|Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
|The Rushden Echo, 14th March, 1919
The Shortage of Coal
Wednesday, present Messrs. T. Wilmott, J.P. (chairman), F. Knight, J.P. (vice-chairman), W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, J. Hornsby, J. Spencer, J.P., J. S. Clipson, J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., F. Green, and J. Tomlin, with Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk) and Mr. W. B. Madin (surveyor).
With regard to the municipal housing scheme the Clerk said that the Local Government Board had written asking for a plan of the way in which it was intended to lay out the site and for other information. Mr. Mason added that Mr. Madin would go up to London on Wednesday next to explain the plans and give the information required.
The Council agreed to this course.
A letter was received from the Fuel Commissioner for the district in reply to the communication sent from the last meeting of the Council, calling attention to the coal shortage. He said that the conditions at Rushden had been known to him for some time, but unfortunately the same conditions applied to almost every other district. It they could keep clear of miners’ strikes he thought the position would shortly improve considerably.
The Northampton Electric Light Co. applied for permission to bring mains into Rushden in order to bring electric power in bulk to the Rushden generating station.
Mr. Spencer: Suppose that in the future we as a town wished to purchase the Rushden Electric Power Company’s undertaking, should we be in a worse position through granting the permission asked for?
The Clerk said that in case the Council wished to purchase the undertaking they would have to pay more in proportion to the business done; the more the profits the more the Council would have to pay.
Mr. Clipson said he understood that the Northampton Company did not intend to touch the mains of the Rushden Company, but to supply power in bulk direct to the Rushden generating station.
A representative of the Northampton Company said that that was so. As far as the town of Rushden was concerned, the main would be underground. They could not have an overhead wire in a thickly-populated district, but only in the open country. They would not cross any of the streets of Rushden by overhead wire.
Mr. Spencer: Will it lower the price of power to the consumer?
The Company’s representative said the proposal would be absolutely for the benefit of the district and the town.
The representative then withdrew, and the Council considered the application.
Mr. Bates: What would be the effect if the Council refused the application?
The Clerk: They would ask the Board of Trade to dispense with our consent if the Board considered it had been withheld unreasonably.
Mr. Bazeley moved that permission be given, and Mr. Spencer seconded.
Mr. Clipson supported, and said that the Rushden generating station was working up to its limit at present.
Mr. Knight called the attention of the Labour members to the fact that they had on previous occasions contended that the gas supply, etc., should belong to the town. The Electric Supply undertaking at Rushden was at present not a big undertaking, and the new Urban Council might think it desirable to purchase the undertaking for the town. He hoped the Labour members would not be disappointed if the business increased and the price went up.
The permission asked for was given.
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, Feb. 26th, 1919, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Wilmott (chairman), F. Knight, J. S. Clipson, J. Hornsby, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and J. Tomlin.
were presented for:-
House on the Newton-road for Mr. C. L. Bradfield, and passed subject to system of drainage being shown on the plan, and wall at the back of kitchen range being increased to 8-inch work or cement and slate.
Motor house for Mr. J. W. Goode in Robert-street and passed.
Motor house in Gordon-street, for Messrs. T. Robinson and Sons, Ltd., and no exception taken.
Factory in Victoria-road for Messrs. Howes and George, and passed.
A letter was received from Messrs. Luck and Andrew, Ltd., stating that owing to the greatly increased cost of building they would be unable to proceed with the erection of the wood-working factory plan which was passed at the last meeting with the materials then proposed, and asked permission to substitute reinforced concrete and steel for bricks.
The Committee saw no objection to this provided details of the work be supplied to the Surveyor.
Wellingborough-road. As instructed at the last meeting the Surveyor presented an estimate for the reconstruction of this road, the total cost, including footpaths and drainage being £8,750.
It was resolved that the estimate be forwarded to the County surveyor with a request that it might be submitted to the Road Board with a view to a grant being obtained to carry out the work. The Surveyor was also instructed to forward a duplicate of the application to the Road Board direct.
The Surveyor was instructed to write to the various Contractors now supplying granite and slag inviting them to tender for the quantities required for the ensuing year.
Carting. The Surveyor was also instructed to advertise for tenders for carting the various materials to the roads where required.
The report was adopted.
