|The Rushden Echo, 13th May, 1921, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Rectory Road Improvement
Increased Cost of Electricity Discussed
Dwelling Houses to be Inspected?
| Wednesday, present Messrs. W. Bazeley, J.P. (chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), T. Wilmott, C. E. Bayes, F. Knight, J.P., L. Perkins, B.Sc., J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. S. F. Piper), and the Medical Officer of Health (Dr. H. S. Baker).
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 27th April, 1921, when there were present Messrs. W. Bazeley, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, C. W. Horrell, and T. Wilmott.
It was resolved that Mr. Bazeley be appointed chairman of this committee for the ensuing year.
The following Sub-Committee was appointed:-
Lighting and Fire Brigade Messrs. C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, and T. Wilmott.
Mr. T. Wilmott was appointed as the representative of this committee on the Depot Sub-Committee.
were presented for:-
Alterations and additions to No. 131, Queen-street for Mr. Fred Green and passed.
Motor shed in Carnegie-street for Mr. B. Ladds and no exception taken.
Two w.c.s and petrol store for Messrs. York, Ward, and Rowlatt, Ltd., off the High-street and passed.
Three workshops off the Bedford-road for Messrs. Wallis Bros. and no exception taken.
Wooden shed and E.C. at the rear of his house on the Court Avenue-road for Mr. J. Headland and no exception taken.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Surveyor to construct a good roadway, for passenger traffic only, in that part of Rectory-road near the Salvation Army Barracks.
Attention was called to the dangerous state of the telephone pole at the top of Griffith-street. The Surveyor was requested to arrange with the engineer in charge for the re-fixing of the pole.
Post Office Telegraphs
An application was received from the Superintending Engineer for the consent of the Council to the placing of underground and over-ground lines in Station-road, Higham-road, and the Hayway, and it was agreed to accede thereto.
The Lighting Sub-Committee reported that owing to present conditions they had considered it advisable to discontinue the lighting of the lamps in High-street, with the exception of that at the south end of the Green and that near the Vestry Hall, on the 23rd inst. These latter would cease to be lighted on the 30th inst.
The Committee approved and confirmed the action of the Sub-Committee.
Fire Station Cottage
The question of the occupancy of the Fire Station cottage, again referred to this Committee by the Council at their last ordinary meeting, was considered. It was decided to ask the Council to consider the matter in committee at the close of their next meeting.
Motor 'Bus Traffic
The Chairman and Mr. Wilmott were requested to confer with the various 'Bus Companies and to make arrangements for regulating the ’bus traffic in this district, particularly with regard to relieving the congestion at the top of Church-street and near the Wheatsheaf Hotel, and report to the next meeting.
The report was adopted.
Referring to the suggestion that the part of Rectory-road near the Salvation Army be renovated, Mr. Knight said that some time ago the Council had asked the Salvation Army authorities if they would sell a part of the land at the back of their premises to the Council so that it might be made a public footpath and the remainder be thrown open to vehicular traffic, but they had refused to do so. He considered that the Salvation Army Authorities had not shown a very good public spirit, seeing that that organisation was liberally supported by the town. He considered that the building would be improved by such alterations.
The Chairman said he believed that the alterations would entail the removal of part of the Junior department, and the present scheme would cost about £50.
On the proposition of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Claridge, it was decided to again approach the Salvation Army authorities to see if they would sell a piece of the ground to the Council and that the committee try to get permission to make a roadway right through to the station.
Finance and Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 4th May, 1921, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. W. Bazeley, T. Swindall, C. E. Bayes, J. Claridge, L. Perkins, and T. Wilmott.
It was resolved that Mr. Bazeley 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 book, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Collector’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums during the past month:-
Cemetery Registrar’s Accounts
The Cemetery Registrar’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had received the following sum 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 balances were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £941/6/11 were examined and passed for payment.
Assisted Housing Scheme
A letter was received from the Public Works Loan Board stating that they had resolved to make the following loans to this Council at 6½ per cent.:-
Spencer Park, Distress Through Unemployment
A communication was received from the Ministry of Health forwarding their formal sanction to the borrowing by the Council of the sum of £870 for laying out a portion of Spencer Park. This sum is the balance of the surveyor’s estimate for the whole of the works after giving credit for the amounts promised by the Unemployment Grants Committee.
The Ministry of Health stated that it would be in accord with the views of the Treasury that the money should be obtained from local sources, and the Clerk was authorised to negotiate a loan at 6½ per cent. repayable by 20 equal annual instalments of principal and interest combined. The amount payable including principal would work out at £9 1s 6d per cent.
The report was adopted.
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 4th May, 1921, when there were present Messrs. W. Bazeley, T. Swindall, J. Claridge, F. Knight, J. Hornsby, L. Perkins, and J. Spencer.
It was resolved that Mr. Swindall be appointed chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
The following Sub-Committee were appointed:-
Cemetery Messrs. Swindall, Bazeley, and Knight.
Farm Messrs. Hornsby, Spencer, and Knight.
Mr. Hornsby was appointed as the representative of this committee on the Depot Sub-Committee.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer of Health for the month of April was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that eleven preliminary notices had been issued since the last meeting in respect of nuisances, etc., and the total number of nuisances now outstanding was 58.
No case of infectious disease had been notified during the month.
The carcase of a pig, one ox liver, and heart and lungs of an ox had been destroyed in the usual way as being unfit for food, since the last meeting.
