|The Rushden Echo and Argus, 12th October & 16th November, 1951 , transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Council’s Firm Line With Tenant
Hutment problem on prefab estate
The hutment problem on the Southfields “prefab” estate was aired at Rushden Urban Council’s meeting on Wednesday when an outbuilding said to have been erected without permission was ordered to be removed.
Housing Committee minutes stated that a Park Road tenant applied for permission to erect a wooden hut, claiming that because of the slope of the ground he could not extend the existing outbuildings in accordance with the standard plan. He afterwards began to erect the hut without waiting for permission.
Coun. A. H. Bailey said he was not seeking to reverse the committee’s decision that the hut should be removed, but would like to know if the chairman was satisfied with the report. In the first place the tenant was told at the office that it would be useless to submit an application. On seeing Coun. Richardson and himself he was advised to send in a written application. Afterwards he complained that no one visited the site to judge the merits of his case.
In many cases, added Mr. Bailey, tenants were having to use valuable living space for the storage of prams and bicycles. It was a sore point.
Coun. J. T. Richardson said the committee received a letter with the added information that the hut was already in position. They were immediately inundated with requests for permission to extend hutments on the estate and could have had the estate covered with huts. They felt it would be a retrograde step to allow this, and something drastic had to be done, especially in a case where permission had not been obtained.
The report was confirmed.
The deficit of £500 on the Festival celebrations was criticised by Coun. A. A. Allebone, chairman of the Finance Committee, who maintained that there should have been a rigid limit on expenditure, the council having only estimated for £350, whereas about £850 was spent.
Coun. W. E. Capon denied that there was any limit and said that the money spent on the pageant was spent by permission of the Festival Committee. He expressed appreciation of the work which was done “so magnificently, so generously and with such enthusiasm.”
Coun. J. Allen said the pageant was “very gloriously done” and a great credit to the town.
The council agreed to meet the deficit.
In a question on the promised in-town bus service Coun. F. E. Brown suggested that, failing satisfaction from the United Counties Omnibus Co., the Traffic Commissioners should be asked to transfer the licence to other hands. Coun. E. J. Roe replied that the company reported a staff shortage and had not yet fixed a date for the service to begin.
Following a letter from the Divisional Road Engineer, who now stated that the town could retain four of its pedestrian crossings, the council decided that it would not accept responsibility for the abolition of any of the six crossings.
Mr. Brown advocated the setting up of a committee to advise on traffic congestion and car parking, but other members held that existing committees sufficed, and no action was taken.
It was reported that a no-waiting order covering the lower portion of Queen Street from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays has been confirmed.
A “Slow” sign not “Halt” signs as recommended by the Road Safety Committee is to be painted on the roadway at the junction of Portland Road and Rectory Road.
A lay-out plan for the completion of the Upper Queen Street site provided for 247 houses, 52 of which are in the 1952 programme. There is space for six shops, which will be considered later.
Twelve applications have been received for tenancies of the 10 garages erected by the council in Highfield Road.
Arrangements were made for a winter clean food campaign with “small exhibitions in selected shops” and lectures for managements and staffs.
It was agreed to ask the County Council to make an order terminating the use of a site in Washbrook Road as a rag, bone and scrap metal store.
Alternate poplar trees in Spencer Park behind houses in Spencer Road and Washbrook Road are to be removed, and the remainder lopped.
Coun. H. Waring said the net cost of the removals would be £5 and a great service would be rendered to the people who lived near Spencer Park.
At the second attempt the council has filled the post of Deputy Engineer and Surveyor by appointing Mr. J. Wild, of Sutton-in-Ashfield at a salary commencing at £665 per annum. Mr. Wild is 30 years of age.
A case of infantile paralysis, occurring within the eight weeks ended September 22nd, was reported by the Medical Officer (Dr. P. X. Bermingham). In the same period four births and 13 deaths were notified.
Following notification that the existing contract for gas lighting in Wellingborough Road cannot be renewed at the present price in 1953, the council is considering electric lighting as an alternative.
The idea of lighting St. Mary’s Church clock was abandoned.
Erection of a telephone kiosk at Skinner’s Hill was proposed in a letter from the Post Office authorities.
Only 14 frontage owners out of 33 have replied to the council’s letter regarding the cost of making up the road under the Private Street Works Act.
A new site where the Army tank used to stand has been chosen for the hut in Spencer Park. The cost of removal and re-erection falls on the County Council, and the Parks Committee is considering a £350 plan to provide a tea-room, kitchen and dressing rooms in the hut.
Rushden Rotary Club obtained permission to place a Christmas tree near the War Memorial during the Christmas period.
