|Rushden Echo, 13th & 20th January 1933 , transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
13th January, 1933
Speeding-up New Housing Scheme
With a view to pressing forward the erection of the 56 houses, sanction for the erection of which was recently received from the Ministry of Health, the Rushden Urban Council, at their meeting on Wednesday, decided to call a special meeting next week to consider the tenders, to forward the selected one to the Ministry at the earliest possible date.
In a meeting which was concluded in half-an-hour, several interesting items occurred.
On a motion by Mr. A. Allebone, the Council decided to have the minutes of the previous meeting circulated to the members before each ordinary meeting. At present the minutes are red out by the Clerk at the commencement of each meeting.
Mr. Perkins raised two queries concerning the Hall Museum, one respecting the opening ceremony, and the other in reference to the bills placed in the windows, to which he objected.
It was stated that the number of building plans approved during 1932 (namely 69) was one more than in 1931, but the actual number of houses completed (73) showed a decrease of 74.
Mr. John Spencer was appointed as one of the Council’s representatives on the Wellingborough Area Guardians’ Committee (the others being Messrs. A. Wilmott and T. F. B. Newberry) in place of Mr. C. Claridge, who retired.
Local Building Anomaly in 1932
The members present were Messrs. J. Roe J.P. (in the chair), J. Spencer, J.P. (vice-chairman), C. Claridge, A. Allebone, C.C., J. Allen, L. Tysoe, C. W. Horrell, C.A., F. Green, L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., J. Richardson, G. W. Coles, J.P., W. C. Tarry, and J. Hornsby, with the Clerk, Mr. G. S. Mason, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.
An apology for absence was received from Mr. W. E. Capon.
Before the business of the meeting commenced, the chairman said that as this was the first meeting of the new year he hoped the members would have a happy and prosperous one.
“I am sure too,” said Mr. Roe, “that you will all wish me to say how pleased we are to see Mr. Green back here again.”
Mr. Green: I am sure I thank you very much for your expressions of sympathy. I appreciate them very much and am pleased to be back amongst you.”
The minutes of the meeting of the Council in Committee at the conclusion of the December meeting of the Council stated with reference to the legal action of the Council against Mr. H. S. Gates, of Wellingborough-road, respecting repairs to a drain on his property, that the action of Mr. Wilson, who appeared for the Council at Wellingborough Police Court, in intimating that the magistrates would be asked to state a case, after they had dismissed the case, was approved.
After the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council has been confirmed, Mr. Allebone said: “This is not particularly arising out of the minutes but it refers to the minutes. I do not know whether this is the right time, or whether it should be raised at the end of the meeting, but I wish to move that the minutes of the Council be circulated to the members before each meeting. It would be a progressive step and I am satisfied that it would be beneficial. I have made various enquiries and do not know any meeting which meets regularly which does not have its minutes circulated. I do not think there is any need for me to say more about it, it would give the members a chance to read the minutes and when we come here the minutes could be taken as read. I should like to move that the Council minutes be sent out with the agenda.”
Mr. Horrell: I should like to second that. I think it is a progressive step and it will be a good course to adopt.
Mr. Swindall: I do not see any need for it myself.
The Chairman: That is for you to decide.
On a vote being taken the Council agreed to the minutes being circulated.
Several members, including Mr. Swindall, did not vote.
On the recommendation of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee, plans were approved as follows:- House in the allotments off Washbrook-road for Mr. H. Pearson; house in the allotments off Washbrook-road for Mr. W. C. Allen; machinery store in Portland-road for Mr. F. Hawkes; additions to factory in Portland-road for Mr. F. Hawkes, subject to the building line being observed; workshops in Midland-road for Messrs. T. Lee and Son.
Irchester-road Housing Estate
Applications were received by the Plans Committee from Mr. H. Clapham of No. 55, Tennyson-road for permission to erect a cycle and plant pot shed at the rear of his house, and from Mr. A. E. Desborough, of No. 125, Westfield-avenue for permission to erect a greenhouse at the rear of his house, and the Committee recommended the Council to accede to these, subject to the buildings being constructed to the satisfaction of the Surveyor. This was agreed.
The Surveyor reported that a lamp column in Station-approach had been damaged by a lorry, the property of the Express Transport Company. He was instructed to have the column repaired and send in the account to the owners of the lorry.
The lighting sub-Committee were requested to inspect the Railway Bridge with regard to the lighting thereof on Sunday, and report to the next meeting of the Lighting Committee.
The Surveyor reported that during the past year plans had been approved for 57 ordinary private houses and 12 Council houses. Sixty-one private and 12 Council houses had been certified as completed during the same period. Seventeen private houses were still in course of erection and plans had been approved for five which had not yet been commenced.
Mr. Allebone, chairman of the Plans Committee, said he would like to give the Council a short analysis of the statistics.
