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The Rushden Echo, 15th October, 1909, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

Municipal Housing - The Story Of The Baths

At a meeting of this council on Wednesday night there were present: Messrs. G. H. Skinner (chairman), F. Knight (vice-chairman), J. Claridge, G. Miller, C. E. Bayes, J. S. Clipson, T. Swindall, J. Paragreen, C. Bates, W. Bazeley, and A. J. Dobbs, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. W. G. F. Kingston)

Plans, Etc., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highway, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 29th September 1909. when there were present :- Messrs. G. H. Skinner (chairman), F. Knight, W. Bazeley, C. Bates, J. Claridge, G. Miller, and T. Swindall.

Plans

were presented by :-

Mr. C. S. Wooding for wooden tool house and barn at the rear of No. 42 Portland-road, and no exception taken.

Mrs. H. Wood for additions to Nos. 24, 26 and 28 Washbrook-road, and passed.

Mr. Walter Smart for additions to workshop and new shed at the rear of No. 87 Park-road, and passed.

Mr. H. H. Hobbs for additions to No. 38 Griffith-street, and passed.

Public Lighting

The Lighting Sub-committee reported that they had met and now recommended that additional lamps be fixed in the following places, viz., one on the Wellingborough-road opposite the entrance to the Sewage Farm, one in Shirley-park, above the Gas-works, and one on the sewer ventilating shaft in Irchester-road.

The Committee approved, and decided to recommend the Council accordingly.

Oakpits

The Committee reported that they visited the Oakpits on the 31st August, and resolved to recommend the Council to erect a fence along the brook course dividing the Council’s land from that of Mr. Fred Bayes. The Surveyor estimated the cost at £5, towards which Mr. Bayes would contribute one half.

Road Materials – Granite

The Surveyor reported that he had had some trouble with one of the firms supplying granite on account of the material not being up to the standard.

It was resolved that no further orders be sent to the firm in question and that the other firms at present supplying the Council have the orders divided between them at the Surveyor’s discretion.

Hayway

A letter was received from Mr. E, Claridge, asking that an asphalt footpath might be constructed along this road in place of the present gravel one.

The Committee were of opinion that the present footpath was in a satisfactory state and were unable to recommend the Council to incur the expense of laying an asphalt one at the present time.

The report was adopted.

Finance And Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings, on Tuesday, the 5th October, 1909. at 10 a.m., when there were present : Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), G. H. Skinner, F. Ballard, W. Bazeley, and J. Claridge.

Surveyor’s Cash Account

The Committee examined the surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-


£
s
d
Week ending 2nd September, 1909
33
9
9
Week ending 9th September, 1909
32
8
10
Week ending 16th September, 1909
31
3
6
Week ending 23rd September, 1909
31
9
4
Week ending 30th September, 1909
29
6
10

Collector’s Account

The Collector’s Account was examined from which it appeared that he had collected the following sum since the last meeting :-


£
s
d
General District Rate
410
6
11

Treasurer’s Accounts

The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts from which it appeared that the following sums had been paid to him on the following accounts since the last meeting :-


£
s
d
Collector, District rates
410
6
11
Free Library, fees, fines, etc
1
17
8
County Council, Main roads
253
0
0
Total
665
4
7

And that the following balances were in hand on the under mentioned accounts :-


£
s
d
General Account
1520
18
2
Loan Account No. 16
410
1
10
Loan Account No. 19
387
17
6
Total
2,318
17
6

Tradesmen’s And Other Accounts

A number of accounts amounting to £918/1/5 were examined and passed for payment.

General District Rate

The Collector reported that he had summoned Sydney Smith for rates in respect of the small fish shop opposite the Feathers Inn. He was very badly off, and the Justices had adjourned the case for a month for the matter to be mentioned to the Council with a view to the rate being excused on the ground of poverty. The Justices had excused the Poor Rate on the same ground.

