|Rushden Echo, 14th October, 1921 transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Rents of Municipal Houses
The Rate for The Half-Year
The Keeping of Pigs
Stopping Places for Motor ‘Buses
The Improvement of the Green
|Wednesday, present Councillors W. Bazeley, J.P. (chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., C. Bates, J. Spencer, J.P., J. Hornsby, C. W. Horrell, C. E. Bayes, T. Wilmott, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. Piper).
Mr. Bazeley said that Mr. Knight and he had attended the regional conference with the Ministry of Health recently at Northampton with respect to fixing the rents of the Council houses. The delegates had put the strong case of the Council before the Ministry, and he hoped that as a result of that interview the Clerk would receive a reply to the effect that the Ministry had complied with the Council’s rents without alteration.
The Chairman also reported that he had received a letter from the Rushden Branch of the League of Nations Union thanking the Council for attending the demonstration.
A meeting of the Park Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, September 21st, 1921, when there were present: Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), W. Bazeley, L. Perkins, J. Spencer and T. Wilmott.
The Committee visited the Park, and gave instructions for the work of constructing Tennis Courts and Bowling Greens, delayed by the dry weather in June last, to proceed, and the Surveyor was instructed to obtain prices for grass seed, and, if considered satisfactory, to place an order for sufficient to sow the courts and greens, and also that part of the Park recently levelled.
The report was adopted.
Mr. Knight reported that the Parks Committee had purchased grass seed for the bowling greens and Spencer Park generally. He hoped that the Council would take the view that persons should be prohibited from playing football on the newly-sown ground. He was sorry to have to suggest the course.
Mr. Hornsby moved that the action of the Parks Committee be approved.
Mr. Bates thought there was not much chance of stopping games with a ball while there was so much unemployment. He moved that football, but not matches, be allowed in the upper part of the Park, but not in the lower.
This was accepted by Mr. Hornsby in his resolution and was carried unanimously.
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, Sept. 28th, 1921, when there were present: Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), T. Swindall, C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, C. W. Horrell, and T. Wilmott.
An application was received from Mr. C. Slater for permission to erect a small wooden shed at the rear of the house occupied by him on the Newton-road, No. 167, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto.
A memorial was received from the occupiers of a number of cottages on the north side of Washbrook-road, asking that a footpath might be constructed there. The Surveyor was instructed to communicate with the Ministry of Transport with a view to ascertaining what contribution they would be prepared to make towards the cost of constructing a footpath from Ealing-terrace to the west side of the cottages and submit the reply to the next meeting, when the matter would be further considered.
Tenders were submitted for the hire of Team Labour for the ensuing six months and it was resolved to accept those of Messrs. W. G. Wilmott, N. M. King, and W. Spriggs.
The proposed lay-out of the Green was further considered and various suggestions made. It was decided to have a further meeting of the Committee immediately the Surveyor had completed his plan and estimate.
The Committee further considered this matter. The Surveyor pointed out that at present 159 lamps were being lighted and 27 further lamps were available to be placed out, but to revert to the pre-war standard 41 new lamps would be required to replace those no longer fit for use. A few additional lamps would also be absolutely necessary, which would require new lamp columns. The price of gas was now 5s. per thousand cubic feet (in the place of 2s. 6d. in the year 1914), and the Committee estimated the total additional cost of reverting to a pre-war basis for the current season would be about £500, and therefore did not feel prepared to recommend the Council to go to this extent this year. They recommended, however, that the 27 lamps available be at once placed out and that the Sub-Committee make an inspection of the town and recommend any further lamps they considered absolutely essential.
The Surveyor reported that the annual audit of the Main Roads accounts by the County Accountant and County Surveyor had been completed.
The report was adopted.
Finance and Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, October 5th, at 10 a.m., when there were present Messrs. W. Bazeley (chairman), T. Swindall, C. E. Bayes, F. Knight, L. Perkins, C. Bates and T. Wilmott.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Collector’s accounts were also examined, from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-
The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts, from which it appeared that he had received the following sums during the past month:-
And that the balances were as follows:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts amounting to £2,349 17s. 7d. were examined and passed for payment.
