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

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th January 1959

UDC anti-litter but will make no threats

Rushden Urban Council will make every effort to solve the litter problem, but it will make no threats. No notices about penalties to be imposed will be placed on litter bins which are to be installed in the town.

These points were made by the council’s Surveyor, Mr. W. J. Anker, in describing his job and some of the ways it affected local traders to the members of the Chamber of Trade on Monday.

He said he had been instructed to install litter bins in the main shopping area and to work out an anti-litter plan for the rest of the town.

Wants Tidy Town

The council, he said, was anxious to keep Rushden looking tidy and wanted to solve the litter problem.

But in reply to a question by Mrs. G. Knight, he said that it was not proposed to have on the bins notices about anti-litter penalties under the recent Act of Parliament.

“The attitude is that there has been sufficient publicity already and if the bins are there the council has done its job,” he commented, adding that threats were unnecessary.

The first bins in the busiest parts of the town would go up within the next week or so, Mr. Anker told the members.

Mr. R. A. Evans complained that the council’s gutter-sweeping vehicle was inefficient and often threw scraps of waste-paper from the gutter into shop doorways. He wanted to know if traders were responsible for clearing this, or whether the council’s scavenger rounds-man should clear it. Mr. Anker replied that the machine was not as good as it could be and he hopped that eventually the council would authorise the purchase of a new one. However, while he admitted that the machine might be responsible for throwing the litter about, the scavenger would be in the wrong if he left the highways to clear waste from doorways.

Asked by Mrs. Knight if the council could put bins in shops where wrapped foodstuffs were sold. Mr. Anker said this was not possible. If a trader installed his own bin the council would be happy to empty it and co-operate as much as possible.

Replying to the age-old complaints about roads being repaired and then dug up again a few days later, he said that when the council proposed to do roadwork it was bound by law to notify the Electricity Board, the Gas Board, the Water Board and the Post Office, so that all these organisations could do any necessary work of their own before a new surface was laid.

About street lighting, he said there was a plan to bring all lamps to a minimum standard and to do away with gas lamps eventually. He also described plans for improvements in the town’s drainage system.

Introduced by the president, Mr. Arthur Wright, the speaker was thanked by Mr. R. Wills and Mr. H. Wills.


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 30th January 1959

Podington: council queries

Podington’s place in relation to the Northamptonshire boundary was mentioned by Mrs. W. M. Lean at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday.

The council agreed to recommend that the desirability of Wymington coming into Northamptonshire should be investigated by the Local Government Commission. As to Podington, which, Mrs. Lean said, used certain facilities just as Wymington did, Mr. A. H. Bailey said he would carry Mrs. Lean’s remarks to the Boundaries Committee.

Any submissions to the Local Government Commission will be made by the County Council.

High Wall

Further debate on the proposal to permit premises in Station Road to be used as a dairy and delivery centre, arose when Mr. J. E. Wills announced that objectors in the neighbourhood who had been visited by a County Council official were still not satisfied. A round table conference was suggested and Mr. C. Norris promised that the Plans Committee would review the position.

In connection with the traffic plan (now before the County Council) Mrs. G. Marriott drew attention to a high wall at the junction of Fitzwilliam Street and Wellingborough Road, and Mr. R. H. Marriott to one at the foot of Church Street, Mr. Norris said his committee had not over looked these matters.

Mr. Wills announced that post-war houses (844) now outnumbered those built before the war. He claimed that their erection, together with two shops and 41 garages, was “no mean thing.”

The report by the Surveyor (Mr. W. J. Anker) mentioned the re-laying of a bowling green, improvements at the entrance to Jubilee Park and work on the children’s playground in Hove Road.

The Highfield Road children’s playground is to be fenced off from the housing site in Rose Avenue.

A proposal for enclosing and roofing the open-air swimming bath was mentioned by the Parks and Baths Committee. The suggestion was made by a deputation from Rushden Swimming Club, whose point was that it would permit fuller enjoyment of the facilities and a possible extension of the season by two or three months. The committee will consider the question again at its next meeting.

Band Concerts

Finedon Old Prize Band has applied for engagements at Rushden Hall, and the parks and baths committee has invited the four Rushden bands to submit a programme of concert dates with a possible offering of dates to Finedon. Wilful damage to the bandstand and flower-beds has been referred to the police.

House rent arrears on January 1 amounted to £432.

