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Rushden Echo, 16th September, 1921, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
“The Tin Hat” on The Housing Scheme
Precautions Against Smallpox
No Further Cases
Wilful Damage by Boys
Councillors as Shylocks

Wednesday, present: Messrs. W. Bazeley, J.P. (chairman), T. Swindall (vice-chairman), T. Wilmott, C. E. Bayes, F. Knight, J.P., L. Perkins, B.Sc., C. W. Horrell, J. Spencer, J.P., C. Bates, and J. Hornsby, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. S. F. S. Piper).

Arising out of the minutes, Mr. Bates asked if the deputation had visited the Housing Ministry.

The Clerk read a letter from the Ministry of Health, in reply to the one he had written, stating that it was not possible to allocate any further houses to the district at present. The Minister was not in a position to reconsider his decision, and consequently no useful purpose would be served by a proposed deputation, and the Minister would not trouble the deputation to attend.

Mr. Bates: That puts the tin hat on.

The Clerk: It does for the present.

Plans, Etc., Committee

A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 31st August, 1921, when there were present:- Messrs. W. Bazeley (Chairman), T. Swindall, C. E. Bayes, C. W. Horrell, and T. Wilmott.

Plans

were presented for:-

Conversion of Stable into an Engine House and additions thereto at the rear of their factory in North-street for Messrs. W. A. Patenall & Sons, Limited, and passed.

New Scaffold Shed for Mr. R. Marriott at his works in Higham-road and no exception taken.

Shed at the rear of Messrs. Lands’ premises in High-street and no exception taken.

The Green

The question of the laying-out of the Green, referred to this Committee by the Council at their last meeting, was considered. The Committee were unanimously of opinion that the work should be carried out, and instructed the Surveyor to prepare a plan for turfing and fencing and submit to the next meeting, together with an estimate of the cost.

Public Lighting

It was resolved to commence winter lighting, so far as the ‘bus routes were concerned, on the 3rd September, and that general lighting, to the same extent as last year, be commenced on the 17th September.

It was also resolved that additional lamps be fixed at the bottom of Oval-road, the top of Trafford-road, and on the Newton-road near the Council’s Housing Scheme.

The Surveyor was instructed to obtain tenders for completing the painting of the lamp columns, and he with the Chairman was authorised to accept the lowest if considered satisfactory.

Team Labour

It was resolved to recommend the Council to make arrangements with the present Contractors for the supply of Team Labour during the ensuing six months.

The report was adopted.

Referring to the question of public lighting, Mr. Hornsby asked that additional lamps be lighted as there were many too dark places in Rushden.

Mr. Spencer said the town was badly lighted before the war and the public had put up with the inconvenience. He was not prepared to support the resolution as regards number of lamps.

Mr. Knight thought that all the lamps in the town should be lighted.

The Chairman said the matter had been discussed by the Committee and it was suggested that the members go round the town later on and make a recommendation as regards additional lamps to be lighted.

On that understanding the resolution was carried nem. con.

Finance and Estates Committee

A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 7th September, 1921, at 10 a.m., when there were present: Messrs. W. Bazeley (Chairman), T. Swindall, C. E. Bayes, C. Bates, L. Perkins, 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:-


£

s

d

Week ending 11th August, 1921

112

15

7

Week ending 18th August, 1921

117

1

7

Week ending 25th August, 1921

119

14

9

Week ending 1st September 1921

119

7

5

Collector’s Accounts

The Collector’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had collected the following sums since the last meeting:-


£

s

d

General District rate

1045

16

0

Fittings

1

13

4

Green tolls

1

18

6

Kings-road Cottages

60

19

10

Assisted Housing Scheme

121

2

11

Burial Fees, etc

3

18

6

Treasurer’s Accounts

The Committee also examined the Treasurer’s accounts from which it appeared that he had received the following sums during the past month:-


£

s

d

Collector, Rate

1045

16

0

Collector, Fittings

1

13

4

Collector, Green tolls

1

18

6

Collector, Cottage rents

182

2

9

Cemetery Registrar, Burial fees, &c

3

18

6

Library, Fees, &c

2

14

11

Cooper’s fire, Exting. Exs.

3

12

0

Total

1241

16

0

And that the balances on the under-mentioned accounts were as follows:-


£

s

d

General account

2036

12

8

Loan account No. 16

33

2

3

Loan account No. 30 o/d

1292

14

6

Loan account No. 33

8348

15

2

Loan account No. 34

857

8

0

Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts

A number of accounts, amounting to £1830/5/5, were examined and passed for payment.

