|The Rushden Echo, 11th March, 1927, Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Most Urgent Housing Cases Met This Year
No New Bandstand for Coming Season
New Rate No Change
| Wednesday, present, Messrs. C. Claridge, J.P., (Chairman), J. Hornsby (vice-chairman), T. F. B. Newberry, J. Roe, A. Allebone, W. C. Tarry, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., J. Allen, F. Knight, J.P., F. Corby, T. Swindall, C. W. Horrell, C.A., L. Perkins, M.B.E., J. Spencer, J.P., G. W. Coles, J.P., W. Bazeley, J.P., and C. Bates, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper).
A meeting of the Housing Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 16th February, 1927, when there were present:- Mr. L. Perkins (chairman), Messrs. C. Claridge, J. Allen, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, F. Corby, J. Roe, and T. Wilmott.
It was resolved that the future rents of the parlour houses with three bedrooms as they become vacant be fixed at 11/- per week.
Houses Erected Under 1924 Act
It was resolved to recommend to the Council to fix the rents of these houses as below as from the 31st March next:-
Parlour houses - 11/2 - Non-parlour houses - 9/10
The arrears list was gone through, which showed considerable improvement, but there were still one or two cases which required attention, and the Collector was instructed to give a warning to the tenants in question.
Selection of Tenants
In view of the early completion of several houses on the Irchester-road site, arrangements were made for a selection from the present applications of a number of suitable persons to be placed on the short list.
Housing &c. Act, 1924, Irchester Road - Tenders for 32 Parlour Houses
The Chairman reported that in view of the fact that the Government subsidy would be reduced from £9 to £7/10/0 in respect of all houses not completed fit for occupation by 30th September next the Clerk had been instructed to prepare the Bond required from the Contractor so as to stipulate for a penalty of £30 for each house not completed fit for occupation on that date. The Contractor, Mr. R. Marriott, objected to this on the ground that due to unforeseen circumstances he might not be able to fulfil the terms of his tender which provided for completion by this date.
Mr. Alan Marriott attended the meeting and said that his firm would refuse to execute the Bond in the form suggested.
The Committee agreed to a strike clause being inserted, protecting the Contractor in case of strikes, but otherwise resolved that the form of Bond must be adhered to.
It was understood that a similar Bond was being accepted by Contractors in other parts of the country.
If the present Contractors definitely decided not to execute it the Committee resolved to instruct the Surveyor to obtain new tenders.
A further meeting of the Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 2nd March, 1927, when there were present:- Mr. L. Perkins (chairman), Messrs. C. Claridge, A. Allebone, J. Allen, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Roe, and J. Spencer.
Irchester Road 32 Houses
The Chairman explained to the Committee that a difficulty had arisen with Mr. Marriott, whose tender for these houses had been accepted, as to the Bond required by the Council, and Mr. Marriott had accordingly withdrawn his tender. The Chairman had interviewed the various contractors and suggested to the Committee that they should accept the following amended tenders, each for eight houses at £3916:-
Mr. R. Marriott, Contract No. 6
Mr. A. C. Whiting, Contract No. 7
W. Packwood and Son, Contract No. 8
W. Thompson and Sons, Contract No. 9
Each Contractor to enter into a Bond to complete the houses by the 30th September, subject to a penalty of £3 per house per week for each house not completed by that date.
The Surveyor understood from the Ministry at the interview he had with them on Monday afternoon that they would raise no objection to the tenders being so arranged.
The Committee agreed, and instructed the Clerk to prepare the Contracts and Bonds ready for sealing by the Council at their next meeting.
On the reception of the above reports Mr. Coles congratulated the committee on the improved prospects of success. He said that at the last meeting there was not much chance of the 32 houses being completed in time. There was now a possibility, which was not the case last meeting, of the scheme going through all right. He asked what was the approximate number of applicants on the waiting list for houses. He further asked whether, as there were still two Rushden builders who had not got contracts for Council houses, another 16 could be built.