Finance & Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, March 4th, 1919, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. T. Wilmott (chairman), F. Knight, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, and Fred Green.
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £2,041 15s. 8d. were examined and passed for payment.
It was resolved to hold a special meeting of the Committee on Monday, the 24th inst., to clear up the accounts for the year.
The Committee had under consideration the question of the Surveyor’s salary with regard to some revision as suggested by the Local Government Board in their Circular of December 11th, last, but having regard to his appointment as Fuel Overseer and the salary paid in connection therewith the Committee did not consider it necessary to take any steps at present, but recommended the Council that on the duties of the Fuel Overseer ceasing the matter be then considered.
The report was adopted.
Health & Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, March 5th, 1919, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), T. Wilmott, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, and Fred Green.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Report of the Medical Officer for the month of February was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting 26 informal notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances and other matters, all of which were receiving attention.
One lot of bedding had been destroyed after a death from consumption and the room cleansed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace part of the bedding destroyed at a cost not exceeding £1 7s. 6d.
During the month a consignment of beef weighing 198 pounds had been voluntarily surrendered as unfit for human consumption and destroyed in the usual way.
An application had been received from Mr. William Hodgkins, of 62, Robert-street, to be registered as a Cowkeeper, Dairyman, and Purveyor of Milk under the Dairies and Cowsheds Order, 1885 and his name placed on the register.
The work of repairing defective yard paving in various parts of the town was also in hand.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
The Inspector also reported that during the past month 24 additional lists relating to 57 outworkers receiving work inside the district had been received together with nine outworkers receiving work outside the district.
Maternity and Child Welfare
The Committee had under consideration the Memorandum received from the County Council containing the outlines of the County Scheme under the Maternity and Child Welfare Act, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to come under the County Scheme.
Notification of Infectious Diseases
Formal notification from the Local Government Board was received stating that the following four additional diseases had been made compulsorily notifiable:- Pneumonia, Malaria, Dysentery, Trench Fever.
On the reception of the report, Mr. Knight regretted the absence of Mr. A. F. Lloyd (the acting surveyor), who was attending the funeral of his father.
Dealing with the Maternity and Child Welfare Act, Mr. Bazeley said that the County Council scheme provided that out of ten representatives on the committee there were only two representatives of the working-class women. He proposed that they ask the County Council to increase the number to four, and that the out-of-pocket expenses be paid. He regretted that the feeble-minded did not come under the scheme.
Mr. Claridge: They come under another scheme.
Mr. Spencer seconded Mr. Bazeley’s proposition, and said that the County Council were undoubtedly trying to do something for the benefit of the children and of the mothers. He thought the scheme should be made as wide as possible to include all classes, and if they were going to get working women to attend the meetings their railway fare should be paid. At present the County Council must be composed largely of men of means, as working men could not spare the time and the expense.
Mr. Hornsby supported and said the Act could be of great benefit to the poorer classes in the community if properly administered.
The Clerk, in reply to a question, said there was nothing to stop the Urban Council from refusing to come under the County Council scheme and from adopting one of their own, but the Local Government Board would not contribute to the cost unless they were satisfied with the scheme.
The Chairman said that under the County Council scheme the Local Government Board found half the cost.
It was decided to come under the County Council scheme, and Mr. Bazeley’s proposition was carried.
The retiring Overseers (Messrs. J. T. Colson, L. Baxter, J. Claridge, and T. W. C. Linnitt) were re-elected.
An application was received on behalf of the Council’s employees for a 44-hour working week at the same wages as now paid, and also asking the Council to support a national conference on the question.
In answer to Mr. Bazeley, Mr. Madin said the present hours were 56½ in summer and 50½ in winter.
Mr. Bates moved the Council support the latter part of the letter, asking for a national conference.
Mr. Spencer seconded, and said he thought the hours needed reducing to 48. He thought the question should be settled nationally.
The motion was carried.
Roll of Honour
Mr. Knight said that some time ago a small committee was appointed to collect the names of all Rushden men who had joined the Colours up to the time of the Armistice. He had got the names from the secretaries of the Cromwell-road, Queen-street, Rectory-road, and High-street South Rolls of Honour. If the committees of the other rolls of honour would send in the names on their lists the committee would soon be able to get at the number of men who had joined the Forces.
