|Rushden Echo, 11th November, & 16th & 23rd December, 1932, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
£560 Scheme for Spencer Park
At the monthly meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council, held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, a scheme of improvement works to be carried out in Spencer Park, at a cost of £560, was unanimously approved.
It was stated that of this sum £450 would be expended in labour, and this was the most that could be done at present with regard to unemployment relief schemes.
As a result of a Council resolution, progress is likely to be made at last on the suggested scheme to lay out the open site on the Irchester-road, and the Parks Committee are to prepare a definite scheme.
Further gifts to the proposed museum were announced by the Hall Committee.
The members present were Messrs. J. Roe, J.P. (in the chair), J. Spencer, J.P. (vice-chairman), A. Allebone, C.C., T. F. B. Newberry, C. Claridge, F. Green, J. Allen, W. E. Capon, D. G. Greenfield, M.D., L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., L. Tysoe, A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Hornsby, and J. T. Richardson, with the Clerk, Mr. G. S. Mason, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.
Apologies for absence were received from Messrs. C. W. Horrell, C.A., and T. Swindall.
The Hall Sub-Committee reported that in connection with the formation of a Museum at the Hall they considered it advisable to visit the Museums at Northampton for the purposes of obtaining information with regard to their management and conduct. The visit was duly made on the 7th October, and Mr. Brown, the Northampton Curator, very kindly conducted them round, tendering much advice, and also promised such help in the future as he was able to give.
The Hall Committee approved and confirmed the action of the Sub-Committee, and the Council agreed.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Coles, reported that the following articles had been given or loaned for exhibition:-
An oil painting of Rushden Church, by Mr. Charles Smith;
A collection of butterflies and other insects from Ceylon, by Mrs. Sidney Sanders;
Fragments of the printers’ proof, with editor’s corrections of an old Bible of the 17th Century, by Mr. E. C. March, of Watford;
A collection of 100 years old china, by Mr. Barley;
A stuffed fox, by Mr. W. E. Giles;
An oil painting of a Russian scene, by Mr. A. Gramshaw;
Mongoose and snake, by Mr. Wyatt, Northampton;
Dagger found in the bank of the brook at Wymington; and
Snuffers, by Mrs. Bass.
It was resolved that the thanks of the Committee be accorded the donors and lenders.
The Surveyor submitted estimates for three glass cases each 8 feet by 2ft. 6ins. for the exhibition of the various articles, and the Committee recommended the Council that that at £8 5s. each be accepted. This was agreed, having been confirmed by the Finance Committee.
On the recommendation of the Hall Committee, the Council agreed that the room adjoining the conservatory should be utilised for the hanging of the photographs of the various chairmen of the Council since its inception.
Mr. Coles, chairman of the Hall Committee, said that when they visited Northampton Museum they saw one room was set apart for such photographs, which were fairly uniform in character and from a foot to fifteen inches square.
Mr. Perkins: Are you intending it to be a section of the museum? (laughter.)
Mr. Coles; It may be a Chamber of Horrors!
Mr. Spencer: Or an art gallery!
An application was received from this club for permission to either purchase, lease or rent a small piece of the Rushden Hall grounds, at the rear of their premises in High-street South, which they required for the purpose of constructing a bowling green.
A letter was subsequently received requesting the Council to meet the directors of the club at the site before considering the application, and it was reported that it had been decided to meet at the Club on Wednesday at 2.30 p.m.
A further report of the Parks, Baths, and Hall Committee stated that the Committee had visited and inspected the piece of land at the rear of this club, the subject of the application received, and met the directors on the site, and after consideration they recommended to the Council that the matter be further considered by the whole Council in Committee at the close of the next meeting. Agreed.
The Hall Committee reported that they had visited and inspected the kitchen garden which appeared to be in a very wild and neglected state. The attention of the tenant had previously been called to the negligence, but no improvement had taken place.
The Committee accordingly recommended to the Council that the tenant be given notice to quit, and this was agreed.
The Surveyor was instructed to prepare an estimate for levelling the playing portion of this park and submit to the next meeting.
