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Rushden Echo, 10th November, 1933, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Sub-Letting At The Council Houses
Questions For Rushden Housing Committee
Park Enlargement To Benefit Bowlers

  Are tenants of the Council houses sub-letting rooms and charging exorbitant rents for them?  This question will have to be answered as the result of a notice of motion at Wednesday’s meeting of the Rushden Urban District Council, when Mr. J. Roe indicated that in the event of profiteering being established he would want to know what action was going to be taken.

  In the interests of bowlers it was decided to purchase additional land adjoining Spencer Park and enlarge the existing greens at a total cost of £650.

  Over in 14 minutes, the Council meeting was one of the briefest on record.

Members Present

  The members in attendance were Mr. J. Spencer, J.P. (in the chair), Ald. C. W. Horrell (vice-chairman), Messrs. W. C. Tarry, T. F. B. Newberry, J. Roe, A. Allebone, C.C., D. G. Greenfield, M.D., F. Green, J. Allen, W. E. Capon, L. Tysoe, L. Perkins, M.B.E., A. Wilmott, G. W. Coles. J.P., J. Hornsby and J. T. Richardson.

Sub-Letting Inquiry

  Mr. Roe remarked that under the Rent Acts, 1920 to 1933, it was necessary for all tenants of houses who sub-let unfurnished rooms to notify their landlord by Oct. 19th of the number of rooms sub-let, the number of people occupying those rooms, and the rents charged.  He understood that applied to Council houses.

  The Chairman: Yes.

  Mr. Roe: Then I give notice that at the next meeting I shall ask the chairman of the Housing Committee to say how many of the Council’s tenants sub-let unfurnished rooms, if in the Committee’s opinion any of them are charging excessive rents, and what action they are going to take.

Park Extension

  The Parks Committee reported that they had had under consideration the question of the facilities at present provided for the playing of bowls.  It was agreed that the Spencer Park greens, which were deficient in size, were inadequate for present needs, and in their opinion it was necessary that either a new green be provided or the existing greens enlarged.

  A plan was submitted by the Surveyor showing a proposal for the extension of the greens, which if carried into effect would increase their size to 42 feet by 40 feet.  This would entail the acquisition of a strip of land on the north-west side of the park, which it was understood could be purchased from the owners at the price of £265.

  It was resolved to recommend to the Council that the land be purchased at this price, and also that the Surveyor be instructed to fence it with Empire fencing and proceed with the work of enlarging the greens in accordance with his plan at an estimated cost of £385.

  The whole of the work would be undertaken by direct labour.

  Dr. Greenfield said the land would be purchased from Mr. Willmott, and was on the far side of the park.  For some time they had had a difficulty about the bowling greens being short in one particular dimension.  Play was only possible from end to end in one direction, and as a result the greens were worn out in places each year.

  The report was adopted without further comment.

New Streets

  Plans of a new street and the extension of an existing one were included in the month’s budget, which was as follows:  House in the Washbrook-road allotments, for Mr. A. Butcher; garage, Shirley-road, Messrs. J. White, Ltd.; extension to factory in John-street, Messrs. F. Corby, Ltd.; garage at the rear of his house in Irchester-road, Mr. H. Eaton; conservatory at 121, Higham-road, Mr. H. E. Wilmott; new street (extension of Prospect-avenue), Messrs. T. Swindall and Sons; new street off Wellingborough-road, Mr. A. M. Wheeler; garage, 52, Pratt-road, Mr. F. T. Worboys; garage, Irchester-road, Mr. R. Mole; garage, 33, Carnegie-street, Mr. Geo. Clarke; shed at 66, Washbrook-road, Mr. J. O’Connor.

  In reference to the new streets Dr. Greenfield asked: “Are they merely blind streets, or is there any continuation through?”

  The Chairman: I don’t think there is any continuation, but the Highways Committee have the matter in hand and are trying to get into touch with the owners so that there will be some connection.  We don’t want any blind-alley streets if we can prevent them.

  Mr. Wilmott: It was suggested that in a case like that the Council would prefer to buy a piece of ground if necessary, so that there should not be a cul-de-sac.  That was the decision of the committee.

  The Chairman: It is in the hands of the Surveyor.

  Dr. Greenfield: I am quite content to leave it at that, so long as he has his eye on it.

Butchers’ Request

  A letter was received from the East Northants Master Beef and Pork Butchers’ Association, requesting the Council to receive a deputation from that Association in order that they might explain their views with regard to the slaughter of sheep.

  The Acting Clerk was instructed to reply that the Council had already fully considered the question, and that no useful purpose could be served by the attendance of the deputation.

  Mr. Wilmott said he should like to know if the Council insisted on the slaughter of sheep by the same process as other animals.  Most of the butchers he had talked to said it was less cruel to continue as they had been doing than to shoot them.

  The Chairman: the evidence we have had is to the contrary.

  Mr. Tysoe: There is a lot of complaint.  They don’t like this humane killer, because it is not so quick as the old method, but I think we shall have to adhere to what we have carried out.

  The Chairman: It is an Act of Parliament.

Special Duty

  It was reported that the Fire Brigade had been engaged to pump water from the river to a leather works at Odell.

  Mr. Perkins:  Did they go at any special time of the day when there was less risk of a fire?  It would be rather foolish if a fire occurred at Rushden and they had gone to Odell.  Was there another engine left here?

  Mr. Wilmott replied that there were three engines.  The captain of the Fire Brigade said the engine in question had been so long without use that it would do it good to go to Odell.

  The Chairman: Mr. Perkins’ question was whether any provision was made in case of fire in Rushden.

  Mr. Wilmott: There were two engines left.

  Mr. Perkins: I am quite satisfied.

Slum Clearance

  The Health and Sanitary Committee gain had the question of slum clearance under consideration, but were not yet in a position to make a report to the Council.  They hoped to do so at the next meeting.


  The Acting Clerk reported that under the provisions of the Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions (Amendment) Act, 1933, 276 houses, of rateable values not exceeding £13, had been claimed as de-controlled, and registered with the Council.

Museum Gifts

  Mr. Coles reported the following gifts to the Hall Museum: Pair of pictures, Mrs. Burfield; antique signs reflector and antique wool combers, Mrs. J. Brooksby.

Room for Unemployed

  Mr. W. E. Capon, joint hon. secretary of the Rushden Social Service Committee, applied by letter for the use of the old coach house and room adjoining for manual work by the unemployed during the winter.

  The application was granted.

Armistice Day

  The Council accepted an invitation to attend the Armistice Day service at the War Memorial, and Mr. Spencer asked the members to meet at the Council Buildings at 10.30 on Saturday morning.

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