|The Rushden Echo, 10th October, 1919, transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Municipal Housing Scheme
Fire Brigade Officer’s Resignation
No Appointment of Committee under the Profiteering Act
Sanitary Inspection of the Town
Labour Party and the School Managers
Wednesday, present Councillors F. Knight, J.P. (chairman), J. Claridge, J.P., C.C. (vice-chairman), W. Bazeley, J.P., C. Bates, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, T. Swindall, C. W. Horrell, L. Perkins, B.Sc., C. E. Bayes, T. Wilmott, and J. Tomlin, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Acting Sanitary Inspector (Mr. A. E. Lloyd).
A letter was received from the Rushden and Higham War Pensions Sub-Committee asking the Council to nominate further members on the Sub-Committee, as follows:- For the Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Families Association, Miss Simpson, Chelveston; Demobilised Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Federation, Mr. C. E. Lawrence and Mr. Frank Wilkins; Boot and Shoe Operatives’ Union, Mr. Herbert Thomson and Mr. C. Allen.
On the proposition of Mr. Spencer, the application was granted.
A meeting of the Allotments Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, September 17th, 1919, when there were present: Messrs. J. Spencer (chairman), T. Wilmott, J. S. Clipson, J. Hornsby, H. Smith, T. Swindall, and W. Gutteridge.
A circular from the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries was received calling attention to the amendments of the law relating to allotments contained in the Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919, which came into operation on August 19th last. Under this Act the power of Councils to acquire land compulsorily and to obtain vacant possession of land acquired by Agreement are considerably strengthened. For a period of three years from the passing of the Act orders made by Councils for the compulsory purchase or hire of land for allotments would not have to be confirmed by or receive the consent of the Board except in certain cases where the land is subject to rights of common or forms part of a park or home farm.
The effect of the provisions referred to is that Councils are able to acquire land for allotments by a simple and rapid process. Failing acquisition and the right of immediate entry by Agreement it will only be necessary for the Council to make a compulsory order which in ordinary cases will not require confirmation, and the Council can then take possession of the land on 14 days’ notice.
With regard to the War allotments, the termination of the War brings to an end the land under the provisions of D.O.B. Regulation 2L, but the Board of Agriculture are enabled under the Acquisition of Land Act 1916 to continue in possession for the purpose of enabling the land to be continued to be used as allotments if they regard it as desirable in the National interest. The Board under the Act of 1916 can remain in occupation for two years after the termination of the War and for a further period of three years if sanctioned by the Railway and Canal Commissioners, and the Board have authorised the Council to negotiate an arrangement on the above lines subject to the Board’s approval of its terms. The Act of 1916 provides in effect that the rent shall be ascertained as a general rule on the basis of the value at the termination of the War of the land in the condition in which it was at the time of the entry of the Board.
The Committee did not consider it desirable at present to undertake any steps with a view to the hiring of land compulsorily under the Act of 1919, but thought that many cultivators of the war allotments would like to remain in possession for a further period of two years, and arranged for sub-committees to wait on the various cultivators and obtain their views on the matter. When this had been done the Committee would meet again to consider the report of the sub-committees and recommend that the Council authorise them to give notice to land-owners of the intention to retain possession of the land in those cases where the cultivators desire and to offer to negotiate for a fair rent.
The report was adopted.
Plans, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, Sept. 24th, 1919, when there were present:- Messrs. J. Claridge (in the chair), W. Bazeley, L. Perkins, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and T. Wilmott.
were presented for:-
New coal bunker for Messrs. Radburne and Bennett’s factory off the Irchester-road, and passed.
A shed (corrugated iron building) for Messrs. Lawrence and Richardson in Washbrook-road, and no exception taken.
Extension to factory in Victoria-road for Mr. J. H. Nicholson, and passed subject to the walls of the engine-house being increased to 14-inch work, the sanitary conveniences being cut off from the work-rooms, and all winders omitted from the staircase.