Urban Council Election
The Clerk said that the Urban Council election would take place on Saturday, April 5th. It had been suggested that the National School was not very central for the Southern Division, and he had applied for the use of the Queen-street School, but the officials did not like to grant the use of the school on a Saturday as it would interfere with their school on Sunday. If he could not get the use of the Queen-street School, the polling would have to take place at the National School. They needed a room big enough to hold five polling stations.
The Rushden Echo, 28th March, 1919
No Probable Increase In The Rates
A special meeting of the Council to close the finances of the year, was held on Monday night, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight, J.P. (in the chair), J. Tomlin, J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., C. Bates, J. Hornsby, T. Swindall, F. Green, W. Bazeley, J.P., and J. S. Clipson.
Cheques were signed for various amounts, totalling £786.
Mr. Bazeley: I should like to ask the Clerk how he thinks the balance will turn out whether the receipts are up to the estimate, and the expenditure what was anticipated.
The Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason): Our expenditure will, I think, be rather more than we anticipated, because we spent this year nearly £500 on the housing, out of the current rate, which was not estimated for. This and the higher wages will make the difference. Otherwise we should not have been far from the estimates.
Mr. Bazeley: Apart from the £500, our balance in hand would not be decreased from the previous year?
The Clerk: No.
Mr. Bazeley: There will be a balance of about £500 or £600?
The Clerk: Yes, about that, I think. I am quite satisfied that we shall be able to go through next year on a rate of 5s. 0d., which is as much as any town can do to keep the rate as last year.
Mr. Swindall: Nearly every other place is increasing.
The Clerk: It looks as if we shall be able to manage next year on a pre-war rate.
Out Of Office
The Clerk said that the present Council did not go out of office until April 15th. The last meeting of this Council would be held on April 9th, and the first meeting of the new Council would be held on April 16th.
Mr. Bates referred to the remarks which he made at the last meeting with regard to the shortage of coal. At that meeting he said there were rumours about the town of some people having several tons of coal. In one case the charge was practically substantiated, but in the other cases the statement was not warranted by the facts. He thought, therefore, that in the interests of all concerned he should withdraw his remarks.
The Chairman: It is very honourable of you to withdraw it.
Mr. Bates: I cannot substantiate it. I have been “let down.”
Mr. Bazeley: Your informant had not got his facts right?
Mr. Bates: That is so.
Mr. Hornsby: I am satisfied that Mr. Bates said it in the best interests of the community, and in all fairness to the Coal Committee I am glad he has made the statement to-night. I am perfectly satisfied that Mr. Bates brought the question forward in a straightforward manner.
Mr. Swindall: Still, such a statement ought not to be made to the Council in the first instance; it should have been made to the Coal Committee. There is a committee appointed to deal with this matter, and that is where the complaint should go. Mr. Bates says that in one case his remarks were practically substantiated, but in this case, too, the evidence did not bear out the statement.
Mr. Clipson: Mr. Bates’s statement was that a manufacturer had received two tons of coal, whereas the coal was divided between several houses.
The subject then dropped.
The Rushden Echo, 11th April, 1919
Final Meeting of The Old Council
The final meeting of the Council elected six years ago the life of which was prolonged three years beyond the normal period was held in the Council Buildings on Wednesday night, when there were present: Councillors T. Wilmott, J.P. (chairman), F. Knight, J.P., (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., C. Bates, J. Spencer, J.P., J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, J. Tomlin, and J. Hornsby, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Acting Sanitary Inspector (Mr. A. E. Lloyd).
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, March 26th, 1919, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Wilmott (chairman), F. Knight, J. S. Clipson, J. Hornsby, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and J. Tomlin.
were presented for:-
Additions to workshop at the rear of No. 86, Queen-street, for Mr. J. Lilley, and passed.
Motor garage for Mr. A. Gramshaw, off York-road, and passed.
Leather store for Messrs. C. W. Horrell, Ltd., in Moor-road, and no exception taken.
GRANITE Tenders for the supply of granite for the current year were considered, and the surveyor instructed to place orders amongst the various firms at the respective prices quoted by them for his requirements.
SLAG Tenders for the supply of slag were also received, and the Surveyor instructed to place orders as required amongst the various firms at the respective prices quoted by them.