The number of plans approved was one more than the number approved in 1931, but the houses certified as completed during the year 1932 was 74 less than the year 1931. That might seem a lot on the face of it, but they had got to take, in general principle, the number of plans that had been approved, because they got a lot of plans approved, especially Council houses, at the end of the year, which were certified as completed the following year, and therefore the number was against them one particular year.
The fact that the plans approved during 1932 were one more than in 1931 proved that they were keeping up a steady record of building.
The Hall sub-Committee of the Parks, Baths and Hall Committee reported that they had completed their preliminary arrangements for the establishment of a museum at the Hall and formally opened it to the public on the 26th December last.
The action of the sub-Committee was approved and confirmed.
It was also reported that Mr. G. Gramshaw had promised to loan another picture and that Mr. E. Linnitt had given a case of stuffed birds and a model of the “Red House,” Bourne, Lincs., where the Gun Powder Plot was hatched, for exhibition.
It was resolved that the thanks of the Council be accorded the lender and donor.
Mr. Coles, chairman of the Hall Committee, said the Museum had now been opened and from what could be gathered it had been very much appreciated by the public; the attendance had been several hundreds during the first week.
“I should like to express the thanks of the Council,” continued Mr. Coles, “to Mr. Wilmott, for his extreme generosity on several occasions. He has been good enough on the several occasions when he has been approached, to allow the Committee the use of his car, and has also found a driver. I think he deserves the thanks not only of the Museum Committee, but also of the Council, for his public spirit.”
Mr. Perkins: It is a very nice Hall, and perhaps it is a good thing to have a museum in it, but if any of you go up there, you will agree with me that to put bills in the window is not very nice in a Tudor house like that. I am not very squeamish on these points, but to see about half-a-dozen bills in the windows makes it look as if the house is to let.
“The other point I wish to raise is that I think it would be better in any public function to be arranged, that it is understood that such arrangements first come before the whole Council, and not be made only by a sub-Committee.”
Mr. Coles: In reply to the last question, which I will deal with first, I may say that at the last Council meeting I reported and it received your sanction that we hoped to open the museum before Christmas, but we found it impossible to open it before Christmas, and so took the first opportunity of opening it afterwards, that is on Boxing Day, so as to give the public and visitors a chance to go round.
“With regard to the bills, they are only of a very temporary character and will be taken out in a day or so. They were put there to let visitors to the park know the hours of opening, and now they are generally known, the bills will be taken down.”
Rushden Hall Gardens
The Clerk reported that Mr. F. G. Clarke had agreed to the Council’s terms and had surrendered his tenancy of the above gardens on the 31st December last.
The Hall Committee recommended to the Council that the gardens be not re-let and that the Surveyor be instructed to thoroughly clean the land with a view to the question of user being considered at a future meeting. This was agreed.
The question as to whether the proposed new tennis courts in this park should be constructed of grass or otherwise was considered by the Parks Committee and adjourned.
The report of the Health and Sanitary Committee stated that the report of the Medical Officer for the month of December was received, and that the Sanitary Inspector submitted his monthly report of the work of the Sanitary Department.
Applications for the renewals of their licences to store petrol were received from various users and dealers, and the Council acceded to these.
Applications were also received from various dealers for renewals of their licences to deal in carbide of calcium and the Council also agreed to these.
Applications were also received from Messrs. Hollis Bros., Duck-street, E. Thompson, Higham-road, F. W. Swindall, Moor-road, and the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, Ltd., for renewals of their slaughter-house licences and the Council approved these.
An application was also received from Messrs. Chettle and Sons for a renewal of their knackers’ yard licence and agreed to.
An application was received from the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, Limited, for a renewal of their licence to sell pasteurised milk, and this was agreed to.
The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was received, from which it appeared that on 13th and 15th December last, he made his usual quarterly inspection of the dairy cows in milk in Rushden, visiting 18 premises, inspecting 162 cows.
With one exception the whole of the cows were found to be clinically normal and the majority in good condition.
The Health and Sanitary Committee considered the report very satisfactory.
The Inspector also submitted his annual report which the Committee reported was also very satisfactory.
Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, said: “There is no report of the Housing Committee, because there has been no meeting, but as the sanction for the 56 houses has come through and the tenders will be in by Monday I thought perhaps that to speed up the work and get on with the houses, that the Council would allow the Committee to carry on and recommend to the Ministry the acceptance of the lowest tender.
“If we do not, it means either a month’s delay or else calling a special meeting. I do think we could get on straight away and get the work in hand at once. I should like to suggest that the Council gives the Housing Committee power to examine the tenders and send straight to the Ministry.”
Mr. Coles: I will move that permission be given to carry the work through, and also permission to the Committee to apply for sanction to the necessary loan. There is no reason why there should be any delay.
