|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 13th June, 1952, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
New Homes Are Damaged
Youths Blamed for Serious Mischief
“Wanton damage” on building estates, the car parking problem and the long wait for a town bus service, were leading subjects at a lengthy meeting of Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday.
Coun. F. E. Brown said that in Boundary Avenue gutters had been pulled down, windows and doors broken and newly distempered walls smeared with dirty fingermarks. Builders said it was the worst case they had ever known. It was thought that youths were responsible and the police would certainly prosecute if possible.
The same member complained of the continued delay in starting the town service promised by the United Counties Omnibus Co. and suggested that other companies should be approached or that the council should consider a municipal service. Coun. E. A. Sugars, chairman of the Highways Committee, assured him of support, agreeing that the time had come for “pretty firm” action.
On the parking question Mr. Sugars asked members to suggest new parking places. Coun. R. R. Griffiths complained that no-waiting orders were pushing cars into streets where they were parked on both sides creating danger for children and workers, and Coun. W. E. Capon said danger arose in College Street, when cars were placed outside the official park.
Badly silted sewers had to be dragged after the heavy storm early in May, reported the Surveyor (Mr. A. Millar). There was trouble at the Hayway-Washbrook Road junction where two pipes converge into one of the same size and an estimate is to be prepared for an additional sewer in Washbrook Road.
Police complaints that the pedestrian crossing in High Street near College Street is obscured by buses and queues have led to the suggestion that it should be moved. The question is being considered by the Highways Committee.
Following a letter from the Chamber of Trade the Surveyor has been instructed to replace the opaque glass in the bus shelters with clear glass as and when replacements become necessary.
Authorisation for the erection of a “Halt” sign at the junction of Church St. and High St. has been issued by the Minister of Transport.
A scheme for improvements in Wellingborough Road at the junction with Church Street contemplated the provision of a traffic island at the end of Church Street, which would result in traffic entering Wellingborough Road at a less acute angle, and also the widening of the carriageway in Wellingborough Road to provide standing bays for buses.
At the suggestion of Coun. H. Waring who raised doubts as to the effect of narrowing the outlet, the plan was held back so that all members can see the details. If approved, it will go to the County Council, who are responsible for the road.
The Council approved the draft of an Order in respect of Church Street and the lower part of Newton Road prohibiting waiting between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on any day other than Sunday.
An extension of the speed limit area will result from the decision of the East Midlands Electricity Board to extend the cable in Bedford Road, making it possible to provide two additional street lamps near Jubilee Park.
A complaint was received concerning the uneven surface of the flagged pavements in Upper Park Avenue. The road is not repairable by the council, and the Highways Committee did not feel that action was justified at the present time to secure the making up of the road under the Private Street Works Act.
It was reported that the County Council had agreed to bear the cost of the work recently carried out in Bedford Road, near Jubilee Park to obviate flooding.
The Surveyor reported that following complaints he had inspected new premises erected by Messrs. Cox and Wright in East Grove and found that a corrugated fence had been raised by approximately two feet and a passageway between the fence and the wall of the adjoining building roofed over with corrugated iron. No gutterings had been provided and no provision made for disposing of the roof drainage.
Notice will be served to the owners to pull down the works or take such action as may be necessary under the Public Health Act.
Subject to later consideration of details and to any observations by the Public Health Committee, the council offer no objection to a preliminary plan for the re-development of Messrs. Bailey Bros.’ land in Washbrook Road and Fletcher Road, now used as a scrap metal yard. The scheme includes new storage sheds and the use of frontages as building plots.
Note was made of a statement by Coun. J. E. Wills that a large hole creates danger of an accident at the junction of Pemberton Street and Moor Road, where reconstruction work has taken place. Coun. A. Green, who said members would like “a complete picture of unadopted roads in the town,” was promised that the information would be produced.
Building plans were as follows: additions to houses, Wellingborough Road, Mr. G. W. Marriott; bedroom and garage, 81, The Hayway, Mr. C. Tattersall; house, Hall Avenue, Mr. E. Straubs; asbestos garage, Wilson Road, Mr. W. Cox; 12 lock-up garages, High Street South, Townsend’s Garages Ltd.; greenhouse, 34, Prospect Avenue, Mr. H. Towers; bathroom, 258, Wellingborough Road, Mr. C. N. Clark; extension to “Wilberforce,” Wellingborough Road, Mr. R. R. Smart; additions to bungalow, Bedford Road, Mr. R. Pye; conservatory, 53/54, Prospect Avenue, Mr. L. Carter and Mr. A. E. Sanders.
