|The Rushden Echo, 16th May, 1924, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
The Proposed Improvement of Rectory Road
Stiff Terms from The Railway Company
Company’s Proposal “Simply Absurd.”
The Assisted Housing Scheme
Wednesday, present: Messrs. C. Bates, J.P. (chairman), C. W. Horrell, C.A. (vice-chairman), T. Swindall, T. Wilmott, C. E. Bayes, C. Claridge, F. Knight, J.P., F. Corby, L. Perkins, B.Sc., J. Hornsby, and G. W. Coles, J.P., 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 Parks Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 16th, 1924, when there were present: Messrs. C. Claridge, G. W. Coles, F. Corby, F. Knight, L. Perkins, J. Spencer, and T. Swindall.
It was resolved that Mr. Fred Knight be appointed chairman of this committee for the ensuing year.
Spencer Park Refreshments
It was resolved to recommend the Council to again let the sole right of serving refreshment in Spencer Park for season 1924 to Mrs. A. Smith, at the price of £10.
A meeting of the Parks Committee was held at Spencer Park on Friday, May 2nd, 1924, when there were present: Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. W. Coles, F. Corby, and L. Perkins.
The committee inspected the bowling greens and tennis courts, and decided to commence bowls on Saturday, the 10th inst.
The committee considered the question of providing slides similar to those at Wicksteed Park, Kettering, and instructed the Surveyor to obtain prices.
The report was adopted.
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, April 30th, 1924, when there were present: Messrs. C. Bates, C. W. Horrell, C. Claridge, G. W. Coles, F. Corby, L. Perkins, and T. Wilmott.
It was resolved that Mr. C. W. Horrell be appointed chairman of this committee for the ensuing year.
The following sub-committees were appointed:
Cemetery Messrs. Claridge, Coles, and Perkins.
Farm Messrs. Bates, Corby, and Wilmott
Depot Mr. Wilmott.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer of Health for the month of April was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting 11 additional nuisances had been dealt with, of which number seven had been abated. Of the outstanding nuisances, 16 had been abated.
Twenty-seven visits had been made to premises where food was prepared or sold, during which visits he found two sets of ox lungs and one mesentery of a pig which were unfit for human consumption and destroyed in the usual way.
Following cases of infectious disease, two rooms had been disinfected. At the depot a quantity of bedding and wearing apparel had been disinfected after cases of infectious disease.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work and inspections during the past month.
Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act
The Inspector reported that under this Act two premises had been inspected and four premises successfully treated.
Celluloid and Cinematograph Film Act, 1922
A letter was received from the Home Office enclosing a copy of the regulations dated April 8th, 1924, which had been made under Section 1 (4) of this Act, relating to the use of any cinematograph or similar apparatus upon any premises used for any purpose to which the Act applies.
The Clerk was instructed to obtain further copies of the regulations and supply to each of the premises using such apparatus.
The Surveyor was instructed to obtain an additional horse and cart for scavenging purposes from the contractors at present serving the Council.
Milk and Dairies Act, 1922
An application was received from Mr. W. Brown, of Higham Ferrers, to be registered as a purveyor of milk in this district.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto, subject to Mr. Brown renewing his application on the prescribed form.
The report was adopted.
Finance and Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, May 7th, 1924, at 10a.m., when there were present: Messrs. C. Bates, C. W. Horrell, C. E. Bayes, C. Claridge, G. W. Coles, F. Knight, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.
It was resolved that Mr. C. Bates be appointed chairman of this committee for the ensuing year.
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £837 3s. 6d. were examined and passed for payment.
Memorandum of General District Rate
The Rates Clerk submitted the following Memorandum of General District Rate made Oct. 10th, 1923:-
A list of the irrecoverable arrears was also submitted as follows:
and it was resolved to recommend the Council that they be written off as such.
The Clerk reported that he had received from the Ministry of Health sanction to a loan of £5,000 to provide the subsidy of £100 per house for 50 houses, and the committee instructed the Clerk to negotiate the loan forthwith.
Gas Regulation Act, 1920
A letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council stating that that Council proposed to appoint Mr. C. G. W. Kent, B.A., of Northampton, as the Gas Examiner in the county area. The fees and expenses for making the necessary examinations of the gas manufactured by the Rushden and Higham Ferrers District Gas Company would amount to £35 2s. 4d. per annum, which would be apportioned on the Councils in whose area the Company supplies gas according to their respective rateable values. It was resolved to recommend the Council to approve the arrangement.
Assisted Housing Scheme - Newton-Road Land
A letter was received from the Ministry of Health offering the surplus land, amounting to approximately seven acres, including the plot fronting Newton-road, to the Council for £1,393. The committee did not at present see their way to recommend the Council to take over the whole of the land in question and decided to so inform the Ministry and at the same time ask them to sanction the Council’s acquisition of the small portion already in course of development by the Council.
Local Government and Other Officers’ Superannuation Act, 1922
With regard to the adoption of this Act and the suggested inclusion of the Council’s workmen in the scheme, it was resolved to obtain full particulars and place them before the workmen at an early date.
The report was adopted.