Insurances

Mr. Perkins gave notice that he would at the next meeting of the Council move a resolution that the question of the various insurances be considered, with a view to the Council becoming their own agents.

King’s-Road Cottages

A letter was received from the Secretary of the Tenants’ League with regard to the rents of these cottages, and it was resolved that it be read at the next meeting of the Council.

The report was adopted.

Health and Sanitary Committee

A special meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on the 26th August, 1921, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Hornsby, F. Knight, L. Perkins, and J. Spencer.

The Chairman stated that the meeting had been called consequence of a suspected case of smallpox at Wymington.

It was resolved that the Chairman and Inspector be authorised to incur any necessary expenditure in having the Hospital thoroughly cleansed, and, if necessary, furnished in readiness for the reception of patients. They were also authorised to inform the present caretaker that he must give up possession should the Hospital be required, and in any event confine his occupation to the domestic part of the building.

A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday the 7th September, 1921, when there were present:- Messrs. T. Swindall (chairman), W. Bazeley, J. Hornsby, L. Perkins, 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 nine preliminary notices had been issued since the last meeting and the number of nuisances now outstanding was 63.

Twenty-four tins of fruit, voluntarily surrendered, had been destroyed as being unfit for human consumption.

Part of a sheep and the carcase of a pig had also been destroyed as being unfit for the food of man.

The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.

Factory and Workshops Act

The Inspector also reported that 45 lists had been received containing the names of 94 outworkers, of which number seven had to be transferred to other districts.

Small-Pox Hospital

The Chairman reported that as requested at the special meeting he, with the Inspector, had visited the Hospital and had given instructions for certain minor repairs to be carried out, together with the painting externally and cleansing internally, and the work was now in progress. During the inspection it was discovered that the wards were being used by the occupiers for sleeping purposes. The Committee did not consider this was desirable and it was resolved to recommend the Council to inform the occupiers that they must give up possession of the whole of the premises within one month from date.

Refuse Receptacles

The Inspector of Nuisances submitted a report with regard to a High-street house showing the nature of the accommodation for the deposit of refuse.

It appeared to the Committee by this report that the house therein referred to was 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 a notice be served upon the owner requiring him within 28 days to provide for such a house a sufficient and proper receptacle.

Mr. Swindall said that in regard to the case of small pox, three weeks had elapsed and there did not seem much fear of another case.

Mr. Bates asked if the occupants of the Isolation Hospital had another house to go to.

Mr. Madin: They have left already!

The report was adopted.

Damage

Mr. F. Knight reported that serious damage had been done to trees in Spencer Park, and to trees on the approach to the Cemetery, and he produced a bough from a fir tree, and measuring several feet in length, which had been broken from one of the trees. The boys had been reported to the Police, but the boys’ parents had dealt severely with them. Mr. Knight hoped that the Council would back up the caretakers of the Cemetery and Spencer Park in their efforts to prevent such damage in future. It was very discouraging to the Parks Committee who were trying to beautify the places. He moved that no action be taken against the present offenders, but that serious notice be taken of any further damaging.

Mr. Bates seconded, and it was agreed on.

Insurance

At his suggestion, the notice standing in Mr. Perkins’s name was withdrawn to be dealt with first by the Finance Committee.

Stalls

On the question of stalls on the Green, and a place for them when the monument was unveiled, Mr. Swindall said it was agreed by the Committee that it would not be fitting that stalls be allowed on the Green when it was laid out with flower beds. The management of the Wellingborough and Rushden Palace Co. had been asked to allow the stalls to use temporarily the ground fronting College-street and Alfred-street. The company reluctantly gave permission, not wishing to have the stalls there, but agreeing in order to help the Council out of a difficulty, a slight remuneration to be paid to the Company. He moved that the stall holders be required to move from the Green and transfer temporarily to the site mentioned.

Mr. Bates seconded.

Mr. Perkins asked that two resolutions be put, as he agreed with the first part, but in regard to the second part, he did not think it was the business of the Council to negotiate for stallholders, they should do it themselves.

Put to the vote, it was agreed not to allow stalls on the Green after the unveiling of the memorial.

The second part of the resolution was carried, Mr. Perkins being the only dissentient.

Mr. Knight: I take it that the Surveyor will have the loose rubbish removed to give the stalls a level standing.

Mr. Perkins: If Council labour is to be used in preparing the new standings it means money out of the rates. The tradespeople in High-street pay rent and rates all the year round. If this work is necessary I hope it will be taken into consideration when the stall-holders’ rates are fixed.

Mr. Knight agreed that the Finance Committee ought to revise the charges.