Memorandum of General District Rate
The Rates Clerk submitted the following Memorandum of General District Rate:-
Rate made the 13th day of April, 1921
The irrecoverable amounts were made up as follows:-
And it was resolved to recommend the Council that they be written off as such.
The Surveyor reported that Messrs. Jacques and Timpson had completed the outside painting, and the renovating of two rooms of these houses.
The question of the Council’s various Insurances was considered, but the Committee did not consider it desirable to make any change.
General District Rate
It was resolved to recommend the Council to levy a rate of 4s. 4d. in the £ for the half-year ending March 31st next, being a similar amount to that levied for the previous half-year.
The question of the tolls paid for the Stalls was ordered to be placed on the Agenda for the next meeting.
Mr. Wilmott reported that, as instructed by the Council, he had purchased a black gelding, six years old, from Mr. L. Parsons for £85; it had been examined by the Veterinary Inspector and pronounced sound.
It was resolved that a cheque be signed for this amount in favour of Mr. Parsons and posted to him forthwith.
The report was adopted.
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, October 5th, 1921, when there were present: Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, and J. Spencer.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The report of the Medical Officer for the month of September was received.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that 19 preliminary notices had been issued since the last meeting, and the number of nuisances now outstanding was 62.
The Inspector also reported that he had visited and inspected properties and found various defects, a list of which had been supplied to the owner. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a statutory notice upon the owner requiring him to remedy the defects within 14 days.
A notice had been received from Messrs. E. Warren and Son to the effect that they had taken over the Slaughter-house lately in the occupation of Mr. Albert Dickson, of 12, High-street.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the month.
The Inspector also reported that since the last meeting six additional lists of outworkers had been received, containing 44 names, seven of which would be transferred to other districts.
Attention was called to a contravention of the Nuisance Bye-Laws by Mr. Andrew Austin, of No. 39, Church-street, by reason of his keeping swine on his property in Duck-street within a distance of 80 feet from the nearest dwelling house.
The Clerk was instructed to write to Mr. Austin calling his attention to the infringement and request him to remove the pigs.
The Inspector of Nuisances submitted a report with regard to a number of houses showing the nature of the accommodation for the deposit of refuse.
It appeared to the Committee by this report that the houses therein referred to were without a sufficient ashtub, ashpit, or other receptacle for the deposit of refuse and it was resolved to report to the Council accordingly with a recommendation that notices be served upon the owners requiring them within 28 days to provide for each house a sufficient and proper receptacle.
An application was received from Messrs. Wadsworth Brothers of Newton-road, for a licence to store 100 gallons of petrol upon their premises in a brick and iron store they proposed constructing. It was resolved to recommend the Council to accede thereto subject to the store being built to the satisfaction of the Inspector.
Sanitary Inspectors’ Conference
The Inspector of Nuisances gave a lengthy report of this Conference, which was held at Bath in September, and it was resolved that the thanks of the Committee be accorded him therefor.
Dairies, Cowsheds and Milkshops Order
The quarterly report of the Veterinary Inspector was submitted, from which it appeared that on the 5th, 6th, and 8th September he visited 28 premises in Rushden and inspected 174 cows and heifers, making an individual examination of each udder. The Inspector was requested to interview two of the owners respecting cows mentioned in the report.
The Surveyor submitted an application from Mr. N. Nichols for the post of caretaker at the Small-pox Hospital, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to accept him for the position, the appointment in the first case to be for six months only.
The Cemetery Sub-committee reported that they had visited the Cemetery and had examined the Newton-road entrance gates, which they found beyond repair, and had obtained an estimate from Messrs. Baylis, Jones, and Baylis for the supply of a new set of wrought iron gates amounting to £90, which they recommended the Committee to accept.
The Committee approved, and resolved to recommend the Council accordingly.
The report was adopted.
Mr. Bates said that a good many pig-keepers were probably keeping pigs within 80 feet of houses. They would all be affected. He asked if the resolution passed during the war permitting the keeping of pigs nearer than 80 feet was rescinded.
The Clerk said that a resolution had not been passed, but it was at that time agreed that owing to the urgent need of food no action should be taken against pig-keepers who kept pigs nearer than 80 feet of residences provided that a nuisance did not arise.
On the question of property owners being reported for not providing sanitary ash-bins, it was agreed that the owners be notified and not reported if the matter was dealt with.