Mr. Perkins, in reply, said that the object of the Council at the last meeting to save the town £300 was sensible enough. (Hear, hear.) As regarded the number of people wanting houses, there were over 200 reasonable applications. Some other people hoped to get married some time and would then want a Council house, but until they were married their applications were not urgent. A shortened list of 60 urgent applications had been chosen after many hours’ work. He personally had spent 30 hours on it since the last meeting. Just over 30 houses would be ready, which would dispose of those 60 urgent cases. Regarding two more builders each erecting eight houses that would be all very well if the road was made and the land was ready. The Surveyor had been at work accelerating the formation of a new road behind the present houses and very shortly tenders would be out for that work. Mr. Perkins said that twice as many houses would be ready for completion within the present year as in the last six or seven years.
Mr. Spencer said he endorsed all that Mr. Perkins had said and assured the members that all possible had been done.
Mr. Swindall asked why the penalty clause had been altered from £30 per house as a lump sum to £3 per house per week after September 30.
Mr. Perkins said that dealing with builders was a difficult problem. (Laughter). At the Council meeting a month ago the contracts went round marked in red ink “To be ready by September 30.” He had wanted to be sure of it, so not consulting the Council, or even the committee, he had asked for a bond big enough to clear the Council altogether. He could not get it. He next tried fifty-fifty, but in the end had to accept the biggest sum he could get any builder to sign, namely £3 per week per house. It was too late to do more in the matter now, even if it were any use trying. It would not have done to delay until builders had not time to do the work.
Mr. Swindall said that the penalty was not enough, considering that if the houses were not finished until a fortnight in October the builder would lose only £6 and the Council would lose 30/- a year for 30 years. The contractor ought to forfeit all that the Council would lose.
The Chairman: I think you will find that they will get the work done.
Mr. Bazeley: They can if they like, this way.
Mr. Perkins assured the members that he would have liked more assistance at the last meeting, but the scheme went through without any suggestions. It was only his own “wickedness” which prompted him to get the penalty clause put in. All the members who were present at the last meeting should share responsibility.
Mr. Swindall: I pointed out that it was impossible for Mr. Marriott to do the 32 houses.
Mr. Claridge: Mr. Perkins and the Housing Committee have done all that possibly could be done.
Plans, &c., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 23rd February, 1927, when there were present:- Messrs. C. Claridge (chairman), G. W. Coles, C. W. Horrell, T. F. B. Newberry, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and W. C. Tarry.
were presented for :-
House in Prospect Avenue for Mr. A. E. Hurst and passed.
An application for a subsidy in respect of the foregoing house was received together with an estimate of the cost thereof, which did not exceed, including the cost of the land, £650, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to issue a Certificate in respect of same as coming within the Council’s scheme for the subsidy of £100.
House on the Wellingborough-road for Mr. Harry Sargent and passed.
Alterations and additions to their business premises in High-street for Messrs. Phillips and Son, and passed.
Covered-in yard at their premises in Newton-road for the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, and passed.
The Sub-Committee consisting of Mr. Horrell and Mr. Perkins appointed to interview the owners reported that initial steps had been taken for obtaining an Order from the Development Commissioners for the compulsory acquisition of the land in this Terrace required for the proposed new road, and in connection with this it was necessary to obtain a valuation from the District Valuer. It had occurred to the Clerk that a further interview with Mrs. Warner might possibly render the Order unnecessary if she would agree to accept the figure placed upon the land by the District Valuer. He had placed this proposal before her and was pleased to be able to report that she was willing to accept it.
Mrs. Warner stipulated that an Agreement should be entered into between herself and the Council binding both parties to accept the District Valuer’s report and that possession should be given immediately on payment of the amount of compensation being ascertained.
The Committee approved of the arrangement and resolved to recommend the Council to seal an Agreement to carry the same into effect at their next meeting.
