|The Rushden Echo, 13th September, 1912, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Extension Of The Recreation Ground Scheme
A meeting of the Council was held on Wednesday evening in the Council Buildings, Rushden, when there were present Councillors G. Miller, J.P., C.C. (chairman), C. Bates (vice-chairman), F. Knight, J.P., John Claridge, J.P., C.C., the Ven. A. Kitchin, W. Bazeley, J. Spencer, J. S. Clipson, and C. E. Bayes, Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk), Mr. Madin (surveyor), and Mr. F. J. Allen (sanitary inspector).
Council In Committee
A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 14th August, 1912, when there were present:- Messrs. G. Miller (Chairman), C. Bates, C. E. Bayes, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, F. Knight, G. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.
The Committee visited and inspected the site, the Recreation Ground Sub-Committee explaining the manner in which it was proposed to lay out the ground at a cost of about £500. The opinion was expressed by several members of the Committee that it was desirable to acquire the frontage on the Washbrook-road if it could be purchased at a reasonable price, and it was resolved to adjourn the further consideration of the matter in order to enable the sub-committee to approach the owners and ascertain the price at which they would be prepared to sell the land to the Council.
Mr. Fred Knight was added to the sub-committee.
The report was adopted.
Plans, Etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 28th August, 1912, when there were present:- Messrs. G. Miller (Chairman), C. Bates, F. Knight, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, and J. Spencer.
were presented by:-
Messrs. Sanders and Sanders for a cycle shed of corrugated iron and wood at the rear of their factory in Spencer-road, and no exception taken.
Mr. C. W. Horrell for a box shed at the rear of his offices in Fitzwilliam-street, and no exception taken.
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 3rd September, 1912, at 10 a.m., when there were present:- Messrs. G. Miller (chairman), C. Bates, F. Ballard, J. Claridge, and Fred Knight.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the Surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected since the last meeting:-
The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the balances on the under-mentioned accounts were as follow:-
Tradesmen’s And Other Accounts
A number of accounts, amounting to £666/12/9 were examined and passed for payment.
The report was adopted.
Council In Committee
A meeting of the whole Council in Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 4th September, 1912, when there were present:- Messrs. G. Miller (Chairman), C. Bates, F. Ballard, C. E. Bayes, W. Bazeley, J. Claridge, J. S. Clipson, F. Knight, J. Spencer, T. Swindall, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.
The Sub-committee reported that, as instructed, they had approached the owners of the land fronting the Washbrook-road, who were prepared to give the Council an option to purchase the same at 2s. 6d. per yard, practically the cost price to them. The Sub-committee considered the price very reasonable, and ultimately, by a majority, recommended that the land in question be purchased at the price named.
The Sub-committee also submitted an amended scheme for partially laying out the ground at a cost of £500.
After a very full discussion of the whole matter, particularly as to the desirability of purchasing the additional land, it was resolved to accept the recommendations of the Sub-committee and to recommend the Council accordingly.
The Surveyor reported that he had received a letter from Mr. Priest resigning his post as road foreman. It was resolved that the resignation be accepted, to take effect on the 19th instant and that Mr. Priest be allowed his week’s holiday from the 12th instant.
The Surveyor was instructed to advertise for a successor at a commencing salary of 35s. 0d. per week.
Recreation Ground Scheme
Discussion took place on the two reports dealing with the proposed purchase of the frontage to the recreation ground.
The Chairman moved the adoption of the recommendations. He said: The Council in committee thought it was very desirable that we should purchase this frontage. It came as a second thought, but second thoughts are sometimes wiser to act upon. When we looked at the price the land worked out per acre we thought it was a very reasonable price, and we considered it would very much improve the recreation ground if we acquired the frontage to Washbrook-road. The Council deliberated the matter for a long time in committee.
Mr. Spencer, in seconding, said: The question of a recreation ground has been before the town for the last 20 years. I moved 17 years ago a resolution in favour of a recreation ground, and I have been pleased with the manner in which the Council have taken up this matter. Now we come to the final stage before we approach the Local Government Board. Anyone looking at the whole scheme will find that the first field we bought is a very good one. The second field and the additional piece of land at the back of the pipes was a great acquisition, and the frontage will improve the whole. I am pleased that on the purchase of the two fields the Council were unanimous, and I think it would be
A Great Mistake
if this large amount of frontage was not acquired. Without the frontage the view would some day be blocked up, and it would spoil the effect of a lovely recreation ground, and, as I think it will be, a park. Thinking of the future, we must admit it will be a splendid improvement at a reasonable cost. The owners of the first land were very reasonable in their offer, and the owners of the frontage have been reasonable too. Taking the whole of the ground we found that, including this frontage, it was the cheapest site offered to us. I think it would be a great mistake if we did not acquire the frontage.
