|Rushden Echo, 17th May, 1907, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Cutting Down Expenditure
A meeting of this Council was held at the Council Chambers on Wednesday night, when there were present: Messrs. F. Ballard (chairman), W. Bazeley (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J. Claridge, G. H. Skinner, G. Miller, C. E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, C. Bates, A. J. Dobbs, and J. Paragreen, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. H. Hunter).
Plans, &c, Committee
A special meeting of the Plans, Highway and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday the 17th April, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Ballard (in the chair), W. Bazeley, C. E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, A. J. Dobbs, F. Knight, and Geo. Miller.
An application was received from Mr. Sartoris through the Clerk for permission to erect a fence on the north side of this road from the bridge to the top of the hill; he proposed to trim back the hedge and set the new fence as near to it as possible. The Clerk pointed out that the present road at the bottom of the hill was not of the full awarded width of 40 feet but Mr. Sartoris agreed to give an undertaking, in the event of his any time hereafter laying out the fields for building purposes, to throw sufficient land into the road to make it the full awarded width.
The Chairman further stated that if the Council was desirous of making a road improvement at the bottom of the hill by widening the bridge Mr. Sartoris would be prepared to give up the necessary land for the purpose.
It was resolved to accede to Mr. Sartoris’s application with regard to the fence and also to accept his offer to give up the necessary land for the road improvement and the Surveyor was instructed to proceed with the latter in order that it might be completed before the date fixed for the Agricultural Show. The Committee decided to meet on the site on Friday afternoon with the Surveyor to set out the line to be taken for the improvement. The report was adopted.
Plans, &c., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 24th April, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, C. E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, A. J. Dobbs, F. Knight, and G. Miller.
Appointment of Chairman
Upon the proposition of Mr. Knight, seconded by Mr. Miller, it was unanimously resolved that Mr. Ballard be appointed chairman of this committee.
Lighting and Fire Brigade Sub-Committee
The following members were appointed to act on this committee:- Messrs. Ballard, Dobbs, Clipson, and Miller.
were presented by:-
Messrs. C. Praed and Co., Ltd. (amended plan) for new licensed premises in Grove-street and passed.
Mr. Robert Marriott for two houses on the Wellingborough-road and rejected as contravening Bye-law 67.
Mr. C. G. Cunnington for shed at the rear of his premises in George-street and passed.
The Chairman reported that he had given permission to the Temperance Band to give concerts in the Council Field, Park-road, on Sunday next and also on Whit-Sunday.
It was resolved that the Surveyor be instructed to advertise for tenders for the supply of road materials for the ensuing year as usual.
The Surveyor was also instructed in making up his estimates for the ensuing year to provide for granite being used for the repair and maintenance of all roads within the town.
Prevention of Dust
The Surveyor was instructed to continue the process of tarring the road as was done last year and complete the whole of the High-street.
The Chairman reported that the full Committee met Mr. Sartoris on Friday evening as arranged and the line for the new bridge was decided upon.
The Surveyor produced a plan showing the improvement which the Committee approved and the Surveyor was instructed to at once invite tenders for carrying out the works.
A sub-committee consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Mr. Knight was appointed to receive the tenders and authorised to accept the lowest.
It was also resolved to pipe and fill in about 14 yards of the water course at the top of the hill at an estimated cost of £4.
The Clerk reported that he had received a letter from Mr. Sartoris giving an undertaking to set back the fence of the field on the right hand side of the road to the full awarded width in the event of his at any time developing that part of his property as a building estate.
High-Street South Improvement
It was resolved that the fence standing on the piece of ground recently purchased from Mr. C. G. Ward be set back to the agreed line and the land thrown into the street be made up into the road.
The Surveyor reported that the owners in Wentworth-road had decided to carry out the necessary works themselves by contract in accordance with the suggestion made by the deputation to this Committee on the 27th February last. In addition, the owners would pay the usual supervision fee and the cost of five years’ maintenance of the road. It was understood that the contract would provide for the use of the Council’s Steam Roller and for all asphalting to be laid by the Council’s workmen.
It was resolved to cease general lighting on the 11th May, but to continue the lighting in the High-street and Higham-road from Manning’s lane to the Higham Ferrers boundary.
