|The Rushden Echo, 10th October, 1913, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Rushden Urban District Council
Infringement of Bye-Laws
The Financial Position:
Can The Town Afford Baths?
Financial Burdens Present and Future
The New Sewage Disposal Extension Works
The Health of the Town
Police Court Facilities
Wednesday, present Councillor C. Bates, J.P. (chairman), J. S. Clipson (Vice-chairman), J. Spencer, L. Perkins, B.Sc., T. Swindall, F. Knight, J.P., John Clardige, J.P., C.C., T. Wilmott, Ven. A. Kitchin, and G. H. Skinner, with the Clerk (Mr. G. S. Mason), the Surveyor (Mr. W. B. Madin), and the Sanitary Inspector (Mr. F. J. Allen).
Plans, etc., Committee
A meeting of the Plans, Highways, and Lighting Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 24th Sept., 1913, when there were present :- Messrs. C. Bates (chairman), J. S. Clipson, J. Claridge, J. Hyde, J. Spencer, and F. Knight.
were presented by:-
The Co-operative Wholesale Society, Ltd., for the re-erection of a wood and corrugated iron building at the rear of No. 30, Queen-street, and no exception taken.
Mr. W. Macdonald for additional storey to brick shed to house in course of erection in Robinson-road and passed.
Dr. Baker for motor shed in John-street and passed.
An application was received from Mrs. Scott for permission to revise the plan passed on the 23rd July, by substituting a hand flushed w.c. for a pail closet as shown, and acceded to.
A letter was received from the Rushden and District Trades and Labour Council with a resolution passed by that body urging the Council in the interests of health to provide for the more adequate watering of the roads.
The Clerk was instructed to reply that the matter would receive the attention of the Council.
Mr. C. E. Young
The Surveyor reported that as ordered at the last meeting of the Council proceedings had been instituted against Mr. Young for allowing a bungalow on the Court Estate to be occupied without having first obtained a certificate of completion, and that a conviction had been recorded.
The Surveyor also reported that the bungalow was still occupied and that the drainage remained incomplete.
It was resolved to recommend the Council to take further proceeding against Mr. Young for the penalties as a continuing offence.
A letter was received from the Wellingborough Motor ‘Bus Company with regard to the overlapping of trees on the Wellingborough-road.
The surveyor was instructed to obtain further particulars from the Company as to which trees they referred to.
A letter from the County Surveyor was read, stating that he proposed inspecting the corners comprised in the list submitted by this Council.
With regard to Mr. Young’s bungalow, the Clerk said that Mr. Young was getting into another house on Thursday. It was decided that no action be taken under those circumstances.
With this exception, the report was adopted.
Recreation Ground Committee
A meeting of the Recreation Ground Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 24th Sept., 1913, when there were present:- Messrs. F. Knight (chairman), C. Bates, J. S. Clipson, J. Claridge, and J. Spencer.
It was resolved to purchase a cap for the caretaker, with the letters R.U.D.C. printed thereon, from Messrs. Hazel and Co. for use when he was on duty.
Rules and Regulations
A proof print of bye-laws was submitted by the Sub-Committee and referred to the Clerk for revision, with a view to submitting same to the Local Government Board for confirmation.
Mr. Knight said the committee had met again that night and had got further forward with the rules and regulations. As recommended by the committee, the regulations were about the same as at Wellingborough, Northampton, and other places.
It was decided to open the ground at 7 a.m. during the five winter months and at 6 a.m. during the rest of the year.
The rules were passed, and it was resolved to submit them to the Local Government Board for approval.
The Clerk said there were penalties for infringement of the bye-laws.
Finance and Estates Committee
A meeting of the Finance and Estates Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Tuesday, the 30th Sept., 1913, at 10 a.m., when there were present :- Messrs. J. S. Clipson (in the chair), J. Claridge, F. Knight, T. Swindall, and Ven. A. Kitchin.
Surveyor’s Cash Account
The Committee examined the surveyor’s cash account with the wages books, the expenditure shown therein being as follows:-
The Committee examined the Collector’s accounts, from which it appeared that the following sums had been collected since the last meeting:-
The Treasurer’s accounts were also examined from which it appeared that he had received the following sums since the last meeting:-
And that the following balances were in hand:-
Tradesmen’s and Other Accounts
A number of accounts, amounting to £1715/10/0, were examined and passed for payment.
