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Rushden Echo, 15th March, 1907, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Housing of The Working Classes


  A meeting of this Council was held at the Council Chambers on Wednesday night, when there were present Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Ballard (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J. Claridge, G. Denton, J. S. Clipson, J. Hornsby, A. Mantle, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, and A. J. Dobbs, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. H. Hunter).

Council In Committee

  A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 13th day of February, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), F. Ballard, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, G. Denton, A. J. Dobbs, J. Hornsby, A. Mantle, F. Knight, and G. H. Skinner.

Brook, Bedford Road

  The Surveyor reported that he had been in communication with the County Surveyor as instructed by the Highways Committee at their last meeting and he understood that the County Surveyor proposed to face the present retaining wall with blue brickwork, backed with concrete, and erect an unclimbable iron fence thereon.

  The matter was discussed at length by the Committee, particularly as to whether the opportunity should not be taken of culverting the brook at this point, but it was resolved to allow the work to proceed as proposed by the County Surveyor.

  The report was adopted.

Plans, &c., Committee

  A meeting of the Plans, Water, Highways and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings, on Wednesday, the 27th February, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Ballard, T. Swindall, A. J. Dobbs, J. S. Clipson, A. Mantle, and F. Knight.

Plans

were presented by:-

  Messrs. T. Manning and Co., Ltd., for stables and outbuildings at the rear of 44, Crabb-street, and passed.

  Mr. E. C. Browning for additions to Rushden House and passed.

  Dr. Owen for additions to his house in Park-road and passed subject to the drainage arrangements being carried out to the Surveyor’s satisfaction.

  Messrs. C. Praed and Co., Ltd., for a new inn in Grove Street, and passed, subject to the north gable wall being 14 inches thick throughout its entire length up to first floor and drainage arrangements made to the satisfaction of the Surveyor.  With regard to the drainage of the cellar, the owners to be made to distinctly understand that in passing the plans the Committee take no responsibility for providing an outfall into the public sewer.  The building line to be set back 4 feet from the face of the front fence wall of the house adjoining, belonging to Mr. R. Rice.

Wentworth Road

  A deputation consisting of Mr. W. Clark and Mr. John Clark attended the meeting with reference to the making of this road and asked if arrangements could be made whereby the owners could carry out the work in accordance with the plans and specification prepared by the Surveyor and to his satisfaction.  If the Committee would agree to this the owners would be willing to pay the Council the usual supervision fee and also the estimated cost for five years’ maintenance.

  The Committee promised to consider the matter, and the deputation withdrew.

  Some discussion followed, and whilst the Committee expressed the willingness to accede to the request of the deputation, the advantages of the work being carried out by the Council by direct labour were pointed out, and the Chairman undertook to again confer with the owners on the matter.

Steam Fire Engine

  The Fire Brigade Sub-Committee reported that they had received estimates from Messrs. Shand Mason and Co. and Messrs. Merryweather and Co. for the supply of a steam fire engine with 1425 feet of hose.  The estimate of Messrs. Shand Mason was the lowest, amounting to £320, and it was resolved, subject to the sanction of the Local Government Board being obtained to a loan for this amount, that their tender be accepted.

  It was also resolved to recommend the Council at their next meeting to apply to the Local Government Board for sanction to a loan of £320 for the purpose of purchasing a steam fire engine.

Fire Brigade

  A letter was received from the Hon. Secretary with regard to the members’ attendances, stating that it was his practice to report to the Captain when any member had been absent three times in succession.

  The Captain informed the Committee that two of the three members of the Brigade referred to at the previous meeting had given him satisfactory reasons for non-attendance as provided by the rules, but the third had given no explanation.

  The Clerk was instructed to write to the Hon. Sec. of the Brigade asking him to carry out the rules with regard to this member.

  The Hon. Secretary submitted a list of requisitions for the ensuing year, consisting of three tunics, six pairs of trousers, and four pairs of boots.    It was resolved that the Brigade be authorised to procure these requisites.

  Mr. Bazeley thought the absence of firemen from drills was very unsatisfactory.  It looked from the case mentioned that fish was made of one and fowl of another.  He thought the officers should set an example to the younger members and had rather expected to hear something more from the Secretary of the Brigade on the subject at that meeting.

  Mr. F. Knight said the member referred to had resigned.

  The report was adopted.

Whole Council In Committee

  A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 27th February, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (Chairman), F. Ballard, J. Claridge, A. J. Dobbs, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, A. Mantle, J. Hornsby, F. Knight and G. H. Skinner.

Distress Fund

  The Chairman informed the Committee that he had received from the Secretary of the Rushden and District branch of the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives a letter asking him to convene a town’s meeting with a view to the raising of funds for the relief of the distress in the town occasioned by the number of unemployed both in the shoe trade and in the building trade.

