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The Rushden Echo, 14th January, 1927, Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Traffic To Be Reorganised
Public Bath: Ministry Request
House Tenants to Be Ejected

Wednesday, present Messrs. C. Claridge, J.P., (chairman), J. Hornsby (vice-chairman), J. Roe, A. Allebone, W. C. Tarry, J. Allen, F. Knight, J.P., F. Corby, T. Swindall, C. W. Horrell, C.A., L. Perkins, M.B.E., J. Spencer, J.P., W. Bazeley, J.P., and C. Bates, with the clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper).

Mr. T. F. B. Newberry wrote apologising for his inability to attend owing to illness.

Housing Committee

A meeting of the Housing Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Dec. 15th, 1926, when there were present: Messrs. L. Perkins (chairman), C. Claridge, A. Allebone, J. Allen, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, F. Corby, J. Roe, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.

Irchester-Road Site

The Surveyor submitted an estimate of the cost of constructing the necessary roads for the development of this estate.

The committee did not consider it necessary to commence this work forthwith, but instructed the Surveyor to proceed with the plans for 32 parlour houses on the frontage with a view to early submission to the Ministry for approval.

Allotments

The Surveyor pointed out that a considerable portion of the site would not be required for development before the end of next summer and the committee agreed that the Allotment Society be permitted to allow the holders of the allotments to continue in occupation for the present, the Surveyor to see Mr. Gutteridge and point out to him the land available.

Repairs

The Surveyor was instructed to carry out the necessary repairs to a house in Trafford-road, and it was agreed to allow the tenant a week’s rent.

House To Let

The Collector reported that a house in King’s-road was expected to be vacant in the near future, and it was left to the Chairman and Mr. Bates to select a tenant from the short list.

Irchester-Road Houses

The Surveyor was instructed to have the necessary soil conveyed to the gardens of these houses as soon as possible.

Future Rents of Houses Erected Under The 1924 Act.

Having regard to the recent estimate of income and expenditure in connection with these houses, it was resolved to recommend the Council to reduce the rents by 4d. per week, as from March 31st next.

Rent Arrears

A further list of the arrears of rents owing on Dec. 15th was submitted. Only one of the tenants who had been served with notices to quit was clear on the books.

It was resolved to recommend the Council at the next meeting to give instructions for ejectment proceedings to be commenced against such of them as were not clear on Jan. 8th next.

Notices to quit were also ordered to be served on other tenants in arrears.

The report was adopted.

Mr. Perkins said that the committee did not mean that the development was not urgent, but that it must be done, probably in the next month. He was not satisfied with the progress of the building of Council houses. At the end of March 1922, there had been 90 houses erected under the assisted housing scheme. In the next two years there were eight completed. In the following years there were 20, 30, and (to last September) 26. By the end of next March there would probably be another twelve completed. The committee were satisfied that the rents of houses mentioned could very well be reduced as the rents had been put higher than proved necessary.

The Clerk: Only to the Wheatley houses.

Mr. Horrell said he should much have preferred that the rents of all the Council houses in the town should be reduced by 3d. than that one section should be singled out for a reduction of 4d.

Mr. Bazeley said that the Wheatley houses were financed to themselves and could not be classed with others in altering the rents.

Mr. Spencer said he thought the resolution should be passed in any case.

Mr. Horrell said he agreed, and on his proposition, seconded by Mr. Spencer, the committee were asked to consider the possibility of reducing all the rents and report at the next meeting.

Mr. Swindall asked how many tenants would be served with notice to quit.

The Chairman: Seven, unless there is an improvement.

Mr. Perkins: There has been improvement and the number is not now seven. If tenants really try to clear off arrears we shall not put our authority into force.

Mr. Knight asked whether old or newer tenants were most in arrears.

Mr. Perkins: A few got in in the last twelve months and have never kept properly up-to-date since they got in.

Mr. Knight said he hoped the committee would consider the point as to whether applicants could and would pay rent. He knew that some applicants were living in wretched conditions, but there were good tenants as well as bad in such conditions, and he hoped the former would have the preference.

Mr. Bates assured the Council that that point was always considered.