The Committee agreed to recommend the Council to excuse the rate and to pay the cost of the summons.

Sanitary Engineering

The Surveyor asked the Committee to authorise him to purchase Messrs. Moore and Silcock’s Works on this subject at a cost of £2 2 0. The book would be particularly useful in connection with any scheme he might have to propose with regard to sewage disposal.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to authorise the Surveyor to obtain the book.

Rectory Road Improvement

It was resolved to recommend the Council to complete the purchase of the two houses from Mr. E. Claridge at once, paying the purchase money out of current account, the money to be replaced when the loan is raised some time before the 31st March next.

Mr. Knight, in moving the adoption of the report, said the case of Sydney Smith was a very exceptional one, and one which would have the sympathy of everyone on the Council. The poor man had been ill and some friends started him in business which proved unsuccessful.

Mr. Miller, referring to the Rectory-road improvement, expressed the opinion that it would be a good thing if the work could be carried out during the coming winter.

Mr. Knight : The Surveyor does not think so. He wants better weather.

The Clerk : The labour that would be required would not be large in amount.

The report was adopted.

Health And Sanitary Committee

A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 6th October, 1909, when there were present :- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. S. Clipson, A. J. Dobbs, C. E. Bayes, and J. Paragreen.

Health And Sanitary Reports

The Medical Officer reported that eleven cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., six of scarlet fever, two of diphtheria, and three of erysipelas.

The Sanitary Inspector reported that 35 informal notices had been served since the last meeting, calling attention to nuisances etc.

The Inspector informed the Committee that while visiting slaughterhouses on the 8th September he found a quantity of meat affected with tuberculosis, and had by the Order of a Magistrate destroyed same. He asked that he might be authorised to call in a Veterinary Inspector when examining diseased or doubtful meat. The Committee agreed and resolved to recommend the Council to give such authority.

The Inspector also reported that a house, No. 25 Robert-street, occupied by Mr. George Litchfield, was in an overcrowded and dirty state. It was resolved that a notice be served on Mr. Litchfield requiring him to abate the nuisance forthwith.

A notice had been received from H. M. Inspector of Factories calling attention to the insufficient sanitary accommodation at Mr. B. Ladds’s factory, Moor-road. The Inspector informed the Committee that this had now been satisfactorily remedied by the re-adjustment of the existing accommodation.

A notification had been received from Mr. S. Eady, of High-street South, stating that he had taken over the slaughterhouse recently occupied by Mr. E. Sanders.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of work done, etc., during the past month.

Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milkshops Order

Applications were received for registration as milksellers from John Hume, 20, Harborough-road, and Alfred James Mayo, 65, Sartoris-road, and duly registered.

The quarterly report of Mr. Bainbridge was received from which it appeared that on the 30th and 31st August and the 1st September he visited 26 premises belonging to 24 cowkeepers and inspected 241 milk cows and heifers, making special examination of their udders and throats.

The Committee considered the report very satisfactory and instructed the Inspector to keep certain of the cows mentioned therein under his observation.

Refuse Receptacles

The Inspector of Nuisances submitted a report with regard to the following houses owned by Mr. Warner, of Irchester, showing the nature of the accommodation for the deposit of refuse :-

Nos, 15 & 17 Pemberton St Nothing
Nos, 19 Pemberton St Old tins
Nos, 21 Pemberton St Broken wooden box
Nos, 23 Pemberton St Wooden Box
Nos, 25 Pemberton St Wooden Box
Nos, 27 Pemberton St Broken wooden box
Nos, 29 Pemberton St Wooden Box
Nos, 31 Pemberton St Old tins
Nos, 33 Pemberton St Wooden box

It appeared to the Committee by this report that the several houses therein referred to were without a sufficient ash-pit, ash-tub, or other receptacle for the deposit of refuse, and it was resolved to report to the Council accordingly, with a recommendation that a notice be served upon the owner requiring him within 28 days to provide for each house a sufficient and proper receptacle.

