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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th July 1931, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Housing Questions: Costly Road Making
Mr. G. W. Coles’s Suggestion for Winter Work

The monthly meeting of the Rushden District Council was held on Wednesday, the meeting being called for 6.30 p.m. instead of 7 o’clock to enable some of the members to attend the annual dinner of the Boot Manufacturers’ Federation.

The members present were Messrs:- L. Perkins, M.B.E., J.P., B.Sc. (in the chair), J. Roe (vice-chairman), A. Allebone, C.C., A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, T. Swindall, F. Green, J. Allen, C. Claridge, J. T. Richardson, T. F. B. Newberry, T. Wilmott, the Clerk Mr. G. S. Mason, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper, and the Medical Officer of Health, Dr. O. A. J. N. Muriset. Apologies for absence were received from Messrs. C. W. Horrell, C. A., and W. E. Capon.

The Housing Committee reported that they had received five tenders for the construction of two lengths of road in connection with the erection of a further 25 houses on the Irchester-road estate, and the Council accepted that of Mr. H. Wilmott, £1,904 3s 4d, the lowest.

The Council also agreed to apply to the Ministry of Health for sanction to the raising of a loan for £2,000 for carrying out the work.

Mr. Swindall remarked that the cost worked out at about £78 per house, an extraordinarily high figure.

Asked by the chairman of the Housing Committee, Mr. Allen, if he could give any explanation, the Surveyor said the road partially circled the proposed green and that houses could only be built on a section of the road which had to be made up. The road would cover considerably more then just the frontage of the houses.

Mr. Swindall said he did not ask for his own information, but he thought the public should know.

The chairman thought it was a wise procedure for some might think they were growing extravagant now the size of the town was increasing.

Now 500 Applicants

Mr. Coles asked if the Housing Committee would consider making another road sufficient for 200 houses. It would provide work during the winter, which was badly needed and the houses provide homes for those who wanted them. When they started to build there were about 200 applicants; now they had 500, so that although they were doing great work they were not catching up with requirements.

Mr. T. Wilmott said he did not see any urgency. They were getting on all the while and were spending £2,000 now.

Mr. Allen said he did not think the Committee were losing sight of the necessity of going further in providing houses. They were doing their best during this part of the year and keeping in mind the fact that they had got practically 500 applicants.

Mr. Allen said he would like to pay a tribute to Mr. Lack and his staff for the excellent way they had got out a classified list.

The Housing Committee were quite aware that more would have to be done but at present they thought the work in hand would last a considerable time.

The chairman: The population of Rushden has gone up 736 in 10 years and there are 546 more inhabited houses, and I suppose we can count four people per house. So we have done very well indeed, better than any other part of the county.

Mr. Coles said he had not brought the matter forward in a spirit of criticism, but he would like the Committee to consider this and get plans laid out for the winter.

The Housing Committee reported that Mr. H. Chettle attended their meeting with regard to his having erected a wooden garage at the rear of his house in Tennyson-road without having first obtained the permission of the Council. Mr. Chettle had apologised for his action which he stated was due to ignorance of the regulations.

It was resolved that he be required to submit a proper plan to the Plans etc., Committee and provided that they took no exception, the Committee decided to let the matter drop.

Plans Approved

The Housing Committee reported that they had considered a list of applications for Council houses and had made arrangements for letting the remainder of the 46 houses in Tennyson-road now nearing completion.

Messrs. T. Wilmott, W. E. Capon and J. Spencer were appointed as a Sub-Committee of the Housing Committee to consider the question of housing inspection.

On the recommendation of the Plans Committee plans were approved as follows: House in Hayway for Mr. A. Clifton; house in Hayway for Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons; scullery at 184, Cromwell-road, for Mr. W. C. Packwood; wooden garage at Bushmead, Birchall-road, for Mr. G. A. Inwood; wooden garage at rear of 23, Tennyson-road for Mr. Chettle (subject to the entrance gates being provided to the Surveyor’s satisfaction), wooden shop in Carnegie-street for Mr. G. Jones.

Plans for seven cottages off Carnegie-street for Mr. Jack Joyce were rejected as not complying with the bye-laws.

The Surveyor submitted a letter from Mr. Joyce withdrawing his offer to give up certain land if the Council would make a roadway connecting Carnegie-street and Station-road.

A letter was received from Mr. John Hind thanking the Council for giving him permission to act as attendant at the Rectory-road car park, but stating that after a three days’ trial he had come to the conclusion, owing to lack of patronage, that it was impossible for him to continue.