Mr. Corby said it was one of the chief considerations.

Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, Dec. 22nd, 1926, when there were present Messrs. C. Claridge (chairman), G. W. Coles, C. W. Horrell, F. Knight, T. F. B. Newberry, J. Spencer, and W. C. Tarry.

Plans

were presented for :-

House on Wymington-road for Mrs. M. A. Dilley, and passed.

House on Irchester-road, at the corner of Graveley-street, for Mr. J. E. Robinson, and passed.

House on Irchester-road for Mr. B. Dickens, and passed.

Applications for subsidies in respect of the foregoing houses were received, together with estimates of the cost thereof, which did not exceed, including the cost of the land, £700 in any case, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to issue certificates in respect of same as coming within the Council’s scheme for the subsidy of £100 each.

Garage in Montague-street for Mr. N. B. Warner, and no exception taken provided the adjoining owner gives an unconditional consent.

Cycle shed for Mr. F. Fentiman near his house in Duck-street, and passed.

Extension to motor shed in Park-road for Mr. E. Wadsworth, and passed.

Additions to leather shed near their factory off Newton-road for Messrs. Green and Coe, Ltd., and no exception taken.

W.c. to factory in Harborough-road for Mr. H. Jaques, and passed.

New shop front to No. 58, High-street, for the Empire Meat Co., Ltd., of Northampton, and passed.

Hackney Carriage Licences

The Clerk reported that at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Northants Association of Borough and Urban District Councils it was resolved to draw the attention of the various local authorities of urban districts to their powers of licensing hackney carriages and to ask them to be good enough to require all owners of vehicles plying for hire to register forthwith.

The licence in the first instance to cover a period of two months from Jan. 1st, in order to give time for the Executive Committee to suggest conditions on which the licences should be granted, with a view to uniformity throughout the county.

The committee agreed, and instructed the Clerk to call the attention of the various motor-bus owners by advertisement in a local paper to their obligation to obtain a licence for each vehicle, the licence in each case to be subject to the following conditions: (a) That the omnibus would run to a timetable to be approved by the Council, and a copy of the timetable to be exhibited in a prominent position in the ‘bus; (b) that starting-points must be approved by the Council; and (c) that no omnibus should take up or set down passengers between Church-street and the Independent Wesleyan Chapel, or between the Independent Wesleyan Chapel and Station-road.

Traffic in High-Street

As instructed by the Council at their last meeting, the committee had under consideration the question of motor-cars standing in High-street unattended, and it was resolved to ask the assistance of the police in preventing this as far as possible. The following places were suggested as suitable for parking: Rectory-road between Beaconsfield-terrace and the Salvation Army Barracks, Rectory-road between George-street and Newton-road, John-street, Alfred-street, and West-street.

Motor Caution Signs

A letter was received from the Clerk of the County Council stating that the Roads and Bridges Committee would in the early part of 1927 hold their annual consideration of applications for motor caution signs and asking that if the Council wished to make any application it should be forwarded to him by Jan. 13th.

The committee did not consider that at the present time there was need for additional signs in Rushden.

Bedford-Road Footpath

The Clerk read a letter from the Clerk to the County Council stating that the suggestions of this Council for the construction of a footpath along the Rushden and Bedford main road had been submitted to the Roads and Bridges Committee, who had resolved that the scheme contemplated by this Council upon the length of road in question be given priority in the consideration of the improvements to be provided for in the estimates for the maintenance and improvement of main roads in 1927-28.

The committee considered the letter very satisfactory, and instructed the Surveyor to prepare complete details and estimates of the scheme and, if possible, to see the County Surveyor before finally sending them in.

Footpath Between Queen-Street and Portland-Road

A letter was received from Mr. Arthur Wilmott asking the Council to co-operate with him in getting this footpath asphalted.

The Surveyor was requested to see Mr. Wilmott and ascertain from him exactly what his suggestions were and report to the next meeting.

Main Roads, 1927-28

The Surveyor was instructed to prepare his annual estimate of the cost of maintaining the main roads for the ensuing year.

Building Statistics

The Surveyor reported that plans for 63 houses had been passed during the year, 57 houses had been completed, and there were 54 in course of erection.

