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John Meads 2016
The Poplars

From Private Home to Council Offices

Cllr A.G. Miller The opening of the offices in 1942 The Council Offices
Councillor Arthur G. Miller who bought
The Poplars for the use of Burton Latimer Urban District Council in 1942
Opening the new offices in August 1942. L-R: Cllrs Bob Phillips, Alfred Barlow, Ernest E Clipson, Jack W Patrick, 'Bobby' Pownall, Oliver Tailby (Chairman) 'Bob' Mackintosh, L.G. Smalley (Clerk), Arthur G. Miller, Ron Boxwell, Walter C. Meads and Dr. J.T. Murphy (Medical Officer of Health)
The Poplars shortly after its purchase by A. G. Miller and conversion from private to public use. The garden in front of the building was later used to re-site the war memorial but it has since been removed to nearer its original position

COUNCIL OFFICES TO BE CENTRALISED - Northampton Mercury 15 May 1942

Very shortly Burton Latimer will no longer have Council, Food Control and Evacuation offices scattered in different parts of the town. The surprise news was forthcoming at a meeting of the Urban District Council that an offer by Councillor and Mrs. A. G. Miller had been accepted by the authority.

The offer was the renting by the Council for offices at a nominal figure with the option of purchase later, of the large residence, “The Poplars”, and land formerly occupied by the late Mrs F. W. Preston.

The Chairman (Mr O. Tailby) said the Council would be able to take immediate possession, and the town’s thanks were due to Cllr and Mrs Miller for their generous gesture.

Councillor Miller, responding, said: open “If by doing this my wife and I can leave Burton Latimer any better than we found it, we shall be grateful.”

BURTON GETS TOWN HALL - Northampton Mercury 22 May 1942

Envious eyes have been cast by Kettering Corporation at Burton Latimer since it has been announced that the Urban District Council has acquired a new “Town Hall” complete with Public Park.

While Kettering has sought in vain, neighbouring Rothwell has acquired a fine block of municipal offices, Council Chamber and park at the former Manor House and grounds; and now Burton Latimer announces a forthcoming move from an inadequate set of offices scattered in different parts of the town to a large residence in spacious grounds which will house all its departments under one roof and provide a park for the public.

BURTON'S NEW OFFICES - Northampton Mercury 14 August 1942

I recently inspected Burton Latimer Urban District Council's new municipal offices, The Poplars, which has been adapted at surprisingly little cost.

The town's annual hospital gala coincided with the formal opening of the offices, and a large crowd gathered for the fete in the paddock adjoining The Poplars, which, together with another large field, has been taken over together with the building.

Many took the opportunity to inspect the offices, and found the Council has made the best possible use of the building.

Interest centred , of course, upon the Council Chamber itself, a converted bedroom.  The chamber could be extended if necessary by removing a wall, and no doubt if the Council purchases the property it will do this.

COUNCIL TOLD “NO URGENCY” - Northamton Mercury 11 Jan 1946

A rebuff has been received by Burton Latimer Urban District council in its efforts to purchase the building in which it meets – a large residence, The Poplars, which has been adapted for use as a council chamber and municipal offices.

At Tuesdays meeting of the Council it was reported that an application had been made to the Ministry of Health for sanction to raise the necessary loan for the purchasing of the property. A reply had been received that the Minister was unable to approve this “in the absence of any indication of urgent need at the present time.”

The Urban District Council eventually bought the building and used it until local government reorganisation in 1974 when it was taken over by Kettering Borough Council, the successor Town Council retaining part of the building to use for its meetings. This arrangement continued until 2010 when the Borough council closed its offices there and the Town Council acquired the former health centre and converted it to a civic centre. Today (2016) the building has some commercial use but is still partly unused.

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