Mr. Swindall: I will second that, but I hope the Housing Committee will split the tenders up and not give the whole of the houses to one contractor. It is a fairly large number of houses we are dealing with this time and it would be better, all things considered, if the tenders were split up.
Dr. Greenfield: Surely the two suggestions are opposite? If you are going to give the contractor with the lowest tender the business, you cannot split the tenders up. You must have one thing or the other.
Mr. Allen: It will be necessary to call a special meeting unless you are going to have the lowest tender, and I may say the Minister limited the tenders to Northamptonshire.
Mr. Horrell: I am rather surprised the Housing Committee want to accept responsibility for these 56 houses. I think the matter is of sufficient importance to call a special meeting.
Mr. Spencer: I shall support the proposition, for the sooner we can get on with the houses the better in view of the Ministry’s alteration of policy.
Mr. Horrell: I do not think there need be any delay. We might meet on Monday after the Housing Committee have examined the tenders.
Mr. Tysoe: I was going to support Mr. Allen, but if we are going to meet in a few days it will not matter, and Mr. Allen will be relieved of the responsibility.
Mr. Allebone: As half the members will be at a committee meeting on Wednesday, it would be a good idea to meet after then.
It was eventually decided that the Housing Committee should meet on Wednesday next at 6.30 p.m. and the full Council at 7 p.m.
The Council had before them the appointment of three representatives on the Wellingborough Area Guardians Committee, the retiring members being Messrs. Newberry, Claridge, and Wilmott.
Mr. Coles proposed the re-election of Mr. Wilmott.
Mr. Claridge seconded and paid a tribute to the way in which Mr. Wilmott had carried out his duties.
Mr. Wilmott was accordingly re-appointed.
Mr. Green proposed the re-appointment of Mr. Newberry and this was agreed.
Mr. Spencer moved the nomination of Mr. Claridge.
Mr. Claridge: I am very sorry to say I shall not be able to accept the position because, as most of you know, it will not be so long before I am, unfortunately, leaving, and I should like you to be good enough to appoint somebody else in my place.
Mr. Wilmott: I should like to pay a tribute to Mr. Claridge. On this Transitional Committee and Board of Guardians we cannot talk about our work, but Mr. Claridge has been very good in his attendance and has risen to the position. It is not always a labour of love, in fact, sometimes it is depressing, but I am sorry he is going because he has got used to the work.
The chairman: I am sure the whole of the members of the Council appreciate the work Mr. Claridge has done.
Mr. Spencer was appointed to the committee in place of Mr. Claridge.
20th January, 1933
Measurement Method of Assessment
A Special Meeting of the Rushden Urban Council was held at the Council Chambers, Rushden, Wednesday evening, to receive the recommendation of the Housing Committee with regard to the tenders for the erection of 56 houses on the Irchester-road Estate, sanction for which was recently received.
The tender of Mr. R. Marriott, of Rushden, at £16,490, was unanimously accepted, and satisfaction was expressed that the contract had been secured locally.
A sharp discussion ensued on the report of the Rating Committee, and special criticism was offered on the method of the measurement of properties for assessment purposes, particular objection being taken by a number of members to the measurement of small properties.
Mr. Perkins also disagreed with the appointment by the Council of a temporary official at a salary of £4 per week, to assist in carrying out this work.
£16,490 Local Tender for Houses
The members present were Messrs. J. Roe, J.P. (in the chair), John Spencer, J.P. (vice-chairman), W. C. Tarry, C. Claridge, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, W. E. Capon, C. W. Horrell, C.A., J. Allen, L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Hornsby, and J. T. Richardson, with the Acting Clerk, Mr. W. L. Beetenson, and the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd.
Lists of the tenders received for the construction of the 56 houses on the 300 yards of road now being constructed in continuation of Tennyson-place, having been circulated to the members, Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, said: “We have a number of contractors both in the county and outside, for the contracts were not confined to Northamptonshire, and we have had tenders from Loughborough, London, and other places, and these have been included.
“We have had very little difficulty in deciding which tender to recommend to you, although five or six of the tenders are exceedingly close. But the Committee are unanimous in recommending that you recommend to the Ministry that Mr. R. Marriott’s tender for £16,490 be accepted. I beg to move that recommendation.
Mr. Spencer seconded and said he was very pleased that a local builder should submit the lowest tender.
Mr. Horrell: Can we know the area of each of these houses?
The Surveyor: 760 square feet.
Mr. Claridge: I thought it was understood that if two tenders were very close together the contract might be split up.
Mr. Allen intimated that other local builders who had submitted tenders were somewhat higher in the list.
Mr. Horrell: Are these three-bedroom houses?
The chairman: Yes.