A sanitary block to the Unity Boot Co.’s premises in Sartoris-road, and passed.
A workshop at the rear of No. 4, Blinco-road for Mr. S. Smith, and rejected as contravening the Bye-laws as to air space.
The Surveyor informed the Committee that he had received a communication from the County Surveyor stating that the work of improving certain dangerous corners which had been postponed owing to the War might now be proceeded with. Owing, however, to the large additional cost involved and the small grant promised by the Road Board, the Committee resolved to take no further action in the matter at present. The corners referred to are on the west side of the Higham-road at its junction with Higham Ferrers and at the top of Hayway on the east side.
The Surveyor reported that this van had now been delivered, and he was instructed to make inquiries for a driver, preferably an ex-service man. When a driver had been engaged the Committee recommend to the Council that the Surveyor be authorised to engage an expert from the makers for a week to instruct him. The cost would be £5 5s., plus railway fare.
It was resolved to insure the van under a comprehensive policy for £1,150.
MOTOR GENERATOR SET The Surveyor read a letter from Messrs. Siemens and Co. stating that they could not deliver the Generator Set until the end of October, but they were doing everything they could to expedite such delivery.
SPRING SHUTTERS The Surveyor submitted three estimates he had received for the spring shutters required for the shed, and the Committee resolved to recommend the Council to accept that of Messrs. S. W. Francis, Ltd., at £45, less 10 per cent. discount.
The Fire Brigade sub-committee reported that they had had under consideration the application of the members of the Brigade for the adoption by the Council of the National Union’s Scale of Charges for attendance at fires and also for the payment of a sum of £2 per man per annum for cleaning up purposes after practices. The sub-committee had met the members of the Brigade and had discussed the matters with them and had agreed to recommend the adoption of the National Union’s scale of charges for attendance at fires. With regard to the suggested payment for cleaning up, the Committee had at the request of the Brigade made inquiries from Kettering and Wellingborough as to what was done there. Kettering replied that the Council did not make any payment for cleaning the engine and equipment after practice; this work was done by the fireman resident at the fire station, who was engaged full time by the Council. At Wellingborough the Council paid the firemen 10s. each time the Steamer was cleaned after practice and the men were now asking for this to be increased to 20s. the sub-Committee considered that this Council should if possible follow the course adopted at Kettering and recommended that at the first convenient opportunity a permanent employee of the Council be required to reside at the fire station cottage and be made responsible for the cleaning of the steamers, and in the meantime that a payment of 20s. be made to the firemen for cleaning up after practices.
The amended scale of charges suggested is as follows:-
The Committee approved and resolved to recommend the Council accordingly.
The Sub-Committee further reported that they had received the resignation of Mr. Turner as Second Officer, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Brigade, after nearly 35 years’ service. They recommended that the letter be read to the Council at their next meeting and that a record be placed on the minutes of the appreciation by the Council of Mr. Turner’s many years of service and of their thanks for his devoted attention to the work of the Brigade.
The Surveyor reported further correspondence with the Market Harborough Remount depot as to the supply of horses on the boarding-out system which now definitely stated that no further horses were available.
The special Committee to whom the matter was referred were requested to purchase two horses as soon as possible.
High-St. and Church-St. Corner
The Surveyor reported an interview he had had with Messrs. Praed and Co.’s representative, who informed him that the cost of rebuilding this property was prohibitive and the scheme would not be proceeded with on the lines previously suggested. If, however, arrangements could be made for the transfer of the license to another part of the town the building might be removed and the site offered for sale.
It was decided to refer the matter to the whole Council in Committee for consideration.
The report was adopted.
Mr. Turner’s Resignation
The Chairman said he had had the pleasure of working with Mr. Turner about 35 years, and could say that no living man could take a keener interest in Fire Brigade work than Mr. Turner did. The town was very much indebted to Mr. Turner, who had put in a tremendous lot of work, which had been to him a labour of love. He (the chairman) agreed with the recommendation of the committee that a record of Mr. Turner’s services be placed on the Council minutes. He moved that the recommendation be adopted, and he did it with great pleasure, because he knew what Mr. Turner had done for Fire Brigade service, not only in Rushden, but in the district.