“Shylocks”

The secretary of the Rushden Tenants’ League wrote accusing the Council of unfair charges of rent (the now famous “Shylock” letter quoted recently in the “Rushden Echo”). Mr. E. Freeman, secretary of the Rushden Trades Council and Labour Party, wrote in reference to the above-mentioned letter, apologising for the attitude taken by the Party, and explaining that the members were under a misapprehension; they thought that the letter had already been received by the Urban Council. They had since discovered their error, and expressed their regret.

On the initiative of Mr. Perkins the apology was accepted.

Mr. Horrell asked what was the strength of the Tenants’ League and what were their functions.

The Chairman said he could not tell what the membership was, but he believed there were a good many members. The function of the League was to see that the Rents Restrictions Act was not exceeded, and that the landlords acted justly.

Mr. Spencer said he did not agree with the tone of the letter. (Hear, hear.) If anybody wanted information their applications should be couched in courteous language. (Hear, hear.) He was not at the Council meeting when the extra charges were agreed on, or he should have voted against them.

Mr. Swindall said that the Committee regarded the letter as very insulting. He did not think that the Council had exceeded their duty. The tenants of the King’s-road houses had very good dwellings. Why should not their rents be put up as well as those of the Newton-road houses?

It was decided that the letter lie on the table.

Rents

The Clerk read a letter from the Ministry of Health, dated September 13th, referring to the rents of the Council houses, stating that the Ministry had re-examined the case in the light of further information obtained from a further investigation into local conditions. They considered that fair rents would be, for Class A2 houses 6/3, and for Class A3 houses 7/3, in each case exclusive of rates, &c. The hope was expressed that the Council would agree to charge those rents which were in substitution of others quoted by the Ministry on Oct. 6, 1920. If the Council did not agree they suggested that a deputation from the Council meet the District Valuer at Northampton at a time to be fixed.

The Clerk said that the rents now suggested were little more than half the amount first quoted by the Ministry. For the type of house for which the Ministry suggested a rent of 6/3 exclusive of rates, the Council were getting 8/7, of which 2/2 was allocated to rates, leaving 6/5, or 2d more than the Ministry suggested, for rent. That was the poorer type of house. In regard to the other houses, they were not so well favoured. The rent and rates combined came to 10/2, of which 3/5 went to the rates, leaving 6/9 for rent, or 6d lower that the Ministry suggested.

Replying to Mr. Horrell, the Clerk said there were 62 of the latter type of house. The ten per cent. increase was on in the above figures.

Mr. Perkins asked what rents were paid for houses in Kings-road similar to the 10/2 houses in Newton-road.

Mr. Wilmott: 8/6.

Mr. Perkins contended that the Newton-road tenants were paying quite enough.

On Mr. Spencer’s proposition it was agreed to send a deputation to try and get the A3 house rents reduced, and Mr. Bazeley, the Chairman of the Housing Committee and the Clerk were asked to form the deputation.

War Memorial

Mr. A. F. Weale, secretary of the Rushden War Memorial Committee, wrote inviting the Council to attend the unveiling of the monument on the Green on Rushden Feast Sunday and to officially take over the custody of the monument.

It was agreed to accede to the request.

League of Nations

The Clerk read a letter from the League of Nations Union, Rushden Branch, as follows: “Dear Sir, The above Branch are holding a pageant on Saturday, Oct. 1st, in advocacy of the aims of the League of Nations, and I am desired by the Executive Committee to express the earnest hope that the Chairman, members, and officials of the Council will take part in the parade. The first part of the procession will comprise representations of the 48 nations now in the League (in national costume), the second part of vehicular tableaux setting forth various aspects of the League’s work, and the third part of representatives of all the organisations which are willing to join in the Parade. My committee trust that the members of the Urban Council will take their place at the head of the representative section, followed by local members of the Board of Guardians, etc. the parade will assemble at Newton-road Schools at 2 o’clock, and will start at 2.30 for Spencer Park (via Park-road, Griffith-street and High-street), with a public meeting at 3.30 near the Band Stand. I trust this letter will have the sympathetic consideration of the Council. - Yours respectfully, W. P. Orrell, Hon. Secretary.”

On the motion of Mr. Spencer, seconded by Mr. Bates, it was agreed to accede to the request.

Various

It was decided to join neighbouring local authorities in a conference to see what could be done to overcome the difficulty caused by the Housing Ministry’s disapproval of housing schemes they had previously passed.

The Rushden Co-operative Society’s application for a licence to sell game at their fish shop in Queen-street was granted.

The chairman having read an appeal from the Relief of Russia committee, it was decided to open subscription lists in the town.



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