The housing committee reported that repairs, which would cost at least £11,000, were needed to put the front walls and fences on the council’s housing estates in good order. They have reached the provisional conclusion that work should be carried out in stages over a period of three years and that the allowance of £1,000 per annum now made for fence repairs should be increased to £4,000 per annum. The matter is to be considered next month.

It is possible that police houses will be built on a site at “Eastfields.”

Fifty Houses

In view of control relaxation the housing committee is preparing details of twelve houses for which tenders may be obtained before the end of March. These are in Hayden Road and Grafton Road. The year’s programme is likely to comprise fifty dwellings, some of them at the junction of Talbot Road with Rose Avenue.

Council tenants will be notified that the parking of vehicles is prohibited on the open space between Balmoral Avenue and Gloucester Crescent.

The boundaries committee will recommend to the local government commission, as it did in 1947, that Wymington, or part of it, should be included in the administrative county of Northampton.

The health committee has agreed that 35-40 unfit houses should be cleared this year, and the officers have been instructed to inspect houses in Elm Street and in Higham Road, near Sussex Place. The Woburn Place clearance order has been confirmed.

Bedford Rural Council has been informed that sewage from Wymington can be received into the Rushden sewers, subject to satisfactory terms being agreed.


Invited by the ministry to consider afresh its plan – interrupted in 1957 by the economy drive – for footpath reconstruction in Kings Road, Kings Place and Station Road the highways committee had decided that work on Highfield Road and Tennyson Road is now more urgent. This will cost between £10,000 and £14,000 and is to be considered at the committee’s next meeting.

The council approved a tender, at £5,566, with Mr. W. Squires of Wellingborough, for the construction of roads and sewers in the Grafton Road area.

Plans for a bus waiting bay and a widening of the carriageway in Higham Road, between Washbrook Road and Hayway have been received from the County Surveyor and approved. They will involve the removal of three or four trees.

Mrs. D. Shrive was reappointed as the council’s representative on Rushden TB After-Care Committee.

In the absence of Mr. Frank Brown, who is abroad, Mr. Charles Ginns (vice-chairman) presided.


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 6th March, 1959

Rushden’s Rents Go Up

Rent increases for council houses were approved by Rushden Urban Council at their meeting on Wednesday. The increases are 2s. a week for 801 pre-war houses and 3s. a week for 846 post-war houses. On the basis of 48 payments in the year, the increases are 2s. 2d. and 3s.3d. a week, respectively.

It was explained by Mr. J. E. Wills, chairman of the Housing Committee, that an additional £10,500 for the housing revenue account had to be found. The only alternatives to the approved method of increase were for a general increase of 2s. 6d. for every house or a 15 per cent increase for every house.

In reply to questions by Mr. R. R. Griffiths, Mr. Wills said that old age pensioners finding difficulty in meeting the increase would be entitled to help from National Assistance. Ordinary tenants who could prove the new rent to cause hardship could be granted a rebate if the council saw fit.

Swimming fees

Also to be increased is the special-days (Wednesdays and Saturdays) entrance fee to the swimming bath for children. This was raised from a penny to two pence.

Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, chairman of the Parks Committee, said there had been no increase since 1938 and claimed that in teaching children more appreciation of the value of money it would be helping to create good citizenship.

Mr. Griffiths said he did not think the increase was fair on children. He maintained that learning to swim was an essential part of education. His view was supported by Mr. E. E. Newell.

Mr. Wills declared that anything available for nothing was not appreciated and that people had more respect for things with a reasonable price. Even for 2d. something very substantial was being offered, he said.

The council decided by ten votes to eight to approve the increase.

The council gave its approval to recommendations for a lawn cemetery which as its name suggests, would have a lawn appearance and would be easy to maintain.

Railways attacked

Further attacks were made on British Railways because of their “unjustified” proposals for closure of the branch line passenger service from Wellingborough, and their “entirely inadequate” proposed alternative bus facilities.

The four buses a day in each direction were much less than the service hoped for after recent talks with railway representatives, Mr. Newell said.

Mr. A. H. Bailey said he was a little downhearted about it, because so much could be done, and declared the present unremunerative situation could have been avoided if the railways had been more enterprising in the past.

Objections are to be made to the Transport Users’ Consultative Committee.

A showcase for the distinguished visitors’ book given to the council several months ago by the commander of Chelveston USAF base was presented at the meeting by Mrs. Muxlow.

