|The Rushden Echo, 10th June, 1921, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Late Mr. J. Claridge
Spencer Park Improvements
Fire Station Cottage
Lower Cost of Housing?
More Electric Power for Rushden
|Wednesday, present Messrs. W. Bazeley, J.P. (chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), T. Wilmott, C. E. Bayes, F. Knight, J.P., L. Perkins, B.Sc., C. W. Horrell, J. Spencer, J.P., C. Bates, and J. Hornsby, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper).
The Chairman, alluding to the death of Mr. John Claridge, J.P., C.C., said: Before we proceed with the ordinary business of the Council, I feel that it is my duty to refer to the death of our late Chairman and Colleague for so many years. We have lost Mr. John Claridge since our last meeting. We all pay our tribute to the good many years’ public service that Mr. Claridge has given to Rushden and district. He has been foremost in philanthropic, religious, educational, and other objects for the good of the community. Although some of us have not always agreed with the views of Mr. Claridge, there is not one of us who doubted his sincerity and honesty. I am sure you will agree with me that we should convey our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Claridge and the family. We know that although our late colleague is dead, his memory will live in the minds and hearts of the people of Rushden for many years to come.
The members, at the request of the chairman, stood for a moment in silent tribute.
Council in Committee
A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, May 11th, 1921, when there were present: Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), Messrs. T. Swindall, C. E. Bayes, J. Claridge, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, J. Spencer, L. Perkins, and T. Wilmott.
Fire Station Cottage
The question of the occupancy of the Fire Station Cottage referred to this Committee by the Plans etc., Committee, was considered at length. The Clerk read the reports of the Committees that had previously considered the matter; ultimately it was resolved, by a majority, that the present occupant be given notice to leave, and that the Cottage in future be occupied by the Road foreman.
The Chairman formally moved the adoption of the recommendation.
Mr. Spencer seconded.
Mr. Perkins, moving as an amendment that the matter be deferred for six months, said he considered that the Council would be taking a very great risk in making the proposed change.
Mr. Knight seconded, and said he believed that there was some little misunderstanding on the question since the recommendation was made. At the meeting referred to it was understood that the foreman had been a fireman and was practically willing to undertake the duties of the resident fireman at present in occupation. They had since been given to understand that the present road foreman did not want the Fire Station cottage if it would entail resident fireman’s duties. Further, the foreman’s wife had said she was not capable of undertaking the duties carried out by Mrs. Whiting (wife of the Fire Station Cottage tenant). He (Mr. Knight) had not seen the equal of Rushden Fire Station and Brigade, although he had travelled a good deal. He did not know of a council that had done so much for its fire brigade as had Rushden. The Rushden Brigade was well equipped and was extremely efficient. They all knew that in the case of a fire, time at the beginning meant everything. He maintained that it was owing, in great measure, to the smartness of the Rushden Brigade’s turnout that had saved the town from serious fires recently. The Rushden Brigade could be out within two minutes of the call. Therefore if they had to go back on all they had provided in that respect it might mean 20 minutes’ getting the Brigade to a fire, and if it were a factory, hundreds of workers might be thrown out of employment for weeks. They should seriously consider any steps that might lower the efficiency of the Brigade. He would be very sorry if that happened.
Mr. Swindall said he was surprised that the matter should be brought up for discussion again after the length to which they had already discussed it. He should stick to the resolution.
Mr. Wilmott said he considered that the amendment was the only way out, seeing the turn of events. If they tried to carry out the resolution it would cause friction all round.
Mr. Spencer said he had seconded the resolution on principle. The information given by Mr. Knight had not been given at the meeting of the Council in committee.
The amendment was carried, Messrs. Bates, Hornsby, Spencer, and Swindall voting against.
A meeting of the Parks Committee was held at the Spencer Park on Wednesday, May 23rd, 1921, when there were present Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), W. Bazeley, T. Swindall, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.
The Committee inspected the work in progress and gave instructions to the surveyor as to postponing certain of the works until the weather conditions were more favourable.
Mr. Knight said he thought the Parks Committee deserved every sympathy. There had been no rain for a long time, and it was almost like cutting granite to try and cut turf. One bowling green was complete and very satisfactory, except that it was not very green. The progress made with the other beds was also satisfactory, but he thought they must not proceed with some of the work under present conditions or they might have it all to do again. Of the total of £1,300 allowed, about £1,100 had already been spent, leaving rather less than £200 to expend. They had decided to ask the Fire Brigade to take hose and stand-pipe to Spencer-road and so water the bottom green. Fortunately Rushden, unlike other towns in the district, had an abundance of water for the bowling green without the slightest fear of a town’s shortage. The bowling green would thus be much sooner ready for use. The Surveyor had provided a sand dump in the hollow between the brook and the band-stand. About 18 or 20 loads were to be put there for the pleasure of the lesser children. He hoped that the bigger ones would not spoil the enjoyment of the little children, especially as there was provision made for people of all ages. Finally, he hoped that the people would regard the Park as their own property to be protected from wanton damage, often done in mischief.