Mr. Bazeley, in opposing the purchase of the frontage, said: The more I think of it the more I am opposed to it. I cannot see where the great benefits come in. I fully agree with the £1,500 for the purchase of the land already decided upon and the £500 for laying out the ground, but I feel that this Council is not justified in buying that slip of land at six time the cost of the other land. I do not see where the
of the owners of the frontage comes in. I think they will chuckle at being able to get rid of the land at this price. They have had it in their possession for 15 years, and if it is such an eligible site as building land, how is it, with the great demand there has been for cottages in Rushden for the last fifteen years, that it has not been built upon? It has been said that unless you buy this slip you will be hiding this recreation ground, but that will not be so; Rushden is not such a large town but that everybody will know where this recreation ground is, and there are two 36-feet entrances apart from the frontage. I consider the Council would be just as much justified in going higher up the hill and buying those other plots, the owners of which have had plans passed months ago, on the ground that if we do not buy that land it will hide the view of the top field. I do not think we ought to stand in the way of any house property being put up. There is a
Great Demand For Houses.
It will be no detriment to the recreation ground if cottage property is put up on that frontage. The beauty of the recreation ground is the rear the Moors. I should like to see the £500 spent on making an open-air bathing place from the brook, which would add to the enjoyment and health of the public of Rushden, and that would be a justifiable expense, instead of buying this frontage at 2/6 a yard as against 5d. a yard for the other ground.
Mr. Claridge, supporting the purchase of the frontage, said: I, like Mr. Spencer, have advocated the provision of a recreation ground for many years, and have done something towards getting one. Even at Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee we made an effort, and at the coronation of King George some of us made an attempt to see if we could raise the money by voluntary contributions, but that was impossible, therefore the question came before the Council, and the Council decided to go in for a recreation ground. Including this frontage,
of this land works out at less than any other site offered to us. I do not like the idea of going up from £1,000 to £1,500, and then to £2,000 for the site; when we contemplated providing a recreation ground I do not think any of us contemplated spending £2,500 on the site and laying it out. Some may blame us for purchasing this extra land at the present time, but I feel that in after-years those who come after us will think we did the right thing in purchasing the frontage. I cannot agree with Mr. Bazeley that the cost of the frontage is exorbitant. The owners gave as much for it as they are charging us. They did not run after us; in fact, they were rather reluctant to part with it. I think it would be a detriment to the recreation ground to have houses in front, and though it is going to cost us much more than we originally expected I feel we should be wise in spending this large amount of money. I take it we are going to
Provide A Park
or something of the sort, where people can go to spend a pleasant time. The upper field lends itself readily to that purpose though it will be some time before we can afford to make it ornamental. I think this is as good a site as we should get, and under the circumstances I can support the purchase of this additional land. In the interests of the town I feel it would be better to purchase the whole lot of this land rather than the smaller portion. In time to come I think we shall look upon this frontage as being a great acquisition. I think there is a great advantage in having the ground open and exposed to view.
Mr. C. Bates, opposing the purchase of the frontage, said: I have always been prepared to spend money if I thought we were justified in doing it, but I do not feel we should be justified in purchasing this additional ground. This extra piece will not make much difference to the recreation ground. I do not think we are justified in spending this £500 for this small piece of land, and I am prepared to vote against it.
Mr. J. Claridge said that by purchasing the frontage they would be reducing the cost of the road-making nearly £100, and they would also
Save Money On Fencing.
Mr. Knight, supporting the purchase, said: If we had any doubt before as to the wisdom of purchasing this frontage, I think they would be removed by the remarks of the Chairman, Mr. Claridge, and Mr. Spencer. I congratulate Mr. Bazeley on his appearing in a new role that of an economist.
Mr. Bazeley: I always have been.
