|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th June, 1950, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Council to Pay Removal Costs
Removal expenses are to be paid to officers appointed by Rushden Urban Council, but there was some opposition to the plan when the Finance Committee brought it forward on Wednesday.
Coun. H. Waring said it seemed wrong to say in advance that they would pay up to 100 per cent not knowing what the amount might be. “Is the sky the limit?” he asked.
The chairman (Coun. F. E. Brown) said the minute referred to actual and reasonable expense.
Coun. J. Allen said they were wrong in passing the minute; it should be a permissive one and not stipulate compulsory payments. It should be left to the committee to take each case on its merits, as had been done in the past. After all, those who accepted appointments at Rushden did so of their own free will.
Mrs. Muxlow said that the interviewing committee was in an invidious position if it could not say whether removal expenses would be paid or not. It was up to the committee to see that they did not get anybody from Timbuctoo.
Coun. A. A. Allebone observed that in the past the man who had asked the most had received the most. They ought to treat them all alike, whether they asked or not.
The Council defeated an amendment by Mr. Allen to refer the minute back.
Grants for Private Houses
New legislation permitting grants towards the improvement of private houses was discussed on Wednesday by Rushden Council, whose Housing Committee was instructed to reconsider its decision not to make such grants during the next twelve months.
Asked for a grant towards the cost of an improvement at a house in Washbrook Road (the conversion of a bedroom into a bathroom), the Housing Committee had decided that as new houses must take priority, consideration of such applications is to be deferred for 12 months. The request was made under the Housing Act of 1949;
Describing the minute as a very important one, Coun. E. J. Roe said the committee were pursuing a wrong policy.
A lot of people wanted to carry out improvements to their houses, and they were now being encouraged to do so quite rightly, he thought, for once by the Government. The committee should not refuse in this arbitrary way to make grants during the next twelve months.
It was all very well to say that housing must take priority it sounded very high-minded but he did not think it could seriously be suggested that there would be any shortage of labour.
Coun. C. G. Faulkner said the clause under which the grants could be made was a good permissive section of the Act, and he should be pleased to support it, though he understood that only 14 Councils in the country had implemented the Act up to the present.
Mr. Roe moved that the minute be referred back, and Coun. Faulkner seconded.
Coun. Mrs. Lean said the question was gone into very thoroughly by the committee, who felt that if they accepted one case they would soon have many demands and there would be less labour for housing. There was also the question of materials; they had been held up for lack of cement, and before long there might be a shortage of bricks and other materials. Mrs. Lean added that no provision for the grants had been made in the estimates.
The reference back was carried by a large majority.
Housing Costs Rise
Large increases in the cost of houses were mentioned to Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday.
Subject to Ministry of Health approval a contract was arranged for the erection of eight houses on the Upper Queen Street site. The contractors are Messrs. A. J. G. Potter and Son, Stanwick (£10,679). Plans have been prepared for 14 more houses, which will complete the year’s quota.
The Surveyor (Mr. A. Millar) reported that owing to the increased cost of components there was an increase of £100 in the contract price of the Unity houses now being built for the council. On another contract for 30 houses on the Higham Road site the final account was £4,444 in advance of the original estimate, the increase being due to advances in wages and the price of materials.
It was reported that members of the Housing Committee have expressed concern at the slow progress of housing operations. The chairman of the council has been asked to make a personal appeal to all contractors, urging them to expedite progress.
Mrs. Lean said the committee felt that houses were not being built as quickly as they should have been.