The Parks Sub-Committee reported that with the Surveyor they had visited and inspected Spencer Park with regard to the improvement thereof, and now recommended that two extra tennis courts be constructed near the Spencer-road entrance and that a piece of land adjoining be fenced off with a view to providing a nursery for the supply of turf for the various courts and greens in the park. It was also recommended that the strip of land on the Spencer-road side of the football pitches from Washbrook-road to the Spencer-road entrance be generally repaired and a footpath for the whole distance constructed. They also agreed that the football pitches be repaired where necessary.
The total estimated cost, including the tennis courts, was £560.
The Parks Committee agreed and recommended to the Council that the work be carried out, the question as to whether the tennis courts be constructed of grass or other material to be considered at a later meeting. This was approved, having been confirmed by the Finance Committee.
Mr. Coles said that of the sum of £560 at least £450 would be spent in labour, and that was the best they could offer at the present in respect of local unemployment.
The Chairman of the Parks Committee reported that the receipts from the various games during the past season were as follows:-
The Parks and Hall Sub-Committee reported that as Mr. Bell’s house was in need of renovation, they had invited tenders and accepted that of Messrs. Prickett and Dunkley, the lowest at £5 17s. 8d., the work was in hand.
The Committee approved the action of the Sub-Committee, and the Council agreed.
On the recommendation of the Plans, Highways and Lighting Committee, plans were approved as follows:-
Two houses in Bedford-road for the Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, Limited, subject to separate drains being provided for each house; bungalow in a field off Bedford-road, for Mr. A. F. Folkes; two houses in Park-avenue for Messrs. A. Sanders, Limited; house and garage in Carnegie-street for Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons; bay window to the house “Apna Ghar” in Palm-road for Mr. F. C. Rice; alteration and additions to the Oakley Inn for Messrs. C. Praed and Co., Limited; garage adjoining his premises in Kimbolton-road for Mr. E. Thompson; wooden garage at the rear of No. 37, Midland-road for Mr. J. Surridge; shed on the Court Estate for Mr. W. Willoughby; workshop at No. 99, Park-road for Mr. T. S. Cannell.
Notices were received from the Rushden and District Electric Supply Co., Ltd., of their intention to lay cables in Rectory-road and George-street.
The Surveyor reported that the Northampton Electric Light and Power Co., Ltd., were laying a high tension cable to Rushden and wished to cross the Council’s Housing Estate on the Irchester-road for a distance of 65 yards.
The Committee decided to raise no objection on the usual Wayleave Agreement being entered into, and the Council approved this course.
County Roads Gritting
The Surveyor submitted a letter from the County Surveyor agreeing on behalf of the County Council to pay to this Council the sum of £81 annually in respect of the gritting of the county roads in this district irrespective of the amount spent.
The formal Agreement for sealing would follow in due course.
Mr. Allebone, chairman of the Highways Committee, said the agreement was on the same basis as the County Council were negotiating with other authorities.
Mr. Spencer asked Mr. Allebone if he could give any information with regard to the Wellingborough-road suggested improvement opposite the Masonic Hall.
Mr. Allebine said it was to be considered at a meeting of the Roads and Bridges Committee of the County Council on Saturday.
The Surveyor reported damage to a lamp column in Little-street caused by one of the “United Counties” ‘buses. He was instructed to forward the account for repairs, which amounted to £7 17s. 6d. to the Company for payment.
The Letting Sub-Committee of the Housing Committee reported that they had considered the list of arrears and had instructed the Clerk to write to the defaulters threatening proceedings unless satisfactory arrangements were made for payment of the arrears. A further report would be made at a future meeting.
Selection of Tenants
The list of applicants was considered and tenants selected for the houses now nearing completion.
These houses were of the smaller non-parlour type with three bed-rooms and the rent was fixed at 6/6 per week, plus rates, and the estimated gross rent was estimated to amount to about 9/- per week.
Mr. Hornsby asked if a name had been selected for the road on which the latest houses had been built.
Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, said no name had yet been agreed upon, but the matter would be considered at the next meeting of the Housing Committee.
