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The Rushden Echo, 14th June 1901, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night there were present Messrs. G. Denton (chairman), J. Claridge, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, W. H. Wilkins, and T. Swindall, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. D. Madin).

Plans &c., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held on Wednesday May 15th, 1901. Present:- Messrs. Geo. Denton (chairman), J. Spencer (vice-chairman), W. H. Wilkins, W. Bazeley, G. Miller, J. S. Clipson, and F. Knight.

Plans were presented by:-

Messrs. Knight and Bradfield for 5 cottages on the Wellingborough-road, and passed.

Messrs. Campbell Praed and Co. for house and shop in Portland-road, and passed subject to means of drainage for cellar being provided to the Surveyor’s satisfaction.

Messrs. Lilley, Skinner, and Sykes, for cowshed (iron building) on the Spencer Park estate, and no objection raised. The Surveyor to call the attention of the owners to the fact that the building when erected might at any time have to be altered in order to comply with the model regulations of the Local Government Board as to cowsheds.

Mrs. L. Brown for alterations to shop in Queen-street, and passed.

Mr. W. Packwood for additions to house in Newton-road, and passed.

Mr. Bramley-Moore for refreshment room on the Rushden Court estate, and passed.

Mr. A. Young. – The Surveyor reported that the house recently erected on the Rushden Court estate had now been completed to his satisfaction, and that a certificate of completion had been granted.

Street Watering – The letter from the Tradesmen’s association received at the last Council meeting was considered and the Clerk instructed to reply that having regard to the present water supply everything possible was being done.

Fire brigade – Mr. Bazeley called attention to the present organisation of the Fire Brigade but after some discussion postponed moving any resolution on the subject until the proposed new fire station is completed.

The report was adopted.

Sewage Farm Sub-Committee

The Sewage Farm Sub-Committee met at the farm on the 13th May, 1901. Present:- Messrs. G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and Wm. Bazeley. Mr. Skinner was elected chairman.

It was resolved to instruct Mr. Bletsoe to sell the crops of cabbage, lucerne, and grass by auction on the 20th May, at 4 p.m., in lots as follows, viz.:-

2 lots cabbage, about 30 poles each.

5 lots Lucerne, about ½ an acre in all.

3 lots of grass, for mowing only until the end of September.

The Sewage Farm Sub-Committee met again on the 20th May, 1901, when the crops were sold by auction, and all lots disposed of, realising –

2 lots of cabbage …….. £4 2s

5 lots Lucerne …….. 2s 7d to 2s 9d per pole

3 lots grass …….. £15 7s 6d

The report was adopted.

Finance &c., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held on Wednesday, May 22nd, 1901. Present – Messrs. Geo. Denton (chairman), J. Spencer (vice-chairman), T. Swindall, G. H. Skinner, J. Claridge, and C. Bates.


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

Sanitary Reports – The Medical Officer reported a case of typhoid fever in Duck-street, but was unable to account for the outbreak in any way. He had subsequently examined a sample of water taken from the well on the premises, and pronounced the same unfit for drinking purposes. The Medical Officer also reported that he had visited ten factories since the last meeting, and found them all in a satisfactory condition.

The Inspector reported, with regard to the case of typhoid fever in Duck-street, that he had taken all the usual precautions to prevent the spread of the disease, and had notified both the landlord and tenant that the water in the well was unfit for use. Two cases of scarlet fever had been reported; one in Moor-road, and the other on Rushden-hill. He had visited both cases, and proper precautions were being taken. The Committee suggested to the inspector that he should endeavour to get the owner of the property in Duck-street to lay the town water on at once, and abandon the well referred to.

It was also reported by the Inspector that he had received from Mr. Yates a complaint as to a nuisance arising near his house from empty fish cases being stacked near his back door by Mr. Robert Hooper. The Inspector had spoken to Mr. Hooper with regard to the same matter on previous occasions, and had again seen him with regard to the present complaint. Mr. Hooper had now promised that the boxes should not be placed in that position in future. The Inspector was instructed to watch the matter, and take further steps if the offence be repeated.

Brook at South End of Town. – The Surveyor submitted an estimate for paving the brook at the south end of the town. The committee decided to defer taking any action at present.

