|The Rushden Echo, 10th May, 1912 , transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Last Year’s Expenditure - Estimates For The Coming Year
A meeting of the Council was held on Wednesday evening, when there were present: Messrs. Geo. Miller, J.P., C.C., (chairman), C. Bates (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., John Claridge, J.P., C.C., W. Bazeley, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, J. Spencer, C. E. Bayes, and the Ven. A. Kitchin, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. Allen).
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 24th April, 1912, when there were present:- Messrs. G. Miller, C. Bates, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, F. Ballard, Fred Knight, and C. E. Bayes.
Appointment Of Chairman
It was resolved that Mr. Miller be appointed Chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
Appointment Of Sub-Committee
The following sub-committee was appointed:-
Lighting and Fire Brigade – The Chairman, with Messrs. F. Ballard, J. Claridge, and J. Spencer.
were presented by:
Mr. A. Jaques for a corrugated iron shed at the rear of No. 19, Park-road, and no exception taken.
Mr. E. Hollis (amended plan) showing deviations from plans previously passed, and considered satisfactory.
Mr. George Gross for additions to cart shed at the rear of No. 90, Moor-road, and no exception taken.
The Surveyor reported that Messrs. Ashford and Campion, in the erection of their new premises off the Newton-road, had deviated from the approved plans by putting in a wooden end to the open shed. It was resolved to require Messrs. Ashford and Campion to substitute corrugated iron sheets for the woodwork.
Infringement Of Bye-Laws
The Clerk reported that, having received no reply from Mrs. Warner to his letter asking her to give an undertaking to remove the wooden building that she had erected adjoining No. 7, Beaconsfield-place, in contravention of the Bye-laws, he had invited her to attend this meeting to show cause why the building in question should not be removed.
Mrs. Warner attended the meeting, and the Chairman explained to her that in all cases of this nature plans were required to be submitted in order that the Council might be satisfied that the proposed buildings were not a source of danger to objectionable to surrounding property; if satisfactory on these points, no objection, as a rule, was taken; but the Council insisted on having plans, otherwise they would lose all control over such buildings, with the consequence that they would be erected in all parts of the town and, as experience had shown, lead to endless trouble. The building in question might be unobjectionable, or even an improvement, but it was an infringement of the Bye-laws and put up without a plan having been submitted. The Council, whilst having no desire to take extreme measures, must take notice of the infringement and required from Mrs. Warner a formal undertaking to remove the building if called upon so to do, and payment of a fee of 10/6 for the undertaking and stamp duty.
Mrs. Warner expressed her regret that through ignorance she had infringed the Bye-laws, but declined to give the undertaking or to pay the fee demanded.
The Committee whilst regretting that Mrs. Warner was unable to comply with the requirements of the Council, felt that they had no alternative but to adhere thereto, and instructed the Clerk to intimate this to Mrs. Warner and to inform her that unless the undertaking were given within the next 21 days the Surveyor would be instructed to remove the building without further notice, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to give orders to this effect.
Surface Tarring And Tarvia Grouting
The Surveyor submitted a letter from the County Surveyor stating that the Road Board had approved of the expenditure of a sum not exceeding £257/10/0 on the main roads in this district in respect of these works, viz., £157/10/0 for tarvia grouting and £100 for surface tarring. The Road Board would contribute two-thirds of the cost of the tarvia grouting and three-fourths of that of the surface tarring, in all £180; the County Council would contribute half of the balance, leaving £38/15/0 to be provided by the Council.
The Surveyor submitted a detailed statement of the works he considered necessary on the district roads during the ensuing year, the total cost of which amounted to £1,592.
It was resolved to pass on the estimate to the Finance Committee, with a recommendation that the same might be provided for so far as the estimates would allow, having regard to a maximum rate of 5/0.
The Surveyor reported that he had received several complaints as to water standing in the channels in this road. He was satisfied that the complaints were justified, and attributed the cause to insufficient fall and the limited number of gulleys. The only way, in his opinion, to effect an improvement was to insert four more gulleys, which he estimated would cost about £10.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to authorise this work to be done.
In pursuance of the instruction of this Committee, the Surveyor submitted a list of occupiers of shops having sun blinds projecting over the footway of a less height than seven feet from the ground.
It was resolved that the Clerk be instructed to communicate with the various occupiers, requesting them within a period of 21 days to bring up same to a height of seven feet at least from the ground.
Road Material – Granite
Tenders for the supply of granite for the current year were considered and the Surveyor instructed to place his orders as follows:-
Tenders for the supply of slag were also received, and the Surveyor instructed to place orders for about 1250 tons in quantities as required from the following firms at the respective prices quoted by them, viz.,
Wellingborough Iron Company:-
T. Butlin and Company:-
Kettering Iron Company:-
Road Metal – Team Labour
Tenders were received for carting road metal to the various places where required, and the committee recommended that those of Messrs. Sharpe, Wilmott, and Packwood be accepted for the various roads and depots according to the schedules of prices submitted.