Mr. Perkins: It might be awkward if a man could not tell the police where he lived; they might think something was wrong! I move that it be left to the Housing Committee to give the road a name. This was agreed.
The report of the Health and Sanitary Committee stated that the report of the Medical Officer for the month of October was received, and that the Sanitary Inspector submitted a report of the work of his department for the past month.
Milk and Dairies Orders
The Sanitary Inspector reported that since the last meeting three samples of milk had been taken from retail purveyors in the district and submitted to the County Laboratory for bacteriological examination.
The reports which were now received all appeared satisfactory.
Applications were received from Mr. Walter Mayes of No. 32, Spencer-road and Messrs. Caleb Summerfield and Sons, of the Inn Farm, Melchbourne, to be registered as retail purveyors of milk in this district and the Council agreed that their names be placed on the register.
An application was also received from Mr. John Edwin Chettle, of No. 63, Duck-street, to be registered as a cowkeeper and wholesale purveyor of milk at his farm and dairy on the Kimbolton-road, Rushden. The application was granted.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that he had received numerous complaints with regard to the nuisance caused by the burning of leather bits at various factories. He was instructed to place himself in communication with the owners of the factories concerned with a view to the abatement of the nuisance.
Mr. Coles asked if any action had been taken with regard to the nuisance.
The Sanitary Inspector said notices had been sent to the factories and some good, he thought, had resulted.
Mr. Coles said that the nuisance was acute in his neighbourhood, and some of the people in near-by streets had moved in the matter. The smoke was sometimes so thick they could hardly see through it, and some ladies almost had to take their washing in as soon as it was hung out. Mr. Claridge said he understood that in one case coke was now being used instead of leather bits.
The Health and Sanitary Committee recommended to the Council that a small stove, at an estimated cost of £1 5s., be purchased for the heating of the pump room at these works and this was agreed.
Moulton Farm Institute
The Sanitary Inspector submitted a letter from the County Medical Officer stating that Mr. Stewart, the Director of this Institute, and himself, were holding an informal Conference there on 10th November, on the subject of clean milk production.
It was resolved on the recommendation of the Health and Sanitary Committee that Mr. Piper be instructed to attend.
The Finance Committee reported that the manager of the National Provincial Bank attended their meeting with regard to the interest allowed on the Council’s balances at the bank. The present arrangement was that a free balance of £2,000 be allowed and that 2½ per cent. interest be paid by the bank to the Council on the daily balances above that sum. The manager stated that in view of the state of the money market at the present time the Bank wished the percentage reduced from 2½ to 1½.
The Clerk was instructed to enquire with regard to the arrangements made by other Councils in the neighbourhood and report to the next meeting of the Committee.
The letter from the Unemployed Association requesting that the Council undertake various works to alleviate unemployment, referred to the Finance Committee by the Council at their last meeting was considered.
Having regard to the expenditure now proposed by the Parks, Baths and Hall Committee, in Spencer Park, over 75 per cent. of which would be paid for labour, the Committee stated that they could not see their way to recommend any further expenditure for the present.
The question of the ages of the Council’s employees was considered by the Finance Committee, who recommended to the Council that each man as and when he reached the age of 70 years be compulsorily retired. This was agreed.
The Finance Committee recommended the Council to request the Housing Committee to take into consideration at their next meeting the question of laying out the open space on the Irchester-road, and this was agreed.
In the course of a discussion on the reference of this question to a committee, Mr. Perkins said the question had been going on for two years and had in turn been before the Housing, Parks and Baths, and Highways Committees, and among the three it had slipped out. The whole question was whether the cost should be borne by the Housing Committee or thrown upon the whole town. If the work was carried out by the Housing Committee, it would become a charge upon the loan for the building of houses and would be distributed among the tenants in the locality. But since the people of the whole of the town would enjoy passing this beauty spot, if they did not go too quickly, it was thought that some of the cost ought to be borne by the town.
Mr. Allebone said the trouble was that up till six months ago they had not decided upon the lay-out of the site. He would move an amendment that the question be referred to the Parks and Baths Committee, and when they had prepared a scheme, and estimated the cost, then the Council could decide by whom the cost should be borne.
