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Rushden Echo, 22nd July 1927, transcribed by Kay Collins
Purchase of a Field for a Refuse Tip
Official Inquiry at Rushden
Urban Council’s Application for a Loan

A public inquiry (under the Public Health Act 1875) into the application of the Rushden Urban Council to the Ministry of Health for sanction to borrow £1,300 for the purpose of purchasing 26 acres of field off the Bedford-road (the Oakpits) to be used as a refuse tip, was held on Wednesday morning at the Council Chambers.

The inquiry was conducted by Mr J C Dawes, O.B.E., M.I.Mech.E., and there were present Councillor J Hornsby (Chairman of the Rushden Urban Council), Councillor G W Coles, Mr G S Mason (Clerk), Mr W B Madin (Surveyor), Mr J W Lloyd (Assistant Surveyor), and Mr F S F Piper (Sanitary Inspector).

The usual routine statistics required by the Ministry were given by the Clerk, who said the estimated population was 14,800 and the annual assessable value of the town was £46,46. The total debts of the Council, including houses, were £189,872. A penny rate produced £190. The rates for the current year were 17/4, the previous year being 16/4.

Mr Dawes: Will there be any increase owing to this scheme if sanctioned?

Mr Mason: No. We are already collecting the refuse that has to be collected. The only difference will be that it will be carted to a different place.

Mr Dawes asked if there was any opposition to the scheme, but none was forthcoming.

The present income from the allotments was stated by the Clerk to be £60.

Asked for his views on the matter the Surveyor, Mr Madin, said they had had complaints about the previous tips on farms. The refuse had not been properly managed by the local farmers and the Council thought it time to make some change. The first idea had been to put down a mechanical plant—a destructor—but at the Ministry’s suggestion he and the Chairman of the Council visited Bradford to see how their system was worked. The result was that they came back fully convinced that it was

The Wisest Thing

That could be done in Rushden. The Council confirmed their report at the following meeting, and the site thought most favourably was the old brickyard on the Bedford-road, known as the Oakpits. Inquiries were made and turned out all right, and the Council then entered into a provisional agreement to buy the land, subject to the Ministry’s approval. Measurements had been taken, and showed that the field was 26 acres, 2 roods, and the tipping area would be 42 per cent. About 11 acres. Last year the Council removed 4,100 loads of refuse.

Mr Dawes: Which is about 3,000 tons. Supposing you got 2,000 tons it would run at 2½d. a ton for disposal (exclusive of labour). When you first came to see me it would be about 5/-, would it not?

Mr Madin: With the mechanical plant, yes.

Mr Madin, in answer to Mr Dawes, said the annual cost of collecting was £1,450.

Mr Dawes: Taking tonnage as 3,000, it is costing 10/- per ton to collect. Then 10/- per ton collection and 1/- for disposal would be the net inclusive cost to the town, and that town would be very much nicer.

Mr Mason, answering Mr Dawes, said the land was the property of the vendors of Mr John Claridge, deceased. It was freehold, there were no reservations, no fencings, no rights of way, or restrictions of any kind. What was know as

The Town Brook

rose just above the field.

Mr Dawes: I should keep at least 10 feet away from that. Or, if possible, 15 feet.

Mr Madin: Yes, quite.

Asked where the present pits were, Mr Mason replied that they were in the stone pit off the Wellingborough-road. The Council were under notice to quit.

Mr Dawes then asked the medical Officer of Health, Dr. O A J N Muriset, if he knew of the Council’s scheme to purchase the land, and if he was satisfied with it. Did he approve of it?

The Doctor said he did. Providing it was properly looked after there should be no trouble.

Mr Madin stated the refuse was all kept in bins until collected, in reply to the Inspector.

Mr Dawes then queried Mr Piper, and asked him the nature of the complaints made of the present tip.

Mr Piper said there had been continuous complaints from surrounding occupiers, allotment holders, and small holders. They complained of rats, paper, and the general untidy appearance, also people went on the tip for sorting oddments. Surrounding farmers complained, and especially occupiers of the land. Most of the refuse of the town went to the tip until six months ago.

Mr Hornsby was of the opinion that if they could get the sanction of the Ministry the proposed site would meet their requirements for many years to come. As they were aware, they had had that question before them for a considerable time. They went to Bradford and were convinced that that was the best method of disposing of house refuse. They reported to the Council, and they confirmed and fully approved of the method being carried out. If things were carried out as they were at Bradford, then the site would be no nuisance.

This closed the public part of the inquiry.

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