The Chairman reported that the Police had been asked to advise on the question of ‘bus stopping places in view of the present difficulties and inconvenience to the public from two ‘buses at one stopping-place, and the Superintendent of the Police had submitted a recommendation.
The Clerk read a report from the Police Superintendent stating that to obviate the three troubles at present experienced, namely ‘buses stopping near the “Wheatsheaf,” ‘buses having to go up Griffith-street to turn, and two ‘buses stopping at the top of Church-street, he suggested that ‘buses use the open space from 97, High-street South to 3, Little-street (30 yards) instead of the place near the “Wheatsheaf.” The space could be extended another 30 yards if necessary. Also there would be space to turn in the same area, and passengers would not be inconvenienced as they could be picked up (on Wellingborough and Desborough ‘buses) near the blacksmith’s shop at the top of Skinner’s Hill, the Wellingborough-bound ‘buses to go down Skinner’s Hill. Thus none but Raunds ‘buses would go down Church-street, and only one at once would be waiting there. Bedford ‘buses would set down and pick up passengers at the new stand. Other ‘buses coming into the town regularly, such as Dix’s from Raunds must stand along by the high pavement, High-street South. Charabancs and other passenger-carrying vehicles coming into the town and staying for several hours must put up at an hotel or garage.
The Chairman moved that the Police Superintendent’s recommendation be adopted. Mr. Bazeley said he understood that two minutes were allowed for setting down and picking up passengers.
Mr. Bates seconded, and it was carried.
The Chairman reported that a scheme had been got out for improving the Green. He asked the Surveyor to give the particulars and the estimated cost.
Mr. Madin said that the plan showed a curved widening of High-street of a maximum of three feet into the middle portion of the Green frontage. Slabs would be laid around the Memorial, and pavements radiating therefrom to the North side and Wellingborough-road side. The High-street fence would be taken down and a hedge planted in its place. There would be seats, grass-plots, flower beds, etc. The total cost would be about £650.
Mr. Bazeley moved that the scheme be adopted. Perhaps it seemed a lot of money, but the Council had never had too much vision in the past. The beautiful Memorial ought to be in fitting surroundings. With careful management the money would come out of the current rate, and the Green could certainly not be left in its present state.
Mr. Horrell seconded, and said that very few towns had fewer beauty spots than Rushden and consequently he did not think the estimate too high, especially as the public had given £1,450 for the Memorial. The Green, when improved according to the plan before them, would be a pleasant place for elderly people to sit in the summer-time, making their lives brighter. It would be an ornament for many years to come.
Mr. Spencer said he was sorry to take the opposite view. It was not that he had no sympathy. Rushden was bad off for open spaces, and now it was proposed to fence one in. Other improvements, such as providing conveniences, had long been demanding attention. Also he regarded the estimate as too high.
Mr. Swindall said they could not allow such a sacred place to go uncared for.
Mr. Hornsby said they were in duty bound to adopt some such scheme.
The plan was passed, Mr. Spencer’s being the only opposing vote.
Mr. C. W. Horrell gave notice that he should move at the next meeting that the Council takes steps to provide better transport facilities for the Rushden Fire Brigade and engines owing to the present grave risk to life and property from delay in getting to fires.
Mr. Bazeley and Mr. Knight were asked to act as delegates to a conference at Irthlingborough on housing on October 17th.
The Clerk read a letter from the Rushden Branch of the British Legion protesting against the Council’s action in not letting one of the Council houses to Mr. J. Dorks, an ex-Serviceman, and asking that a deputation be received to put the case before the members.
Mr. Bazeley said he would prefer to meet the deputation. The task of the selection committee had been one of the most unpleasant duties he had ever had as a member of the Council. They were blessed by some and cursed by others. (Laughter.) There must be disappointments.
Mr. Spencer seconded.
Mr. Swindall opposed the idea on the grounds that the Council had confidence in the selection committee.
Mr. Knight said that the members of the selection committee were bothered at all hours, and were almost called out of bed to hear applications. They had done the very best, always giving ex-Servicemen the first opportunities. There were seven or eight applicants to each house.
Mr. Bazeley stating that he would rather that the Council receive the deputation it was resolved to do so at the next meeting.