  It was agreed that a very considerable amount of distress did exist, and that it was desirable that an effort should be made to cope with it, and the Chairman, before calling a public meeting, was requested to confer with the ministers of the various denominations of the town and other persons holding public offices as to the best means for dealing with the question.

  The Chairman said a meeting was held and it was found absolutely necessary to establish a relief fund.  He was glad to say about £50 had been placed in their hands.  About 30 cases were relieved last week and about 50 cases were being dealt with this week.  The relief had been very keenly appreciated by the recipients.  He solicited the help and sympathy of the Council in the matter.    The report was adopted.

Finance, &c., Committee

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


£

s

d

Week ending 7th Feb., 1907

29

6

10

Week ending 14th Feb., 1907

30

10

6

Week ending 21st Feb., 1907

31

5

7

Week ending 28th Feb., 1907

27

15

10

Collector’s Accounts

  By the Collector’s accounts produced it appeared that he had during the month collected the following sums:-


£

s

d

General District Rate

38

7

2

General District Rate

1874

19

7

Water Rate

4

0

9

Total

1917

7

6

Collector’s Fittings Accounts

  The Committee examined the Collector’s fittings accounts, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-


£

s

d

Sewage farm

172

19

0

Scavenging

1

4

0

Other Roads

10

7

0

Fittings


5

8

Total

184

15

8



£

s

d

Waterworks

2

15

0

Fittings

1

5

9

Other Roads

13

2

10

Sewage farm

2

13

0

Total

19

16

7

Cemetery Registrar’s Account

  The Committee also examined the Cemetery Registrar’s account, from which it appeared that the following sum had been paid to him during the past two months:-


£

s

d

Burial fees, &c

37

15

6

Treasurer’s Accounts

  The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums during the past month:-


£

s

d

Collector, District rate

1913

6

9

Collector, Water rate

4

0

9

Collector, Fittings

184

15

8

Collector, Fittings

19

16

7

Cemetery fees

37

15

6

Total

2159

15

3

 

 

 

 

Royal Liver Friendly Society Loan No. 19

400

0

0

And that the following balances were in hand on the undermentioned accounts:-


£

s

d

General Account

2883

9

11

Loan Account No. 16

557

1

11

Loan Account No. 18

333

11

3

Loan Account No. 19

394

2

6

Total

4168

5

7

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 water rate made on the 9th day of May, 1906:-

 

£

s

d

£

s

d

Amount of rate

533

8

7

 

 

 

Recoverable arrears of former rate

 

16

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

534

5

0

Collected

516

17

8

 

 

 

Recoverable arrears

4

6

9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

521

4

5

Irrecoverable arrears

 

 

 

13

0

7

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

Memorandum of General District Rate

  The Collector submitted the following memorandum of General district rate made on the 13th day of June, 1906:-

 

£

s

d

£

s

d

Amount of rate

3976

5

8

 

 

 

Recoverable arrears of former rate

16

14

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3993

0

6

Collected

3843

1

7

 

 

 

Recoverable arrears

6

3

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3849

5

3

Irrecoverable arrears

 

 

 

143

15

3

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

Health and Sanitary Reports

  No report was received from the Medical Officer of Health.  The Inspector stated that no case of infectious disease had been notified during the month.

  The Sanitary Inspector informed the Committee that during the month he had taken possession of and destroyed 33 pounds of butter unfit for the food of man, and had given a certificate for the same; he also stated that complaints had been received from the householders in the neighbourhood of Messrs. Jaques and Clark’s factory of a nuisance occasioned by smoke from their chimney, and that a notice had been served on Messrs. Jaques and Clark to abate the same.

Factory and Workshops Act

  The Inspector informed the Committee that 25 lists of outworkers had been received, notifying 425 outworkers.

Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milkshops

  The Inspector reported that he had visited 14 dairies and cowsheds during the month and had served two notices in respect of defective drainage.

  Applications for registration had been received from 12 cowkeepers and purveyors of milk.  They had been duly entered in the register.

Park-Place Drainage

  The Inspector reported that as instructed he had had the outfall drain opened and thoroughly inspected; he found the same in a very bad condition and it would be necessary to relay the drain its entire length.  The Surveyor stated that he had examined the drain with the Inspector and entirely confirmed his report.

Roadside Ditches

  The Inspector stated that he had received complaints as to the state of several ditches abutting on the high roads, arising from them being blocked by silt washed in from the roads.

  He was instructed, in cases where he was satisfied that this was the case, to have the silt removed.

Small-Pox Hospital

  The Inspector reported that the alterations to the hospital were nearly complete.

