|Rushden Echo, 10th November, 1944, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
New Streets For Rushden
Business was suspended for five minutes at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday so that the members who do not belong to the Housing Committee could inspect the layout plans of the proposed new housing estates. Some had protested that they were being asked to adopt the plans without seeing them at all, and after the brief inspection Mr. ****** still complained of the rush.
The plans hung on the wall of the Council Chamber, but as the Housing Committee occupied the room immediately before the full Council met, the other members did not have the opportunity to study them in detail.
Commenting on the meeting just finished, Coun. Cox said “We recommend that the Council adopt these plans and that there shall be no delay in forwarding them to the Ministry for their approval.”
“We are asked to accept the lay-out of the scheme?” asked Coun. ******* in tones of surprise.
Just the roads and sewers, replied Coun. Cox.
“The Housing Committee met and finished at one minute to half-past seven” retorted Mr. Allebone. “Our meeting starts at half-past seven, so we are expected to accept things we have never looked at! It is farcical really.”
Coun. Cox then suggested leaving the matter until later in the meeting so members could inspect the plans.
Coun. Capon: Is it essential that they should go through to-night?
Coun. Muxlow: Oh, yes.
The Clerk (Mr. T. L. Watts): We want to start the work in February, consequently we must have the plans and everything else ready by that date. The Ministry asked us to get them ready as quickly as possible.
Coun. Sugars: You have had as long as we on the committee have had.
Coun. Allebone: It is as unfair to you as it is to us.
The Council then gave its assent.
Now The Houses
Delegates from the Council reported that the Group Committee for the area had recommended Kettering Corporation to accept the lowest tender, that of Messrs. Sunley and Sons, Northampton, for constructing roads and laying sewers, mains and cables on the various housing sites. An applicant from Swansea has been appointed clerk of works.
Though the Ministry of Health cannot yet authorise the actual building of houses, plans may be submitted, and the Surveyor (Mr. J. W. Lloyd) has been instructed to prepare plans for houses on the Higham-road estate. A report on housing by the R.I.B.A. has been passed on to him. Mrs. Muxlow, the Surveyor and the Housing Manager (Mr. H. C. Allen) will visit an exhibition of equipment at Birmingham; Mr. Cox, Mr. Dilks, Mrs. Muxlow, Mr. Sugars and four of the officers will see the demonstration houses at Northolt, Middlesex. An invitation to inspect factory-made temporary houses in London has not been accepted.
A report by the A.R.P. Committee showed that the Ministry of Health recently ordered the First Aid Post in Moor-road to be closed. Representations were made, however, and as a result the post will continue to function.
From November 10th the Civil Defence personnel establishment (not including Wardens) is being reduced from 196 to 130. The reductions include: Rescue Service 63 to 36, messengers 35 to 10, Ambulance Service 44 to 28. The use of sitting case cars will be discontinued; one rescue vehicle and three ambulances will go out of commission.
Rushden’s Rescue Service will now cover Higham Ferrers, and the Report Centre will serve Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers.
At the end of the year the A.R.P. Officer (Mr. J. M. Bailey, M.C., M.B.E.) will cease to receive a salary of £100 a year, but will continue voluntarily. The Deputy Chief Warden (Mr. G. C. N. Fountain) is now wholly employed by the County Council, though continuing to work at the Rushden Council Buildings.
The Council learned that upon their release, members of Civil Defence Services and part-time officers of the Fire Guard may retain a part-worn beret, greatcoat or mackintosh, battle dress blouse and trousers, women’s jacket with skirt or slacks, pair of boots or shoes, armlet, war service chevrons and badges.
A vote of thanks was accorded to the sitting case car drivers and others who will be released for the very valuable service they have rendered during the war years.
Coun. Capon spoke in high appreciation of the service given to the town and neighbourhood and of the speed with which the car drivers and others turned out during Alerts.
Coun. Roe asked why the minute mentioning the withdrawal of payment to the A.R.P. Officer did not mention the officer’s name.
“There was no reason for it,” the Clerk assured him.
“I wondered if there might have been,” said Coun. Allebone, who moved that the name be inserted. This was seconded by Coun. Allen and carried.
Coun. Bailey criticised the action of the county authorities in cutting out the sitting case cars. This was very drastic, he said. If it was necessary to keep an A.R.P. service in Rushden at all, it was necessary that some cars should be retained they were as essential as the ambulances themselves. All the drivers were on the phone, and to dispense with them was to rob the A.R.P. of its mobility.
“It makes me wonder,” he added, “if some people realise what we owe to those who have been in charge of these cars. Their record is magnificent.
Coun. Capon: While we appreciate the points put by Mr. Bailey, I am quite sure that if occasion should arise we shall find we have the same number of sitting case cars as before.
Mrs. Muxlow: But who is going to pay for the licences if they are not going to be approved?
Coun. Capon: I move the adoption of the report.
The report was thereupon adopted.