The report was adopted.

On the subject of new regulations for buses in High-street, the Chairman said that Supt. Macleod and Insp. Knight had met members of the committee and the Clerk at the Clerk’s office. The Superintendent said he did not think the United Counties ’Bus Company would refuse any reasonable request. Mr. Claridge read a copy of a letter Supt. Macleod had written to the ‘bus company, suggesting that ‘buses on the Raunds route should not go right up Church-street, but should turn into Alfred-street and there put down and take up passengers, and then proceed to College-street and turn into High-street at the Post Office. One stopping-place could be made near the Post Office, and no more stops be made between there and Station-road (Higham Ferrers side). ‘Buses on the Desborough route should stop to pick up passengers at the top of Skinner’s-hill, near the High-street Independent Wesleyan Church, and on the Higham Ferrers side of Station-road, and at no places between those spots.

Mr. Bates: That is very satisfactory.

The Chairman said it was also proposed to have notices put up “’Buses Stop Here.”

The Clerk reported that he had had applications for 80 ‘bus licences.

Mr. Claridge assured Mr. Bates that the “little man” owning perhaps only one ‘bus would be able to obtain a licence as easily as the big company, providing he kept to the regulations.

Mr. Allebone: I take it that the authority can refuse licences where the regulations are not kept?

The Clerk said that that was so, but that if the Urban Council made unreasonable conditions ‘bus owners could appeal to the Ministry of Transport against the regulations.

Mr. Horrell and Mr. Corby said the suggestions were very good to avoid congestion in High-street.

On the subject of “parking” cars, Mr. Corby criticised the inclusion of John-street, and said that it was not a Council street.

The Chairman: You don’t mind them being there?

Mr. Corby: It is not a suitable place for “parking,” and if people are going to be notified that they can leave their cars there, they will.

The Clerk: Notices will not be placed there instructing drivers to use the street for parking, but if people wanted to shop in Church-street they would be asked not to leave their cars in Church-street, but in John-street.

Mr. Corby: Oh, that is rather different.

Mr. Knight: I don’t think many people will be able to find it. (Laughter.)

In reply to Mr. Swindall, the Chairman said that parking would be at owners’ risk.

Health and Sanitary Committee

A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, Jan. 5th, 1927, when there were present: Messrs. J. Hornsby (chairman), C. Claridge, J. Allen, W. Bazeley, F. Corby, D. G. Greenfield, T. Swindall, and W. C. Tarry.

Health and Sanitary Reports

The report of the Medical Officer for the month of December was received.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting 27 nuisances had been dealt with, of which number 22 had been abated.

Fifty-three visits had been made to premises where food was in preparation for sale, during which inspections a quantity of beef offal, pork offal, and two carcases of mutton had been found to be diseased or unfit for food and destroyed in the usual way.

A quantity of bedding had been disinfected at the Depot, and 38 rooms disinfected, all after cases of infectious disease.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work and inspections during the month.

Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act

The Inspector reported that during “Rat Week,” 1926, 440 rat-tails had been received at the Depot, Newton-road.

Slaughterhouse Licences

Applications for renewals of their slaughterhouse licences were received from the Industrial Co-operative Society and Messrs. Ernest Hollis, F. W. Swindall, E. Thompson, G. F. Cobley, F. J. Knight, and Pettit and Jones, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.

Knackers’ Yard Licence

An application was also received from Messrs. G. Chettle and Sons for a renewal of their knackers’ yard licence, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to agree thereto.

Petroleum Acts

Applications were also received for renewals of their licences under the above Acts from the Wargate Motor Engineering Company, Messrs. D. Nicholson, W. Elstow, F. Wilkins, A. Okins, H. W. Chapman, Ltd., Lack Bros., J. W. Wrighton, Wadsworth Bros., England Smith & Co., Austin and Son, Watts Bros., C. Chamberlain, R. Parker, and W. Espin, and the Lightstrung Co., Ltd., and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto, subject to the various stores and tanks being to the satisfaction of the Inspector.

An application was also received from the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, Ltd., for a licence to store 500 gallons of bulk petrol at their premises in Newton-road. It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto, subject to the underground steel tank being constructed to the satisfaction of the Inspector.