CARTING The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for carting the road materials.
The Surveyor submitted the National Boiler and General Insurance Company’s Inspector’s report on the No. 1 Fire Engine which the Committee considered quite satisfactory.
Old Beer House, High Street
With regard to this property, in respect of which a closing order has been made by the Council, the Sub-committee reported that they had been in communication with the owners as to the amount of compensation they would require for giving up about 33 square yards of land for street improvement. The owners asked £200, but the Committee considered this amount unreasonable, and resolved to recommend the Council to make an offer of £100.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to cease all public lighting, with the exception of the lamps in the High-street, on April 13th, and to cease lighting the latter on May 11th.
A letter was received from the Wellingborough Motor ’Bus Co., Ltd., asking that the trees on the Wellingborough-road might be lopped. The surveyor was instructed to carry out the work at the Company’s expense.
The report was adopted, the Chairman, in reply to Mr. Bates, stating that the beer-house referred to belonged to Messrs. Praed.
Finance & Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, April 1st, 1919, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. T. Wilmott (chairman), F. Knight, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, and Fred Green.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Collector’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-
The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the balances were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £467 15s. 10d. were examined and passed for payment.
General District Rate
The Clerk was requested to instruct the Rates Clerk to prepare a rate at 2s. 6d. in the £ for sealing at the next meeting of the Council.
The report was adopted. With regard to the rate, Mr. Hornsby asked if the Finance Committee were satisfied that a rate of 2s. 6d. would be sufficient. He did not wish the rate to go up, but at the same time he wondered if the 2s. 6d. would be enough to meet the expenses of the next half-year. They were anticipating a little extra work which had been delayed owing to the war; there would be increased wages, and a number of employees would be returning from the front.
The Chairman said that the Finance Committee had fully considered the matter, and, on the advice of the Clerk, they thought the 2s. 6d. would be enough. The next six months there would not be much done to the roads, though, of course, there would be some expense in that direction.
The Clerk: We have £5,000 in reserve.
Mr. Claridge said the Finance Committee had thoroughly considered the position.
Mr. Hornsby said he was quite satisfied.
Health & Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 2nd, 1919, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), T. Wilmott, C. Bates, J. Claridge, and Fred Green.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer for the month of March was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting 27 informal notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances and other matters, all of which were receiving attention.
Two lots of infected bedding had been destroyed after deaths from infectious disease and the rooms cleansed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace part of the bedding destroyed in one of the cases at a cost not exceeding £1 7s. 6d.
A quantity of unsound tripe, weighing 37 lbs., voluntarily surrendered, had been destroyed as being unfit for human consumption.
An application had been received from Mr. F. L. Tysoe to be registered as a cow-keeper and purveyor of milk, and his name had been placed on the register.
A sample of water taken from a well at 93, High-street South, after examination by the Medical Officer, had been found to be unfit for domestic purposes. The owner had since closed the well and given instructions for the town water to be laid on.
An application was received from Messrs. G. Chettle and Son for a renewal of their knacker’s yard licence, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
One book belonging to the Free Library found in an infected house had been destroyed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the book.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
The Inspector also reported that during the past month nine additional lists had been received, relating to eleven out-workers receiving work inside the district and seven out-workers receiving work outside the district.
Dairies, Cowsheds & Milkshops Order
The quarterly report of Mr. Bainbridge was received, from which it appeared that on the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th March, 1919, he visited 33 premises and inspected 224 cows and heifers, making special examination of their udders and throats.
The Committee considered the report satisfactory.
The report was adopted.
Present: Mr. T. Wilmott (chairman), also Messrs. Claridge, Clipson, Hornsby, Percival, Spencer, Swindall, Tomlin, and Watson.
The Committee had before them “Roneo 67” for consideration, and it was decided that the Local Fuel Overseer should fill up Form 78 relating to Maximum Prices of Coal and Coke at the same rates as adopted at the meeting held on September 27th and October 11th 1918.
The Local Fuel Overseer read a circular “Roneo 69” from the Divisional Officer as to House Coal, and was directed to send each merchant and dealer a copy thereof.
Local Fuel And Lighting Committee
Present: Mr. T. Wilmott (chairman), also Messrs. Spencer, Hornsby, Tomlin, Swindall, Percival, Claridge, and Clipson.
