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Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

4th March, 1904

At a meeting of this Council on Wednesday night, there were present Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson (vice-chairman), F. Knight, G. Denton, J. Hornsby, C. Bates, W. H. Wilkins, W. Bazeley, F. Ballard, T. Swindall, and A. Mantle, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), and the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin).

Plans, &c., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 17th day of February, 1904, when there were present:- Messrs. John Claridge (chairman), J. S. Clipson, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, Fred Knight and W. H. Wilkins.

Plans

were presented by:-

Mr. T. Willmott, jun., for six houses on the Rectory Estate and passed subject to the ventilating shaft for the drain being fixed to the satisfaction of the Surveyor.

Mr. T. Surridge for stable and coach-house at the rear of his house in Brookfield-road and passed.

Mr. J. T. Mayo for two houses on the Oakley Estate and passed subject to the line of the drain at the rear being amended to the Surveyor’s satisfaction.

Mr. T. Swindall for two houses in Brookfield-road and rejected, the plan being incomplete.

Mr. S. A. Ball for house on the Wellingborough-road and rejected, no block plan being supplied.

Sewers

A letter was received from Mr. Talbot Brown asking the Council to extend the main sewer up the Wymington-road as far as the entrance to Rushden House. It was explained to the Committee that the drainage of this house and the stables did not at present communicate with the town sewer and it was desired to make the connections at once. The Surveyor estimated the cost of the sewer extension at £65.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Surveyor to carry out the work.

Road Foreman

The Surveyor was authorised to advertise for a road foreman at a commencing salary of 30s. per week. It was understood that the foreman, when appointed would be required to live in the house at the Newton-road depot and take charge of the Fire Station.

Infringements of Bye-Laws

Mr. T. Surridge attended the meeting with regard to the building erected by him in Brookfield-road and expressed regret if in not submitting a plan he had contravened the bye-laws. He was under the impression that similar structures had been allowed and he only wished for equal treatment all round.

The Committee explained to Mr. Surridge that they required plans to be submitted in all cases and where this was not done and the matter brought to their attention they were bound to take notice of it.

Mr. Surridge pointed out that he had that evening submitted a plan for brick buildings and would consider whether he would proceed with the erection of them, if not he promised to submit a plan of the building as at present erected.

Mr. Bates also attended the meeting with regard to his infringement and said that he was under the impression that a plan would not be required for a building of such a nature; he promised to give an undertaking to remove the building when called upon so to do by the Council.

A letter was received from Mr. Denton on the same subject expressing regret if in erecting his gas plant he had infringed the bye-laws; he did not, however, intend to attend the meeting, his wish being that the matter should be considered apart from any personal consideration, and he asked for the same treatment as that given to others; he suggested, however, that before taking extreme measures, enquiries should be made in other towns as to what is allowed in the shape of sheds for engines and gas plant and also for storing timber, and submitted that such erections as attention had been called to were allowed everywhere and only when their construction would injure other property or interests was it reasonable to raise any objection or attempt to bring them under building bye-laws.

The Committee considered the matter at some length and the Clerk was instructed to reply to Mr. Denton that they were equally anxious with himself to deal with the matter apart from personal considerations, they did not contemplate any extreme measures, and could see no object in making the enquiries suggested as they had always liberally construed the bye-laws so as to place no impediment in the way of the erection of buildings of the character named when their construction would not injure other property or interests. The Clerk was further instructed to point out to Mr. Denton that it became impossible for the Committee to judge of this if plans were not submitted before the works were completed and to ask him to submit to them a corrected plan of the gas plant buildings in question as completed at his earliest convenience.

Main Roads

The Surveyor reported that he had met the County Surveyor with regard to the estimate for the maintenance of the main roads for the year ending March, 1905, and had agreed upon the same as follows:-


£

s

d

Kimbolton road

91

0

0

Kettering and Higham Ferrers roads

844

0

0


935

0

0

The Committee resolved to recommend the Council to enter into a contract to maintain the roads for the ensuing year for this amount.

Washbrook Road Bridge

With regard to the suggestion from the Midland Railway Company that the Council should accept a debit of the charge for raising the parapet on the side of the bridge on which a footpath had been constructed, the Committee saw no cause for raising the parapet on the side in question and were unable therefore to recommend the Council to bear any of the expense.

