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The Wellingborough News, 5th April, 1895, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Local Government Enquiry at Rushden
The County Council and Main Roads

The Rushden Urban Council having applied to the Local Government Board for sanction to a loan of £2,000 for purposes of street improvement, Mr. G. W. Willcocks, C.E., an Inspector of the Local Government Board, attended at the offices of the Council on Tuesday morning to hold an enquiry, when there were present: Mr. H. P. Markham (clerk to the County Council), Mr. W. H. Wilkins (chairman of the Urban Council), Mr. J. Claridge (vice-chairman), Mr. C. Bayes, Mr. G. S. Mason (clerk), and Mr. Pare (surveyor). At the opening of the enquiry, Mr. Mason informed the Inspector that the estimated population of the parish was 9,000, the rateable value was £20,523, and the debts of the urban authority were £13,714. He then explained that the money required was proposed to be spent: £1,250 on the district roads and £750 on main road footpaths. At the passing of the Local Government Act of 1888, the main roads in the district became entirely repairable by the County Council. At that time the district was a rural one, and the roads maintained by the Irthlingborough Highway Board, who were repaid by the County Council. When the Rushden Local Board came into existence, in May 1891, the same arrangement which had prevailed between the County Council and the Irthlingborough Highway Board continued between the Local Board and the Council, agreements being entered into year by year for that purpose. The last agreement was made in April 1894 for the year ending March 31st, 1895. Under this arrangement the County Council had, however, disputed each year their liability in respect to the maintenance and repair of the footpaths, only offering to pay a certain amount per yard run, and not the total cost incurred by the Urban Authority for the maintenance of the paths. – Mr. Markham: And utterly refused to pay for new footpaths. – Mr. Mason added that the Urban Council contend that on the authority of the Warminster case, the County Council are liable for the whole of the expense of the repair, maintenance, and reasonable improvements of the main roads, and that no distinction can be made between carriage ways and footways. The Urban Council had applied to the Local Government Board to arbitrate upon the points in dispute between them and the County Council. – Mr. Markham said that up to the present time agreements had been made, as stated by Mr. Mason. Those agreements were now at an end, and the responsibility for maintaining the main roads and footpaths was now thrown entirely on the County Council. Application would be made to the Urban Council to renew the agreement, but with an additional proviso that no improvements of a substantial character should be made to the roads or footpaths without the consent of the County Council having been first obtained. If the power of making such a stipulation on the part of the County Council legally existed, and the Local Authority refuse to accept it, then the result would be that the repair and maintenance of main roads and footpaths would be entirely thrown on the County Council, who would, of course, object to repay any of the monies borrowed of the proposed loan for £2,000 so far as it applied to the main roads. The County Council had always been willing to pay for the repairs of the main roads, and to pay a certain sum for the maintenance of footpaths in the front of houses and of a lesser sum for footpaths beyond the houses. This the County Council were prepared to continue, notwithstanding what was now said. He (Mr. Markham) thought he had authority for saying that the Roads Committee of the County Council would consider whether they should take upon themselves, if not this year, then probably next year, the maintenance of all main roads in the county. Mr. Markham said the Roads Committee had been led to consider this from the fact that the expense of the roads of the county had lately increased to the extent of upwards of £4,000 per annum, and it was found that in Bucks, where the County Council repaired all the main roads, £2,000 was saved, and a still larger saving was effected in the county of Bedford. The County Council had never withheld this position that if the Warminster case should ever be affirmed. – Mr. Mason: It doesn’t need affirming, it is the law. – Mr. Markham: You know that at the present time the county of Derby is contesting it. But if the Warminster case is affirmed, the County Council would be ready to admit at once that the footpaths ought to have been repaired by the County Council as part of the main roads, and as far as they legally could they would be willing to make up the monies previously spent by the Highway Authorities. - In answer to the Inspector, Mr. Markham said the County Council would, of course, repair any improvements now proposed to be made by the Urban Council.

Mr. Wilkins said he was glad to hear Mr. Markham say that the County Council would accept the Warminster case if it was confirmed by a higher Court, and under those circumstances he believed the Urban Council would be willing to postpone the arbitration, which they had applied for until the test case referred to by Mr. Markham should have been disposed of. The Urban Authority were originally let to expect that the County Council would contribute £108 annually towards the cost of the main road footpaths, as suggested by the County Surveyor. Instead of this only £54 had been paid, which was quite inadequate. Had the £108 been paid by the County Council the Urban Council would not have made any claim for the entire maintenance and repair of the footpaths, nor would they have expected the County Council to repay any of the instalments of the loan now asked for. – The Inspector: It is doubtful if the County Council will repay that £750. – The Clerk : They are bound to do so under the Warminster and Marlborough cases. The former decided that no distinction could be made between carriage-ways and footways. The decision in the Marlborough case was that while the County Council was not liable for loans raised prior to the passing of the Local Government Act of 1888, they were liable for loans raised subsequently. – Mr. Mason asked for the loan for the main road footpaths, which would be of Victoria stone, to be repaid in twenty years.