The question was referred to the Parks and Baths Committee.
An invitation was received from the Salvation Army to the Council to attend an Army service at the Park-road Baptist Church. The chairman said he would be unable to attend, but he thought the case would be met if those Councillors who desired attended the service.
Dec 16th 1932
Danger of Losing Housing Subsidy
In view of the coming withdrawal of the housing subsidy, the Rushden Urban District Council, at their meeting on Wednesday evening, decided to take immediate action to obtain sanction for the erection of houses on the length of road on the Irchester-road Estate, which has been expressly built to accommodate further houses, and which, unless houses are erected, will represent an absolute waste of money.
It was stated that the Council were in communication with the Ministry of Health and a deputation was appointed to wait on the Ministry in the event of their reply to the Council’s request being unfavourable.
The Council also had before them the question of the re-valuation of property in the town, and it was stated that this would be done at an extra cost of £100, compared with some £1,500 paid by Wellingborough at the assessment five years ago.
It was announced that the Hall Committee hoped to have the museum opened by Christmas.
Property Valuation for Extra £100.
The members present were Messrs. J. Roe, J.P. (in the chair), J. Spencer, J.P., (vice-chairman), W. C. Tarry, J. Allen, C. W. Horrell, C.A., T. Swindall, A. Allebone, C.C., L. Perkins, M.B.E., B.Sc., W. E. Capon, G. W. Coles, J.P., J. Hornsby, C. Claridge, A. Wilmott, J. Richardson, and Dr. D. G. Greenfield, with the Clerk, Mr. G. S. Mason, the Surveyor, Mr. J. W. Lloyd, and the Sanitary Inspector, Mr. F. S. F. Piper.
An apology was received from Mr. F. Green.
The chairman said that he was pleased to state that Mr. Green was making a good recovery from his serious illness, and he suggested that a letter should be sent to him expressing the regret of the Council at his absence, and wishing him a speedy recovery. - This was agreed.
In moving the report of the Finance Committee, Mr. Spencer said this was the first time Mr. Green had been absent through illness.
The Parks, Baths, and Hall Committee reported that they had inspected the open space in Irchester-road and considered the question of its utilisation, but having regard to the fact that this land abutted on the Irchester-road, and in the matter of economy, lent itself for the erection of houses more than a play-ground for children, the Committee could not recommend that it be laid out for the latter purpose but instructed the Surveyor to prepare a plan and estimate for the laying out of such a playground at the rear of Westfield-avenue, and submit to the next meeting.
Mr. Coles, chairman of the Parks, Baths, and Hall Committee, said he would probably move a resolution in reference to this at the next meeting.
Mr. Perkins said he thought that before any definite decision was arrived at by the Committee, the matter should be considered either by the Housing Committee or the full Committee of the Council. The matter was referred to the Parks Committee because it was proposed to make it a public place, but if that was not to be done it should go before the Housing Committee or the whole Council.
Mr. Coles replied that he could not speak on behalf of the whole Committee, but he did not think they would take any exception to the suggestion. He would like to make it clear that the Housing Committee and the Council approved of handing the land over to the Parks Committee to report on any suggested development. The report had not been completed but he hoped to present it next month. Personally he had no objection to the matter being dealt with by the Housing Committee but they should receive the report first and if any exception were taken, the matter could be dealt with then.
Mr. Perkins intimated that he was quite satisfied with this course, and the discussion dropped.
Rushden Hall Gardens
The Clerk reported that as instructed at the last meeting he had given the tenant of these gardens notice to quit terminating on the 31st December, 1932.
A letter had been received from Mr. Bland, agreeing to give up his tenancy on the 31st December, 1932, upon compensation to the amount of £23 11s. being paid to him in respect of bulbs, etc. etc., which were already planted.
The Hall Committee could not see their way to recommend the Council to pay this sum but agreed to allow the tenant until 30th June next, to harvest his produce. - This was approved.
Mr. Coles informed the Council that it was hoped the Museum would be opened by Christmas, as good progress with the scheme had been made.