Council’s Employees. – The Surveyor was authorized to increase the wages paid to the labourers employed in asphalting to 22s per week whilst actually employed in asphalting work. It was also agreed that all the Council’s employees should cease work at one o’clock on Saturdays.

Fire Station and Depot. – The Surveyor informed the Committee that he had obtained prices for the preparation of quantities in connection with the erection of the Fire Station and Depot, and submitted same to the Committee. The prices submitted were in excess of what the Committee expected, and the matter was adjourned for further consideration.

Estimates. – The estimates for the current year were considered, and a draft as settled by the Committee was ordered to be printed and forwarded to each member of the Council preparatory to the further consideration thereof by the whole Council in Committee on Wednesday, the 25th May.

The Surveyor reported that the town water had now been laid on to the house in Duck-street in accordance with the suggestion of the Committee.

The Chairman referring to the part of the report dealing with the Council’s employees, said it had been pointed out to the committee that asphalting was a dirty job and one which required some amount of skill, so it was thought only reasonable that the men should be paid rather more than ordinary labourers. In regard to the hours worked it was thought desirable to bring the hours of the Council’s men into conformity with those of builders’ workmen generally in the district.

Mr. Claridge asked if that would effect the scavenging on Saturday nights.

The Chairman: No, it would not interfere with that.

The report was adopted.

Council In Committee

A meeting of the whole Council in committee was held on Wednesday, May 5th, 1901. Present Messrs. Geo. Denton (chairman), John Spencer (vice-chairman), Wm. Bazeley, Chas. Bates, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, G. Miller, F. Knight, g. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and W. H. Wilkins.

Estimates. – The estimates as prepared by the Finance Committee were considered in detail, and approved.

Water Supply. – Letter from Lady Wantage’s agent and Mr. Goosey’s solicitors were received with regard to the additional supply at No. 3 station, Wymington. A committee consisting of the Chairman Mr. Knight and Mr. Miller with the Surveyor and Clerk were appointed to deal with the matters, and make terms on behalf of the Council.

The Chairman, in moving the adoption of the report, said the estimates showed that the financial affairs of the parish were satisfactory, and that if it had not been for the extraordinary expense involved by their efforts to obtain a sufficient water supply their position would have been very favourable. In consequence of having to incur that large expenditure, it was necessary to maintain their present rate, but if it had not been for that they would, no doubt, have been able to do with a somewhat lower rate. The income for the year had fully come up to their expectations, and the expenditure had been kept within the estimates. Looking at the accounts altogether, he thought they were in a healthy state. It would have been more satisfactory if they could have shown that they had really arrived at their maximum expenditure, so that there was a prospect of a diminution of the rate, but in view of the growth of the necessities of the town it did not appear, for a short time, at all events, that the rate was likely to be less than it had been in previous years.

The report was adopted.

Financial Items

The Chairman, in accordance with notice, moved that those accounts, including the wages accounts, &c., usually checked at the Council meetings, should, in future, be first checked and examined by the Finance Committee.

Mr. Wilkins seconded the motion, which was carried.

The Clerk reported that the audit of the council’s accounts for the past year had now been completed. The auditor said the accounts were kept in a remarkably good way, and said he was very pleased with them indeed.

Tradesmen’s Outside Displays

Mr Bazeley mentioned that a lad had that day met with an accident through kicking against a box outside a shop in High-street. The boy’s father wished him to ask what was the Council’s position in such a case, and what remedy he had.

The Clerk said if there was negligence on the part of the tradesmen, the remedy would, of course, be against him, but without knowing the circumstances he could not say whether there was any cause of action in the case mentioned.

Mr. Bazeley thought the tradesmen were going a bit too far, and that if the Council had the power they should check the practice of standing goods on the pavement.

The Chairman said the matter had been before the Council on several different occasions. They had absolute power to prevent goods being shown on the pavement, but they did not want to take extreme measures if the tradesmen were reasonable. He agreed with Mr. Bazeley that the tradesmen were somewhat taking advantage of this, and so interfering with the comfort of those who used the footpaths. If matters were not remedied, they must put their foot down and not allow goods to be displayed on the pavement.

Mr. Swindall pointed out that many of the tradesmen owned a bit of ground in front of their shops and had a right to show their goods on it. Others, who had no ground, seeing them do so, thought they had a right to put goods outside.

Mr. Bazeley said he would bring the matter before the Highways Committee at the next meeting.

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