|Rushden Echo and Argus, 10th March, 1933, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
“Breeze” over Cemetery Caretaker Appointment
Resolution Referred To Committee
An amendment was proposed that the matter should be referred back to the Health and Sanitary Committee as their recommendation was not unanimous, but it was eventually agreed to have the matter considered by the whole Council in Committee at the conclusion of the meeting.
The Council agreed to apply for a reduction in interest to 4 per cent. on 22 loans which have been raised, totalling £116,479, subject to a six months redemption clause.
Interest Rate Reduction To Be Sought
The members present were Messrs. J. Roe, J.P. (in the chair), J. Spencer, J.P. (vice-chairman), W. C. Tarry, T. F. B. Newberry, A. Allebone, C.C., F. Green, J. Allen, W. E. Capon, L. Tysoe, C. W. Horrell, C.A., T. Swindall, A. Wilmott, L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Hornsby, J. T. Richardson, and D. G. Greenfield, M.D., with the Clerk Mr. G. S. Mason, the Assistant Clerk, Mr. W. L. Beetenson, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.
The Late Mr. F. Knight, J.P.
Before the business of the meeting commenced the chairman said: “Since our last meeting the town has lost by the death of Mr. Fred Knight one of the oldest and most respected residents. He was a man who took a great interest in the welfare of this town, and he had watched it develop from a small village into an industrial centre. He was a member of this Council and of the old Board for the long period of 38 years and he occupied the chair on three occasions and filled it with great dignity and ability. I am sure the members of this Council will wish the Clerk to send a letter of sympathy to the family, and if you agree to that I will ask you to rise as a mark of respect.”
The members then stood in silence.
The chairman said a letter of thanks had been received from Mr. Newberry in reply to the letter of sympathy sent to him by the Clerk in his recent illness.
Proposed Church Site
The Housing Committee reported that they had received a letter from the Rev. P. Barwell Spriggs asking the Committee to meet a deputation from the Oakham Church Extension Board to discuss the question of the purchase of a site on the Irchester-road Estate.
The Committee had agreed and appointed a sub-Committee consisting of the chairman (Mr. J. Allen) with Messrs. Spencer, Capon and Perkins to meet the deputation.
The Housing Committee agreed that a sub-Committee consisting of Messrs. Allen, Capon and Perkins be appointed to confer with a sub-Committee from the Finance Committee on the above subject and report to a future meeting.
The question of the arrears of rent was again considered by the Housing Committee, the Collector having attended their meeting and presented a report on the present position.
It appeared that all but two of the tenants that were served with notice to quit after the last meeting had paid off, or considerably reduced their arrears. In these two cases the arrears had increased and the Committee recommended to the Council that proceedings for possession of the houses be at once applied for, and a distraint issued for the rent due. This was agreed.
The Clerk was instructed to write to four other tenants warning them that unless their rent was punctually paid, the Council would have no alternative but to terminate their tenancies.
Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, said the Committee had gone into the matter very thoroughly and taken everything into consideration and after discussion had decided to move this resolution.
On the recommendation of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee, plans were approved as follows: A bungalow on the Court Estate for Mr. A. Osborne; a bungalow in Palm-road for Mr. H. Knight; additions to “Erskine House,” Wellingborough-road for Mr. J. S. Denton; extension to shop “Morada,” in Irchester-road for Mr. S. G. Wildman; garage at the rear of 93, High-street South for Mr. Joseph Eagle; garage in Spencer-road (wooden building) for Mr. E. H. Morgan.
The following tenders were received for the lighting of the town during the season 1933-34:
The Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Gas Co.:
For the supply of gas to 236 lamps including maintenance, cleaning and winding of clock controllers, for 36 weeks lighting, £526 16s. 10d.
The Rushden and District Electric Supply Co., Ltd.:
For the supply of electricity to 72 lamps including maintenance, etc., for 36 weeks lighting, £332 10s.
The Lighting Committee recommended to the Council that these tenders be accepted and this was agreed.