Grove Street Sewer
The Surveyor reported the total cost of laying this sewer amounted to £28/15/11, the amount to be paid by the Council being £18/16/7 and that by the owners £9/19/4.
The Surveyor was instructed to send in to Mr. Packwood an account for the amounts due from the owners.
Mr. Swindall asked what would be the cost of tarring High-street.
The Surveyor: About forty pounds.
Mr. Swindall did not think it was necessary to carry out such experimental work at the present juncture.
The Chairman said the cost would be defrayed by the County Council, who raised no objection to similar expenditure last year.
Mr. Claridge, referring to the Wymington-road improvement, thought the committee had exceeded their duties in going on with the work before it came before the Council. The whole Council might have been called together before the tenders were in, and he took exception, therefore, to the action of the committee in exercising executive powers. He did not think it was fair to the other members of the Council, especially so soon after the recent election, when the members were, for the most part, pledged to economy.
Mr. Swindall echoed what Mr. Claridge had said and said they were asked to adopt the recommendation of the committee without knowing what the cost was. He was surprised to find those who were returned to the Council on the strict economy ticket taking such action.
If those members did not send in their resignation to the Ratepayers’ Association, he thought the Association should call upon them to do so.
The Chairman: I don’t think we can go into that subject.
Mr. Swindall: We have been considering how to keep down the rate, and the road would have done for another few years. I protest against the committee’s action as a slight on the Council.
The Chairman said no member of the committee had any idea of slighting the Council, and they were unanimously in favour of the work being done at once.
In reply to a question, the Surveyor said the cost of widening the bridge and the road would be about £40.
Mr. Miller was surprised at the discussion. He had expected that a vote of thanks would be passed to Mr. Sartoris for his generous gift. There had been more discussion about £32 than about the expenditure of thousands of pounds in front of the Succoth Chapel and other places in past years.
The report was adopted, with the exception that it was decided to light the public lamps from Manning’s lane to the Hayway only.
Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Estates, Cemetery, and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 1st May, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, J. Claridge, J. Paragreen, T. Swindall, and G. H. Skinner.
Appointment of Chairman
Upon the proposition of Mr. Ballard, seconded by Mr. Swindall, it was unanimously resolved that Mr. Bazeley be Chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
Appointment of Sub-Committees
The following Sub-Committees were appointed:- Estates and Farm: Messrs. Swindall, Paragreen, and Skinner. Cemetery: Messrs. Bazeley, Ballard, Bates, and Claridge.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer’s report was received from which it appeared that three cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz: two of scarlet fever and one of membranous croup, the latter proving fatal.
The Officer further reported that he had visited a pig-yard situate in Griffith-street in the occupation of Mr. Smith; he found the yard in a very insanitary state through a lengthy accumulation of manure, constituting a serious nuisance. The Officer considered the premises quite unsuitable for the purpose for which they were being used. He also noticed a nuisance arising from the smoke from an engine in the yard, the chimney of which was too short. He recommended the raising of the same a few feet above the adjoining houses.
It was resolved to instruct the Sanitary Inspector to serve Mr. Smith with a formal notice to abate the nuisances referred to.
The Sanitary Inspector submitted his monthly report, from which it appeared that the work of re-draining the old property was progressing satisfactorily, sixty-one new connections having been made during the month.
He had visited the Knacker’s yard situate on the Newton-road, and had also made seven inspections under the Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milkshops Order. Two cowsheds had been re-drained.
The Inspector also gave a detailed statement of work done, complaints investigated, and notices served during the month.
An application was received from Mr. J. Bainbridge for an increase in his salary from 12 to 16 guineas. The Committee expressed satisfaction at the excellent work done by Mr. Bainbridge and agreed to recommend the Council to accede to his request.
The Surveyor reported that, as instructed, he had taken the levels of this road and found that it was possible to bring the drain into the sewer on the Higham-road. He estimated the work at £40.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to carry out the work.
An application was received from the Farm Manager to be allowed to garden about 20 poles of ground at the farm and acceded to.
Mr. Miller thought that the Medical Officer should always attend the Council meetings.
The report was adopted.
