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Water Supply Improvements

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 25th February 1949, transcribed by Jim Hollis

£2,400 is Estimate for Water - Higham Board's Income Up

Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board is likely to call for £2,400 from the two authorities in the year's estimates.

Giving the figures at Monday's meeting of the Board, the accountant (Mr. A. E. Harrison) said that £400 might be wanted from Higham and £2,000 from Rushden.

"I think Higham Ferrers have already allowed for £400. I don't think it will come to that, but perhaps it is wise to allow for it."

He reported that income was up by approximately £400 - he expected that the total income would come out at £17,600. He estimated that next year's income would come out at £18,000.

The Surveyor (Mr. Alexander Millar) reported that the level of the water in the reservoir had risen two feet and at the end of January there were 116,103,280 gallons available. At the same time last year there were 171,548,887 gallons available.

Bulk supplies totalled 3,892,000 gallons, 1,399,000 gallons going to Irchester and 1,419,000 to Wollaston.

Up to Jan. 31st 10,160,000 gallons were registered - an average daily consumption of 488,600 gallons per day in the Higham Ferrers and Rushden area of supply.

Immediately the eight-inch main is laid to the next sluice valve on Avenue Road, supplies to the houses on Bedford Road will be given from the new four-inch main, it was stated.

At the beginning of the proceedings the new financial officer, Mr. D. W. White, was welcomed. Congratulations were extended to Councillor E. J. Rowlett on his appointment as a justice of the peace, and thanks were expressed to the retiring financial officer (Mr. Harrison) for his services.


Water Board's 'Victory Night'

Monday night might well be remembered as 'Victory night' whenever the history of Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board is recorded.

But the members of the Board, who smiled as they congratulated each other over the success of their stand against the Mid-Northants Water Board Order, will probably think of it as 'Allen Night.'

For when explanations of the decision and 'bouquets' had been dealt with, eyes turned to Councillor J. Allen, the Board's representative at the all-important Joint Parliamentary inquiry.

Councillor Allen rose to the occasion.

"What impressed me most," he declared, "was the brilliant advocacy of our case by Mr. Cope Morgan, K.C., and he was ably supported by his junior.

"We were exceedingly fortunate in having good technical witnesses, Mr. Hetherington on the engineering side and Mr. Price on the financial side. I feel that in addition to that the success achieved was very largely due to the work of the Clerk and Chief Financial Officer."

Councillor Allen told how he had answered the question about the suggested amalgamation of the Board with Wellingborough Urban Council.

"I was thrown a bait with regards to costs," he said, but I just did not take it.

"I seemed to feel while I was being questioned and facing the Committee while answering questions and not being tied to any formal written answers, that the Committee was favourable to any witness who was not a paid expert."

Councillor Allen said that although everybody on the Parliamentary Committee knew it was the Higham Ferrers and Rushden Water Board, it was always referred to as the Higham Water Board.

He asked that Higham should not deny Rushden a little of the reflected glory from the halo of publicity surrounding the loyal and ancient borough.

In his conclusion Councillor Allen said: "The tradition of service built up by public spirited representatives and officials in this area has been vindicated at the highest level."

The Clerk (Mr. A. G. Crowdy) explained the decision, which means that the Board will now continue to function as a separate authority and will include Wellingborough Rural district.

First 'bouquet' came from Councillor W. E. Capon, who praised the services rendered by the officials and Councillor Allen.

"I think I can say the result was better than we hoped for."

"I would like to congratulate the Board members, the two authorities who supported us, and Mr. Allen," said the chairman (Councillor E. J. Rowlett).

"I am sure Councillor Allen did a really good job for us. We have brought off a very important victory for the Board.

"I also feel proud that the Board was bold enough to take this matter to Parliament. There were quite a number of people in Rushden and Higham who had very little faith and who thought it a waste of time and probably a waste of money."

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