The Surveyor was instructed to obtain tenders for the ensuing year’s supply of road materials from the firms at present supplying the Council, and submit to the next meeting of the Highways Committee.
The Surveyor submitted a plan of a proposed improvement at the bend in Portland-road. The proposal was to take off the corner near Mr. F. Hawkes’ warehouse, set back the fence and widen the road by about eight feet. It was understood that Mr. Hawkes was quite prepared to give the necessary land. The estimated cost would be about £25.
The Council agreed to carry out the improvement.
Upper Queen Street
A letter was received from the owners of three cottages on the north side of Upper Queen-street asking the Council to construct a footpath there.
The Surveyor was instructed to reply that the Council will be prepared to accede to the application on their undertaking to pay the cost.
The Clerk submitted a letter from the captain of the Fire Brigade requesting an interview with the Committee on one or two matters concerning the Brigade. The Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee agreed and instructed the Clerk to request him to attend the next meeting.
The Health and Sanitary Committee stated that the report of the Medical Officer for the month of January was received, and that the Sanitary Inspector submitted his monthly report of the work and inspections carried out in connection with the health and sanitary department.
Factory and Workshops Act
The Inspector reported that since the last meeting all the factories in the district had been supplied with the usual forms for the return of outworkers in their employ. Fourteen forms had since been received containing the names of 32 outworkers.
High Street South
The sub-Committee appointed at the previous meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee to visit and inspect a house in High-street South, stated that they had carried out their inspection and now reported on the various defects found to exist. They understood that the tenant was making arrangements to vacate the house and suggested that the further consideration be deferred until the property was empty. The Committee agreed.
The Surveyor reported that Mr. Robert Marriott, the present tenant of the spare land at the sewage farm was desirous of continuing his tenancy for a further period of one year, upon the same terms, viz, £1 12s. 6d. per acre. - The Council agreed.
The Surveyor also reported that one half of the rick of hay at the farm had been sold for £7, and this was approved.
A letter was received from Messrs. Fred Corby, Ltd., making application for permission to take a certain quantity of water from the town brook running through their properties.
The Clerk was instructed to reply that the Council had no power to either grant or refuse the application.
The third selected candidate for the post of Cemetery Caretaker, who was unwell at the last meeting, attended and was interviewed by the Health and Sanitary Committee who now recommended to the Council that Mr. R. C. Moisey, of 109, Park-road, Rushden, be appointed to the post at a wage of £2 10s. per week with house, the duties to commence on the 1st April next.
The Cemetery sub-Committee were requested to meet and draw up conditions of the appointment.
Mr. Swindall, chairman of the Health and Sanitary Committee, said the Committee had given considerable thought to the rules with regard to the cemetery and thought some of them required to be added to or adjusting, so they were going to ask the Cemetery sub-Committee to go into the matter.
The Committee thought that all money paid for the upkeep of graves in any way whatever ought to be paid to the Collector at the Council Buildings. The auditor was very emphatic that no employee of the Council or officer except those in the offices of the Collector, ought to receive any money on behalf of the Council. The Committee therefore wished to alter the rule to obviate money being taken at the cemetery in future.
The Committee also wished to ask the Parks and Baths Committee to allow a gardener from the Hall to look after the Memorial instead of this work being done by an employee at the cemetery.
Mr. Tarry: I should like to say the resolution with regard to the appointment of a cemetery caretaker was not unanimous. It was passed by one vote, and I move that the matter be referred back to Committee for reconsideration.
Mr. Tysoe: I shall second that, for the man selected is not the one I should have chosen. I was not able to go to the meeting and I generally accept what is done in my absence, but I should like this resolution referred back.
Mr. Swindall: I shall strongly object to that and I do not think it is the right course to take. It was carried by four votes to two and if Mr. Tysoe had any objection or sympathy with the other man he should have sent a letter or have been there. I shall strongly oppose the resolution being referred back.
The chairman: I am obliged to take the amendment, as it has been properly moved and seconded.