A special meeting of the Finance Committee was held at the Clerk’s Office on Monday, the 6th instant, at 11 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, and Geo. Miller.
Appointment of Chairman
It was unanimously resolved that Mr. Ballard be Chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
The estimates for the ensuing year were considered. The total estimated expenditure amounted to £11247/14/4. The estimated receipts were £2203/8/4 leaving the sum of £9044/6/- to be provided for. The assessable value of the district for the General District rate is £34189/7/9, and a penny rate produces £139/2/6 after allowing for irrecoverables.
The Committee decided to recommend the Council to levy a rate at 5/- in the £ for the year, which, after allowing £200 for irrecoverables, would produce £8347/5/-, and to take the balance of £697/1/- from the amount brought forward from last year, thus reducing the working balance to £864/17/5.
It was resolved that the estimates be printed and submitted to a meeting of the whole Council in Committee to be held on Wednesday evening next.
It was resolved that this Committee meet on Wednesday evening next after the Council in Committee meeting and in future on the first Wednesday in the month at 10 a.m.
The report was adopted.
Council in Committee
A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday the 8th May, 1907, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Ballard (Chairman), W. Bazeley, C. E. Bayes, C. Bates, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, A. J. Dobbs, Fred Knight, G. Miller, J. Paragreen, G. H. Skinner, and T. Swindall.
The Estimates as prepared by the Finance Committee were submitted and carefully considered in every detail; a strong desire was expressed if possible to so limit the expenditure that the rate for the present year might not be increased. The estimated expenditure on the district roads was reduced by £195 and it was decided to eliminate from the estimates the items of £200 and £40 respectively for new horses and carts and forage, this however necessitated an increase of £50 for team labour making a net reduction under this head of £190. The remaining figures were agreed to, leaving a total reduction in the estimate of £385. With this reduction the Committee considered whether it would not be possible to keep the rate at 4/8 by reducing the working balance by a sum of £171 beyond that mentioned in the Finance Committee’s report. It was pointed out that by adopting this course the amount raised would be £868 less than the expenditure and recognising the improbability of the expenditure being less next year the majority of the Committee were of opinion that it was desirable to raise a 5/0 rate and only take £312/1/0 from the working balance. It was therefore resolved by a majority to recommend the Council to adopt the estimates as revised and to fix the amount of the rate to be levied for the year at 5/0 in the £.
The Chairman read a letter from the Ratepayers’ Association asking the Council to reduce the expenditure on the roads and footpaths and to limit the rate to the amount at which it at present stands.
The Clerk was instructed to reply that the Council were doing everything in their power to keep down the expenditure and that they were equally anxious with the association to keep the rate to the lowest possible limit.
High-Street South Improvement
No provision was made in the estimates for payment of the land contracted to be purchased in the High-street South, and it was unanimously agreed that this money would have to be raised by loan. The question as to whether or not the loan should also include a sum for carrying out the improvement was referred to the Highways Committee to consider and report.
The Chairman was requested to issue a notice by advertisement requesting the inhabitants to decorate and illuminate their business premises on the occasion of the visit of the Agricultural Show in Whit-week.
The Chairman moved the adoption of the report and thought that sound finance left the Council no other alternative. He therefore moved, with great reluctance, that the rate be 5s. in the £.
Mr. Dobbs seconded but thought it would be advisable, as they were bound to have a 5s. rate, to include the cost of horses, etc.
Mr. Claridge said the rate was a very heavy one and their total rates would be now 8/8 in the £, which would be a great burden to some people. The only item on which it seemed possible to cut down their expenditure was the district roads. At the same time, they could not cut down the rate if they had to make a still larger rate next year.
Mr. Skinner said the extra rate would be a great strain on the town, and he thought it was time they cut their coat according to their cloth. He was convinced that it was quite possible to reduce their expenditure on the district roads to such a figure as to necessitate only a 4/8 rate.
Mr. Swindall said he felt the rates as much as anyone and as they generally spent less than they expected they might perhaps do with a 4/8 rate. If it was not possible, then he should support a 5s. rate.
