Mr. T. W. Cox, whose deaths have occurred recently and to whom tributes were paid by Mrs. W. M. Lean (presiding), Mr. C. G. Faulkner, Mrs. A. Muxlow (who has succeeded Mr. Sugars as the oldest member), and Mr. A. H. Bailey.

The housing committee, which recently had 41 houses in the course of erection, reported that plans were being prepared for eight more houses of three-bedroom type and eight of two-bedroom type.

Council house arrears amounted to £416 on March 13.

Cost of decorating council houses internally and externally was estimated at £7,000 a year.

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