A plea for some street lighting in the early mornings during the next two months was made by Coun. Paragreen, who said that he raised the same point 2½ years ago. There were more people walking about in the early mornings than at night. These people were compelled to go out to work, and would appreciate even the lighting of alternate lamps.
Coun. Richardson said he had had similar requests from workers.
Coun. Allebone said the difficulty was that the lamps were all clocked and the clocks would have to be altered each morning. He promised that the Lighting sub-Committee would see if anything could be done.
Coun. Waring rose to suggest that the Council should express to “the powers that be” an opinion that the clocks should now go back to Greenwich time. Coun. Capon interposed, and Mr. Waring was ruled out of order.
The Librarian (Miss M. Perkins) reported that 30,153 books were issued during the quarter ended September 30th an increase of 2,547 compared with the third quarter of last year. Membership was 4,600 adults and 1,322 juveniles, and there were 111 non-resident members. Books added to stock numbered 360, 76 of them being gifts. More periodicals have been stolen from the reading room, and special steps are being taken to prevent further loss.
Mrs. Muxlow said it was gratifying to think that 76 books had been presented.
Commenting on the Health Committee’s decision to exhibit a notice at the cemetery stating the winter time of closing (5p.m.), Coun. Sugars referred to people finding the gates closed earlier than they expected. He suggested that five o’clock (actually four o’clock Greenwich mean time) was too early for the beginning of November.
Coun. Bailey replied that the committee had heard of a case mentioned by Mr. Sugars it was one of the reasons why they decided to put up the notice.
Coun. Sugars: Did you agree as a committee that the cemetery should be closed at 5 p.m. as from that meeting, or did you mean to wait for this meeting?
The Clerk: Under the rules which have been in existence for a long time the official time is half an hour before sunset.
Coun. George: There is no timetable at the cemetery. All it says on the board is “Closed.”
Coun. Bailey: If it is felt that there is hardship I promise it will be considered at the next meeting.
The Council resolved to purchase waterproof leggings for three members of the staff to wear when they are collecting rents.
Average daily attendances and receipts at the British Restaurant for the week ended October 25th were 223 and £12 10s. 11d.
The only building plan was of a brick garage at 12, Wymington-road for Mr. W. A. Scholes.
In reference to the Council’s complaint about the alleged speeding of military traffic it was stated that the police are satisfied that apart possibly from isolated incidents, there is no cause for a general complaint.
A few additional street lamps are to be erected in the town.
There were 15 births (8 males) and 9 deaths (5 males) during October. Disease notifications were: Tuberculosis 1, erysipelas 1, scarlet fever 2, pneumonia 3, measles 3, whooping cough 5.
Instead of promoting a Merchant Navy Comforts Week the Council suggested that the cause can be helped if Rushden raises a charity fund next year.
Winter shop closing hours have been fixed as follows: Hairdressers, 8 p.m. Saturdays, 7 p.m. other days; other shops, 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. other days.
Rushden Temperance Society received permission to restore to working order the drinking fountain in Skinner’s Hill.
Minutes showed that the Chairman and Clerk were among those who last Friday attended a meeting to consider “the possibilities of a cottage hospital for Rushden… and designed to find out what would be involved if the town’s War Memorial were to take such a shape. Dr. Godber, of the Ministry of Health and the County M.O.H. were to be present.
Salvage to the value of £72 was collected during October. It included 9 tons 6½ cwt. paper and cardboard, 9 cwt. bones and 4 tons 5½ cwt. kitchen waste.
Reporting on an unoccupied house in Westfield-avenue, the Housing Committee stated that the tenant had been ordered either to reoccupy or surrender the premises within a month.
There was interesting news about education. Under the new Act, Divisional Executives will be appointed to take on some of the functions of local education authorities. In order to be practically self-contained for the purposes of secondary education the area of a District Executive should be a fairly compact one with a population of about 60,000 and containing a town of some size.
A letter from the Secretary for Education, considered by the Finance Committee on November 1st, stated that, while Rushden could not adequately sustain a District Executive the County Education Committee thought a suitable area, to include Rushden, might be “contrived.”
The Finance Committee arranged, in view of this letter, to receive a deputation from the County Education Committee this week.
It appeared from a remark by Coun. Richardson that this conference took place on Monday. The Council went into committee after Wednesday’s meeting intending to discuss a report on the interview, and was joined by representatives of the Rushden School Managers and the Intermediate School. Governors Mrs. A. F. Weale, Mrs. F. J. Sharwood, Miss W. M. Clipson, Mr. A. T. Chambers, Mr. C. Faulkner C.C., and Mr. E. Freeman.
Members in attendance were Couns. Dr. R. W. Davies, J.P., (Chairman), H. Waring (Vice-chairman), A. H. Bailey, J. Roe, C.C., A. Allebone, J.P., C.A., T. W. Cox, F. Green, J.P., Mrs. O. A. H. Muxlow, J. Allen, W. E. Capon, J. George, T. J. Swindall, J. E. Dilks, J. H. J. Paragreen, E. A. Sugars and J. T. Richardson, J.P.