Building plans included the following : Publicity information panel, 26a, Newton Road, Mills and Rockley, Ltd.; Lay-out of Park Avenue estate, Arthur Sanders, Ltd.; caravan centre, “Sunnyside,” Bedford Road, Mr. A. E. Folkes; alterations and extensions, Kimbolton Road, Harris Bros., Ltd.; access for car park, Wellingborough Road, Rushden Mission Church; workshop, 29, Harborough Road, Mr. K. Smith; overhead high tension line Bedford Road, East Midlands Electricity Board; store-shed, 135 Higham Road, Mr. R. Fairey; drying store and lavatory block, Kimbolton Road, Harris Bros., Ltd.; new position of four petrol pumps, High Street South, Townsends (Garages), Ltd.; bay window, 51, St. Mary’s Avenue, Mr. G. Coleman; lavatory accommodation and alteration to buildings, Kimbolton Road, Altona Leathers, Ltd.; extension to garden shed, 19, Brookfield Road, Mr. W. J. Sawford; site for open-air market, High Street, Mr. K. G. N. Ottewell; extension to form workshop, Coffee Tavern Lane, Fred Hawkes (Refrigeration), Ltd.; alterations to form bathroom, 25, Carnegie Street, Mr. H. C. Glenn; garage, Hayden Road, Mr. J. Trott; garage, Hayden Road, Mr. W. J. Robinson; garden tool shed, 10, Upper Park Avenue, Mr. J. R. Elstow; garage and shed, 25, St. Peter’s Avenue, Mr. A. A. Marvin; conversion of garage into dairy, Abbott and Son; garage and shed, Maple Road, Mr. R. N. Pauley; garage and stores, Shirley Road, John White (Footwear), Ltd.; additions to factory Portland Road, A. Sargent and Sons, Ltd.; brick flue, 22, Upper Queen Street, Mr. J. M. P. Trott; loggia, 43, Hall Avenue, Mr. W. T. Green; bedroom, garage and w.c., 34 Wymington Road, Mr. D. S. Hunt; bungalow, off Birchall Road, Mr. R. G. Corby; coal barn and store, 72, Park Avenue, Mr. A. Sears; entrance gates and wall, 181, Wellingborough Road, Mr. W. A. Kearsley; scullery annexe, 21, Newton Road, Mr. H. D. Keller; wall and entrance to car park, Masonic Hall, Wellingborough Road, Pemberton Masonic Lodge.
Members present were Councillors J. Allen (presiding in the ansence of Coun. C. G. Faulkner), Mrs. O. B. Lean, E. J. Roe, A. A. Allebone, E. E. Newell, A. H. Bailey, W. J. Keller, A. H. Dickens, F. E. Brown, W. E. Capon, Mrs. O. A. H. Muxlow, C.C., J. H. J. Paragreen, H. Waring, E. A. Sugars, W. J. Sawford, J. T. Richardson, and Mrs. W. O. Rowthorn.
High Standards in Milk and Ice Cream
Changes in the milk trade were mentioned by Mr. Humphrey Ellis in presenting his annual report as Sanitary Inspector to Rushden Urban Council on Wednesday.
Mr. Ellis said there was hardly a retailer in Rushden to-day who did not handle pasteurised milk. The ice cream trade had “gone” as a trade, and in 1950 the council had 45 people on the register who sold ice cream only as a side-line.
Reporting a serious shortage of slaughter men, Mr. Ellis said that in the last five years not one apprentice had entered the trade locally. They were reduced to three skilled slaughter men at the Rushden abattoir, and assistance had to be obtained from other districts. The day would come when the Ministry had to train men for the trade in colleges, he thought.
Last year 14,079 animals were slaughtered and inspected at Rushden, and 207 whole carcasses were destroyed. A large increase in the amount of condemned meat was due to the intake of 1,536 more cattle (including 223 extra cows) and a reduction of 812 sheep, cattle being more susceptible to disease that sheep.
Dr. P. X. Bermingham reported as M.O.H. that 222 deaths occurred last year, and there were 227 live births (115 males). Seven births were illegitimate.
Diphtheria was absent for the fifth successive year, and the doctor thanked parents on their response to the immunisation campaign. He described milk supply standards in the town as “very high” and the ice cream standard as “high.”
16th November, 1951
Check-Up on Grave Space Advised
After the reading of a report in which the District Auditor told of surcharging a former employee in connection with cemetery accounts, Rushden Urban Council, at its meeting on Wednesday, advised the public to check up on their grave space reservations.
In his report the auditor (Mr. G. Russell) stated that during his audit of the Council’s accounts for the year ended March 31st 1950, he surcharged Mr. R. C. Moisey, formerly the cemetery superintendent, £5 in respect of money received by him for the purchase of a grave space and not brought to account. A lady, he continued, had produced a receipt for £5 in respect of a grave space which she said she had purchased in 1937. The receipt was on notepaper and not on an official form. Moisey acknowledged that the signature was his own, but the money had not been brought to account in the cash book.