Mr. Claridge seconded, Mr. Wilmott supported, and it was carried unanimously.
Finance & Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, October 1st, 1919, at 10 a.m., when there were present: Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), J. Claridge, C. W. Horrell, and T. Wilmott.
General District Rate
It was resolved to instruct the Rates Clerk to prepare a rate at 2s. 6d. in the £ for sealing at the next meeting of the Council.
The Clerk reported that he had received the Ministry of Health’s formal sanction to the raising of a Loan of £14,500 for this purpose. He had called the attention of the Ministry to the fact that the tender accepted with their approval amounted to £15,000, and in addition there would be the Architect’s fees to provide for.
On receipt of the sanction he had written to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners who advanced the loan for the purchase of the land, asking if they would also advance this loan, and, if so, at what rate of interest, and had received a reply stating that the Commissioners would be prepared to entertain the matter and that the rate of interest would be 5½ per cent., but this rate might not be in force if the formal application were not received within 14 days from the date of their letter, 25th September.
The Committee recommend the Council to accept the loan from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners on the terms stated, and authorised the Clerk to fill up the application and forward it to them forthwith.
The report was adopted.
Health & Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, October 1st, when there were present: Messrs. J. Claridge (chairman), F. Knight, C. E. Bayes, J. Hornsby, C. W. Horrell, and J. Tomlin.
Health & Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer for the month of September was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the past month 27 preliminary notices had been served calling attention to nuisances and other matters, all of which were receiving attention.
Visits and inspections had been made, and premises sprayed and fumigated after cases of infectious disease.
A quantity of bacon, weighting 70-lbs., which had been voluntarily surrendered, had been destroyed as being unfit for human consumption.
One lot of infected bedding had been destroyed after a case of cancer, on the advice of the Medical Practitioner in attendance. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace part of the bedding destroyed at a cost not exceeding £1 7s. 6d.
Defective yard paving had been repaired or renewed in various parts of the town since the last meeting.
A book belonging to the Free Library found in an infected house had been destroyed during the month. It was resolved to recommend the Council to replace the book.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work since the last meeting.
The Inspector also reported that during the month of September, 16 additional outworkers’ lists had been received relating to 27 outworkers receiving work inside the district and seven outworkers receiving work outside the district.
Dairies, Cowsheds, & Milkshops Order
The quarterly report of Mr. Bainbridge was received, from which it appeared that on the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 15th September, 1919, he had visited 31 premises and inspected 209 cows and heifers in the district, making special examination of their udders and throats.
The Committee considered the report very satisfactory.
Inspector of Nuisances
The Committee had under consideration the arrangements for the performance of the duties of Inspector of Nuisances in the district. The appointment of Mr. A. E. Lloyd had been sanctioned for the period of the War. The Clerk was instructed to communicate with the Ministry of Health as to the making of an appointment of a permanent nature, and it was resolved to ask the Council to allow their formal report on the matter to stand over until the views of the Ministry of Health had been ascertained.