Gas Testing

The Surveyor read the replies from a number of authorities to whom he had addressed enquiries as to the testing of gas in their districts and in no case except where the authority came under the jurisdiction of the London County Council was testing carried out. The Surveyor of the Nuneaton District Council, in his letter, stated that in that district a certain number of tests were made at regular intervals by the gas officials in the presence of the Surveyor and such members of the Council as might desire to be present and that this arrangement had worked satisfactorily. The Committee thought that some similar arrangements might be made with the Gas Company here and it was resolved to approach the Company on the subject and in the meantime to take no further proceedings with regard to the matter.

Water Works

The Surveyor reported that during the past three weeks the average daily consumption of gas been 3,500 cubic feet assuming that the engines were worked 14 hours per day.

Opening of Streets

An application was received from Mr. H. Adnitt, on behalf of Messrs. B. Denton and Son, asking for the sanction of the Council to the opening of the streets for the purpose of laying a gas main from their works in Rectory-road to the Lightstrung Cycle Works in Church Street.

This being the first application of such a nature made to the Committee, it was resolved that the consideration of it be referred to the Council and that this Committee make no recommendation thereon.

In regard to the extension of the sewer along the Wymington-road, Mr. Hornsby thought the Council were hardly justified in doing as the committee recommended. They might have a lot of applications of the kind. They ought to ask the owner of the house to bear part of the cost.

The Chairman pointed out that the work would help in the letting of the house, which had been empty for some time, and the rates, when the house was let, would recoup the Council in two years. It was said about £2,000 was to be spent on the house.

Mr. Denton did not think they ought to go beyond their legal liability.

After further discussion, Mr. Hornsby moved that the paragraph in the report relating to the matter be referred back to the committee.

Mr. Bazeley looked at the matter from a business standpoint and seeing that about £2,000 was to be spent and there was a prospect of it being let, he did not think they ought to quibble over a few pounds.

The amendment was not seconded.

In reply to a question with regard to Mr. Adnitt’s application on behalf of Messrs. Denton and Son, the Clerk said the Council could not sanction the opening of the roads, though it was possible to take no action with regard to it.

Mr. Knight asked if the Council would approve of a similar application on behalf of several factories who might wish to put down a joint plant.

Mr. Wilkins said the Council could make no distinction between one and the other.

Mr. Ballard said the C.W.S. would be pleased to supply two or three factories if they were allowed. Personally, he did not think it would be wise to accede to the application.

Mr. Clipson did not think the Council should stand in the way of a manufacturer effecting a saving.

Mr. Bazeley said a little healthy competition did good.

Mr. Clipson did not think anyone should consider the matter from that standpoint.

Mr. Ballard asked what was the position of directors and shareholders of the Gas Company who were members of the Council, when matters affecting the Gas Company were considered at a Council meeting.

The Clerk said that they could vote with regard to this application, but could not do so with regard to general transactions with the Gas Company, unless they had the sanction of the County Council.

Mr. Wilkins suggested that inquiries be made as to the practice of other authorities in the matter.

Mr. Ballard said he should have moved that the application be refused if it had been made by anyone else but a member of the Council, and he would move that now.

Mr. Wilkins seconded the motion, being against the establishment of a precedent for granting powers to open up the roads in that way.

The motion was carried nem. con.

Finance, Etc., Committee

A meeting of the Finance, Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Vestry Hall, on Wednesday, the 24th day of February, 1904, when there were present:- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (chairman), J. Claridge, Geo. Denton, A. Mantle, and Tom Swindall.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-


£

s

d

Week ending 5th February, 1904

48

5

1

Week ending 12th February, 1904

46

18

3

Week ending 19th February, 1904

43

2

6

Collector’s Account

The Collector’s accounts were examined from which it appeared that during the past three weeks he had collected the following sums on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

District Rate

202

3

1

Cemetery fees

64

19

0

Total

267

2

1

Treasurer’s Accounts

The Treasurer’s account was also examined from which it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him during the past three weeks:-


£

s

d

Feb. 20, J. Sargent, District rate

80

10

5

Feb. 24, J. Sargent, Cemetery fees

64

19

0

            J. Sargent, District rate

121

12

8

Total

267

2

1

The following balances were found to be in hand on the under-mentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

General account

501

14

11

Loan account No. 16

570

15

4

Total

1,082

10

3

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment.