New Sewage Works
The Clerk reported that as authorised by the Council, he had negotiated with Mr. R. Marriott for the purchase of a site on the Wellingborough-road containing 340 square yards at 3/0 per yard.
The report was adopted.
Health and Sanitary Committee
A meeting of the Health and Sanitary Committee was held at the Council Buildings on Wednesday, the 1st October, 1913, when there were present:- Messrs. C. Bates, (chairman), W. Bazeley, L. Perkins, G. H. Skinner, T. Swindall, and the Ven. A. Kitchin.
Health and Sanitary Reports
The Medical Officer reported that seven cases of infectious disease had been notified since the last meeting, viz., three of scarlet fever and four of tuberculosis.
The Medical Officer also reported that on the 17th Sept., the Inspector submitted to him the liver and heart of a beast killed at Higham Ferrers, which was found to be suffering from extensive disease of the lungs and lymph glands in various parts of the body. He had seen the whole carcase, which was very emaciated, and had been condemned by the Higham Ferrers Authorities. He had condemned the liver and heart as being unfit for human consumption.
The Sanitary Inspector reported that 28 preliminary notices had been issued during the month of September, calling attention to nuisances, etc., all of which were receiving attention.
A quantity of homework had been discovered in a house where scarlet fever had been notified, and disinfected.
The work of demolishing Nos. 5 and 6, Milton-place, had been commenced by Mr. Jaques.
The Inspector also reported that he had visited and inspected the West End Club in West Street and found the sanitary accommodation to be quite insufficient. It was resolved to recommend the Council to serve a notice on the owner of the premises requiring him to provide additional accommodation forthwith.
The Inspector further reported, with regard to the seizure of meat referred to by the Medical Officer, that the Higham Ferrers Authorities had instituted proceedings against the butchers concerned, and he had been called as a witness for the prosecution. The defendants were fined £40 and £20 respectively, with costs £10/10/0 and £5/5/0. Having regard to the conviction at Higham Ferrers the Committee decided to take no further action in the matter.
The Inspector gave a detailed statement of his work during the past month.
Dairies, Cowsheds, and Milkshops Order
The quarterly report of Mr. Bainbridge was received, from which it appeared that on the 8th, 9th, and 10th September, 1913, he had visited 28 premises belonging to 26 cowkeepers, and inspected 232 cows and heifers, making special examination of their udders and throats. The Committee considered the report satisfactory, and the Sanitary Inspector was instructed to keep certain of the cows under his observation.
Water Testing Apparatus
It was resolved to recommend the Council to authorise the Medical Officer to obtain an apparatus for the testing of water, at a cost not exceeding £3/3/0.
New Sewage Works
Motive power for Ejector Plant. The Sub-Committee appointed to consider this matter reported that they had obtained estimates as to the cost of installation of the different powers, as follows:-
The gas was dependent on the Council obtaining the necessary consent for a main to be laid along the private roadway leading from Wellingborough-road to the works, and the Committee had been unable to arrange satisfactory terms with the owner. The Sub-Committee, irrespective of this consideration, having regard to the intermittent use the plant will be put to, unanimously recommend the adoption of electric power as most convenient and suitable for the purpose. The cost of current would exceed the cost of gas, but the saving of expense in attendance would more than compensate for this. The Sub-Committee further reported that the surveyor, being pressed by the makers of the ejector plant for instructions as to the power to be used, they had authorised him to inform them that electric power was proposed.
The Committee adopted the report of the Sub-Committee and approved their action, and it was resolved to recommend the Council to approve the same and accept the tender of the Rushden and District Electric Supply Co., Ltd. for the works.
Mr. Claridge said there was a vast difference between the tenders. Had all things been taken into consideration? He understood the cost of electricity would be more than gas. It seemed to him, from the tender of the Gas Company, that gas would be cheaper. He was not speaking on this matter because he was interested in the Gas Co., but he wanted the most suitable and the most economical system to be adopted.