St. Peter’s Church
The Housing Committee reported the receipt of a letter from the Rev. P. Barwell Spriggs, enquiring on behalf of the Oakham Archdeaconry Church Extension Board, whether the Council would be willing to sell a plot of land on the Irchester-road Housing Estate, preferably near Knuston Spinney, for church building at some future date.
The Clerk was instructed to reply that the Committee would be prepared to recommend the Council to accede to the application but before doing so would require the Board to give an undertaking that the buildings, when erected, would be used exclusively for religious purposes and that such buildings would be completed within a period of ten years failing which the Council would have the right to repurchase the land at the same price as paid by the Board.
Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, said they had offered the same privileges to the Board as to the Congregational Union and would offer the land on the same conditions.
The collector reported to the Housing Committee on the various tenants in arrears with their rent, particularly with regard to those the Clerk had written to after the last meeting. It appeared that 32 of the tenants written to had reduced their arrears while the remaining 16 had ignored the letter and were further in debt.
The Committee recommended to the Council that notices to quit be served in these 16 cases, and this was agreed.
With regard to an item of 13s. 4d., appearing as arrears in respect of a house in Newton-road, the Collector reported that this was one week’s rent debited to the incoming tenant while the house was undergoing repairs and before the arrival of the present occupier.
The Council agreed that this sum be written off as irrecoverable.
The Housing Committee, having considered the question of naming the street, the site of the twelve houses now nearing completion, agreed upon the names “East Crescent” and “West Crescent.”
Mr. Allen said that if the frontage between these houses were built upon it would be called “The Crescent.”
Mr. Perkins called attention to the fact that a tenant on the New Estate had been causing a nuisance to neighbours by neglecting his garden, and he understood a letter had been sent to him by the Clerk. He would like to know if the nuisance had been abated.
The chairman replied that the Surveyor informed him that the man had done something but not very much.
Mr. Perkins said it would be best for the Housing Committee to deal with the matter.
Mr. Coles said: I would like to know what progress is being made with regard to further houses. The road extension is nearly completed and he would like to know what the Housing Committee propose to do to get the houses started, or whether they are going to send a deputation to the Ministry of Health, to bring the matter to a head.
Mr. Allen, chairman of the Housing Committee, said the Ministry had asked for various information with respect to overcrowding and other things in the town and at present they were awaiting the reply. The information was sent last week and if no reply were received it would be for the Committee or the Council to decide whether a deputation should be sent or what other steps should be taken in order to get these houses built. It seemed ridiculous for the Council to spend money on 300 yards of road which was obviously for building purposes, if they could not build the houses; it was so much money wasted.
Mr. Coles: I should like to move a resolution that the Housing Committee do not wait till the next meeting in the event of the reply not being definite but that they send a deputation. Other Councils have done this and the results have been eminently satisfactory.
Mr. Swindall: I shall second that. The matter was mentioned at the Finance Committee meeting last week and the members thought the deputation should go because if this Act goes through there will be no subsidy and we want to get on with the houses before the subsidy is done away with.
The resolution was carried unanimously.
Mr. Spencer suggested a definite date should be fixed for the deputation if no reply were received from the Ministry.
Mr. Hornsby: They are on overtime!
Mr. Swindall: I would not wait a day.
The chairman suggested that if no reply were received the next morning they could proceed with the deputation.
Mr. Allen: Surely it will be for the Council to decide upon the composition and the time of the deputation? Otherwise we shall have to meet again to bring it before the whole Council.
The chairman: Of course we shall have to write to ask the Ministry to receive a deputation.
Mr. Coles: If Mr. Allen would like us to appoint a deputation, I will move that the chairman of the Council, the chairman of the Housing Committee, and the Surveyor form the deputation.
Mr. Horrell seconded and the proposition was carried.
On the recommendation of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee, plans were approved as follows:-
Two houses in Avenue-road, Court Estate, for Mrs. E. Mills and Miss E. Warrington; two houses on the Higham-road for Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons; one house on the Wymington-road for Mrs. M. M. Drabble; garage and store room at No. 2a Robinson-road for Mr. W. H. Cave; store at “Valhalla,” Wellingborough-road, for Mr. A. Allebone; greenhouse and store at “Elysian,” Higham-road, for Mrs. L. Tysoe; garage in Wymington-road for Mr. A. J. Waller; coal shed adjoining his house on the Wymington-road for Mr. F. W. Tomlinson; shed at No. 135, Wellingborough-road for Mr. F. Caswell.