With regard to the paragraph in the report dealing with the Inspector of Nuisances, Mr. Bazeley moved, as an amendment, that the Council advertise at once for a fully-qualified, full-time Sanitary Inspector. He was not satisfied with the recommendation to defer the matter for a month to obtain the views of the Minister of Health. He did not wish to depreciate at all the work Mr. Lloyd was doing in the time he had at his disposal, but it was only a temporary appointment, made for the period of the war, and Mr. Lloyd had now held the position for 18 months. It seemed to him that the reason the Council was not taking steps was on the ground of £ s d., and nothing else. (Mr. Claridge: “No.”) The recommendation of the committee looked like dallying on until the end of the next financial year. This was going backwards, and they as Labour members would be untrue to their election programme if they did not move in this matter. It was impossible for Mr. Lloyd, with the time at his disposal, to make a thorough inspection of the town, and this was a most important thing. Every member of the Council knew that there was overcrowding in Rushden and how necessary it was for the Sanitary Inspector to devote his whole time to look after the health of the inhabitants. Prevention was better than cure. Under the present arrangements, Mr. Lloyd having to look after Higham Ferrers and Finedon as well as Rushden, a proper inspection of Rushden could not be made. Fully qualified Sanitary Inspectors were now being demobilised from the Army and would be glad to get a post like the one at Rushden. It seemed that the less that was done the better it suited some people. That was not his standpoint, and Mr. Lloyd would be the first to admit that to inspect the food supplies and to make a thorough inspection of Rushden could not be done under the present circumstances. They were not fulfilling the requirements of the Public Health Act, nor would they as Labour members be acting up to their election pledges unless they proceeded to make a full-time appointment.
Mr. Spencer seconded, and said there was an immense amount of work which needed doing. The committee’s recommendation was, in his opinion, an attempt to delay the matter for a month, or perhaps longer.
Mr. Hornsby said there was some truth in what Mr. Bazeley had said, but he could not agree entirely with him. The Sanitary Committee fully discussed this matter at the last meeting, and unanimously came to the conclusion that it was time to move in the matter, and he thought they came to the right conclusion to make the fullest inquiry first and to make the appointment afterwards. (Hear, hear.) He was perfectly satisfied there was not a member on the Council who had a word to say against the work of Mr. Lloyd. There was some truth in what Mr. Bazeley had said, that it was impossible for Mr. Lloyd to inspect the town thoroughly in the time at his disposal, but, as there were things in view, he hoped Mr. Bazeley and Mr. Spencer would agree to adjourn the question for a month, and then he felt sure they would be satisfied with what the Sanitary Committee suggested. He wanted to see the sanitary arrangements looked after thoroughly, and he thought the course which the Sanitary Committee suggested would be the best for the town.
Mr. Swindall protested against the remarks of Mr. Bazeley to the effect that it suited some members of the Council to have a half-time inspector. He thought they ought to ask Mr. Bazeley to name the members to whom he referred. With regard to Mr. Bazeley’s remarks on overcrowding, what could an Inspector do under present conditions? He thought Mr. Bazeley’s remarks were altogether out of place.
Mr. Bazeley said that under the Public Health Act overcrowding was a nuisance. There was a lot of overcrowding in Rushden, and therefore it was all the more necessary that a full-time Inspector should examine the drains and mitigate the danger caused through the overcrowding. But here, eleven months after the armistice was signed, they had not gone back to the pre-war conditions, and there were many complaints in the town that the Council had not done this. He thought it was unnecessary delay.
The Chairman said that what Mr. Bazeley said about the need for a thorough inspection of the town was just what Mr. Lloyd was doing. If Mr. Bazeley had been on the Sanitary Committee he would know of the scores of recommendations which Mr. Lloyd was making and of the matters which were being attended to. The committee were satisfied Mr. Lloyd was doing his work in a thoroughly satisfactory manner.
Mr. Bazeley’s amendment was defeated and the report was adopted.
The Chairman said that at the last meeting the Council deferred for a month the question of appointing a committee under the Profiteering Act. If there was much profiteering in Rushden he thought they ought to adopt the Act.
Mr. Hornsby: Are the producers charging too much for the goods?
Mr. Wilmott: The Local Authority would not touch that.
Mr. Hornsby: That is the pity of it.
Mr. Wilmott: Many people have made the remark that the Council ought to have appointed a tribunal, as it might frighten the profiteers. I hope we have got more honest tradesmen in Rushden than that, if that is the only reason.
The Chairman: It would mean setting up offices, appointing officers, and a considerable expense, and that expense would fall on the town.
Mr. Wilmott: I should not mind that if it would do any good.
