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The Rushden Echo, 5th January 1900, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

The Medical Officership

The first meeting of this Council in 1900 was held on Wednesday night, when there were present Messrs. Fred Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, Paul Cave, B. Mortimer, G. Fountain, W. H. Wilkins, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and G. Miller, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), the Sanitary Inspector Mr. J. B. Martin), and the Medical Inspector (Dr. Owen).

Compliments Of The Season

The Chairman remarking that that was the first meeting for the year wished all the members of the Council a very happy and prosperous new year.

The members of the Council heartily reciprocated the good wishes expressed.

Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting committee was held at the Vestry Hall on Wednesday, December 13th. Present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), P. Cave, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, W. H. Wilkins, and T. Swindall.


Plans were presented by:-

Mr. C. W. Horrell (amended plan) for alterations and additions to factory in Moor-road and passed.

Mr. Selwood for alterations and additions to factory in Harborough-road and passed subject to 14 inch work being provided for two stories of sanitary block.

Mr. G. Denton for addition to shop in High-street occupied by Mr. Philips and passed.

Mr. J. J. Inward for house in Queen-street and passed.

Mr. J. Jones for house in Portland-road and passed.


Newton road, Footpath in front of Schools. – It was resolved that the asphalted footpath on the Newton-road be continued along the entire frontage of the Board Schools there.

Park-road Improvement. – The Chairman reported that Mr. Fairey had now agreed to the Council’s terms with regard to the widening of this Road and that he was proceeding with the work. The Surveyor was instructed to have the soil removed from the land given up by Mr. Robinson at the corner and complete the footpath as soon as possible.

The report was adopted.

Council In Committee

A meeting of the Rushden Urban Council in Committee was held on Wednesday, 13th December, 1899. Present :- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), P. Cave, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, B. Mortimer, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Waterworks, Bedford-road. Well. – The following tender was received from Messrs. E. Timmins and Co., Ltd., for sinking a new well 120 feet deep:-

Sinking well, £780

Driving headings, £5 15s per yard run.

Pumping per 1,000 gallons above 10,000 per hour 6d.

Use of machinery, etc., if required after completion of the contract, per day, £2 2s.

The Committee considered the tender unsatisfactory and the Clerk was instructed to inform Mr. Eunson of this and request him to ascertain from Messrs. Timmins, if they were still prepared to reline the old well on the terms of their tender of October 31st.

Midland Railway. Land near No. 2 well. – The Clerk read a letter he had received from the Estate Agent of the Company, declining to grant the permission asked for by the Council, to sink trial wells and drive headings in the land near No. 2 well.

Medical Officer. – With regard to the appointment of Medical Officer for the district, the Committee considered it desirable that the officer appointed should have no private practice in the town, and it was resolved that steps be taken accordingly to fill the vacancy occurring on the 1st January. The Clerk was instructed to advertise in the local papers inviting applications for the office at a salary of £50. The appointment to be for one year and be made subject to the approval of the Local Government Board. – The Clerk was also instructed to inform the Local Government Board of the Council’s intentions in the matter.

Mr. Cave asked whether the minute referring to the Medical Officer was open to discussion. In any case he could not agree with it and he did not want it to appear that the whole Council was in favour of it. He objected to the principal which it was sought to lay down and to the way in which servants of the Council were treated.

After some little discussion as to procedure, the question of the adoption of the report was voted upon and five voted on each side.

The Chairman said he hardly liked to give a casting vote on the subject.

The Clerk, in reply to a question as to the position of affairs if the report were not adopted, said the whole matter would have to be reconsidered. The vacancy already existed.

Mr. Cave said the Local Government Board would be asking why the Council had allowed the Medical Officer’s appointment to lapse.

Eventually the Chairman gave a casting vote in favour of the committee’s recommendation and the report was adopted.

Water Committee

At a meeting of the Water Committee held on Wednesday, December 20th. Present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, G. Fountain, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, and W. H. Wilkins.

Bedford-road Well. – The Clerk read correspondence with Mr. Eunson and Messrs. Timmins and Co. The latter firm were unable to modify their figures with regard to the new well but agreed to adhere to their tender of 31st October for relining the old well.

It was resolved that this tender be accepted.

Finance Committee

At a meeting of the Finance &c., Committee held on Wednesday, December 20th. Present :- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton, J. Spencer, G. Fountain, G. H. Skinner, and J. Claridge.