Applications were received from the tenants of Nos. 1 to 6, East Crescent, Irchester-road, for permission to erect small coal sheds at the rear of their houses and acceded to subject to the buildings being constructed to the satisfaction of the Surveyor.
An application was received from Mr. H. Chettle, of 119, High-street South, for permission to attach an illuminated sign to his premises. It was resolved to accede to the application subject to white lights only being exhibited.
Dr. Greenfield said he thought they had decided that “winking” signs should be prohibited, although there were some in the town. If they had no resolution he would ask that they should not accept such signs in the future.
Mr. Allebone, chairman of the Highways Committee, said the sign was not a “winking” one, but only called attention to the fact that the man sold tobacco. It would be on the opposite side of the road to the on-coming traffic and was at the side of the house. It would not distract any driver’s attention from the road. It was in white letters only.
Dr. Greenfield said his point was that there were certain signs in the town which were in contravention to their regulations.
The chairman pointed out that the Council had no jurisdiction over main streets, for which permission was granted by the County Council.
Mr. Allebone said it was a condition that any sign must be seven feet from the ground and a driver’s eyes should be on the ground and not seven feet in the air.
Cinematograph Act, 1909
A letter was received from the County Council stating that that Council had received a communication from the National Fire Brigades’ Association suggesting that Licensing Authorities might reasonably consider whether it is desirable in the interests of public safety to receive reports on the appliances installed in cinemas for fire extinguishing purposes. The letter further stated that the County Council were of opinion that in the interests of public safety it was desirable that periodical reports should be submitted to the Licensing Authorities to whom their powers under the Act had been delegated. It was suggested that these inspections be made by a Police Officer acting with an officer of the local Fire Brigade and the letter authorised this Council to nominate an officer from its Brigade to so act.
It being understood that the Captain, Mr. R. F. Knight, had agreed to undertake the duties, the Council nominated him accordingly.
Broadcast Relay Services
The Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee again had under consideration the various applications for permission to operate broadcast relay services in Rushden. These services would be operated from a central receiving station from which overhead wires would be run to the subscribers.
The Committee did not think the proposal at all desirable and could not therefore recommend the Council to accede to it.
A letter was received from the Clerk to the County Council stating that his Roads and Bridges Committee had authorised the County Surveyor to proceed forthwith with the removal of the embankment on the south side of this road from the St. Peter’s Vicarage to the Masonic Hall.
Factory and Workshops Acts
The Surveyor reported that applications had been received from Messrs. A. Allebone and Sons, Ltd., in respect of their factory in Oakley-road, and Messrs. John White Ltd., in respect of their factories in Manton-road, Newton-road, and High-street, for Certificates that sufficient and proper means of escape in case of fire were provided.
Mr. Swindall and himself had inspected the factories and were satisfied that such means did exist.
The Council acceded to the applications.
The Health and Sanitary Committee reported that the report of the Medical Officer for the month of November was received, and that the Sanitary Inspector submitted his monthly report of the work of the Sanitary Department.
Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act
The Inspector reported that in accordance with the Council’s instructions a “Rat Week” was held from the 7th to the 12th November last, and that 365 tails had been delivered at the Newton-road depot.
Mr. Swindall, chairman of the Health and Sanitary Committee, said the number of tails showed an increase of 30 per cent over last year.
It was reported that Mr. Sabey, the cemetery caretaker, had passed the age of 70 years and in pursuance of the Council’s resolution should be at once compulsorily retired. In his case, however, it was necessary that a successor be appointed before Mr. Sabey’s retirement, and it was accordingly resolved that his services be retained until the 31st March next, and in the meantime the Surveyor was instructed to advertise for a successor at a commencing wage of £2 10s. per week with house, it being understood that no applications would be considered from persons exceeding 45 years of age.