It was resolved to discontinue full street lighting on the 28th April, but to continue the lighting in the High-street from Mannings-lane to the Hayway during the summer.
The Surveyor reported that the term for the maintenance of this road by the owners had now expired.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to issue the usual notices declaring the street a public highway repairable by the inhabitants at large.
Infringement Of Bye-Laws
The Clerk reported that he had received a further letter that day from Mrs. Warner with regard to the wooden building she had erected in Beaconsfield-place. She said she was willing to admit that she had inadvertently broken the bye-laws and was prepared to give an undertaking that it should not occur again.
The Chairman said they had asked Mrs. Warner to pay nothing more than they asked other people to pay when there had been an infringement of the bye-laws. The Council did not say that Mrs. Warner’s building was not put up in a proper manner, but it was an infringement, and if the fact that the building was put up in a proper manner was going to exonerate her, the Council would not want any bye-laws. Mrs. Warner admitted she was in the wrong, yet she was not willing to put herself in the right. The Council had previously had cases of infringement to deal with, and they thought it would check these irregularities if they made the offenders pay the cost of the agreement to remove the obstruction if called upon to do so.
The adoption of the committee’s recommendation was moved by the Chairman and seconded by Mr. Bates.
The Ven. A. Kitchin moved as
that the letter which had been received from Mrs. Warner that day be accepted by the Council as sufficient and that the matter be now closed. Bye-laws – he said – are very necessary, and no Council can carry out its work without them, but I think the bye-laws should be put into force with discrimination. In this case Mrs. Warner has said – and has published it in the local newspaper – that what she did was done quite inadvertently, and she has expressed her regret at having done it. I think the Council might rightly use some discrimination between good and bad landlords. Cases come before us constantly in which the orders of the Council are disobeyed in the way of supplying proper sanitary conveniences and putting premises into proper repair, and then the bye-laws have to be put into force and the Council are obliged to take action. Everyone will admit that Mrs. Warner is
One Of The Best Landladies
in the town. (Hear, hear.) Her houses are her hobby. She is always spending money on them and is always trying to make her tenants comfortable. In the present case the tenant wanted some place in which to put her mangle, and Mrs. Warner said “I will put you up a shed.” She was, of course, guilty of a technical breach of the bye-laws, and therefore it was absolutely necessary that her attention should be called to it; but I feel myself, and it is the feeling of a large number of people in the town, that the case would be met by an apology and an informal undertaking not to err again in the same way. I think that to require a formal undertaking and the payment of 10/6 for the agreement may be looked upon as being in the nature of a fine, and I should be very glad myself if the matter could be settled without going to that extreme.
The amendment was not seconded, and the Chairman’s proposition was carried, Mr. Miller saying he could quite endorse the Rector’s remarks about Mrs. Warner being a model landlady, but if the Council made any distinction between persons they would lay themselves open to very grave criticism.
The Chairman said that during the last few years they had more or less starved the district roads, but they would now have to face the question of spending more money to put the roads into a better condition.
The whole of the committee’s report was adopted.
Finance And Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, the 30th April, 1912, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. G. Miller, C. Bates, F. Ballard, J. Claridge, F. Knight, and T. Swindall.
Appointment Of Chairman
It was resolved that Mr. Miller be appointed Chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected since the last meeting:-
The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the following balances were in hand on the undermentioned accounts:-
The estimates for the current year were considered and agreed upon.
The statement of receipts and expenditure for the past year showed a balance of £515/4/8 in hand or in course of collection at the close of the year against an estimated balance of £669/0/10.
Having regard to the loans which will shortly have to be raised for the extension of the Sewage Works and for the provision of a Recreation Ground, the re-payment of the first instalment of which will fall due shortly after the close of the current year’s accounts, the Committee considered it absolutely essential to considerably increase the working balance so that the whole of these instalments would not fall on next year’s rate. The saving on the Water Board Precepts for the current year was estimated at £851/5/9, out of which the Committee propose that the sum of £250 should be added to the expenditure on the district roads and the balance carried forward to next year.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to adopt the estimates as settled by this Committee and to instruct the Collector to prepare a rate of 2/6 in the £ on account thereof and submit same to the next meeting of the Council.
The report was adopted.
Health And Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 1st May, 1912, when there were present:- Messrs. G. Miller, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, G. H. Skinner, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.
It was resolved that Mr. Bates be appointed Chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
The following Sub-committees were appointed:-
Farm – The Chairman with Mr. Skinner and Mr. Swindall.
Cemetery – Messrs. Miller, Bazeley, Claridge, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.
Health And Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that 12 cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., seven of scarlet fever and five of diphtheria.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that 38 informal notices had been issued since the last meeting calling attention to nuisances, etc., which for the most part were receiving attention.
Three books belonging to the Free Library and one belonging to the Alfred-street school library had been found in infected houses and destroyed. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the books.
Two lots of bedding had also been destroyed after deaths from consumption and had been replaced at a cost of £1/18/0. It was resolved to recommend the Council to pay the account.