Finance. – A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

The report was adopted.

The Health of The Town

Dr. Owen reported that since his last report eight cases of scarlet fever had been notified and two of typhoid. Several of the cases mentioned had previously been notified to the Council, but it was now necessary to bring them forward as being reported by the doctor in attendance, in consequence of the Infectious Diseases notification Act coming into force.

The Medical Officership

The only application received for the position of Medical Officer was from Dr. Morris, of Wellingborough, Medical Officer to the Wellingborough Rural District Council.

Mr. Wilkins said he attached so much importance to the Medical Officer having no private practice in the town that he would move that Dr. Morris be appointed. If the arrangement did not work well they could revise it another year.

Mr. Denton said on that understanding he would second the motion.

Mr. Fountain thought the appointment was being hurried on too fast. He did not think the vacancy should have been advertised before the matter had been before the whole Council.

The Chairman said it was brought before the whole Council in committee.

Mr. Swindall said the matter was pushed forward so that they should not be without a medical officer.

Mr. Cave: It’s not our fault that it was allowed to lapse in the way it was. I don’t think there is a member of the Council would treat one of his own employees in the same way.

The Chairman moved and Mr. Claridge seconded that the consideration of the matter be deferred.

Mr. Cave said they would still be without a medical officer. On the other hand, it would be a great disadvantage to have a medical officer from outside the district, for they would not get the attention they would from a man in the town.

Mr. Skinner did not think they would suffer much till the next meeting. They had a very good Sanitary Inspector.

The proposal to defer the consideration of the mater was then put and carried.

Mr. Cave: Can we alter that resolution, if you are not satisfied with Dr. Owen, so as to appoint Dr. Crew?

The Chairman: I don’t think we are in order.

Mr. Cave: I think this is more a political matter than a matter of justice to our medical officer.

Mr. Claridge said he must repudiate that suggestion. There was no foundation for it at all.

Mr. Denton (to Mr. Cave): If it is political, it is from your side.

Mr. Cave: I don’t hesitate to say that not one of you would treat the meanest of his employees in the same way.

The Chairman: All I can say is that if anyone airs political matters, it must be you, because I have never heard anyone else. It is open to you to give notice to rescind.

Mr. Cave: I will give notice, then, to rescind the resolution.

The Tramways Bill

A copy of this Bill was submitted to the Council, and Mr. Denton said that the Roads Committee of the County Council were seeking to have a meeting called of the various Councils affected.

The consideration of the matter was deferred, and the Clerk was asked to procure copies of the Bill for the members of the Council.

Higham Water Supply

A copy of the Higham Ferrers and District Water Supply Bill was brought before the Council. It appeared that it was proposed to take the pipes through a portion of the Urban District of Rushden – Kimbolton-road – and a provision was contained in the Bill giving the Company the right to supply water to Rushden on terms to be agreed upon.

The Rushden Echo, 19th January 1900


A special meeting of this Council was held on Wednesday night, the members present being Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. Denton (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, W. H. Wilkins, Paul Cave, G. Fountain, J. S. Clipson, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and J. Spencer, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).

The Bedford-Road Well

The seal of the Council was affixed to the tender of Messrs. Timmins for the Bedford-road well being lined with nine-inch brickwork in cement, and headings driven 5ft high and 8ft wide. The contract was dated Jan. 15, and the work is to be completed within three months.

The Tramways Bill

Considerable discussion took place with regard to this Bill and it was considered necessary to lay a double set of lines through the whole length of the High-street owing to the narrowness of the street at certain points.

The Council decided to adhere to their previous resolution that before the High-street section is constructed the plans be again brought before the Council, when double lines would probably be insisted upon.

Mr. Spencer asked if there was a clause in the Bill to give local authorities powers to purchase.

It was stated that there was not a clause of that sort but that the Company had promised to insert one.

Mr. Spencer moved that the County Council be asked to insert such a clause and the motion was carried.

Hours of Polling

A letter was read from the Clerk to the County Council asking if the hours of polling could not be altered for local elections, and suggested that the hours should be from 12 noon to 8 p.m.

Some discussion took place on the subject, and it was thought by several members that it would be a greater improvement to have triennial elections.

The Clerk pointed out that triennial elections would save the parish about £40 per annum.

It was decided to put the question of triennial elections on the agenda paper for the next meeting and on the motion of Mr. Cave it was decided to agree to the alteration of hours of polling as suggested by the County Council.

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