Mr. Bazeley: What good would it do? Would it work if appointed? One local committee which has been appointed has had nothing to do up to the present, because no one would come forward to substantiate a complaint.
No action was taken.
It was decided to affix the seal of the Council to a mortgage for £1,250 at 5½ per cent. interest, for the electric motor.
Council Workmen’s Wages
The Clerk read a letter from the Mayor of Nottingham with regard to the proposed Joint Industrial Council for Local Authorities Non-Trading Services (Manual Workers), as follows: “As you are doubtless aware, a National Joint Industrial Council has been set up for dealing with questions affecting labour in connection with Local Authorities Non-Trading Services (manual workers). It is now proposed to establish Provincial Councils, and I have been desired by the National Council to convene a meeting with a view to establishing such a Council for the area covered by Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northamptonshire, and the Soke of Peterborough. I beg to invite your Authority to appoint representatives to attend a meeting of the Local Authorities and the Trades Unions concerned, to be held at the Exchange Hall, Nottingham, on Thursday, October 30th, at 2.30 p.m. It is suggested the number of representatives of the Employing Authorities should not exceed three and that the number of representatives of the Trades Unions concerned should not be less than two, but not limited to three, because the number of the Employing Authorities are much in excess of the Trade Unions. The Minister of Labour has kindly arranged for an officer from the Ministry to attend the conference in order to explain generally the object in view.”
Mr. Swindall and Mr. Bazeley were appointed to attend the conference.
Disabled Officers and Men
The Clerk reported the receipt of a letter from the Ministry of Pensions, stating that “the Minister of Pensions is anxious that a special effort should be made to secure for officers and men who have been, or may be, disabled in war service suitable employment having a reasonable prospect of permanency. Men so disabled are, by common consent, entitled to special consideration in view of their services and of the impairment, in many cases permanent, which they have sustained, and it is due to them to save them as far as possible the anxieties of uncertain employment. This is specially important in view of the general re-settlement of labour which must take place on and after the conclusion of hostilities and demobilisation, and the Minister has felt it necessary to take steps in advance to meet the object in view.”
On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Wilmott, the matter was referred to the Highways Committee to see what could be done.
A letter was received from Mr. W. H. Marriott, hon. Secretary of the Rushden Labour Party, with regard to the vacancy on the Local School Managers’ Board, as follows: “I am instructed to write asking you to appoint an additional Labour representative. We consider we are entitled to the same proportion of members as we have on the Local Urban District Council, and trust you will agree. The person we would like to recommend is Mrs. W. W. Rial.”
The Clerk said the appointment did not rest with the Urban Council. Mr. Hensman, whose death caused the vacancy, was nominated by the Urban Council, but he was appointed by the Northants Education Committee. All the Urban Council could do would be to nominate a person.
Mr. Tomlin said that Mr. Hensman was suggested by the Conservative party, and that party was not over-represented. This letter had come as a surprise, and he was not ready with the name of a candidate.
Mr. Spencer moved that the name of Mrs. Rial be sent to the County Committee.
The Chairman: It will be quite time enough when the County Committee ask us to nominate.
Mr. Bazeley: We have only two Labour members on the School Managers, and it is the working-class children who are there.
Mr. Tomlin: The Conservative party have only one.
Mr. Claridge moved that the matter be deferred until the Northants Education Committee asked them to nominate.
Mr. Tomlin seconded.
Mr. Perkins: If you bring only one name forward you have no choice. I think that in fairness to all people in the town we should have more than one name. If the Labour Party suggest only one name you are bound to accept or reject it. I do not see any objection to a certain proportion of the Labour party, but we should have more than one name put before us. I should like to know if it is the Labour Party who send this letter, or only a few people who run the show.
Mr. Claridge’s proposition was carried.
Mr. Swindall gave notice that at the next meeting he should move that the Council proceed to fill up the vacancy on the Overseers caused by the death of Mr. Linnitt.