The Chairman said that independent of the water supply their expenditure only came to about 3s. in the £. The Clerk had told him that if they made a 4/8 rate this year they would probably have a rate of over 5s. next year. He was very sorry that it was so.
Mr. Clipson said if they had to make a rate of 5/6 next year their last state would be worse than their first.
The Clerk, at the invitation of the Chairman, said that unless they could considerably reduce their expenditure they could not very well cut down the rate. A 5s. rate would not raise sufficient money to meet their expenditure by £300, which it was proposed to take from capital. They might get through this year, possibly, with a 4/8 rate by drawing on their capital but they would have to meet the difference next year. There was little prospect of less money being required next year for the water supply, which was their chief item of expenditure.
The Chairman read the estimates to show that the Council had kept down their expenditure to the lowest possible point.
Mr. Claridge moved as an amendment that they cut down their expenditure by £400 and reduce the rate to 4/8 in the £.
Mr. Miller seconded.
Mr. Bazeley said those members who were pledged to keep down the rate and now found they could not do so were in an awkward position. The Finance Committee and Council in Committee had done their best to keep down their expenditure and he did not see how they could with less than a 5s. rate.
Mr. Claridge withdrew his amendment and the proposition for a 5s. rate was then put and lost by 6 votes to 5.
The Council then went into committee to consider whether the estimates could be reduced, and various economies were effected.
On again opening the meeting, Mr. Miller proposed and Mr. Bayes seconded that the rate be at 4/8 in the £.
Mr. Dobbs wished to dissociate himself entirely from the reduction which had been made. It would be impossible to keep the roads in their present condition and the reductions were unfair both to the town and the Surveyor. He protested against them.
There voted for the reduced rate: Messrs. Knight, Claridge, Skinner, Miller, Bayes, Clipson, Swindall, and Paragreen. The following voted against the motion: Messrs. Ballard, Bazeley, Bates, and Dobbs.
The motion was therefore carried.
A meeting of the Finance Committee was held at the Council Building on Wednesday, the 8th May, 1907, when there were present: Messrs. F. Ballard (chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, and Geo. Miller.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
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:-
The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums during the past month:-
And that the following balances were in hand on the undermentioned accounts:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts were examined and passed for payment. The report was adopted.
Erection of Stables, &c.
Mr. Bates, in accordance with notice, moved that the Surveyor be instructed to invite tenders for the erection of stables, and that a loan be applied for, for horses and carts. He understood that the loan for the stables was already in hand.
Mr. Dobbs seconded the motion and said the Council ought to have done their own scavenging years ago.
Mr. Skinner thought they ought not to consider the purchase of horses this year.
Mr. Swindall moved as an amendment that the first portion of the motion relating to tenders be struck out.
Mr. Paragreen seconded the amendment.
Mr. Bazeley contended that the present was a very opportune time to erect the stables.
Mr. Swindall’s amendment was lost, as was also an amendment by Mr. Miller to pass to the next business.
Mr. Swindall said he was in favour of the stables being erected but they must first, he thought, get the sanction of the Local Government Board for a loan for the purchase of horses and carts.
The motion was then put and was lost by 6 votes to 5. Mr. Swindall did not vote.
The Compounding System
Mr. Dobbs moved that the rate collector be directed to supply the Finance Committee with a list of the owners of property who received an allowance of 20 per cent. off the rates and to state the number of houses affected. He contended that the compounding system was not fair to those ratepayers who had built their own homes and had no allowance.
Mr. Paragreen seconded the motion and said he wanted to see equality between the big and little ratepayers.
Mr. Claridge said if the allowance was knocked off the rents would be raised.
The motion was carried by six votes to 5, and Mr. Dobbs was added to the Finance Committee for this question.
The Price of Gas
Mr. Bazeley moved that the Gas Company be requested to make a reduction in the price charged for gas for public and other purposes. The Gas Company made big profits and could well afford to make a reduction. No doubt the directors would have a fellow feeling for their fellow residents in Higham and Rushden. He thought £370 was an exorbitant sum to spend for the gas used for public lighting.
Mr. Paragreen seconded the motion, which was carried.
Messrs. Ballard, Bazeley, and Miller were appointed a deputation to put the matter before the directors of the Gas Company.