Mr. Swindall said Mr. Sabey had been the cemetery caretaker for 27 years.
Mr. Allebone said he would like to ask the chairman of the Health and Sanitary Committee whether it was correct that an appeal had been lodged, as reported in the Press, following the dismissal of the Council’s action against a property owner by the Wellingborough magistrates.
After the Clerk had outlined the procedure of “stating a case,” Mr. Allebone added: I do not want to say anything to prejudice the case, but I know several members of the Council are not quite satisfied with the case. We who are not members of that particular committee have to rely largely on Press reports.
Mr. Perkins: Is it proper for a section of the Council to go on with an appeal without the whole Council being consulted?
The Chairman: If you wait till the end of the meeting the Clerk will mention the matter.
Mr. Allebone: We did not know that.
Rating and Valuation
The recommendation of the Rating Committee with regard to the appointment of a temporary assistant for the purpose of measuring various properties in connection with the new valuation was approved and confirmed.
Mr. Claridge presented the report of the Rating Committee, which was adopted.
Mr. Perkins said he noticed an item of £100 for the cost of surveying the houses in the town, and said he did not think they had that amount five years ago, the occasion of the last valuation. He asked if they had no one in the office capable of doing this work. One of the assistants in the Rating Office had passed the Intermediate examination of the Association of Rating and Valuation Officers, and he wondered if the suggestion could not be brought before the Committee.
Mr. Claridge said that although the officers were capable of doing the work they had not the time for it.
The chairman: The Assessment Committee for this area recommend that all properties be measured and rated on the measurement. That is the system Messrs. Faraday’s adopted five years ago. We have no measurements of properties in the town except those built since 1928.
Mr. Claridge: The matter was not decided without consulting the Rating Officer and Surveyor, and when it was found they could not cope with the work we thought it best to advertise. There are four or five thousand assessments to be made and it will be a big business. We would not have recommended it had it not been absolutely necessary.
Mr. Allebone said he felt very relieved to know the Rating Department felt they could get it done within an extra cost of £100. At the last valuation Wellingborough paid Messrs. Faraday between £1,500 and £1,750 for rating the properties in their area, and the Area Assessment Committee had to deal with many claims against the assessments simply because they had not got a proper scale. There was no doubt but that the only satisfactory method both for the Assessment Committee and the owners of property was to have a proper scale of the area of all properties, and if the Rating Officer, with the addition of an expense of £100 could carry out the work they ought not only to congratulate Rushden, but thank the Rating Officer for doing the work in the manner he was attempting to do it.
Mr. Horrell said he would like to confirm all Mr. Allebone had said.
Mr. Spencer suggested that some difference should be made for property not situated in the best parts of the town.
Mr. Horrell replied that everything, besides actual area, was taken into consideration.
With regard to the application of the National Provincial Bank for a reduction in the amount of interest allowed on the Council’s bank balances, the Clerk reported that as instructed at the last meeting he had made enquiries from neighbouring authorities as to the arrangements made by them with their respective banks on the question of bank balances, from which it appeared that the interest generally allowed was rather lower than that at present received by this Council.
In the light of this information the Finance Committee agreed that some reduction in the amount of interest allowed was warranted and recommended to the Council that the rate be reduced from 2½ per cent. to 2 per cent., the arrangement with regard to the allowance of a free balance of £2,000 to be continued.
Mr. Horrell said that if there were no conditions attaching to the new agreement, he would propose that it should become operative from January next year.
This was seconded and carried.
A circular was received from the Home Office giving notice of the suspension of the Shop Acts during the week before Christmas.
Mr. Hornsby: Is there no limit to the time of closing?
The chairman: No, it is the usual practice.
23rd December, 1932
Council Houses Sanctioned - Good News for Rushden
The anxiety expressed at last week’s meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council has been dispelled by a letter from the Ministry of Health, authorising the erection of 56 small houses on the road now in course of construction near Tennyson-place.
It is understood that the sanction came through in the ordinary way without any further pressure by the Council, whose appointment of a deputation to visit the Ministry has proved unnecessary.