Letters were received from the Secretary of the Brigade asking the Council to consider the purchase of an additional motor pump, and also the making of arrangements with outlying towns and villages for the payment of a retaining fee to the Council for the use of their fire appliances.
It was resolved to ask a deputation from the Brigade to attend the next meeting of this Committee and discuss the matter with them.
A letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council calling attention to the fact that several authorities who undertake the maintenance of Main Roads under Agreement with the County Council had without the prior approval of the County Council spent moneys in excess of the approved estimate. The letter stated that in future years any expenditure incurred without the prior sanction of the County Council in excess of the approved contract amount would not be repaid by the County Council.
The Rushden Council was not one of the authorities who had over-expended.
Footpath Between Queen-Street and Portland-Road
On the recommendation of the Sub-Committee instructions were given to the Surveyor to construct a footpath as far as the rear of the Portland-road property, leaving the entrance into Queen-street for the present.
The Committee reconsidered the route now taken by these 'buses and were satisfied that the present arrangement was working satisfactorily and did not propose any change of route.
Hackney Carriage Licences
The Clerk reported the receipt of applications for licences to ‘buses not already licensed at Kettering, Wellingborough, or Bedford, and suggested that in these cases some motor engineer should be appointed to examine the ‘buses in question before a licence was granted.
The Committee agreed and resolved to recommend the Council to appoint Mr. David Nicholson for this purpose.
The estimates of receipts and expenditure of the Council for the ensuing year were considered and agreed to so far as works controlled by this Committee are concerned.
The report was adopted.
Finance and Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings, on Thursday, the 3rd March, 1927, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. C. Claridge, J. Hornsby, C. Bates, G. W. Coles, F. Corby, F. Knight and J. Roe.
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £2,548/2/11 were examined and passed for payment.
Local Government and Other Officers’ Superannuation Act
The Clerk called the attention of the Committee to sub-Section 3 of Section 6 of this Act, which provides that when an officer or servant has attained the age of 65 years he shall cease to hold his office or employment, provided that the Local Authority may with the consent of the officer or servant by resolution extend the period of service or employment of any such officer or servant for one year or any less period and so from time to time as they may deem expedient.
The Clerk also informed the Committee that he would attain the age of 65 on the 11th instant.
It was unanimously resolved to recommend the Council to extend his period of service for one year from that date at the same salary.
The Clerk submitted Estimates of the Council’s receipts and expenditure for the year 1927-8 showing that an 8/- rate would be required to balance same.
The Estimates included in addition to the ordinary expenditure £550 for a new motor lorry, £150 for extensions to the Cemetery, £353 for the new Convenience near the Railway Station, £350 for the Caretaker’s House at Spencer Park, and £115 for the purchase of the site for the Open Air Swimming Bath in Station Road.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to adopt the Estimates as submitted, and to instruct the Rating Clerk to prepare a General District Rate for the half year at 4/- in the £.
Rating and Valuation Act, 1925
In consequence of the Council taking over the duties of the Overseers as to collection of the Poor Rate from the 31st inst. It was resolved to increase the fidelity bonds of the various officers as follows:- Mr. Lack to £500, Mr. Woodward to £500, and Mr. Fennell to £100.
Housing Act, 1923
A letter from the Northampton Town and County Benefit Building Society was received calling attention to three mortgages guaranteed by the Council where the borrowers were in arrear at December 31st last.
The Clerk was instructed to communicate with the borrowers in question informing them that the Council expected them to make their repayments regularly and not get in arrears.
It was resolved to have a special meeting of the Committee on Wednesday, March 23rd, at 10 a.m. to close the accounts for the year.
The report was adopted.
Mr. Horrell said that the big extra items which must be met out of revenue representing something like a rate of 7½d. in themselves meant that other extraordinary items must be in abeyance for the next half-year.
Mr. Coles said that after seeing the heavy expenses that would have to be incurred if they provided a new bandstand in Spencer Park, he recognised, as most thoughtful people would, that they could not have one this year. (Hear, hear.)