Plans, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, May 7th, 1924, when there were present: Messrs. C. Bates, C. W. Horrell, C. E. Bayes, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, J. Spencer, and T. Swindall.
It was resolved that Mr. Bates be appointed chairman of this committee for the ensuing year.
The following sub-committees were appointed:
Lighting and Fire Brigade Messrs. Bates, Horrell, and Bayes.
Depot Mr. Hornsby.
were presented for:-
Two houses on the Higham-road, one for Mr. E. G. Leeding and the other for Mr. F. A. Fairey, and passed.
Applications for subsidies in respect of each of the foregoing houses were received, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Surveyor to issue certificates in respect of the same as coming within the Council’s scheme for the subsidy of £100 each. It was also resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the Surveyor to issue a certificate for subsidy in respect of a house about to be erected by Mr. H. V. Whitby upon plans being submitted and approved.
Cycle-shed at the rear of his new house in Essex-road for Mr. H. C. Smith, and passed.
Coal-barn at the rear of No. 108, Harborough-road, for Mr. E. Moisey, and no exception taken.
Garage in Oswald-road for Mr. F. Hawkes, and passed.
Applications were received from Mr. J. C. Potton, 52, Higham-road, Mr. E. R. Clayton, 19A, Newton-road, Mr. C. Putnam, Victoria-road, and Mr. C. N. Clark, 255, Wellingborough-road, for permission to erect small wooden buildings near their premises, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to take no exception thereto.
It was decided that the whole committee should meet on the site on Monday evening next, at six o’clock, to set out the line of the footpath on the south side of this road.
The Surveyor reported an interview with the Railway Company’s representative and submitted a letter containing the Directors’ terms for allowing the Council to carry out the improvement, amongst which were that the Council should buy the whole of the land required from Beaconsfield-terrace into High-street, including the station approach, and do all works necessary at their own expense, and also to undertake to use their best endeavours to close the footpath over the line and divert it into High-street.
It was pointed out that these terms in no sense agreed with the suggestions put forward at the previous interview with the Chief Engineer of the Company, and the Clerk was instructed to write to the Company referring to the previous interview and stating the terms upon which it was understood the Engineer would recommend the Directors to agree to.
The Surveyor reported an interview with H.M. Inspector of Factories at Mr. Nicholson’s factory with regard to the means of escape in case of fire, when the Inspector expressed his view that the Council need not press for a second staircase.
The Surveyor stated that he also visited the factories of Messrs. Green & Co., Ltd., and George Warner, Ltd., with the Inspector, and in both cases it was considered absolutely necessary that some further means of escape from the factories should be provided. The Clerk was instructed to write to them on the subject.
The Surveyor reported that he, with Mr. Wilmott, had opened the tenders and, as authorised by the committee at their last meeting, had placed orders for 1,000 tons of granite and 200 tons of tar-macadam with the firms quoting the lowest prices.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to confirm the orders.
Damage to Lamp Column
A further letter was received from the Car and General Insurance Co., Ltd., claiming that the accident to the lamp column on Church-parade was not caused by any negligence of the driver and offering, without prejudice, to pay half the amount of the claim viz., £6 3s. 2d.
The committee reconsidered the matter and resolved to recommend the Council to accept this amount.
The Surveyor reported that he had submitted his estimate for the repair of the main roads during the current year, amounting to £2,230, to the County Surveyor, who had disallowed £115 of this amount. The Surveyor also reported that owing to the new arrangement as to tar-spraying the whole widths of the roads the additional cost would amount to approximately £100.
The Clerk was instructed to write to the Clerk to the County Council remonstrating against the reduction made by the County Surveyor and asking for their own Surveyor’s estimate to be accepted with an additional sum of £91 17s. 6d. for the further surface tarring on the roads.
It was resolved to accept the tender of the Durable Roads Limited for the tar-spraying of the main roads at 2.7d. per square yard.
Roads Act, 1920
The Clerk submitted a letter from the Clerk to the County Council agreeing to the substitution of wooden notice-boards for the iron ones previously suggested and for them to be fixed on the buildings at the various points required.
The Surveyor was instructed to proceed with the erection of the notices.
The report was adopted.
Mr. Coles asked if the letter referring to the suggested opening of Rectory-road could be read.
The Clerk read the letter from the L.M.S. Land Estate Office, dated April 30th, stating that the Council should pay a reasonable price for the land to be absorbed, which was about 1,550 sq. yds., the Council to bear the cost of the whole of the work, including the removal or renewal of the fence, gates, etc., to indemnify the Railway Company against charges, the Council to do the laying of sewers, drains, or lighting, the Council to use their best endeavours to close the bridge over the railway, to make their own arrangements with the tenants for land required, the Railway Company to have full access through the suggested new public road, and all the work to be carried out to the satisfaction of the Railway Company’s surveyor.
Mr. Coles said that the terms were totally unacceptable to the Council even for a scheme so much desired.
In reply to Mr. Corby, the Clerk said that the Company required the Council to purchase the 36ft. road to High-street.
Mr. Corby: That is unreasonable.