Veterinary Report

The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was received, from which it appeared that on Dec. 13th and 14th last he visited 20 premises and inspected 188 cows, making an individual examination of each udder. The whole of the cows were clinically normal and, with few exceptions, in good condition.

The committee considered the report very satisfactory.

Cemetery

The Cemetery Registrar submitted his half-yearly report, from which it appeared that there had been 73 interments during the past six months. Thirty-four grave spaces had been purchased, and one reserved for a period of 14 years. Seven headstones had been erected, 33 spaces enclosed with kerbing, five vases fixed, and five additional inscriptions engraved on existing memorials. The fees, etc., received amounted to £128 9s.

The Cemetery Caretaker reported that the entrance by the Harborough-road gate was not being used as intended by the Council. On Dec. 27th, whilst he was attending a funeral a man crossed to the chapel carrying furniture. At the same time another man passed with a large dog, and others smoking their pipes. Other infringements were reported.

The committee expressed regret that the privilege of allowing persons to enter at this gate for the purpose only of attending to their relatives’ graves was being abused, and felt that they must support the Caretaker in stopping the use of it for purposes such as those mentioned. Any further cases reported would be severely dealt with.

The Chairman reported that he had seen Mr. Hodgkins with regard to the sale of his land, who was agreeable to the option being extended for another year.

St. Crispin’s Estate

A letter was received from the Ministry of Health enclosing copy of a letter they had received from Mr. J. Lymage with regard to the lack of a sewer for this Estate, and asking for the Council’s observations thereon.

The Clerk was instructed to reply pointing out the difficulties of connecting a sewer from this Estate with the existing sewer and the large expense which would be involved in constructing a new sewer.

Public Conveniences

Tenders were received for the reconstruction of the present conveniences near the railway bridge, and that of Mr. Arthur Sanders for £353 was accepted.

Milk and Dairies (Consolidation) Act, 1925

It was resolved to recommend the Council to authorise their Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper, to take for examination samples of milk at any time before it is delivered to the consumer.

Pasteurised Milk

An application was received from the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society for a licence to use the designation “Pasteurised Milk” in connection with the milk retailed by them.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to grant the licence applied for, subject to the terms and conditions prescribed in the Milk (Special Designations) Order, 1922.

The report was adopted.

On the subject of public conveniences, Mr. Allen said he understood that there was a very big difference between the Surveyor’s estimate for the erection of the suggested convenience near the bridge and the lowest tender received, nearly £100, in fact.

The Chairman said there were additions to the contract. There was still an advance in the tendered price, though not, he believed, to the amount of £100. The Council could not get it lower than the price shown.

Mr. Allebone: There is a lot in what Mr. Allen says. The Surveyor knows what the job should cost, and his estimate was £83 below the lowest tender. That is a big difference in a £250 contract. When the Housing Committee some time ago had tenders there was as much difference in the prices as 6s. per cubic yard for building a wall. If the builders are busy and they put up their prices because they do not want the work, we are paying “through the nose” something like 33⅓ per cent, too much.

The Chairman: Not all that.

Mr. Roe: The present convenience has been there 22 years. Is it necessary to hurry and pay extra for doing so?

Mr. Claridge: And it has been a nuisance for 22 years!

Mr. Swindall said that when the work was done the Council would feel that they had got good value for their money.

Mr. Allebone: You should know.

In reply to Mr. Hornsby, the Surveyor agreed that prices had “hardened” since his estimate had been prepared.

The Clerk informed Mr. Perkins that the cost would come out of current rate, provision having been made up to March 31st.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, Jan. 6th, 1927, at 10 a.m., when there were present: Messrs. C. W. Horrell (chairman), C. Claridge, A. Allebone, J. Hornsby, F. Corby, F. Knight, and J. Roe.

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £1,348 10s. 1d. were examined and passed for payment.

Surveyor’s Staff

It was resolved that Mr. H. J. Gould be temporarily engaged on the surveyor’s staff at a remuneration of three-and-a-half guineas per week.