The Inspector further reported that Mr. George Bayes had failed to comply with the notice requiring him to provide sufficient receptacles to his property in Wellingborough-road and that he was proceeding with the necessary steps to do so on behalf of the Council as instructed.

Sewage Farm

The Surveyor reported that the sale of the crops at the Sewage Farm took place on Monday last and realised £87 7s. 7d. Fourteen lots valued at £12 were unsold.

John-Street Sewer

A letter was received from Mr. Fred Corby, complaining of the flooding of his works in John-street on the 4th Sept. last, owing to the sewer failing to take away the water after the storm on that day.

The Surveyor informed the Committee that he considered it possible the work he had in hand on the outfall sewer might relieve the sewer in John-street to some extent, and it was decided to wait until this work was completed before taking any further steps.

Cemetery

The Cemetery caretaker reported that there still remained, on some of the graves, a number of glass shades, artificial wreaths, &c., which had not been removed as required by the Council.

It was resolved to recommend the Council to instruct the caretaker to himself remove any of them remaining after the 31st instant, which contravene the regulations.

Cromwell Road

The Surveyor was instructed to give attention to a sewer at the rear of property in Cromwell-road belonging to Mr. George Bayes and others.

The report was adopted.

Important Discussion On Municipal Housing

Mr. Bazeley, in accordance with notice, moved that the Council adopt Part 3 of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1890. He did not intend to go into details, but he wished to say that the more he knew of municipal housing the more he was in favour of it, and he hoped there would be no difficulty in passing the resolution. He took it that when the Council took up the scheme, they would be as progressive as any other Council and would provide each house with a bath and a galvanised dustbin.

Mr. Bates seconded the motion.

Mr. Claridge : What does it commit us to?

Mr. Bazeley : It commits the Council to nothing, but we must adopt the Act before we can take up any municipal housing scheme.

Mr. Claridge thought there was no necessity for adopting the Act and that it was not well to adopt an Act unless they meant to carry it out. There were plenty of houses in Rushden, and be thought they would compare favourably for comfort, convenience and lowness of rent with houses in any other town. He did not see what advantage the Act would be to the working classes. If the Council did erect houses, he would certainly prefer that the tenants should be able, by paying so much a week, to become the owners of the property.

The Chairman said he didn’t think there was much demand for baths. They had a bath at the club, but it rusted out. (Laughter.) Now they had another one, but he didn’t think it brought in a shilling a quarter, and he was afraid that that one, too, would rust out. (Laughter.) Mr. Miller could bear out what he said.

Mr. Claridge : That’s the Conservative party, you see. (Laughter.)

The Chairman said he thoroughly agreed with Mr. Claridge’s remarks as to the undesirability of adopting the Act.

Mr. Swindall did not think the Act was intended for rising towns like Rushden but for towns where there was a lot of slum property and no enterprising gentleman to come forward and erect houses for the working classes.

Mr. Dobbs said he was bound to support the motion as a matter of principle. He did not believe in houses being privately owned at all. As for Mr. Skinner’s remarks on the baths at the club, he did not know whether they were a reflection on the members of the club or a suggestion that the members had baths at home. With regard to slums, there was slum property in Rushden, and before they could do anything to make things better they would have to adopt the Act. If private individuals could build houses and get a profit out of them there was no reason why the Council should not do the same. With regard to the enterprising gentleman, some of them were too enterprising for they built as cheaply as they possibly could and then tried to get as much rent as they could.

Mr. Bazeley, replying to the discussion, said he could not imagine a progressive local authority opposing the scheme if they put vested interests to one side, he did not think there would be any hesitation. He could understand opposition to the case of the House of Lords. There was a lot of property in Rushden that was getting dilapidated and some would soon need a closing order.

Only four, Messrs. Baseley, Bates, Dodds, and Paragreen, voted for the resolution, which was lost, the rest of the Council voting against.


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