The Local Fuel Overseer reported that the quantity of House Coal delivered during March was 563 tons.
The Local Fuel Overseer reported an Inspector from the Divisional Office at Leicester had called on him relative to the scale of prices of Coal in less than one ton lots and suggested some little amendment. The Committee were of opinion that as the prices were fixed in October last after a good deal of consideration, no changes should be made in the Scale at the present time, and the Overseer was instructed to reply accordingly.
The report was adopted, Mr. Spencer stating that they all wished there was more coal coming into the town.
The Clerk read a letter offering the town of Rushden a “Tank” in commemoration of the important part played by Rushden in the purchase of War Savings Certificates, etc. He stated that he had consulted with the Chairman, who advised him to accept the offer, and this he did. The Authorities now wrote that it was impossible to give anything like the exact date when the Tank would arrive.
On the proposition of Mr. Swindall, the decision to accept the Tank was confirmed.
The Clerk reported that on the suggestion of Mr. Unwin, chief surveyor to the Local Government Board, Mr. Madin had visited him with regard to the Rushden housing scheme. Mr. Unwin had made several suggestions, and Mr. Madin and Mr. Fisher (the architect) had slightly modified the original plans in accordance with those suggestions. The Local Government Board were prepared to approve of the scheme generally, subject to the site being found suitable upon inspection. With regard to the plans, there were 70 houses of Type B, and the Local Government Board suggested that the part containing the copper should be screened off from the scullery so as to form a separate bathroom, so that a wall would be necessary.
Mr. Swindall said the copper would be more used on washing days and would therefore be more useful by the side of the sink than with the bath.
The Chairman said that with the copper near the sink there would be a difficulty with regard to the flue.
The Clerk said there were twelve houses of Type B1, and the Local Government Board said that the four bedrooms without a parlour would be undesirable, as houses with four bedrooms would be taken by people with larger families than a single room downstairs would accommodate. The Local Government Board suggested that Type B1 should be omitted and Type A substituted.
Mr. Knight: If the Local Government Board demand these alterations we shall have to comply?
The Clerk: Yes.
Mr. G. R. Turner, hon. Secretary of the Fire Brigade, submitted the annual report, stating that during the year the Brigade had only been called out three times in Rushden and once out of town. No serious fires had occurred in Rushden during the year. An extensive farm fire at Yelden had engaged their attention for 48 hours. During the war the firemen had been on duty during all the air raids.
Mr. Spencer said that the Brigade, which was a voluntary one, deserved the best thanks of the town. Few people had any idea how many drills they had to put in, and the splendid attendances they made. He moved that the thanks of the Council be forwarded to the Brigade.
Mr. Claridge seconded, and it was carried.
Mr. Knight, thanking the Council, on behalf of the Brigade, said there was a great deal of work which the public generally knew nothing about. They had a well-equipped fire station and an efficient brigade, the members taking a very great interest in their work. They had two steam fire engines and a hose cart, with all the necessary appliances. During the war some of their members were called to the Colours, and he asked the C.W.S. to allow three of their firemen to bring them up to full strength, which they kindly did.
Mr. Spencer moved a hearty vote of thanks to Mr. Wilmott for the able way in which he had acted as chairman for the past twelve months. He had treated them all with fairness, and paid constant attention to the business.
Mr. Tomlin seconded, and said that Mr. Wilmott had presided over the meetings admirably.
Mr. Knight supported, and said it had been an exceptional year, Mr. Wilmott being called upon to devote a very great deal of time to the duties of the office. Mr. Wilmott had been quite impartial as a chairman and had carried out the work to the satisfaction of every member. It had been a laborious year, owing to war conditions.
The motion having been carried unanimously, the Chairman said the work had given him a great deal of pleasure. During the year the armistice had been signed, and they had hopes that peace would be proclaimed in due course. He thanked the Councillors for the splendid way in which they had rallied round him. He particularly thanked Mr. Knight for his assistance as vice-chairman. Mr. Knight’s advice had been a great help to him on many occasions. He thanked the Clerk and his staff, and the surveyor and his assistants for their courteous help and the Press for the impartial way in which they had reported the meetings.