Mr. Tysoe said there was everything about the other man which appealed to him as fitting him for a cemetery caretaker. He personally had been ill with influenza and so had not been able to go to the meeting.
Mr. Allebone: I don’t know anything about this particular man, but I have had certain things said to me of which I do not take much notice because something of the sort is always said when a man is appointed to a position, but I feel Mr. Tarry would not ask for this resolution to be referred back unless he had very strong grounds for doing so and it is possible that it is very difficult for him to say what he would like to say at this public meeting. I think it would perhaps be quite satisfactory if the Council after this meeting met in Committee for two or three minutes, and possibly prepare the ground for a unanimous resolution.
Mr. Tarry: That course will be quite agreeable to me.
Mr. Wilmott: I think it would be a very bad course to take. There was apparently a majority of two for the resolution, and if you are defeated you let it go I am defeated every day of my life. The thing is settled (Several members: No, no.) well it is settled so far as the Committee is concerned, and I shall certainly oppose any reference back.
When the chairman was about to put the amendment, Mr. Horrell asked whether the matter was not to be referred to the whole Council in Committee.
Mr. Perkins, on a point of order, said the amendment had been moved by Mr. Tarry and could not be withdrawn without the consent of the seconder.
The proposer and seconder then withdrew their amendment.
Mr. Hornsby said every member had an equal responsibility and an equal right to his vote, and he would certainly vote for the matter being referred to the whole Council in Committee, there was nothing to be lost by a further discussion.
Mr. Swindall said he was prepared to accept the suggestion that the matter be referred to the Council in Committee, and a proposition to this effect was then carried unanimously.
(We are informed that the Council in Committee confirmed the resolution and the appointment of Mr. Moisey was agreed upon.)
Cemetery Closing House
Mr. Perkins said that as the Cemetery sub-Committee were going to revise the regulations he would like to ask that the hours of closing be considered. The hours were rather rigid, the times being for winter and summer, and the winter time of 5 o’clock for closing was not suitable for the present intermediate period.
The chairman said he was sure the Committee would bear that in mind.
The report of the District Auditor on his completion of the audit of the accounts of the Council, and those of its officers, for the year ended 31st March, 1932, was received.
Attention was called to various matters including the collection of the allotment rents, the repairs fund in connection with the Assisted Housing Scheme and the unspent Loan balances all of which were stated to be receiving the attention of the Council.
Sewage Works and Sewers
The Rating Officer reported that following an objection by various local authorities to the basis of assessment of these properties, the County Valuation Committee had authorised a reduction as follows:-
Sewers, from £5 per thousand of the population to £1, and the works from sixpence per head of the population, to £10 per thousand. This was approved.
Housing Loan, £16,600
The Clerk reported the receipt from the Ministry of Health of their sanction to the borrowing of this sum for 60 years for the erection of 56 houses on the Irchester-road site.
Four tenders were received for the negotiation of the loan, and the Council accepted that of Messrs. Campbell and Eaglesfield, of Carlisle, the lowest at £3 7s. 6d. per cent. The total costs, including stamp duty, would be 12s. 6d. per cent.
The Clerk was instructed to inform the lenders that the loan would be required in two instalments.
As instructed at the November meeting of the Finance Committee the Clerk submitted a list of the various Council loans which had been raised, subject to a six months redemption clause. It appeared that 22 of such loans were subject to 5 per cent interest, nine to 4¾, and three to 4½ per cent., the total of the loans raised at these figures amounting to £116,479.
The Committee considered that in view of the present position of the money market the lenders should be asked to reduce their rates of interest to 4 per cent., and the Clerk was instructed to communicate with them accordingly.
It was understood that this request would apply to the whole of the Council’s mortgages.
Mr. Perkins asked if the loans the Council had had from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners could be dealt with in this way or were the loans definitely fixed.
The Clerk said it was merely a question of whether the lenders would agree to a change. The Council had no power to effect an alteration themselves.
In accordance with the requirements of this Act, it was resolved that the Clerk, Mr. Geo. S. Mason, be reappointed for a further term of one year, at the same salary and on the same conditions as previously held.