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 2nd March, 1927, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Hornsby (chairman), C. Claridge, J. Allen, W. Bazeley, F. Corby, D. G. Greenfield, T. F. B. Newberry, T. Swindall and W. C. Tarry.
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 35 nuisances had been dealt with and 12 abated.
Fifty-one visits had been made to premises where food was prepared or sold, during which inspections a quantity of beef offal to the weight of 1 cwt. 0 qrs. 1 lb. had been found to be unfit for human consumption and destroyed in the usual way.
Ten rooms had been disinfected during the month, all after cases of infectious disease. A quantity of bedding had been removed to the Depot for disinfection also after cases of infectious disease.
An application was received from Mr. Frank Rice, of No. 7, Manton-road, for compensation in respect of destroyed bedding. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace part of the bedding destroyed at a cost not exceeding £1/7/6.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work and inspections since the last meeting.
The Inspector also reported that all factories in the district had been supplied with forms for the return of outworkers in connection therewith, and 17 lists containing the names of 87 of such workers had been received together with 28 nil returns.
An application was received from Mr. J. w. Wrighton, of Crabb-street, for a licence to store 200 gallons of petrol in an underground tank with standard pump attached at his premises in Essex-road. It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application subject to the tank and pump being constructed to the satisfaction of the Inspector.
The Inspector reported that Messrs. Eden and Co. had made an offer to contribute towards the repair of this road the sum of £2 and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accept it.
Milk And Dairies Act - Public Health and Clean Milk
The Inspector submitted reports on the examination of further samples of milk. In two cases the results were most unsatisfactory, and the Inspector was instructed to show the reports to the vendors concerned and inform them that unless considerable improvement was shown in the next report the Council would seriously consider withdrawing their licences.
St. Crispin’s Estate
A further letter from the Ministry of Health was received enclosing copy of a communication received from Mr. Lymage together with a copy of the letter from the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society referred to therein and asking for the further observations of this Council on the matter.
The Clerk was instructed to inform the Ministry that although the Co-operative Society may not yet have considered the question of developing any portion of their farm land on the Wellingborough-road as a building estate and may not contemplate doing so at present there was no doubt that the site in question was eminently suitable for building purposes and would in the near future become a building estate, and the Council were still of opinion that it was undesirable to spend thousands of pounds in connecting St. Crispin’s Estate with the present sewer, which would necessitate tunnelling, when there was every probability of a further sewer having to be constructed in another direction when the land adjoining St. Crispin’s Estate was developed.
The Chairman informed the Committee that the Sub-Committee were not yet in a position to report. They had interviewed the principal inspector dealing with this particular question at the Ministry and he had made certain suggestions, which the Sub-Committee were considering.
The Estimates for the year 1927-1928 were before the Committee and approved.
The report was adopted.
The Overseers were re-appointed in order that they could wind up their business before their work was taken over by the new authority.
The seal of the Council being necessary to a mortgage with the Public Works Loans Commissioners for part of the loan for 36 houses nearly finished, Mr. Spencer suggested that local people of small means be invited to invest money with the Council. He thought there might be people with £100 or so to invest.
Mr. Horrell said he appreciated Mr. Spencer’s point, but he was sure it would be a mistake. It would mean many contracts of small amounts, liable to be called in, and would not benefit either the Council or the lender.
When a resolution was passed to seal the four contracts for eight houses each, Mr. Swindall again signified his dissent.
The contracts for the sale of the Allen-road plots being sealed, Mr. C. A. K. Green was stated to be the purchaser.
[At the public auction, reported in the Rushden Echo an unnamed purchaser was said to have made an offer.]
On the proposition of Mr. Coles, seconded by Mr. Newberry, the Council decided to accede to the request of the Y.M.C.A. local organiser to give a civic reception to Her Highness Princess Helena Victoria on her visit in April.
Mr. Coles gave notice that he should move at the next meeting that the Council apply to the County Council for an additional representative for Rushden.