Mr. Claridge moved a vote of thanks to the Vice-Chairman, which was seconded by Mr. Swindall, and carried, Mr. Knight replying.
A Member’s Retirement
The Chairman said that Mr. Clipson who had not sought re-election, had been a member of the Council since its formation in 1894. He was voicing the opinion of every member of the Council when he said that Mr. Clipson deserved the thanks of the town for the way in which he had served the public. He regretted Mr. Clipson was leaving the Council and also that they were losing the services of Mr. Green. He wished to thank Mr. Lloyd for his satisfactory work as acting sanitary inspector.
Mr. Bates said they were all pleased with the way in which Mr. Lloyd had carried out his duties.
Mr. Spencer alluded to Mr. Clipson’s length of service on the Council and the Water Board. They highly appreciated the work he had done.
Mr. Swindall also spoke of Mr. Clipson’s long and valuable services to the town and said that the only adequate recognition of Mr. Clipson’s work was that he should be made a Justice of the Peace. He thought that nominations to the Lord Lieutenant should be made through some responsible body, and he should be delighted if Mr. Clipson’s services could be honoured by his appointment as a magistrate.
Mr. Clipson, in replying to the speeches, said it had always been a pleasure to attend the meetings of the Council and the Water Board. Personally he was sorry that Mr. Green, who was a very promising young member, had not been returned. Mr. Clipson added that he was chairman of the Council when war broke out and he had hoped the war would finish that year, but that unhappily was not the case. In the Council meetings he had never been a great talker, but he had tried to be a worker. (Hear, hear.)
Mr. Lloyd thanked the members for their consideration during the last twelve months in which he had acted as the Sanitary Inspector.
The Rushden Echo, 18th April, 1919
First Meeting of The New Authority
The first meeting of the new Council was held on Wednesday evening, all the members being present, viz., Messrs. T. Wilmott (retiring chairman), F. Knight, J.P., (retiring vice-chairman), W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, J. Hornsby, J. Spencer, J.P., T. Swindall, C. W. Horrell, L. Perkins, J. Claridge, J.P., C. E. Bayes, and J. Tomlin, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).
Mr. Wilmott: I have great pleasure in proposing that Mr. Knight be the chairman for the ensuing year. I need not dwell on Mr. Knight’s capabilities. He has occupied the position on two or three previous occasions, and we all know that the duties will be carried out in a proper manner.
Mr. Swindall: I have pleasure in seconding. Since the outbreak of war every chairman has had extra duties to perform, and, though the war is now practically over, the coming year will be as arduous as any of the past years have been, if not more so. In Mr. Knight we shall have a very capable chairman. We all hope he will have the best of health during the year to carry out the duties of the office.
The motion was carried unanimously.
On vacating the chair, Mr. Wilmott welcomed Mr. Knight as the new chairman.
Mr. Knight, on taking the chair, said: I thank you for the honour you have done me in electing me to this very important position. The duties this year would be strenuous, and no doubt will take up a considerable amount of time, but it will take up, not only my time but that of every member of the Council, because the matters we have in hand are not going to be done by the Chairman, but by all the members. Owing to the war we have allowed certain improvements to slide which five years ago we thought quite necessary, but it was impossible to carry out these things. I hope, now that the war is over and the Council is again in full working order we shall be able to do something more than we have done during the past four or five years. One matter which has been postponed is the housing scheme, but though we have been waiting for some considerable time for the commencement of that scheme, we in Rushden have not been so far behind in getting into working order, because our plans have been submitted to the Local Government Board, and we are amongst the first 48 authorities in the country whose plans have been accepted, so we have the thing well in hand. It is the earnest wish of every member of this Council that the housing scheme should be pushed forward as rapidly as possible. There is also the Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme which we are going to carry out under the County Council. We hope, too, to take up the improvements of the roads and the scavenging which require our early attention. I should like to give a hearty welcome to Mr. Bayes and Mr. Perkins, who were formerly members of the Council, Mr. Bayes having retired through ill-health and removal from Rushden, and Mr. Perkins retiring through his military duties. They have now been elected again. We have a new member in Mr. Horrell, whose very large experience and business capabilities will be of great assistance to us and a source of strength. I hope that we shall have the best health and strength to carry out our duties, and that at the end of the year we shall have something to show which will be of service to the town and for the benefit of the community.
