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The Rushden Echo, 18th March 1966, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Rushden rate is up by 1s 6d

A move to cut Rushden Urban Council’s expenditure down by a 2d rate was heavily defeated at a special council meeting on Monday when the rate was increased by 5d. this, added to an 11d increase in the county rate and a 2d increase in the water board precept, gives an overall increase on the present year of 1s 6d.

This makes the Rushden rate 13s in the £ compared with a Higham Ferrers rate of 12s 8d.

The Rushden increase is due to the fact that committee expenditure is up by £13,490. The increase would have been much more – £20,480 – if the Government grants had not been increased by £4,000 and the council had not decided to take an extra £2,990 from balances.

Presenting the rate, the chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, Mr. F. Brown, said £11,700 of the increase was due to raises in wages and salaries. This did not only apply to individual increases, but also to additional staff necessary to maintain services.

“There are no frills or luxuries, but a genuine desire and here I refer to the additional staff required, to speed up and improve certain sections of the services which have been delayed by lack of staff to cope with the demand,” he said.

Mr. R. D. Gilhooley, who was seconded by Mr. G. J. Penness, made an amendment which included four separate savings totalling £6,200.

The product of the penny rate was estimated at £2,700, and this works out at a saving of just over 2d.

Originally Mr. Gilhooley also suggested that £600 could be saved by doubling the swimming pool admission charges. At the moment the cost of running the pool is three times what the council gets back from admission charges.

“This means that every person who enjoys the use of the swimming pool will receive a donation from the rates equal to twice the amount he himself pays,” he said.

He thought it would be better if it was the other way round.

However, he later withdrew this on the recommendation of Mr. Penness.

Mr. Brown said it seemed a pity that an amendment which would have a saving of 2d should not be passed by the council, but he asked if 2d would make all that much difference.

He added that saving 2d now might mean having to replace it with 3d later because of increased costs.

The Rushden Echo, 10th March 1967, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Special Meeting Puts 6d on Rates

Rushden Urban Council fixed a rate of 13s 6d in the £ at a special meeting on Wednesday – an increase of 6d on the current year.

The council’s own rate levy is 3s-10.52d which is fractionally up on the current year, but this is offset by the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board precept of 1s-1.48d which is slightly down. The 6d increase is due to the Northamptonshire County Council rate of 8s 6d.

However, this 6d increase will not be passed on to all ratepayers. Domestic ratepayers will get a government grant worth 5d in the £ so their overall increase will work out at a penny, and people in mixed house – domestic and business – will receive a 2d grant. The full rate will be levied on full business premises.

Mr. C. Faulkner, chairman of the Finance Committee, said that for every disgruntled taxpayer there were at least thirty to forty irate ratepayers.

The factors which made the rates unpopular were: One, their extreme regressiveness; two, the hardship caused to people on low income; and three, the “built in accelerator.”

Mr. Faulkner said that year after year rates had escalated and the “built in accelerator” ensures that rates must rise by nine per cent each year.

“This means a rate increase of between 8d and 10d in the £ if local services are not improved, and it is usually these services which are most in need of expansion.”

He said that the injustices of the present system have long been recognised and the need for reform is obvious.

Mr. R. D. Gilhooley attempted to get 1d off the rates. He said they could do this by reducing the contribution to the repairs and renewals account by £1,000 and by restricting spending on the Bedford Road rubbish tip this coming year to £1,000.

He made an official amendment, seconded by Mr. D. Savory, but only three people voted for it and it was defeated.

Mr. Faulkner said they had been though these arguments and the council would be unwise not to look beyond this coming year. He said the aim of any responsible local authority was to stabilise rates.

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