Mr. Clipson explained the position of affairs and said that a larger gas engine - 5½ h.p. instead of 4½ h.p. would be required. He did not think the cost of electricity would be any more than gas.
Mr. Knight said it was an innovation that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman should decide on a question like this without consulting the Council. If the Council had the same information they might come to the same conclusion, but it was an innovation for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to decide. The electricity, he was told, would cost 3s. 4d. against 1s. 10d. for gas. Had the question of economy been properly considered? He thought, too, they ought to have had a definite agreement fixed by some one in authority in connection with the Electric Light Co., and not simply hear-say, as to what the charge would be. If the charge for electricity was not to be more than 2d., it was not unreasonable, but it was almost double what they could get gas for. There was no statement as to the price which would be charged them for laying down the gas mains along the private roadway, but it evidently was sufficient to weigh with the sub-committee.
The Chairman : £10 a year.
Mr. Knight : When we bought that land we had a right of way over that road. Not only so, but we made that road and maintained it, and now Mr. Clark is going to charge the Urban Council £10 a year for it. I think it is very inconsiderate, and it is a very exorbitant charge, because laying down the pipes would not make a halfpenny a year difference to Mr. Clark, as the road would be made good after the pipes had been put in. There was another matter which made it all the more unfair of Mr. Clark. Only about three years ago Mr. Clark wanted to cross a road of ours, which we had to maintain, and he put tramways across it which are a nuisance, but we were generous enough to give Mr. Clark permission to cross the road with tramways, free of charge. By being generous to Mr. Clark we in all probability saved him hundreds of pounds, and it is manifestly unfair that the first time the Council want any favour he should refuse it. I think it is a very ungenerous act on the part of Mr. Clark, after the way in which we treated him.
Mr. Skinner : The Gas Co. have always treated us liberally, and I think we should not leave them unless we are getting very much better terms. We agreed to maintain that road, and I think we have a right to put the pipes down without a penny of expense. I think it is very bad usage.
Mr. Perkins : I see the sub-committee decided on electricity “irrespective of this consideration” as to the price of laying pipes along the private roadway. I suppose that is because electricity is cheaper? What is the relative cost of electricity and gas?
Mr. Clipson said that for intermittent runnings electricity would be cheaper than gas. The saving would be in attendance.
Mr. Knight : Against 1s.10d. for gas you pay 3s. 4d. for electricity for the same driving power.
Mr. Wilmott : Has Mr. Clark a right to compensation if we lay pipes down that road.
The Clerk : Yes.
Mr. Clipson said that what the sub-committee wanted was to do the best thing. Wherever electricity could be obtained for this purpose it was used as being the most economical.
The Chairman : I regret if the vice-chairman or myself have over-stepped our duty. We wanted the cheapest thing for the town.
By a majority the report was adopted.
Wanted, Baths, etc.
The Wellingborough and Rushden branch of the Northampton Licensed Trades Association wrote urging the growing necessity of providing lavatory accommodation for the general public in Rushden, and stating that in the absence of public lavatories the people resorted to lavatories on licensed premises, making it exceedingly difficult for licensed victuallers to carry on their trade under proper conditions.
The Rushden Clubs Educational Association, representing 1,500 club members, wrote urging the need for providing public baths, which were needed to bring the town up-to-date.
Mr. Kitchin : Are we in order in discussing either of these questions?
The Clerk : No, because it is not yet six months since the questions were raised.
Mr. Knight : Probably those 1,500 clubmen know the financial position of the town. They must know that we recognise as well as they do that public baths would be a good thing for Rushden and that at the proper time we should be very willing to carry out that scheme. I do not think any improvement in Rushden has been neglected; it has only taken time to do it. We have the sewage disposal extension scheme at £13,000, which is a big sum for a little town like Rushden on the top of what we have already got. We are here as guardians of the public purse. If you cannot get all you want you must wait a bit. It is not possible to run into all this expenditure without practically ruining the town. So far as the sanitary condition of the town is concerned, we have never neglected that because it is a necessity. There is the Recreation Ground which has cost £3,000, and we do not know what the upkeep will be.
Mr. Spencer : £100 a year.