The Inspector also reported that, in pursuance of the instructions of the Council, proceedings had been taken against Arthur Smith for failing to notify his children as suffering from scarlet fever and a conviction recorded, the defendant being fined 10/- and 6/- costs. The Clerk informed the Committee that this being the first prosecution by the Council under the Act he had thought it desirable that the Council should be represented at the hearing by a solicitor, and he had accordingly instructed Mr. J. C. Parker. The Committee approved and confirmed the action of the Clerk.
The Inspector further reported that the notices served on Mr. Jeremiah Jones to abate nuisances existing on his property in Victoria-road had not been complied with. It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Inspector to repair and make good the defective yard paving and recover the cost from Mr. Jones by summary proceedings. It was also resolved to recommend the Council to take proceedings against Mr. Jones in respect of the defective eaves gutters to the factory and the defective drain.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
The Sanitary Inspector also reported that the notice served on Mr. Jeremiah Jones to provide refuse receptacles for his five houses situate in and at the rear of Victoria-road had not been complied with.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Inspector to provide the necessary utensils and to take proceedings against Mr. Jones for the recovery of the expenses incurred.
Sewage Outfall Works – Extension Scheme
The Surveyor submitted his completed plans of the proposed works, together with an estimate of the total cost, amounting in all to £12,291, including the cost of the additional land and the manager’s house.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to make formal application to the Local Government Board for sanction to a loan of £12,300 for the purpose of the works.
Shops Act, 1912
The Committee had under consideration a circular letter and also a memorandum on the law relating to shops, issued by the Home Office. It appeared that the Local Authorities under the Act are:- In a Borough, the Town Council; in Urban Districts with a population of 20,000 or more, the District Council; elsewhere, the County Council, the County Council having authority to delegate their power to Urban Councils with a population under 20,000. Mr. Miller gave the Committee to understand that the subject was receiving the attention of the County Council, who would shortly invite the opinions of the District Councils as to delegation of powers.
It was accordingly resolved that no action be taken in the matter by this Council until the communication from the County Council is received.
The report was adopted.
System Of Scavenging
On the estimates Mr. Bazeley raised this question and asked if the Council could not see its way to get the refuse removed in a covered cart. Then, with regard to the collection of ash tins, they were often standing outside the houses for some hours before the cart went round and the tins were sometimes kicked by boys and the contents scattered about the street. Strong complaints had been received, and the Labour members had been asked to bring this matter before the Council to see if covered carts could not be provided and the tins collected from the rear of the house instead of having the tins standing in the street. The present methods were very unsatisfactory. If any change was to be made it should be raised on the estimates so that it could be allowed for. He considered the money would be well spent in making a change.
The Chairman said that their settled policy had been that they should not exceed a 5/- rate and they had to use great discretion to keep the expenses down to that sum. There was no doubt it would be a great improvement if they could provide covered carts.
Mr. Claridge said it would impossible for them to
Provide Covered Carts
on these estimates and do it on a 5/- rate. He thought they had all made up their minds that they could not increase the rate, and therefore, if they had no further income, he did not see how it would be possible to provide the carts.
Mr. Spencer said that the suggestion with regard to the tins might be adopted at once.
The Surveyor said that notices were issued four or five years ago that they would collect the tins from the backs of the houses, but, in spite of the numerous requests, people would still persist in putting the tins in the streets. It they would leave them at the backs of the houses the men would go round for them.
Mr. Claridge suggested that the people should be notified to this effect.
Mr. Bazeley said that at present the people hurried out with the tins under the impression that if they were not ready in the street the cart would not wait for them.
Mr. Claridge moved that the question be referred to the Sanitary Committee, which was carried.
The estimates were considered fully. The expenditure for the year was estimated as follows:-
The Chairman moved the adoption of the estimates.
Mr. Claridge seconded and said the Finance Committee hoped there would be no extra expenses incurred or it would reduce the balance so much that they would not have a working balance at all, so that whatever they might desire they would have to curtail their desires or they would have a much smaller balance than they had ever had before, a balance insufficient to work the Council. There were many improvements they would like to see effected, but they were not yet in a position to get them.
The estimates, after a question raised by Mr. Bazeley, were adopted.
Shop Hours Act
A memorial was read from the hairdressers and tobacconists of Rushden asking the Council, under this Act, to fix the hours of closing in those trades as follows:- Monday and Tuesday, 9; Saturday, 11; exemptions, the Thursday before Good Friday and Thursday when Christmas-eve fell on that day.
The Chairman explained that the County Council had not yet delegated their powers under the Act to the Urban Council. This would be done shortly, and the memorial would then be dealt with.
Police Court For Rushden
Mr. Spencer raised this question, which is dealt with in our leading article.
The Clerk reported that the Board of Trade had granted the provisional Order on the terms to which the Urban Council had agreed.
The Chairman said that purchase was to be completed on September 29th, and the Council proposed to take possession at Michaelmas.
Messrs. Miller, Bates, Spencer, and Claridge were appointed a committee on this question.