A quantity of bedding and sundry other articles had been disinfected after cases of infectious disease, at the depot.
The Inspector also reported that the owner of the houses in Kilburn-place had not remedied all the defects that existed in such houses, there being no washing accommodation, and proper ventilation to the back bedrooms had not been provided. The Inspector was requested to interview the owner with a view to the washing accommodation being provided forthwith.
The Inspector further reported that a urinal had been constructed at the Conservative Club, the overflow to the cistern of which had not been carried to the outer wall. He was instructed to inform the Club Company that this must be carried out.
The Inspector gave a statement of his work since the last meeting.
Increase of Rent and Mortgage Restriction Act
A further letter was received from the Secretary of the town Tenants League asking the Committee to reconsider their decision not to initiate proceedings under this Act on behalf of the tenants and asking the Committee, if they still adhered to their previous decision, to receive a deputation. The letter complained of houses in a dirty and insanitary condition, and asked the Committee as the sanitary authority to take steps to remedy this.
The Committee regretted that they were unable to come to any other decision than that arrived at at the last meeting with regard to initiating proceedings under the Act, but instructed their Inspector to make a special survey of the houses to which it was understood the communication specially referred, with a view to requiring the owner to remedy the defects therein.
The Committee could not see that any useful purpose would be served by receiving a deputation from the League, and instructed the Clerk to communicate with the Secretary accordingly.
A letter was received from Mrs. W. Robinson, hon. Secretary of the Cottage Hospital Committee, enclosing the annual report of the Sister-in-charge from which it appeared that during the year ended 12th April last, the number of in-patients for operations had been 14, out-patients 62, and accidents 2. The number of attendances on out-patients had been 796.
The report was adopted.
A meeting of the Parks Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, 4th May, 1921, when there were present:- Messrs. W. Bazeley, T. Swindall, F. Knight, L. Perkins, J. Spencer, and T. Wilmott.
It was resolved that Mr. Fred Knight be appointed Chairman of this Committee for the ensuing year.
A letter from the Ministry of Health with regard to the proposal to construct bowling greens and tennis courts on a portion of Spencer Park was received stating that the Ministry considered it desirable that the Council should be invested with the powers of Part VI of Public Health Amendment Act, 1907, and suggested that the Council should apply for an order investing them with such power.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to apply to the Ministry of health for the necessary Order and the Clerk was instructed to give notice of this intention by advertisement in the “Rushden Echo.”
An application was received from Mr. Charles Thurston for permission to use part of Spencer Park for his amusements during Feast week 1921.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede to the application on the same terms and conditions as previous years.
Two applications were received for football pitches in Spencer Park for season 1921-22. It was decided that these together with any other applications be considered at a later day.
Bowling Greens and Tennis Courts
The Surveyor reported that the work of constructing these greens and courts was proceeding satisfactorily and that he and the Chairman had purchased a quantity of clinker from various sources.
The action of the Chairman and Surveyor was approved.
The report was adopted.
The Rushden Electric Lighting Co., having given notice of their intention to apply to the Ministry of Transport for permission to increase their charges from 8d. to 2s 2d per unit, Mr. Spencer said he thought the increase was very great.
Mr. Knight said that little could be done by opposing the application, and he moved that no action be taken.
Mr. Wilmott seconded.
Mr. Perkins said he did not think that the matter should be passed by so lightly. It would be bad for trade if such a great increase should be allowed. Business men had their plant installed and could not help themselves.
The Clerk: Then again, if the present maximum charge is not sufficient, the company could not go on producing the power.
It was agreed not to oppose the application, Mr. Perkins and Mr. Spencer voting against the motion.
The annual reports of the Medical Officer of Health and the Sanitary Inspector, extracts of which appear in this issue, were received.
Mr. Claridge congratulated the Medical Officer and Sanitary Inspector on their excellent reports, and said that they revealed the social conditions of the district most interestingly. They might also congratulate themselves on the high state of the health of the town. About 30 or 40 years ago Rushden was vastly different from what it is to-day. A great improvement had been effected. That the death rate was very much lower they probably had to be thankful for their excellent water supply and the sewage disposal and general good sanitary arrangements. Since the Inspector came 12 months ago he had done very good work. Mr. Claridge would like to compliment and congratulate him. (Applause.)
Mr. Wilmott endorsed Mr. Claridge’s remarks and said he knew that the two officers had done a great deal of hard and useful work in the town.
Mr. Swindall said he wished to add his testimony to the splendid report. A collection of such reports would in years to come be a very interesting history of the town.
Mr. Perkins suggesting, it was agreed to place several copies in the Free Library so that the public might read the reports.
Mr. Spencer, congratulating the officers, asked the doctor whether in his opinion any people in Rushden were suffering from under-nourishment as a result of the trade depression. He also wondered if it would be possible to obtain powers to have private dwellings inspected periodically as were factories to see that they were kept in a proper state.
The Chairman also complimented the officers on their excellent reports.
Dr. Baker, in reply to Mr. Spencer, said that, generally speaking, there was not under-nourishment amongst the inhabitants of the town. At the same time there might be individual cases where people were not getting and had not been able to get the things they were in the habit of having. Sometimes it was to their good! In regard to the matter of compulsory powers to inspect houses, he was entirely in accord that such would be desirable if it could be obtained. He thanked the members for their kindly remarks.
Mr. Piper also thanked the members and said that he had tried to do his duty since he came.