Mr. Knight: I maintain it would be false economy to refuse to buy this frontage. As far as this frontage is concerned, I must take some responsibility for pushing this matter rather strongly and I did it for this reason that a recreation ground which is hidden is not much of a recreation ground for the town. I think the public would much rather see an open recreation ground, open to a good high road, with trees planted at intervals, where the public and the servants of law and order can see what is going on all over the ground. They would rather see a row of good trees there than a row of houses. Of course, Rushden people would know where the recreation ground is, but we have many
Strangers Coming Into Rushden
and we do not want them to have to ask a policeman where the recreation ground is when they are within 50 yards of it. As to the cost, it only works out at £150 an acre, whereas they are asking £700 an acre for land not far away. The extra cost of this frontage will only be about one-seventh of a penny in the £, and I do not think the public are going to complain of that when the Council are making one of the best recreation grounds in the Midlands, which will be of use to the people of Rushden for all time. We are getting very good value for the money, and I think it will be very much appreciated by the public.
The Chairman: As to Mr. Bazeley’s suggestion that the owners of the frontage should congratulate themselves on selling it, it took me many hours to persuade the two owners to accede to the Council’s request. With the recreation ground behind it, where it would never be built upon, the value of the frontage would certainly be enhanced. The owners have not been over-reaching in accepting the sum they gave for the land. We must not forget that in buying the frontage we are saving £90 in making roads into the recreation ground, and we are opening this ground to the view of the town for ever. This frontage will only add £25 in interest to the sum originally proposed.
The proposition was then carried, Messrs. Bazeley, Bates, and Bayes voting against it.
The Chairman moved that the seal of the Council be affixed to an agreement with the owners of the frontage and that application be made to the Local Government Board for sanction to borrow £2,500 for the purchase of the site and laying out the ground.
Mr. Spencer seconded, and it was carried.
Health And Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 4th September, 1912, when there were present:- Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), G. Miller, J. Claridge, T. Swindall, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.
Health And Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that n company with the Inspector he visited and inspected No. 136, High-street, on the 29th August and found the house very much out of repair and in his opinion so dangerous or injurious to health as to be unfit for human habitation. It was resolved to report to the Council accordingly and to recommend the Council to make a Closing Order prohibiting the use of the said dwelling house for human habitation until in the judgment of the Council it is rendered fit for that purpose.
The Medical Officer also called attention to the dangerous state of the three unoccupied cottages at the rear of No. 136, High-street, and the Inspector was requested to communicate with the owner, asking him either to demolish the buildings or to board up and protect them.
The Medical Officer also reported that on the same date he visited and inspected the seven houses, No. 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15, Albion-place, and No. 77, High-street South, which he found very much out of repair and the yards and footpaths belonging thereto in a bad state. The Inspector submitted details of the works he considered absolutely necessary to make these houses fit for human habitation, and it was resolved that he be instructed to submit these details to the owner, informing him that if not complied with, and the work in hand within one month from this date the Council would proceed to make Closing Orders under the Housing and Town Planning Act.
He also inspected No. 83, High-street South, and found the roof, walls, floors, and ceiling defective and in a very insanitary condition and no suitable receptacle for house refuse. The Inspector was instructed to serve a notice on the owner requiring him to abate the nuisances forthwith and to provide a suitable receptacle for the deposit of house refuse.
The Medical Officer further reported that seven cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., one of pulmonary tuberculosis in the Northampton Infirmary, five of scarlet fever, and one of erysipelas.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that during the past month 17 preliminary notices had been issued calling attention to nuisances, etc., which for the most part had been complied with.
Twenty-five lists relating to 386 outworkers had been received and nine lists relating to 65 outworkers receiving work outside the district, sent to other Local Authorities. One list had been received from a firm sending work into this district.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
Defective Yard Paving
The Inspector also reported that the yard paving at Nos. 134, 136, 138, 140, 142, 148, 150, and 152, Cromwell-road, was defective and was instructed to serve a notice on the owner requiring him to repair and made good the same with asphalte.
The Inspector informed the committee that he had visited the houses in Little-street and Duck-street, from which complaints had been received at the last meeting, owing to flooding from the sewer in times of exceptional rainfall; he found that the owner of the houses in Duck-street had since altered the level of the yards and asphalted them, making an outlet into the brook, which would relieve to a certain extent the flooding in future.
The Surveyor accompanied him on his visit to the houses in Little-street and presented a separate report on these houses, stating that probably considerable relief could be afforded if an outlet was made in the yards to the brook culvert and suggested that a channel might be made and gratings fixed, to come into operation before the floor level was reached. The Committee agreed and instructed the Surveyor, subject to the consent of the owners being obtained, to carry out the necessary works.
