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The Rushden Echo, Transcribed by Gill and Jim Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council

29th September 1961

Rushden Councillors Vote Against Traffic Complications

Rushden urban councillors were obviously not happy about the thought of adding any complications to Rushden’s one-way traffic system when they met on Wednesday.

By 14 votes to three, they rejected a proposal that in the lower part of Queen Street traffic should be restricted to vehicles moving upwards from High Street to Rectory Road. Mr. A. H. Bailey made a quick plea before the discussion got under way, for the council to discard any thoughts of having one-way traffic in the other direction.

Anybody from Wymington Road who wanted to leave his car in the Co-op car park, he pointed out, would have to turn off down Skinners Hill, go up Church Street and make his way along High Street, Station Approach and Rectory Road.

With equal force, Mr. E. F. Mawson said that the proposal would mean that anybody from the Queen Street area working in the northern part of the town would have to go via Rectory Road, Coffee Tavern Lane and High Street.

Protest Demand

Mr. R. H. S. Greenwood said he thought that if the proposal were approved, other proposals would be made later and in the end. “You will have to issue every ratepayer with a map so he can find his way about.”

The council showed that it did not want life to be so frustrating.

When it was decided not to object to a County Council proposal for de-trunking of High Street Mr. R. R. Griffiths said he wondered if a new crop of signs would flourish.

He was assured that this would not be the case.

Mr. Griffiths later spoke strongly about the delay in the reconstruction of Washbrook Road.

The County Council said in August that work would start in September, but so far there had been no activity. A year ago the delay was explained by a gas main to be installed but there still was no sign of the main.

Mr. Griffiths asked that the Clerk should protest strongly to the County Council.

As recommended by the Highways and Planning Committee, the council agreed to surrender 105 square yards of land at the junction of High Street and Skinner’s Hill for highway improvement.

It was decided to accept with thanks, an inscribed seat to be installed near the junction of Skinner’s Hill and Church Street, in memory of the former occupant of a house recently demolished for other road improvement works.

It was decided to raise no objection to County Council proposals for the de-trunking of High Street, between Newton Road and Station Road.

£12,400 Loan

Application is to be made for consent to raise a loan of £12,400 for road and sewer works and incidental expenses for the development of the Spinney Field site.

An application will be made for consent to borrow £12,300 for the reconstruction of Highfield Road, and for £1,800 needed for improvements at the Newton Road Depot.

Authority was given to the surveyor to go ahead with accommodation works and the widening of a footpath in Duck Street, near Carnegie Street, at a cost of up to £140.

The Housing Committee reported that 65 houses in Tennyson Road and Westfield Avenue should have their narrow baths replaced, and should have new sink units installed.

Complaints have been received about children playing cricket and football on the open space in Headingley Road and the Housing Committee reported that it had decided that a flower bed should be provided in the middle of the open space, and that the matter should be kept under observation.

Objectionable smells were said to be coming from the sewer as a result of the discharge of trade effluent from premises in Northampton Road.

The owners of a tannery in the road have carried out works for preliminary treatment of the effluent, but if future complaints are justified the council may end the agreement for the effluent to be accepted into the sewer.

The Rushden Echo, 27th October 1961

‘Absolute Madness and Folly’

A proposal to install a refuse disposal incinerator on land adjoining Rushden’s sewage works was attacked by Mr. A. Allebone at Wednesday’s meeting of Rushden Urban Council. He contended that to have an incinerator on the site – “the most unsuitable in Rushden” – would be “absolute madness and folly.”

Mr. Allebone suggested that the place for an incinerator was not in the lowest part of Rushden but on higher land in the town, well to the outskirts where Rushden would extend in the future. He said it was the duty of the council to plan for years ahead.

“I have had phone calls and visits from people about the incinerator being sited on land adjoining the sewage works,” he said. “I must protest most strongly about this proposed siting. I am quite amazed that anyone should consider putting an incinerator in the middle of a residential area.

Public Inquiry?

“The noise and smell from the sewage works – in view of the prevailing wind – is a great cause to complain and this would be aggravated by having an incinerator.”

Mr. Allebone hoped that he would not be answered by being told there would be no smoke or no smell, for, he claimed, there would be smoke and smell.

He hoped the matter would go back to the committee, but if it went further than a proposal then he would like to see a public inquiry.

Said Mr. R. R. Griffiths: “I hope you are not influenced by a vested interest.”

Mr. Allebone: “Have I vested interests? I have no vested interests whatsoever. I am amazed at the question.”

Mr. Griffiths: “I only asked a question. Perhaps your garden comes up to the sewage works.”

Mr. Allebone: “I have answered the question.”

Mr. C. Ginns, chairman of the public health committee, assured Mr. Allebone that the matter would go back to the committee: “It is simply that we thought we had found a site,”he said.

……………….

27th October 1961

Enough Houses to Deal With Demand

Rushden Urban Council now has enough houses to deal with any demand which may arise, and it is now concentrating on slum clearance.

This is because of casual vacancies, the chairman of the Housing Committee, Mrs. A. U. Muxlow, told the council.

Mr. R. H. S. Greenwood said he wondered if, as there were so few people waiting for houses, the waiting period could be cut from six to three months. Mrs. Muxlow said: “I am afraid not. The houses have to be built before the people are rehoused but the period will be reduced as soon as possible.

Not Extravagant

Mr. Griffiths said he was concerned to hear that the council was considering demolishing existing prefabricated bungalows, as he understood they were to be gradually replaced. “Thousands of pounds are being spent on them for use over ten years. How can that affect the building programme for 1962?” he asked.

Mrs. Muxlow suggested that the amount being spent on them was not very extravagant. It was not a case of demolishing the houses, but replacing the people. She did not think the amount being spent was a waste of money.

Mr. F. E. Brown, former chairman of the housing committee, told Mr. Griffiths that the prefabs should last another ten years, and other development could be left until they were demolished. He did not want the public to think that any demolition would be carried out in the near future.

Speaking about a “humanitarian problem” of rehousing people, Mrs. Muxlow said there should be liaison between the housing and health committees. She explained that the housing committee had to deal with people, and the health committee only with houses. “Technically we only have to offer them accommodation, but when they move it is a very difficult problem,” she pointed out.

Mr. Greenwood congratulated the surveyor and staff on the council houses, a party from the council had inspected in Rose Avenue and Grafton Road. However, he suggested that as housewives of the future acquired more gadgets for their kitchens – dishwashers and refrigerators – they would like more space.

Open Fronts

He thought the idea of having open-fronted houses should be more widely adopted, but Mrs. Gladys Marriott said she thought that where there were elderly people and children, walls and fences should be provided.

The Housing Committee report included a reference to gardens at Spinney Close. Not well maintained, the gardens may be converted to allotments or used for garages.

Arrears of council house rents at September 28 amounted to £544, the Housing Committee reported.

One tenant, who was warned that a bailiff would be instructed to recover the money outstanding, paid up. This was a special case, in which the arrears were £9 5s 6d.

The committee reported that it would be possible to provide twenty garages at Grafton Road on land originally set aside for 18, and that an estimate had been received for the supply of twenty “Banbury” type garages under the prime cost allowance of £1,500 approved by the council.

Deferred

The council will thus have two extra garages at no greater expense than planned.

Any proposals for the development of the Spinney Field site for housing purposes is to be deferred until it is necessary to consider such development as part of the overall plan for a link road extension from Boundary Avenue to Wymington Road.

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government is to be informed that the council’s house-building proposals for 1962 will be limited to development of the Kilburn Place site.

Application is to be made to raise a loan of £9,520 for improvements to 65 houses in Westfield Avenue and Tennyson Road.



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