Dairy Cattle

  The quarterly report of Mr. Bainbridge was received, in which he stated that on the 27th and 28th ult. and the 1st inst. he visited 29 premises belonging to 27 cowkeepers and examined 301 milk cows and heifers.  He reported several minor ailments in connection with 12 cows and two of a more serious nature.

  It was resolved to call the attention of the owners of the cows in question to the Veterinary Officer’s report and with regard to the last named to request the owners to dispose of the cows in question.

Veterinary Inspector

  It was resolved to recommend the Council to re-appoint Mr. Bainbridge, Assistant Inspector of Nuisances, to act in the capacity of Veterinary Inspector for a further period of one year from the 19th February, at a salary of 12 guineas.

Night Scavenging

  With reference to the notice given in the autumn that night scavenging would cease after the 31st March next, and requiring owners of all properties to connect with the sewer before that date, the Inspector reported that the work was proceeding, but rather slowly; a great number of the owners had delayed putting the matter in hand owing to the frost.  The Inspector was instructed to take all necessary steps of pressing the matter forward with the least possible delay and to report further to the next meeting.

Cemetery

  An application was received from the Caretaker asking that gas might be laid on to the Cemetery cottage and suitable fitting supplied.

  It was resolved to accede to his request and the Surveyor was authorised to instruct the Gas Company to carry out the work.

  It was resolved that the Cemetery Sub-committee meet to-morrow afternoon at the Cemetery in order to give instructions as to the laying out of new ground for burial purposes.

Stables

  In consequence of the ground for the foundations being found unsuitable at the site originally selected for the stables, it was resolved that the same be removed about 50 feet down the yard and also that the loose box as originally contemplated be dispensed with.

Slaughter Houses

  The question of making bye-laws for the regulation of slaughter-houses was adjourned for two months.

Sandpit Road

  Attention was called to the sewer arrangements for the factory and cottages on this road, and the Surveyor was instructed to take the levels and ascertain if it were possible to bring the drains into the sewer under the Higham-road.

  Mr. Bazeley asked whether the two cows referred to in the report of the Veterinary Inspector had been disposed of.

  The Sanitary Inspector said they had not yet been disposed of but would be in a few days.

  The report was adopted.

Appointment of Overseers

  Mr. Hornsby moved that the four retiring overseers, Messrs. J. Claridge, J. T. Colson, J. Spencer, and G. H. Skinner, be re-elected.

  Mr. Mantle seconded the motion, which was agreed to.

Housing of The Working Classes

  Mr. Bazeley, in accordance with notice, moved that the Council adopt part 3 of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890, and the amendments of 1900.  He said the adoption of the Act would not be a burden on the rates, because the costs would be put on the rents.  In Rushden, private enterprise had failed.  There were plenty of brick boxes with slate lids, and many of the old cottages were unfit for habitation.  He thought they should not consider vested interests but should act for the greatest good of the greatest number.  He hoped that the motion would be agreed to unanimously.

  Mr. C. Bates seconded the motion.

  Mr. G. Denton thought Mr. Bazeley had misinterpreted the Act, which applied to places where there was a scarcity of workmen’s dwellings.  There was no lack of dwellings in Rushden, and he did not think it would be possible to put the Act in operation in the town, even if they agreed to the motion.  At the present moment there were a number of houses vacant.  He sympathised with the idea on improving the class of house, but he did not think they could build houses and let them for less than private owners did.  Personally he did not object to the motion but failed to see that it would answer any useful purpose.

  The Chairman asked whether any other town of the same size as Rushden had adopted the Act.

  Mr. Bazeley said Leek, a town of 16,000, had adopted it.  The houses built were let at 5/6 and 5/9 per week, and contained a bathroom and a scullery.

  Mr. Dobbs supported the motion and said it was scandalous that there should be such brick boxes as had been mentioned by Mr. Bazeley.  In the absence of bathrooms those who got dirty could only get the dirt off by going down to the river or by getting into the copper. (Laughter.)

  Mr. Claridge was surprised to hear that the houses in Rushden, built, most of them, under model bye-laws, should be condemned.  He believed many of the insanitary houses were so because the people inside them did not keep them clean.  He hoped that in future buildings baths would be provided, seeing that they had now an abundant supply of water.

  Mr. Bazeley said it was not necessary to have a scarcity of houses before adopting the Act.  Medical Officers of places where the Act had been adopted said the moral tone of the workers had been raised.  There was plenty of land in Rushden and plenty of cheap labour.  He was sure they could house the workers much better than they were now housed and at less rent.

  In reply to the Chairman, Mr. Bazeley said he had just ascertained from the Surveyor that the Leek scheme was a private affair.  There were, however, other places where similar schemes had been carried out by Councils, and where the rent was less than at Leek.

  The motion was then put and was lost by six votes to four.

  Mr. Bazeley remarked that the vote would not prevent the question being brought up in a few months’ time.



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