A drinking fountain for Jubilee Park is to be supplied by the Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association.

A communal memorial, in the form of a wall and rose garden, is proposed for the “Garden of Rest” at the cemetery.

The council’s health officers reported that Nos. 82 to 88 Higham Road could be included in a clearance area.

Amended plans for improvement to the sewage disposal works will be submitted to the Ministry. They involve an expenditure of £74,500.

Following a complaint from the Town FC about the condition of Hayden Road in front of the entrance to the ground, the council has agreed to assist with repair work.

A new road-sweeping machine will cost £2,325.


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 13th March, 1959

Rushden’s Rate Up By 1s 6d.

Explaining that the sum required from rates has increased by £42,480, Mr. Ernest Newell told Rushden Urban Council at its “budget” meeting on Wednesday that although the figure sounded staggering, it was not so alarming when the details were studied. The proposal for a rate increase of one and sixpence in the £ - from 22s. 6d. – was carried unanimously, and the meeting was over inside 15 minutes.

Mr. Newell told of over-spending during the past year and said it was partly due to wage awards, and an expected deficiency of £1,135, which was to have been met out of the working balance, had increased to £1,790. This would reduce the working balance to £20,229.

Under the new Local Government Act operating next month changes in the industrial rating would increase the rateable value of the town by £14,000, but there were losses and County Council and Ministry of Transport contributions (£1,500), a rate deficiency grant of only £18,183 would replace this years’ capitation grant of £21,720, and Rushden would have to contribute £581 to other areas.

The County Council precept had increased by £23,000 to £131,770, the Water Board required an additional £2,000 (part of which was to cover preliminary work on the Ditchford scheme) and the council’s own committees wanted £85,370 – an increase of £8,040, this covering an extra £2,000 for wages.

Mr. Newell said the estimates also allowed £960 for increasing the balance to £21,000. Gross requirements, including the County Council and Water Board precepts were £225,180.

The estimates and rate were adopted on the proposition of Mr. C. G. Faulkner, seconded by Mrs. A. Muxlow. There was a vote of thanks to Mr. Newell for his work as finance chairman.


The Rushden Echo and Argus, 17th April, 1959

Housing Chief Answers Letters

Anonymous letters about the letting of houses have been received by Mr. J. E. Wills, chairman of Rushden Council’s housing committee. One of them, he said at the council’s meeting on Wednesday, was “in terms I would not care to repeat.”

Mr. Wills said the letters contained statements which were wholly incorrect. He had no qualms of conscience, nor had any other member of the committee.

Fifteen tenants of flats on the Short Stocks estate have complained of the recent rent increase of 3s. The housing committee point out that tenants who are pensioners can apply for supplementary pensions “in cases where this is appropriate.”

Mr. Wills said the committee felt the rents were equitable and fair. The council’s officers were willing to advise on the best course to be adopted by those who needed a pension adjustment.

Mr. A. H. Bailey forecast that if the railway passenger service closed down the council would have to fight hard for a reasonable bus service.

His view was confirmed by the chairman (Mr. F. E. Brown), who said that the Transport Commission, in offering four buses to Wellingborough station considered that at other times passengers from Rushden could go by ordinary bus to the centre of Wellingborough and then to the station by town bus. They also thought that people going North should get to Kettering by bus.

It was decided to concrete an access way from Balmoral Avenue to a site reserved for garages.

The Highways Committee reported in favour of a new pedestrian crossing over Washbrook Road at the junction with Higham Road, with another crossing from the “island” (which is to be reconstructed) to the opposite side of Higham Road.

At the invitation of Higham Ferrers Town Council the Housing Committee is circularising tenants of the Higham Road Estate asking that motor vehicles should not be parked on the open spaces or grass verges.

Eleven residents in Alfred Street have signed a petition complaining of grit and smoke being emitted from a factory chimney in John Street. The Public Health Committee has appointed a sub-committee to meet directors of the firm.

Following complaints about air pollution from diesel engines on heavy lorries, the committee is informing the Northamptonshire Urban District Councils’ Association in an attempt to get fumes controlled.

At the suggestion of the Finance Committee and also because of the shortage of officials, the property clearance programme for 1959 is to be modified.

It was decided to serve notices in preparation for the installation of sewers between Duck Street and the disposal works and from Wellingborough Road to Duck Street.

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