Mr. Knight : Our balances are so low that we shall hardly be able to find enough money to carry us through. Then we have the workmen’s dwellings, which perhaps may pay their way, but at the same time it is a considerable amount of work for our officers, and we have to consider them. Again, there may be something else coming along, over which we have no control. The Inspector of the Local Government Board is trying to force an Infectious Diseases Hospital upon Rushden, which will probably cost £4,000 or £5,000. There is another item which is practically coming on a disinfecting chamber, which will probably cost £600 or £800. We want baths as much as the clubmen, but we must see our way to paying for them. I do wish the inhabitants would realise that there is none on the Council who is not prepared to go in for necessities, and luxuries also when we can afford them.
The Chairman said he did not think the clubmen’s letter was sent with the idea of worrying the Council but rather with the idea of strengthening their hands.
Mr. Claridge : I should very much like to see baths, and they are essential, but we must realise the position we are placed in. In addition to what Mr. Knight has said, there is £5,000 to be spent on schools, and perhaps £2,000 in addition to that, later on. Our rate is 8.8, and we cannot possibly provide baths on our present rate.
Mr. Spencer said he supported both baths and lavatories. There had been a tremendous expense in the county some said £20,000 or £30,000 on the Girls’ High School at Wellingborough, for a few well-to-do children, but, when a working man wanted a bath, then these people condemned it.
It was reported that Mr. Penniss, in the Surveyor’s office, had obtained another situation. It was decided to advertise for a successor.
Petty Sessional Court
Mr. Spencer moved “That this Council make application to the Standing Joint Committee for a full Petty Sessional Court or ask them to meet a deputation from this Council to hear our views on the matter.”
You are, he said, all familiar with the needs of Rushden. It has been argued that we make ourselves ridiculous in bringing forward resolutions time after time. But if those who hold those views will look back into the history of the place they will see that it is only by continually calling attention to our needs that we have had anything at all. We had no magistrates at one time and I had the honour of moving a resolution, and we had several gentlemen appointed in the town. The Police Station was also provided in the same way. Two years ago I moved a resolution asking the County Authorities for a full petty sessional court for Rushden. They referred it back to Wellingborough. I am of opinion there was a majority in favour of it. When it came before the Standing Joint Committee it got thrown overboard. The needs of Rushden are growing because the town is growing, and the importance of it grows more and more each day. It was a great injustice to a big town like Rushden that we had no member on the Standing Joint Committee until recently to place our views before them, but we have now a member of this Council on that Committee and we shall at least have one present to bring his influence and knowledge to bear upon the gentlemen present. I am not here to labour the question and say Rushden is a place of great crime, but week by week cases, quite minor ones, go to Wellingborough that could be dealt with far better here. Then there is the expense; being an industrial centre it means loss of time and extra expense going to Wellingborough, including the witnesses and the representatives of the Press. We have plenty of gentlemen in the town with sound judgment and well qualified to try cases here. I have made some difference in this resolution to my others. I ask for the Standing Joint Committee either to meet us or to receive a deputation so that our views are placed before them. There is no town in Northamptonshire of the size of Rushden deprived of what we ask for, but for some unexplained reason Rushden is deprived of the convenience.
Mr. Bates seconded, and said : If we can get a petty sessional court it is going to be so much better for the people of Rushden. If they have a small charge brought against them they have to lose time to go to Wellingborough to be tried by somebody who does not know much about them. One magistrate said to me there was a great deal of wickedness in Rushden. If that is so I think we might keep it at home.
Mr. Clipson : That is not a vote of censure on the parsons?
Mr. Claridge : Would the Standing Joint Committee be likely to alter their views so recently expressed? It would be an additional cost to the county. I do not like to advocate it; we are making out that the place is worse than it is. Rushden is no worse than the surrounding places. If you take the population I think we should come out much better than some towns and villages. Mr. Spencer is very persistent he reminds me of the importunate widow. (Laughter.) I am afraid you will not get your request granted. We are not surrounded by villages on the other side, which is rather against us, and Rushden is a new place. I believe ultimately this will come, but at present I think there is very little prospect of it being granted.
Mr. Spencer : Mr. Claridge has put no argument against it. My reason for persistency is the great injustice being done to us. I don’t think we should be doing our duty unless we did try for it.
The resolution was lost by a big majority.