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Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 17th May 1957

Decisions of Rushden Urban Council

A variety of matters discussed by Rushden Urban Council including the following:

Mr. C. G. Faulkner moved a vote of thanks to the chairman, Mr. E. E. Newell, for his services as chairman during the year, both in the manner in which he had conducted the meetings and for the appearances he had made at outside functions on behalf of the council.

Mrs. A. U. Muxlow seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.

In reply, the chairman said that the past year was one which would always hold many happy memories for himself and his wife.

In reply to Mr. R. R. Griffiths, who suggested that a footpath was necessary on the south side of Shirley Road. Mr. Freeman said he thought that if a footpath was put there the road would only be wide enough for one-way traffic.

Mr. A. Allebone said that the Parks Committee was very disappointed that no replies had been received to the advertisements inviting offers for the use of refreshment rooms in Spencer Park and the Hall Park.

The Housing Committee had reviewed a number of cases of rent arrears, and particularly a case in which the tenant had apparently left the premises and was residing elsewhere, although he had not surrendered the tenancy. The arrears in this case amounted to £8 16s 10d. and the committee had instructed the clerk to give notice immediately to terminate the tenancy, and to take any further action necessary to recover possession of the premises.

It was agreed to accept Hall Avenue as a highway repairable by the inhabitants at large.

A complaint from the residents of Link Road about the condition of the road, had been considered by the Highways Committee who had instructed the Clerk to inform the owner of the present difficulties in arranging for private street works, but pointing out that the matter would receive consideration if there was evidence that the majority of the frontage owners wished the road to be made up and taken over by the council.

Mrs. G. Marriott, chairman of the Housing Committee reported that complaints had been received that the open space at Spinney Close was being used as a children’s playground. The committee had instructed the Surveyor to arrange for garden beds to be provided on the open space, and had also instructed the clerk to arrange for notices to the effect that cycling was prohibited on the open space and on the paths leading to Spinney Close.

The council confirmed the action of the Highways Committee, in connection with the demolition work in Duck Street, in arranging for the removal of a store-shed built against a dangerous wall, and its re-erection in a new position at a cost of £150, on the understanding that the owner would agree to dedicate part of the site for the future widening of the highway.

The council approved of three improvement grants, all for the provision of bathrooms and hot water supplies, totalling £283.

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The Rushden Echo and Argus, 24th May 1957

‘Restore old system’ plea

“This is really a very proud moment; I never thought I should be wearing this chain. I have had an excellent example set me by Councillor Newell, and if I do half as well as him I shall be thankful.”

These were the words of Mrs. W. M. Lean, who was appointed chairman of Rushden Urban Council at Monday’s annual meeting.

Dr. O. B. Lean
Mrs. Lean
A “caretaker” vice-chairman was appointed after the Labour members had turned down an appeal that they should restore the old friendly system by which the parties have taken the office in turn.

The appeal was made by Mr. A. H. Bailey after Mrs. W. M. Lean had been appointed chairman in succession to Mr. E. E. Newell.

Mr. Bailey said the Labour group had given notice of its intention to maintain the attitude it took up last year – not to make any nomination for the vice-chair or the committee chairs.

He found it impossible, however to think of a better method of filling those positions of responsibility than the one which had served the town so well during the past fifty years.

He understood the Labour members were not unanimous but whether they were or not, he was quite certain it was not right that the town should be deprived of their ability because of a mistaken loyalty.

The voters, said Mr. Bailey, had a right to expect that those they had elected should bear a full share of their responsibilities as councillors. He suggested an adjournment so that the Labour members could reconsider their position.

When Mr. R. R. Griffiths announced that he, as an individual, would accept the opportunity for an adjournment, a motion to adjourn the meeting for ten minutes was carried on Mr. Bailey’s proposition.

Record

The Labour members then filed out to an ante-room, but on their return, Mr. C. G. Faulkner announced that they felt they must stand by the attitude they took up last year.

It then took only a few moments for Mr. Bailey to be elected vice-chairman on the motion of Mr. F. F. Brown, seconded by Mr. Griffiths.

Claiming a record in twice being vice-chairman to a lady chairman – he was vice-chairman to Mrs. Muxlow in 1946 – Mr. Bailey said he accepted the office entirely in a caretaker position and had no expectation of following Mrs. Lean into the chair. He hoped that in the near future – and he thought they had just seen some indication of it – they would return to the old system of filling the chair in turn.

Earlier in the meeting, Mrs. Lean’s election to the chair was moved by Mr. Newell seconded by Mr. Faulkner and carried unanimously. Mr. Newell said that Mrs. Lean was fully qualified for the position and would be the council’s second lady chairman.

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