The Ministry have now issued a timber licence in connection with the extension of the Council Buildings. This was stated by the Surveyor who mentioned that the roof and external walls had been completed and that the internal work is being commenced.
Inspection by the Medical Officer and the Sanitary Inspector on the Court Estate had revealed that land at the rear of bungalows in Newton Road was becoming saturated with sewage.
The Surveyor was requested to report as to the probable cost of draining the area to the existing sewerage scheme and the possibility of providing more immediate relief.
Remarking that the cost would be heavy but that any attempt to avoid it might lead to loss of life through epidemic, Coun. H. Waring appealed to residents to make more use of the council’s cesspool emptier in their own interests.
The Surveyor reported that he had investigated complaints made by tenants of the Trusteel houses on the Hove Road estate concerning the back doors which open outwards and constantly suffer damage in windy weather.
He stated that it would be difficult to make any satisfactory alterations to provide for the doors to open inwards, and the Housing Committee decided to continue with the present arrangements under which glass panels are replaced as necessary with metal-faced plywood.
The Housing Committee approved the issue of private building licences to Mr. G. R. Corby, Hall Avenue, Mr. W. L. Hanger, Palm Road, Mr. E. Cumberpatch, Palm Road, Mr. D. W. Dickens, Woodland Road, and Mr. D. J. Rawlings, Blinco Road. They did not feel able to approve one application for the erection of a house at a cost of £3,000 plus a garage, and decided that expenditure must not exceed £2,500.
Difficulties with contractors over the external painting of houses in the 1952 programme caused the abandonment of certain contracts and fresh tenders have been invited.
Another application from Messrs. H. Priest and Co. for an increase of 7s. per house in their contract for the painting of 224 houses, on the grounds that there had been an increase of 3d. per hour in wages, was turned down by the Housing Committee.
It was agreed that, following the reconstruction of the former Sartoris Almshouses, the net rents of Nos. 32 and 34, Wellingborough Road be fixed at four shillings a week and that a rebate be continued in respect of each of the tenants who were in occupation when the premises were transferred to the council.
The Public Health Committee reported on unauthorised works which had been carried out at 30, Montague Street, involving alterations to the drainage. Notice will be served upon the owner to pull down the work or effect such alterations as may be necessary to comply with the Public Health Act.
“It is something we cannot possibly overlook,” commented Coun. H. Waring.
A Parks sub-committee is to meet representatives of the bands at the Hall following a report by the Surveyor that he had considered methods of forming an enclosure around the bandstand with seating for those who wished to listen to the concerts.
The enclosure, he suggested, could be arranged by using tubular steel with chain link fencing attached. Since the commencement of the band performances, however, observation had been kept on the use made of the chairs, and it would appear there was no great demand for them in a group by the bandstand.
The Parks Committee reported that two applications had been received for club bookings of tennis courts at Spencer Park, one from Rushden Town Tennis Club for the use of two courts on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and the second from the Rushden Co-operative Society Sports and Social Club, for one court on Wednesdays. The applications were granted.
The Surveyor reported that the work to the tea-room and kitchen in the hut at Spencer Park had been completed, and part of the work in the two dressing rooms, but that the amount of the estimate (£150) had proved to be insufficient, the cost to date amounting to approximately £220 with further work outstanding amounting to another £20.
It was agreed to complete the work and meet the cost out of general park maintenance allowances.
The Library Committee, after further consideration of the scheme approved last year for re-arrangement of the use of the rooms at the library, recommended that the Surveyor be authorised to arrange for the works to be carried out at an estimated cost of £180. The junior section will be moved and more space given to the general lending department.
It was agreed that the responsibility for the museum exhibits at present stored in Rushden Hall, and their future use, be transferred to the Library Committee.
The Librarian was requested to contact secretaries of local organisations with a view to the maintenance in the library of a diary of forthcoming local events.
A meeting to discuss Coronation festivities was fixed for July 3rd.
As requested by the council, the County Education Office agrees to an increase in the number of managers for Rushden’s primary schools, so that all local members of the County Council can serve. The council re-appointed Couns. W. E. Capon and E. A. Sugars, and it is also suggested that Couns. F. E. Brown and W. E. Higham should be appointed.
The following have been elected chairmen of the council’s committees; Housing, Coun. F. E. Brown; Health, Coun. H. Waring; Highways and Planning, Coun. E. A. Sugars; Finance and General Purposes, Coun. C. G. Faulkner; Library, Coun. Mrs. A. U. Muxlow; Parks, Coun. E. E. Newell.