The Clerk having advertised the Council’s intention, and the requisite time having elapsed, Mr. Bazeley moved:- “That application be made to the Minister of Health for the issue of an order declaring Part 6 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907, relating to recreation grounds to be in force in the Urban District of Rushden.”
Mr. Spencer seconded, and it was carried.
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, May 25th, 1921, when there were present: Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), T. Swindall, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, C. W. Horrell, and T. Wilmott.
were presented for:-
Alterations and additions to No. 62, High-street, for Messrs. Lipton, Ltd., and passed.
Alterations and additions to No. 53, High-street, for Messrs. Cave Bros., and passed.
Open shed in front of blacksmith’s shop, High-street South, for Messrs. A. Gins and son, and no exception taken.
Extension to butcher’s shop in Queen-street, for the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, and passed.
Assisted Housing Scheme
An application was received from Mr. J. Vander Heyden for permission to erect a barn at the rear of the house occupied by him, No. 165, Newton-road, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
An application was also received from Mr. B. Scroxton for permission to erect a derrick on his plot of land in Portland-road.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to agree subject to the derrick being placed back the full length of the van it was intended to raise.
Classification of Roads
The Surveyor submitted a circular letter from the Ministry of Transport stating that the Ministry proposed to pay 50 per cent. of the cost of repairs to first-class roads and 25 per cent. of the cost to second-class roads. The circular also stated that the Ministry might by agreement with the Local Authority defray half the salary and establishment charges of the Surveyor, and that Highway Authorities who wished to participate in such grants should forthwith submit for the approval of the Ministry estimates of the expenditure to be incurred in connection therewith.
The Surveyor was instructed to make enquiries from the County Surveyor what other Local Authorities were doing in this matter.
Attention was called to the guide post on the Newton-road at its junction with the Court Avenue-road, which was in a very bad state of repair and required renewing.
The Surveyor was instructed to ascertain the cost of the standard pattern posts recommended by the Ministry of Transport and report to the next meeting.
The question of the widening of this road near the Salvation Army Barracks and at Beaconsfield-terrace, referred to this Committee by the Council at their last meeting, was considered.
A sub-committee consisting of the Chairman and Mr. Swindall was appointed to interview the owners concerned and report to the next meeting.
It was resolved to recommend the Council that in future the Council employees be required to commence work at 7 a.m. and be allowed from 8.30 to 9 a.m. for lunch.
The Depot Sub-Committee reported that they had met at the Depot, and now recommended that the lamp heads at present stored there be repaired and renovated during the summer months, and then stored on tiers in one of the sheds.
The Committee agreed, and resolved to recommend the Council accordingly.
The Depot Sub-Committee also recommended the purchase of two three-wheel light hand trucks for use in the High-street in place of barrows as at present, at a cost of £14 each.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the surveyor accordingly.
The report was adopted.
Finance & Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, June 1st, 1921, at 10 a.m., when there were present Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), T. Swindall, C. Bates, L. Perkins, and T. Wilmott.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books the expenditure shown there being as follows:-
The Collector’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums during the past month:-
The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums during the past month:-
And that the balances were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £4,199 17s 4d were examined and passed for payment.
Spencer Park Loan £870
The Clerk reported that he had received an offer from a local source of this Loan at 6½per cent. for 20 years, repayable by equal annual instalments of principal and interest combined. The solicitor’s costs, including stamp duty, would be £12 12s.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to accept the offer upon these terms.
The Surveyor was instructed to obtain prices from local tradesmen for the outside painting of the Council houses in Kings-road, and also separate prices for the renovating of two rooms in each house and submit to the next meeting.
The report was adopted.
A meeting of the Housing Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, June 1st, 1921, when there were present: Messrs. W. Bazeley, T. Swindall, F. Knight, and T. Wilmott.
It was resolved that Mr. Fred Knight be appointed Chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
Mr. Fisher, the Architect, attended the meeting and discussed with the Committee the question of completing the scheme. The position with regard to the houses at present contracted for was as follows:-
Thirty-seven of the houses were now occupied.
Mr. Fisher submitted an amended plan for a new type of “A” house containing kitchen, living-room and three bedrooms, which the Committee considered a great improvement of the old type “A,” and decided to adopt it.