Mr. Allen said the price was somewhat higher for gables and tiled roofs instead of slated. Most of the houses on the new estate had slated roofs.
Mr. Claridge: How much extra will this cost per house?
Mr. Allen: Not quite £5.
Mr. Coles: I shall support the recommendation of the Housing Committee and am very pleased that a Rushden firm has been successful in setting a tender down so low. But I want to mention one fact, and that is that if we considered splitting up the contract among several firms, I do not know whether it would make a difference to Mr. Marriott’s contract. I presume he has contracted for the whole of the houses and to only do a portion would mean more expense to him for such items as scaffolding.
“I should like to see the Council insist on a certain date on which the houses shall be finished. I think the whole of the houses ought to be in occupation before another winter comes round.”
Mr. Allen: The Ministry’s letter insists that the houses shall be completed this year.
Mr. Allebone: I shall support the recommendation in as much as I have in front of me the cost per house of houses of the same character and with an area of 750 square feet that have just been built by Wellingborough Council and I am pleased to say our contract is within ten shillings per house of the contract that has been carried out at Wellingborough.
“Another point of interest, which, although it does not concern us now might be passed on to the Housing Committee, is that the price at which these houses are going to be let is such a price that we can feel satisfied that the people who get the houses will be able to afford the rents. That is what I am pleased about.
Mr. Hornsby: Is there any provision in the contract for out-buildings?
The Surveyor: No.
The Housing Committee’s recommendation was approved.
Mr. Allen then moved a resolution that the Council ask the Ministry to allow them to raise a loan of £16,000 for the purpose of building the houses.
Mr. Wilmott seconded, and this was carried.
Mr. Horrell asked whether the loan could not be rather differently arranged. They only got about 1½ per cent now and would not want the whole of the £16,000 for some time, and it was therefore rather a pity for them to take the whole loan up now.
Mr. Coles: At what percentage do we get money from the Government?
Mr. Allebone: All we are asking for is permission to raise the money. How we are going to raise it can be considered later.
Mr. Allen: That will be a matter, I take it, for the Finance Committee.
Mr. Perkins: I should like to ask the Surveyor if provision is being made in the loan for the charges in respect of gas or electric supply.
The Surveyor: The amount includes everything.
Mr. Claridge moved the adoption of the Rating Committee’s report.
Referring to an item on the report concerning the salary paid to a temporary official of the Council, engaged to assist in the assessment of properties in the town, Mr. Perkins asked how long this assistant was engaged for at £4 per week.
The chairman: Six months.
Mr. Perkins: But most of the houses are about the same area as last time!
Mr. Roe said that if the official was needed for a longer period they would have to apply for that.
Mr. Horrell: I should like to ask whether the Rating Committee intend to measure the smaller properties?
Mr. Claridge: Most of them have been previously measured.
Mr. Perkins said that if the man were engaged for twelve months.......
The chairman: Six months.
Mr. Perkins: ...... it was equivalent to a penny rate at £4 per week. There was no need to ever have paid an assistant.
It was stated that if the man were not required for six months his engagement would cease when the work was completed.
Mr. Perkins: It will take a long time and I do not think it is necessary.
The chairman said it was explained fully at the last meeting that measurements of property would have to be made, and that the Council had to engage a man to do it.
Reference having been made to the inequalities likely to arise through basing the assessment on measurement, Mr. Claridge said no property was rated solely on measurement; various things such as the position had to be taken into consideration, but the measurement was one of the things insisted upon.
Mr. Horrell: I am not so sure of that Mr. Claridge. We shall have great difficulty in passing it at Wellingborough.
Mr. Claridge said the measuring of property applied more particularly to shops.
Mr. Spencer said he saw no reason for insisting upon measurement. There was no Act of Parliament to authorise it although it might be that some county authority or borough were inclined to put it into force. He knew there was a general understanding that they had got to re-value in five years, and he had hoped the Rating Committee would have come forward with a resolution against rating on measurement.
The Acting Clerk said only shops and similar properties would be affected by the new regulations. Other properties would be assessed on rent, as heretofore.
Mr. Tarry: The Council, I think, can rest assured that the Rating Committee are fully alive to this question. These matters have been given full consideration and they are fully alive to the fact that it is Rushden town they have to look after.
Mr. Perkins: I am against the principle. We get a County Valuation Officer being paid by the County and then we go and get a man to assess our property. Who is going to be right? I am against it in principle and I hope the official will not be paid for long. I am going to suggest his activities are limited to the High-street.
Mr. Claridge: The smaller properties are not going to be measured; they will be assessed on the same basis.
The chairman: It is simply owner-occupied property and shops that are to be measured, is it not Mr. Claridge?
Mr. Claridge: That is what I understand.
The Rating Committee’s report was adopted.
Permission was given to the National Institute for the Blind to hold a flag day in Rushden.