Assisted Housing

The Clerk reported that there was a balance unexpended on the loan of £3,000 from the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society of £254 12s. 3d., and that they had agreed to accept immediately payment of this sum.

He also reported that there was a balance of £3,001 17s. 1d. unexpended on the £14,000 loan from the Royal Liver Friendly Society, and that he had been in correspondence with the Society and the Ministry of Health with regard to the repayment of that sum. It had been agreed that it should be repaid at once, subject to the Council paying the Society’s solicitors’ fee of £3 3s., plus 10s stamp duty, for preparing a new deed of covenant.

The committee approved and recommended the Council accordingly.

Irchester-Road Site - Additional Land

The Clerk reported that he had been unable to negotiate the loan of £2,175 for the purchase of the remaining land, and suggested that he should be authorised to inquire from the Royal Liver Friendly Society if they would make an advance of that amount at 5 per cent.

The committee approved of this course.

£17,200 Loan

The Clerk reported that the Public Works Loan Commissioners had agreed to make this loan for the erection of 36 houses on Irchester-road, but had intimated that funds would not be available before March at the earliest, and asked the Council to make temporary arrangements to meet any payments falling to be made in respect of the work.

He had seen the Treasurer with regard to the latter suggestion, who had agreed to make the necessary advance at 5 per cent., subject to the Council giving him a signed resolution authorising the borrowing of such sums as may be required not exceeding £12,000.

It was agreed to recommend the Council to do this.

Coal Control

It was resolved that the remuneration to be paid to the Coal Officer for his services during the strike be fixed at £15.

The report was adopted.

Dirty Streets

Mr. Roe said that the Rushden Chamber of Trade, at their annual meeting on Monday, had complained bitterly of the dirty state of the streets and of the consequent “plastering” of mud into the shops. He felt that there was just cause for complaint. He asked if anything more could be done, not only in High-street, but in other streets.

Mr. Madin said he had been hampered by the bad weather, which had caused the stickiness. He was doing his best and would continue to do so.

Area Conference

Correspondence was read on the subject of an area conference to discuss the Rating and Valuation Act so as to get uniformity of action by all local authorities. Mr. Claridge was appointed to represent the Council at the conference.

Swimming Bath

A letter was read from the Ministry of Health stating that the report of the Inspector on the recent inquiry at Rushden into the subject of an open-air bath had been considered, and they suggested that a deputation meet the Ministry on the points raised.

It was agreed that the Chairman and Dr. Greenfield (chairman of the Parks and Baths Committee), with the Clerk and the Surveyor, form the deputation.

Mr. Knight noted that the letter did not mention conditions. He hoped the deputation would not commit the Council.

The Clerk said that the deputation could act only within what the Council had already decided on. Matters outside that would have to be brought before the Council.

Mr. Knight: I hope the Ministry will have some suggestions to offer.

Petty Sessions for Rushden

In accordance with notice, Mr. Spencer moved that application be made to the appropriate authority for a full Petty Sessional Court at Rushden. He said that the occasional Court was used about once or twice a year. (Mr. Knight: No crime in Rushden!) Rushden was more important than the higher authorities seemed to acknowledge. Rushden people often had half-a-day wasted attending the Wellingborough Court, perhaps for a forgotten licence. Even Higham Ferrers could have its own court.

Mr. Bates seconded.

Mr. Perkins asked how many cases there were a year at Wellingborough from Rushden.

No official answer was given.

Mr. Corby asked what the suggested Court would cost the town.

The Chairman: The cost would be entirely on the county.

The motion was carried.

Housing of Rural Workers

It was explained by the Chairman and the Clerk that the new Housing of Rural Workers Act would shortly be in force. The County Council would be the authority to administer the Act, but Urban Councils could apply to administer their own area and not be included in the county scheme. The county authority might want to apply the Act in practice at villages around Rushden, so that Rushden would be paying, not only for housing its own residents, but a contribution to the county expense of rural areas.

Mr. Bazeley asked whether, if Rushden Council obtained separate powers, they would have to take over the responsibility of surrounding villages.

Mr. Mason: No, only for Rushden urban district.

It was agreed to apply for powers to administer the Act as an Urban Council.



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