In order to complete the first part of the scheme where the roads and sewers are provided, an additional 25 houses are required, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Architect to at once place himself in communication with the Housing Commissioner with a view to obtaining his approval to plans for these additional 25 houses, as follows:-
Mr. Knight, moving the adoption of the report, said that the Housing Committee were rather disappointed at the progress being made. Of the 90 houses in the scheme, only 37 were at present occupied. The houses had been under construction for a very considerable time, and at present there were nearly twice as many applicants as houses to be let when finished. They ought to get on with the other 25, as the Government assistance would finish in July, 1922.
Mr. Spencer seconded.
Mr. Swindall said he hoped the Council would defer inviting tenders for three or four months because, although prices were falling, they would come down still more. Just before the coal strike things had begun to right themselves. Even though the Council waited as he suggested they would still be able to erect houses in time to obtain the Government subsidy.
Mr. Knight said that the time that had elapsed even when trying to push on with the housing had been much longer than Mr. Swindall suggested, so he did not think they would be asking for tenders too soon, the preliminary formalities taking too long.
Mr. Bazeley said that the Committee were very pleased with the plans of the new type of houses. He wanted to know the people’s need for houses. Even with the present part of the scheme completed there would be 150 applicants who could not be satisfied at all, and applications were coming in every day.
The report was adopted.
Health & Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, June 1st, 1921, when there were present, Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, and L. Perkins.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer for the month of May was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that eight complaints had been received during May, relating to nuisances, etc., and the necessary steps taken to cause their abatement. Thirteen preliminary notices had been served, and the total number of nuisances now outstanding was 52.
Two ox carcases with their organs, together with the organs and carcase of a pig, all of which had been voluntarily surrendered, had been destroyed as unfit for the food of man.
The Inspector also reported that he had visited and inspected the dwelling-house, No. 7, Queen-street, and found same to be in such a state as to be injurious to health, thereby causing a nuisance. It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Inspector to serve a notice on the owner requiring her within 28 days to abate the nuisance.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the month.
Housing, Town Planning, Etc., Acts
The Inspector also reported that as instructed at the last meeting he had visited and inspected the properties Nos. 1 to 14, Woburn-place, and now submitted particulars of the defects found to exist therein, a copy of which had been supplied to the owner. The Inspector was requested to again bring the matter before the next meeting of the Committee, should the defects be not remedied.
An application was received from Mr. James Knight, of No. 57, Moor-road, for a licence in respect of the slaughter-house off the Wymington-road, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
An application was also received from Messrs. York, Ward and Rowlatt, for a licence to store 200 gallons of petrol in two-gallon cans in a store now being erected on their premises in High-street.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto on the premises being completed to the satisfaction of the Inspector.
The Inspector of Nuisances submitted a report with regard to a number of houses showing the nature of the accommodation for the deposit of refuse.
It appeared to the Committee by this report that the several houses therein referred to were without a sufficient ashtub, ashpit, or other receptacle for the deposit of refuse, and it was resolved to report to the Council accordingly, with a recommendation that notices be served upon the owners requiring them within 28 days to provide for each house a sufficient and proper receptacle.
A letter addressed to the Sanitary Inspector by the owner of the cottages in Kilburn-place was submitted to the Committee. The letter referred to the very large expenditure that had been incurred on the property during the past two years and expressed a hope that the Committee would allow the matter of providing coppers to stand over until a more favourable opportunity presented itself.
The Inspector was instructed to reply that the Committee would expect the work to be completed within the next six months.
The secretary of the Rushden and District Friendly Societies’ Council wrote inviting the Council members and officials to again, as in previous years, join their annual parade to the Park-road Wesleyan Church on June 26th.
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Swindall, the invitation was unanimously accepted.
The Northampton Electric Light Co. wrote for the information of the Council that they were applying for permission to carry bulk power to Wellingborough and Rushden, partly overhead and partly underground. They hoped to get the co-operation of the Council and asked for an expression of opinion from the members.
Mr. Knight said he did not think they should do anything to hinder any project that would benefit the town, but the question of way-leaves was not satisfactory. The County Council were not satisfied with it. He considered that it was unfair to public authorities that they should have to bear the expense and risk of moving way-leaves where necessary for public improvements, as was the case at the High-street-Church-street corner, where the Rushden Council had had to pay £30 to the Rushden Electric Light Company for removing a way-leave.
Mr. Spencer said he thoroughly supported Mr. Knight, and asked if the Council could do anything in the matter.
The Clerk: The Council can make a recommendation on the matter.
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Wilmott, the question was referred to the Highways Committee.