It was also resolved that Mr. W. L. Beetenson be appointed Assistant Clerk.
The Finance Committee reported that the following had been appointed as a sub-Committee to act with three members from the Housing Committee to consider the question of the appointment of a Housing Inspector; Messrs. Green, Roe, and Horrell.
Urban District Councils Association
A circular letter was received from the secretary to this Association stating that it was proposed to hold the annual conference of Urban District Councils of England and Wales at Ilfracombe, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th June next. The Council could if they thought it desirable authorise the Clerk and two members to attend.
The Finance Committee considered it desirable that the Council should be represented at the Conference and recommended accordingly, with the suggestion that the Council should appoint the delegates.
The Council agreed to be represented, and the chairman and vice-chairman were asked to attend, together with the Clerk.
Mr. Allebone said that as this would be an annual appointment it would be good to establish a precedent that the chairman and vice-chairman should attend the conference.
Bedford Road and Cemetery Land Rents
The Clerk informed the Finance Committee that the Collector of these rents had agreed to collect half yearly, as suggested by the District Auditor, but had asked that his salary be increased from £10 to £15 per annum, on account of the extra work involved.
The Committee agreed and recommended to the Council that his salary be increased accordingly. - This was approved.
It was resolved to hold a special meeting of the Finance Committee on Wednesday, the 22nd instant, at 10 a.m., for the purpose of considering the estimates for the ensuing year, and clearing up the accounts for the year.
The Council also agreed to hold a special meeting on Wednesday, the 22nd instant, at the Council Buildings, at 7 p.m., for the adoption of such estimates.
The Council agreed to the nominations of Mr. T. Cox as a governor of the Rushden Intermediate School, and Mr. John White as a member of the Rushden School Managers, to represent the Council on those bodies in succession to Mr. C. Claridge.
On the proposition of Mr. Capon the Council agreed to support the following resolution received from the Mytholmroyd Urban District Council: “That the Ministry of Labour be asked to consider payment of the amount due for unemployment and transitional benefits to any local authority finding employment for the men concerned in approved work of national or local utility to the minimum value of the amounts received. This will enable each locality to receive the value of unemployment and transitional benefits at present paid without any return.”
24th March, 1933
TOWN’S EXCELLENT FINANCIAL POSITION
At a special meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council, held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday evening to consider the estimates for the financial year 1933-4, a rate of 10s. 6d. in the £ (5s. 3d. for each half year) was adopted unanimously.
This is a reduction of 6d. on last year, made up of 2d. reduction on the County rate and an extra 4d. “off the Council’s own bat.”
The excellent financial position of the town was stressed and it was declared that although this reduction was being made it was economy without any sacrifice of the essential services of the town.
The amount to be raised by a direct rate this year is £33,167, and a rate of 10s. 6d. will produce £30,240, the balance coming from the balance in hand at the end of the present financial year of £8,700. This will leave an estimated balance at the end of the coming year of £5,772 which, it was urged, would be adequate to provide against any contingency.
Mr. C. W. Horrell, in seconding the adoption of the rate, after a comprehensive budget speech by Mr. F. Green, chairman of the Finance Committee, said a good working balance was necessary now that it was difficult to obtain loans for local improvements.