An application was received from Messrs. J. White (Impregnable Boots), Ltd., for certificates that their various factories were provided with sufficient and proper means of escape in case of fire. The chairman of the Highways and Plans Committee and the Surveyor were requested by the Committee to make the usual inspection and report.

War Time Allotments

The Clerk submitted to the Highways Committee a statement of the rents collected for the year ended March 31st last for the war time allotments which showed an amount of £9 4s 2d, after payment of commission for collecting.

On the recommendation of the Committee the Council resolved to instruct the owners that in future they must collect their own rents.

Mr. Newberry asked if the County Council were going to do anything to what he described as the dangerous footpath on the Bedford-road.

Mr. Allebone, who is a member of the Roads and Bridges Committee of the County Council, said the matter had not been lost sight of and the work would be done as soon as possible. Such things were being done in strict rotation.

The Sanitary Inspector reported to the Health and Sanitary Committee that six samples of milk had been examined during the past month. Five of the samples were satisfactory. The Inspector was instructed to communicate with the purveyor concerned with regard to the remaining one and inform him that there must be a considerable improvement at the next examination which the Inspector was requested to have made and submit the results to the August meeting.

The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was received from which it appeared that on the 11th, 19th, and 22nd June last, he made his usual quarterly inspection of the dairy cows in milk in this district, inspecting 160 cows. Three cows suspicious of tubercular disease had been reported under Tuberculosis Order, 1925, the disease was confirmed and the animals had since been destroyed. The remaining 157 cows were clinically normal and the majority in good condition.

Cemetery Receipts

The Cemetery Registrar submitted his half-yearly report from which it appeared that there had been 89 interments for the period to the 30th June last, compared with 59 during the previous half year.

The grave spaces purchased numbered 50, one space had been reserved for a period of 14 years, and the reservation of one other had been renewed for a second period of 14 years.

The fees paid amounted to £206 14s 6d against £125 7s in the previous half-year.

The chairman of the Sanitary Committee and the Sanitary Inspector were appointed a Sub-Committee to visit and inspect proposed new sites for petrol tanks and pumps before construction by the applicants.

On the recommendation of the Health and Sanitary Committee the Council appointed the Sanitary Inspector to attend the Sanitary Inspectors’ conference to be held at Bridlington in September, and agreed to pay his reasonable expenses.

The Medical Officer of Health presented his annual report, details of which will be found on Page 5 of this issue.

Dr. Muriset drew special attention to the birth and death rates, the infantile mortality rate, the deaths from cancer and tuberculosis, etc., and the excellent arrangements at the refuse tips.

The chairman said the committees might peruse the report and possibly be able to carry out some of the doctor’s recommendations, and remedy defects, while they could perhaps educate the public more as regards cleanliness.

Mr. Swindall, as chairman of the Health and Sanitary Committee, complimented the Medical Officer on the report, and thought they could congratulate themselves as a Council on having such a report. They were living in a clean and healthy town.

Rushden used to have the distinction of having the lowest death rate and highest birth rate in the county, and though that was perhaps not the case now they compared favourably with other parts of the county.

Mr. Spencer and Mr. T. Wilmott also spoke in praise of the report and a vote of thanks was carried to the Medical Officer and the Sanitary Inspector for their reports.

Library Increase

The chairman of the Finance Committee, together with Messrs. Coles and Horrell were appointed a sub-committee to consider the question of fixing a scale for salaries of junior clerks in the employ of the Council.

A report was presented on the annual meeting of the Library Committee, and it was stated that Mr. W. C. Tarry had been appointed chairman and Mr. J. Spencer vice-chairman of the Committee for the next three years. Thanks were accorded to the retiring chairman, Mr. J. S. Clipson, who had filled that position for the past ten years. Messrs. Tarry, C. Claridge, W. W. Rial, S. Saddler, B. M. Jones, Clipson, Rev. T. S. Stoney and Rev. C. J. Keeler were appointed to the Book Selection Committee for the ensuing year.

It was reported that the number of books issued during the year ending March 31st last was 39,108, made up as follows: Fiction 34, 472, non-fiction 435, juveniles 6,201, being an increase of 1,862 on the previous year. A total of 287 had been added during the year, made up of fiction 191, non-fiction 11, and juveniles 85. Two of the fiction and three of the non-fiction had been presented to the library, and the thanks of the committee accorded the donors.

The Council agreed to authorise the Committee to expend a sum not exceeding £50 on the purchase of new books during the year. The question of the renewal of various books which had become very much the worse for wear was considered and the Council sanctioned the expenditure of £15 in renewing such books.

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