Memorandum of Water Rate

The Collector submitted the following memorandum of the water rate made on the 11th day of November, 1903.

 

£

s

d

 

£

s

d

Amount of rate

 

 

 

 

470

19

11

Recoverable arrears of former rate

 

 

 

 

 

5

0

 

 

 

 

 

471

4

11

Collected

463

13

7

 

 

 

 

Irrecoverable

1

17

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

465

10

10

Recoverable arrears

 

 

 

 

5

14

1

A list of the irrecoverable amounts was also submitted by the Collector and ordered to be written off.

Health and Sanitary Reports

  The Medical Officer reported that four cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting – one of scarlet fever, one of diphtheria, and two of erysipelas, all of which were progressing favourably.

  The Sanitary Inspector informed the Committee that the cases notified occurred in Queen-street (scarlet fever), Sartoris-road (diphtheria), and Woburn Place and Allen-road (erysipelas) – all mild cases and doing well.

Disinfectors

  A letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council with copy of a resolution passed by that body, asking the District Councils to take into consideration the question of providing disinfectors for the disinfection of the clothing of midwives and of other persons who may have suffered or been brought into contact with infectious disease.

  A letter from the Medical Officer of Health for the County, written in reply to a communication from the Clerk, was also read, giving the Committee particulars as to suitable disinfectors.  The Committee were of opinion that under the present circumstances a portable apparatus would meet the requirements of this district, and the surveyor was instructed to make enquiries from other authorities where such an apparatus is now used as to its efficiency.

Sewage Farm

  The Farm sub-committee reported that they had interviewed several applicants for the post of foreman at the outfall works and recommended the appointment of Mr. Thomas Pinckard at a salary of 25s. per week.  It was resolved to recommend the Council to make the appointment accordingly.

  Mr. Ballard referring to a bill for gas, thought the Gas Company ought to make an allowance to the Council for the excessive amount of gas used some weeks ago in consequence of the low quality of the gas supplied.

  Mr. Knight: The Gas Company have not admitted that it was inferior.

  Mr. Denton: It’s time they did then.

  On the motion of Mr. Ballard, it was resolved to refer the item back to the Committee with a view to getting a reduction of the charge.

  The report was then adopted.

A Vacancy

  On the motion of the Chairman, seconded by Mr. Bates, it was resolved to declare Mr. John Spencer’s seat vacant.

School Managers

  The Council resolved to appoint Mr. J. Hornsby a member of the committee of school managers in place of Mr. A. Mantle, resigned.

Private Streets Works Act

  Mr. Swindall moved, in accordance with notice, that the Private Streets Works Act be put into operation with regard to Allen-road and Upper Queen-street as far as Laughton-road, and said that the streets were at present in very bad condition.

  Mr. Bazeley seconded the motion.

  After discussion it was decided to carry out part of the road-making so as to facilitate building operations.

List of Members’ Attendances

  The Clerk presented his annual list of the attendances of members of the Council at Council meetings and committee meetings from April22, 1903 to February 24, 1904, as follows:-


Possible
Attendances

Actual
Attendances

J. Claridge

48

46

J. S. Clipson

48

44

F. Ballard

34

32

C. Bates

33

30

W. Bazeley

34

33

Geo. Denton

33

33

J. Hornsby

33

24

F. Knight

34

34

T. Swindall

33

32

W. H. Wilkins

34

34

A Mantle

33

28

John Spencer

34

2

  The Clerk said he thought the list constituted a record.

  The Chairman: We must have some medals.  (Laughter).

Stone Breaking

  It was stated that the stone-breaking done by some of the unemployed had not been done to the Surveyor’s satisfaction, the stone not being broken small enough.

  Mr. Bazeley did not think the Council should be too exacting with the unemployed, especially seeing that they were not used to the work.

  Mr. Mantle thought the majority of the men had tried to do their best.

  The Surveyor: When I had occasion to speak to them about the work and to measure up what had been done, I was told by some that Mr. Bazeley sent them there, not me.

  Mr. Bazeley: Well, you can put that down to their ignorance.

  The Surveyor said that if more work were given to the men, the stone ought to be put through a screen.  The stone broken before would have been of no use but for the High-street improvement works.

  Mr. Bates asked if there was not some different work that could be given the unemployed.

  The Surveyor said two or three men were needed at the sewage outfall works, but that was all.

  The subject was then allowed to drop.



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