National Insurance Act
Domiciliary treatment of tuberculosis.- A circular letter from the Local Government Board with copy of a General Order made by the Board under Section 16 of the Act were submitted.
Sanatorium benefits. A letter was also received from the Clerk to the Northamptonshire Insurance Committee enquiring if this Council would be prepared to provide and loan moveable shelters to the County Committee for insured cases of tuberculosis occurring within the district.
The Clerk was instructed to acknowledge the receipt of this letter and to obtain further information as to the nature of the shelters suggested, in what way it was proposed they should be used, and how the cost of providing them was to be defrayed.
Shops Act, 1912
A letter from the Clerk to the County Council was received, stating that it would be of assistance to the Finance Committee at their next meeting if this Council would inform them in the event of their acting as the agents of the County Council in administering the Act which of their officials they would appoint as Inspector and the amount of remuneration they would propose to pay him.
The Clerk was instructed to reply that this Committee would recommend the appointment of the Sanitary Inspector as the Inspector under the Act at a remuneration of £10 per annum.
Medical Officer Of Health
The Committee had under further consideration the letter from the Local Government Board dated 12th July last with regard to the future arrangements for the discharging of the duties of Medical Officer of Health for this district with a view to co-operating with the Urban District Council of Wellingborough and other neighbouring Authorities for the appointment of a Medical Officer of Health who would give his whole time to Public Health work.
The Committee, being of opinion that such an arrangement is highly desirable, recommend that representations be made to the Local Government Board to this effect with a view to an order being made uniting this with the adjoining districts for the purpose of appointing a Medical Officer of Health who would give his whole time to Public Health work.
A letter was received drawing the attention of the Committee to the removal of a person, said to be suffering from scarlet fever, from one part of the town to another. The Clerk pointed out that such a removal was not unlawful if there was no improper exposure of the person in a public street.
With regard to the house No. 136, High-street, Mr. Clipson asked where it was.
It was explained that it was the house occupied by Mr. J. W. Crouch as a fish shop.
With reference to the three unoccupied houses at the rear of 136, High-street, Mr. Bazeley said it was time they were swept away. There would be room for good houses there.
With regard to a Medical Officer of health who would give his whole time to public health work, Mr. Claridge said he took it the Council had the same opinion as they held some years ago when the local authorities in the district were called together at Higham Ferrers, at the invitation of the Local Government Board, to consider the question. At the time Rushden was the only authority in favour of a whole-time Medical Officer. He hoped that since then the other local authorities had considered this question and were now prepared to join with Rushden. The Local Government Board were very anxious that such an arrangement should be made. It would be better for the health and sanitation of the district to have a Medical Officer who would devote his whole time to the work and who would be able to look after the interests of the inhabitants.
With regard to the removal of a person suffering from scarlet fever, Mr. Knight said he did not see how it was possible to remove a patient without coming into contact with others, and without a considerable amount of risk. They might be sending a case to a house where there were children and so spread the disease wholesale.
The Chairman said the case referred to was that of a servant in a private house; she went to a doctor, who supposed she was developing scarlet fever and suggested she should go home and go to bed, and then he would examine the case. She returned to the house where she was employed and then walked to her sister’s in another part of the town, where the house was free from epidemic; the children were sent away from that house, and the patient stayed at her sister’s house, where the case developed. He did not know that any further case had developed from it.
The Sanitary Inspector said that the case was not certified as scarlet fever when the patient walked through the streets.
After further discussion the matter dropped. The whole of the committee’s report was adopted.
Inspection Of Cows
Mr. Bainbridge, M.R.C.V.S., it was reported, had visited 28 premises belonging to 26 cowkeepers and had inspected 244 cows and heifers.
It was shown that one cow was undoubtedly suffering from tuberculosis, and in this case instructions were issued that the milk must not be used for human food nor used for pigs until it had been boiled.
The Sanitary Inspector was instructed to watch the case.
Mr. Bazeley gave notice that at the next meeting he would move that the Council proceed to get out a scheme under the Housing and Town Planning Act; owing to the great amount of inquiries which were being made for houses by people who worked in Rushden and were forced to live out of the town because they could not get cottages in Rushden. It was a great scandal that people who wanted to live in Rushden should not be able to do so as they could not get a house to live in. He should like to see the Council move in this matter.