Mr. Markham then left and the enquiry was continued in respect to the proposed loan for £1,250 for district road improvements. Dealing first with the Park-road improvement the clerk explained the important widening to be effected by means of land being given up for that purpose by the owners of an estate now being developed for building purposes. The road, which was only eighteen feet in width at its narrowest point, would be widened to an average of about thirty-six feet with asphalted paths on both sides. Considering the large quantity of land given up for this purpose, the Council asked that the repayment of this portion of the loan might extend over a period of thirty years. The other improvements proposed related exclusively to the footpaths of the town, and was practically the completion of a scheme for asphalting all the footpaths in the town, for which a loan of £1,200 had been already obtained. Full details of the proposed works were given by the Surveyor, who afterwards accompanied the Inspector in a personal inspection of every street in which any improvement was proposed to be effected, and the enquiry then terminated, the clerk having first asked that the repayment of the asphalting portion of the loan might be extended over fifteen years, as was the case with the previous loan for that purpose. The Inspector, however, could not hold out any hope of more than ten years being allowed for that purpose, although twenty years would be allowed for the Victoria paving, and possibly, under the circumstances, thirty years for the widening of Park-road.

The Wellingborough News, 3rd May, 1895, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Local Government Enquiry at Rushden

On Tuesday morning, Colonel Ducat held an enquiry in the Vestry Hall, Rushden, in reference to an application by the Local Board for borrowing powers for the purposes of obtaining a loan for sewerage works. There were also present :- Messrs. W. H. Wilkins (chairman of the Urban District Council), John Claridge (vice-chairman), Geo. Denton, H. Brawn, A. Cave, and T. Wilmott (members of the Council), Messrs. G. S. Mason (clerk), W. Pare (surveyor), Messrs. Chas. Bayes, Frank Newman; Messrs. Edward Sharman and C. Archer (Wellingborough), and Mr. Ives, of Derby, whose system of sewage disposal it is proposed to adopt. - In opening the enquiry Colonel Ducat asked what amount it was proposed to borrow; and Mr. Mason, in reply, gave the sum as £12,500. For the necessary works in connection with the scheme it was proposed to obtain £10,000, repayable in 30 years; while the land would probably cost about £2,500, which sum they would endeavour to get for a term of 50 years. – Colonel Ducat then questioned Mr. Ives at some length regarding his scheme, the latter intimating that he had made provision for a flow of 200,000 gallons per day, which amount, however, by no means represented the capabilities of the tank he proposed to put in. – The Colonel, however, did not seem satisfied with the adequacy of one tank, and said that if the Local Government Board sanctioned the scheme, it would be only on condition that the size of it was increased. – Mr. Sharman said it was the idea that as the town increased to put in another tank, and Mr. Wilkins suggested it would be best to do it at first. – Colonel Ducat examined Mr. Ives’ plans very closely, and that gentleman said the cost of making the tank two feet larger in diameter than originally proposed would of course considerably add to its efficacy, at a very small cost; though as a matter of fact he was certain the one provided for would be ample for a population of 10,000. Moreover he guaranteed the satisfactory working of it for five years, and took all the responsibility; and he might say that at Ilkeston they had single tanks for half a million and 250,000 gallons respectively which were doing their work well. – Mr. F. Newman asked several questions as to the probability of nuisances arising from the works; and was assured that no nuisance would result from the works, after which the enquiry closed.

The Wellingborough News, 3rd May, 1895

Rushden Urban Council

Thursday May 2nd. - Present : Messrs. W. H. Wilkins (chairman), J. Claridge (vice-chairman), H. Brawn, G. Denton, J. S. Clipson, P. Cave, Geo. H. Skinner, J. Spencer, A. Cave, G. S. Mason (clerk), and W. Pare (surveyor).

THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ENQUIRY – The Chairman reported that Col. Ducat had held an enquiry on Tuesday, and on the whole seemed very favourable to the scheme proposed. He was of opinion that the precipitant was one of the best that could be obtained, but took exception to the size of the proposed tank. A committee meeting was held after the enquiry, and it was decided to recommend that the size of the tank be increased so as to deal with a population of 12,000. The Chairman also mentioned that whereas the Scott-Moncrieff system would cost about £3,300, the Ives system, even with the proposed increase in size, would be but £750, instead of £14,000, the amount originally estimated to purchase the site and carry out the scheme. The matter had now so far advanced that the Council could apply for borrowing powers to carry out the works. He therefore proposed, and it was carried unanimously, that application be made to the Local Government Board for £12,500 as originally intended.

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