USEFUL BALANCE OF £8,700 FOR NEXT YEAR
Mr. Green (chairman of the Finance Committee), said:
“It is my duty again to place before you the estimates for the ensuing year, but before doing so I should like very briefly to make a few remarks as to the present position. I am pleased to say that notwithstanding what you have read in the papers recently, associating our town with Cinderella, that the good old town of Rushden is still in a very sound and satisfactory financial position, and is able to hold her own with any town of a similar size in the country. We are making sound and steady progress and during the past financial year there have been 65 houses erected, 12 by the Council and 53 by private enterprise and there are now in course of erection by the Council a further 56 houses. This, with other improvements, has increased the rateable value by £1,408, namely, from £61,147 to £62,555, and has also increased the product of a penny rate from £233 to £240. I should like to congratulate the various committees who have done their duty economically and have kept within the estimates for the past year. I am sure you will all agree that the efficient services of the town have been well maintained and have not suffered in any way by being unduly economical, while it is the intention of the Council, as in the past, to study economy without sacrifice of efficiency. You have no doubt read in the paper that the County Council have reduced their rate by 2d. in the £, but actually their precept for Rushden is £180 more than last year, which, of course, is accounted for by the increased rateable value. I am pleased to say, and am sure you will be gratified to know, that we shall be able to pass on to the ratepayers of Rushden the reduction in the County rate and a little extra off our own bat, amounting in all to 6d. in the £. After I have gone through the estimates with you, I shall ask you to adopt a rate of 10s. 6d. in the £ instead of 11s. for the ensuing year. The amount we have to raise by direct rates is £33,167 12s. 6d., and a rate of 10s. 6d. in the £ will produce £30,240, which, after bringing in a balance from last year of £8,700, will leave an estimated balance of £5,772, which we consider will be ample for the efficient working of the town’s finances. I shall have pleasure in asking you to accept a rate of 10s. 6d. in the £ and to instruct the Rating Officer to prepare a rate of 5s. 3d. in the £ for the next half year.
Mr. Green then presented a detailed financial statement, a summary of which appears below.
Mr. Green said he would like to congratulate members of the Council and the people of the town generally on the very able way in which the work of the town had been carried out by their esteemed Clerk, and his assistants, and by the other officers off the Council. He was sure they had a staff of officers second to none and they carried out their duties in a very satisfactory manner.
Mr. Horrell: I shall be pleased to second the adoption of a rate of 10s. 6d. in the £, and at the same time thank Mr. Green for the way in which he has presented the accounts to us. I think we can congratulate ourselves on the position in which we find ourselves to-day, compared with other towns in the county. It is no mean thing on an expenditure of £68,000 to have got so near the estimated expenditure as we have done during the past year. We went through the accounts this morning and I should like to assure the Council that the Finance Committee were unanimous in their opinion that the services of the town would be continued in the same generous way and I think it has been a generous way during the next twelve months as they have during the past year. It does seem on looking at the figures that we shall be somewhat dependent upon the balance of something over £8,000 having reduced the rate by 6d., but I see no reason why with the careful management to which the town’s affairs have always been subject in the past, we should not use as much of the balance as the figures might lead us to think we may do. It is necessary in these times, when it is very difficult to get loans for any local improvements, that we should have a fair working balance and £5,772 is quite a good balance for a town of this size. I have very great pleasure in seconding the adoption of the recommendation for a rate of 10s. 6d. in the £ and at the same time thank Mr. Green for the way he has presented the accounts.
Mr. Hornsby: I should like to support the proposition. I think everyone present is delighted to know that we can reduce the rates and still have a substantial balance in hand. It is not every town that can say that. I would not support a reduction in the rate if I did not think we could very well do it, but it leaves us a very good working balance so that if any contingency crops up we shall be able to deal with it. I do not think we shall be stingy in any of the works we shall undertake, and I am glad to know we have come out so well and the townspeople will be pleased to know we can carry on with a reduced rate.
The chairman: I should like to congratulate Mr. Green on his clear statement, and it is very satisfactory to know we can have the rates reduced. The new rate will be sealed at the next ordinary meeting of the Council.
A rate of 10s. 6d. in the £ for the year 1933-4, and a rate of 5s. 3d. for the next half year (ending September 30th), was then adopted unanimously.
Mr. Green briefly acknowledged the compliments paid to him for his budget speech.
BALANCE SHEET FOR 1933-4
The following is a concise statement of the estimates for 1933-4, showing how the deficit of £33,167, referred to by Mr. Green, arises.
This leaves a net deficiency of £33,167 12s. 6d., and the way in which this will be met by the product of the rate at 10s. 6d. in the £ and the balance in hand is shown below.