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The Wellingborough News, 4th January, 1895, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

The newly-elected Council for Rushden met for the first time last evening in the Vestry Hall, when there were present: Messrs. T. Wilmott, H. Brawn, Fred Knight, W. H. Wilkins, Paul Cave, John Claridge, G. H. Skinner, Geo. Denton, Thos. Bromage, John Spencer, J. S. Clipson, A. Cave, Wm. Pare (surveyor), and G. S. Mason (clerk).

Mr. Wilkins proposed Mr. John Claridge as provisional chairman, the motion being seconded by Mr. F. Knight. On Mr. Claridge taking the chair, the Clerk read the result of the election.

Election of Chairman

All the members having taken the declaration, Mr. Claridge said the first business of the new Council was to appoint a permanent Chairman. As they knew, it was a very important question, which no doubt had had their serious consideration. He had himself thought about it, and he proposed Mr. Wilkins to that office. All who had sat under him in the last board were impressed with his fairness, besides which he had all the ability, leisure, and qualifications necessary for the office. He proposed that Mr. Wilkins be appointed to the office of chairman to the Council. – Mr. G. H. Skinner bore out Mr. Claridge’s remarks as to Mr. Wilkins’ fairness and ability, and had much pleasure in seconding his appointment as chairman. – On being put to the meeting the motion was carried nem. dis. – On taking the chair, Mr. Wilkins thanked the Council for the honour conferred upon him. If he had consulted his own feelings he should have declined the office; and he had hoped that someone else would have been appointed. However, having been chosen, he hoped the Council would not suffer by his having taken office.

The Vice-Chairman

The Chairman notified that the Act allowed for the appointment of a vice-chairman, which he thought a good thing. He should like to see it so that the vice-chairman of one year would be the chairman of the Council in the year following. Referring to his position as a justice of the peace, he was afraid he should not be very regular in his attendance at Petty Sessions; as from what he had seen of them, attendance at such places was not the best means of spending a happy day. As to the vice-chairmanship, he proposed Mr. Claridge to the office. – Mr. Wilmott seconded, and it was carried unanimously. – Mr. Claridge thanked the Council for the honour conferred upon him, although he could not endorse all Mr. Wilkins had said in regard to taking the chair another year. He would do all he possibly could to further the interests of the Council, and he hoped the work of the future would be carried on as harmoniously as in the days of the old Board.

Time of Meeting

After discussion on this matter, Mr. Wilmott proposed, and Mr. Denton seconded, that the meetings be held on Thursday evenings at 7 o’clock; as an amendment to test the feeling of the Council Mr. Knight proposed, and Mr. Brawn seconded, that Wednesday evening be fixed upon. – On the question being put to the meeting the amendment was lost, and the Council will meet on Thursday evenings as under the old regime.

The Seal

It was decided to obtain a common seal of the Council, and it was left in the hands of the Chairman and Clerk to procure the same.

Appointment Of Committees

It was decided that the Chairman be on all Committees :-

FINANCE – On the motion of Mr. Denton, seconded by Mr. Knight, the constitution of this committee was decided upon as follows: Messrs. J. Claridge, T. Wilmott, and P. Cave, with the Chairman.

SANITARY – In view of the urgency of the question of sewage disposal, it was decided that for the present the whole Council act upon the matter.

HIGHWAY AND LIGHTING – It was decided to combine these offices, the committee to consist of seven members, viz.: The Chairman, Messrs. G. Denton, T. Wilmott, F. Knight, J. Spencer, A. Cave, and G. H. Skinner.

GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE – The Chairman, vice-chairman, and Mr. Skinner.

CEMETERY AND SANITARY (independent of the question of sewage disposal) – The Chairman, Messrs. J. S. Clipson, T. Bromage, J. Spencer, H. Brawn, and A. Cave.

BUILDING, WATER, AND PLANS – Messrs. G. Denton, F. Knight, the Chairman, P. Cave, J. S. Clipson, T. Bromage, and H. Brawn.

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