The Chairman moved that Mr. Claridge be the vice-chairman for the year. Mr. Claridge, he said, would be of very great assistance to them in that position.
Mr. Perkins seconded, and said that for many years Mr. Claridge had taken an active part in town affairs, and the way in which he was supported at the poll in the recent election would justify the Council in placing him in that position of honour.
Mr. Spencer said he supported on the understanding that next year they should have a Labour vice-chairman. He thought the chairmanship and the vice-chairmanship should go round to each party in turn, irrespective of the opinions they held. They wanted the Council to be a progressive one in the true sense of the word, not as an election cry.
The motion was carried.
Mr. Claridge returned thanks for the honour conferred upon him, and said he always considered himself a true Progressive. He did not know that he had ever opposed anything which had been for the good of the town. He had the true interests of Rushden at heart.
The following committees were elected:-
Finance and Estates Chairman, Vice-chairman, Messrs. Bates, Horrell, Spencer, and Wilmott.
Health and Sanitary Chairman, Vice-chairman, Messrs. Bayes, Bates, Hornsby, Horrell, and Tomlin.
Plans and Highways Chairman, Vice-chairman, Messrs. Bazeley, Perkins, Spencer, Swindall, and Wilmott.
Parks Chairman, Vice-chairman, Messrs. Bayes, Bazeley, Tomlin, and Wilmott.
Housing Chairman, Vice-chairman, Messrs. Bazeley, Tomlin, Wilmott, and Bayes.
Tank Chairman, Vice-chairman, Mr. Horrell, and Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Hornsby was elected to fill the vacancy on the Water Board by the retirement of Mr. Clipson.
Messrs. J. T. Colson, J. Claridge, and F. Corby were elected Council School Managers, and Messrs. E. Freeman, W. M. Hensman, W. B. Sanders, B. Vorley, L. Baxter, and Fred Green were nominated for election by the County Council, Mr. Green taking the place of Mr. W. Chettle, who wished to retire.
Mr. J. T. Colson was appointed a manager of the Church School, and Mr. John Claridge was nominated for appointment by the County Council.
Mr. G. S. Mason was re-appointed on the District Sub-Committee as one of the Foundation Managers of the Church School.
Messrs. J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, J. T. Colson, W. M. Hensman, L. Perkins, W. F. Rial, S. Saddler, T. Swindall, J. Spencer, the Rev. P. E. Robson, and the Rev. C. J. Keeler were re-elected members of the Library Committee, and Miss Clarke was appointed in place of her father, Mr. William Clarke, who wished to retire from the Committee.
Mr. Bazeley asked when the Inspector would visit Rushden to view the site of the proposed municipal houses. He wanted to see true progress being made with the scheme. The President of the Local Government Board was anxious to do away with red tape as far as possible, so that local authorities could get on with the schemes. Every week he (Mr. Bazeley) could see more and more the urgency of getting these houses through. He hoped the Council would be true to the name Progressive. When the houses were being built he thought there should be a time-limit for their completion, and a fine imposed upon the builder for delay.
The Chairman: We have no power to state the time when the Local Government Board Inspector will come. We are waiting for a notification on that point.
Mr. Bazeley: But the Council can send to the Local Government Board stating that it is a matter of urgency.
The Clerk: We have already done that.
The Chairman: We were one of the first 48 local authorities in England to get our scheme through.
The Clerk: The Local Government Board have written that they will send down the Inspector at the very earliest possible moment. You cannot ask for anything further than that.
The Chairman: There will be no delays so far as this Council is concerned.
Mr. Bazeley: I want to see real progress made in Rushden.
The Chairman: We all do.
Mr. Spencer said that whatever alterations were made in the plans of the houses he hoped the Council would have full opportunity of considering them.
The Chairman said that a special meeting of the Council in Committee should be called for the purpose.
War and Peace
The Cottage Hospital Committee wrote asking if the Council would call a town’s meeting to ascertain the opinion of the town with regard to a Cottage Hospital as a war memorial. It was decided to discuss the matter at a meeting of the Council in committee, so that the hospital and any other schemes might be brought forward.
It was decided to discuss the question of peace celebrations in full committee.
The members of the Council then adjourned to the Green to discuss the question of a site for the Tank.