Mr. Perkins: I do not think anyone would expect this Council to spend thousands of pounds for a private road to the station, as they would do in this case. The Railway Company would get all the advantage. If they are going to make it too expensive, it is for us to see what they are going to do. It is impossible for us to improve Rectory-road if it is to become a dead end at the Station. I hope, if the reply to the Clerk’s next letter is unfavourable, that the Railway Company be informed that we have finished with it.
Mr. Corby said that the terms of the Company’s letter were almost the opposite of the views of the Council committee. He thought the Council should ask the Company to receive the deputation again. He did not think they should drop the scheme. It would prove a great benefit to the town and also to the Railway Company.
Mr. Swindall: When the letter was read at the committee meeting it was thought that there had been some misunderstanding between the officials who met the Council deputation and the other officials who had been responsible for the letter. The verbal and the written statements were so different. If the Clerk wrote pointing out that discrepancy the Council would probably get a better reply. He did not think the matter should be closed at all. It would probably come out all right.
Mr. Horrell suggested that the surveyor prepare an estimate of the cost of the scheme as proposed by the Company, to show how unreasonable it was.
The Chairman: The Company’s proposal is simply absurd.
Mr. Wilmott said he was one of the deputation who met the representatives of the Railway Company on the spot. The Company’s representatives had seemed very favourable to the suggestions put forward on behalf of the Council by Mr. Mason to the effect that the Company give up the ground leading to Rectory-road and the approach to High-street, which the Council would take over and maintain for all time. Of the Company’s own traffic 60 per cent.would go along the new road. Thus it would be a great advantage to the Company. He also felt certain that the letter had been drafted by someone who had been misled. The need for the improvement got more urgent every day. (Hear, hear.) It had been suggested a month or two ago that the Council might arrange with the owners of the Rectory-road cottages to widen the road, but the result would be very poor if they simply ran into a dead end at the Station, and would look as if they were doing it to oblige the Railway Company and nothing more.
Mr. Knight said that the Council could not take any further action until they got a reply to the Clerk’s letter. They were just as earnest in their efforts to get the road opened and completed as when they interviewed the Company. The matter was not turned down.
Harborough and Bedford Roads Corner
A sub-committee consisting of the Chairman, Messrs. Bayes, Knight, and Hornsby was appointed to settle the lay-out of this corner and authorised to give instructions for the necessary fencing.
In reference to the above, from the Highways Committee’s recommendations, Mr. Coles moved that the matter be referred back to the committee with instructions to consider the provision of a public convenience on the site.
Mr. Wilmott seconded.
Mr. Horrell said that the committee thought that in view of the sparse population at that part of the town the provision of a public convenience was absolutely unnecessary.
Mr. Swindall made a similar statement.
The Chairman said that the committee had not passed a resolution on the subject.
The motion was carried.
The secretary of the Rushden branch of the British Legion wrote asking the Council to support their proposed flag-day effort on Empire Day and to join in a procession from Spencer Park to the War Memorial.
The Chairman moved that the Council accept.
Mr. Claridge seconded.
Mr. Swindall: I think the time has come when a limit will have to be put on this kind of thing. I do not think the Council should be called upon to take part in processions so often as they have been of late.
Mr. Bates: I moved in favour because it was from the British Legion.
Mr. Coles: This will not take the place of the Nov. 11th celebrations, I suppose?
Mr. Coles was informed that it would not.
Mr. Wilmott said the Council had always been pleased to support Empire Day celebrations.
The Clerk: We go on Armistice anniversary.
Put to the vote, none but the mover and seconder voted.
Mr. Perkins said that the letter required the sanction or goodwill of the Council in the first place a thing to which he thought they could readily agree. It was customary for permission to be asked, whether it was absolutely necessary to do so or not. That part of the letter should certainly be answered to the effect that the Council was fully in sympathy and agreed to the procession being held. If the other part was not voted on, it was not to be understood that the Council was against the British Legion, but merely that all the members of the Council did not feel called upon to take part in every procession to which they were invited. There must be some limit. Some of the Councillors were getting on in years, and the act of marching through High-street did not appeal to them as much as it might have done 20 or 30 years ago. Whenever the Council felt called on to refuse to take part in processions it was not because they were in any way out of sympathy with the object of the people who made the application. (Hear, hear.) But they did not always feel it necessary to go to the extent of marching through the town.
Mr. Claridge said he felt that it was something that the Council ought to support in every way they could, and that every member of the Council who cared to go should do so, and so show their practical sympathy.
No further action was taken.
Control of Hoardings
A circular letter was read asking the Council to support a resolution asking that the Minister of Health introduce legislation to empower local authorities to control hoardings to the extent of assessing them for rates, in view of the fact that hoardings, tending to be made bigger and more numerous, lowered rateable values.
Mr. Corby moved that the resolution be supported, and mentioned the dangerous hoarding recently removed from Harborough-road, etc.
Mr. Wilmott seconded, and said that many hoardings never ought to have been erected.
The motion was carried unanimously.
In reply to Mr. Coles, the Clerk read a letter from the County Council stating that the renewed application for another representative to that authority would be placed before the appropriate committee at the next meeting.