The auditor also reported that three other persons produced receipts for grave spaces at £1 12s. 6d. each. In each case the receipt was the counterfoil of an old one issued in 1931 to a different person for 2s. 6d. for preparing a grave for planting. It had been skilfully overwritten to show the receipt of £1 12s. 6d. at a later date, but only the sums of 2s 6d. had been brought to account in the cash books.
Because of the lapse of time and the deaths of the persons concerned there was insufficient evidence to assess the responsibility for loss of income to the Council in these cases.
The auditor added that the accounting system was revised when Moisey was dismissed in 1947, and was now satisfactory.
Coun. A. A. Allebone, observing that none of the Council’s present officers could in any way be held responsible for the adverse report, said it must cause much distress if people at a time of great personal sorrow found the grave spaces they believed to be reserved did not exist. It would be an advantage if anyone in doubt about the validity of a grave space reservation would have it verified at the Council Office.
Mrs. Muxlow said she thought it unfair to read the report in public “in view of the fact that we cannot bring a police case,” but the chairman (Ald. C. G. Faulkner) replied: “We have a statutory duty to read it in public,” and Mr. Allebone observed that although Moisey had the right of appeal he had paid the £5.
A show of hands 10 for and six against was needed before the Council approved cycle allowances of £2 per annum to the two assistants in the Housing Department.
Coun. E. J. Roe said the sum involved was very small, but they were opening a wide door to all sorts of applications. He did not think any of the employees were in such a position that they need make trivial claims of this character.
Mrs. Lean: I entirely agree. We shall be asked to repair shoes before long.
Mrs. Muxlow said the housing assistants had to go round the estates in all weathers, and there was a lot of wear and tear entailed on the machines.
Coun. A. H. Bailey asked if there were any means by which the Gas Board could be notified when street lamps were seen to be alight during the day. “We are paying for waste,” he observed.
Mrs. Muxlow said one lamp in Roberts Street had been alight three or four weeks.
When Coun. W. J. Sawford explained that under the contract terms there was no extra cost to the Council, Mr. Bailey replied: “But there is to the taxpayer.”
When the Council agreed to install mechanised accounting at an initial cost of £110, Mr. Allebone claimed that the system was efficient and would reduce expenditure in the long run.
Mrs. Lean (naively): If we buy this machine will the staff be reduced?
Mr. Allebone: It will not be reduced, but it will obviate an application for increased staff. (Laughter).
Learning that in spite of the Council’s objections the Ministry of Transport had removed two of the pedestrian crossings - in High Street South and at the Church corner the Council passed a resolution of protest which will be sent to the Minister.
It was reported that the omnibus passenger shelters have been delivered and will be erected at an early date.
Street lighting in Park Road and the upper part of Newton Road is to be improved, but because of lack of support from property owners the making up of Blinco Road has been deferred. A road between Harborough Road and Pightles Terrace will be made by direct labour.
A report on ice cream showed that the number of retailers had increased to 53, though only 12 brands were on sale.
Interior decoration is to be carried out at 41 houses in Kings Road and at the 50 prefabricated bungalows.
Building plans included the following: Garage and bay window, 301, Wellingborough Road, Mr. D. Norris; garage, 435, Newton Road, Mr. J. F. Garner; tool and cycle shed, 2, York Road, Mr F. Jones; tool and cycle shed, 64, Talbot Road, Mr. G. G. Hooton; garage, Adnitt Road, Mr. F. Caswell; bungalow, Avenue Road, Mr. D. Muscutt; additions to shop, 194, Wellingborough Road, Mr. H. L. Ward; kitchen, 142, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. W. H. Craker; site for caravan, 201, Avenue Road, Mr. L. F. Berrill; bay window extension, 68, Park Avenue, Mr. E. Durham; site for lock-up garages, Oak Street, Mr. D. Heler; bathroom, 10, Brookfield Road, Mr. A. Rogers; bedroom addition, 71, St. Margaret’s Avenue, Mr. W. S. T. Clayson; garage and alterations, 111, Hayway, Mr. W. Hart; alterations at 20, Fern Road, Mr. H. Mead; alterations at 15, Talbot Road, Mr. B. C. Hassell; lavatories, Park Road, W. Smart and Son; warehouse, garage and offices, Washbrook Road, Townsends Transport, Ltd.; bathroom, 115, Washbrook Road, Mr. E. E. Ainge.
Members present were: Couns. C. G. Faulkner (chairman), J. Allen (vice-chairman), Mrs. W. M. Lean, E. J. Roe, A. A. Allebone, A. H. Dickens, E. E. Newell, A. H. Bailey, W. J. Keller, F. E. Brown, W. E. Capon, Mrs. O. A. H. Muxlow, J. H. J. Paragreen, H. Waring, W. J. Sawford, E. A. Sugars, J. T. Richardson and Mrs. A. Rowthorn.