HC Deb 08 August 1872 vol 213 cc699-701

asked the President of the Local Government Board, What steps he has taken regarding the Report by Mr. Netten Radcliffe (Parliamentary Paper, No. 362,) on a nuisance from a dustyard adjoining the open reservoirs and filter beds of the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company, and leased by one of the contractors engaged in the removal of the dry, house, and other refuse, and of the stable manure from part of the parish of St. George's, Hanover Square, for the purpose of deposit of this refuse, and of sifting such portions of it as are usually submitted to that process, previous to the refuse being placed in barges for carriage from the metropolis; how it has happened that, although this Report is dated 25th April, Mr. Netten Radcliffe had to report on 3rd July that this nuisance still existed, that on that day it caused a most offensive stench at a distance of eighty yards from the dustyard, and that the accumulation of 'dust' and of stable manure was greater than at the time of his visit on 22nd April, and that the yard was altogether in a fouler state; whether the promised measures were taken in April by the Wandsworth Board of Works "to obtain an abatement and prevent a recurrence of the nuisance;" whether the Vestry of St. George's, Hanover Square has taken any action; and, whether "the indifference of the Water Company to the nuisance" still continues?


Upon the receipt of Mr. Radcliffe's Report the Board communicated copies of it to the District Board of Works and the Vestry of St. George's, Hanover Square, at the same time requesting to be informed by the District Board of Works what steps they proposed to take. They also subsequently transmitted a copy to the Board of Trade, in order that they might communicate with the water company. On the 2nd of July, after a second application, the District Board informed the Board that the delay had arisen solely from the difficulty in obtaining evidence. On the 9th of July the case was heard before the magistrate, Mr. Radcliffe being examined as a witness, but the case was dismissed on the ground that— The accumulation or deposit had not been kept longer than was necessary for the business or manufacture, and the best available means had been taken for protecting the public from injury to health thereby. The Board have not received any communication from the Vestry of St. George's on the subject. With respect to the water company they allege that the purity of the water is not in any way affected by the proximity of the works. I understand, however, that they made an application to the District Board so long ago as the 18th of May to take proceedings to put an end to the nuisance. If the Wandsworth District Board had failed to prosecute under the Nuisances Removal Act, they would have been in default, and the Board might have appointed a person to institute proceedings before the magistrates; but the District Board having prosecuted and failed, the Local Government Board have no authority to require them to take any further proceedings.


asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether his attention was called to the Report of Mr. Netten Radcliffe in April, in which he described a nuisance "offensively compromising the water supply given by the Southwark and Vauxhall Company; whether he is aware that on 3rd July Mr. Netten Radcliffe further reported of the screen then in process of construction to be placed between the dust yard and the Waterworks— It is not probable that a screen of this altitude (ten to twelve feet) will perceptibly diminish the nuisance from the 'dust yard' as affecting the Water Company's works; and, if he would state to the House what communications he has addressed to the Water Company on this subject?


My contribution to this history is, that on the 24th of May the Report mentioned was sent by the Local Government Board to the Board of Trade, and I find that the Board of Trade forwarded a copy of it to the company. They replied that the Wandsworth District Board of Works had informed them, in regard to the nuisance complained of, that they had ordered proceedings to be taken for its removal. The water company, believing that action should be taken by the local authority, were anxious to get the District Board to remove the nuisance; but they added that, in their opinion, the purity of the water was in no way affected by the proximity of the dustyard. This communication was transmitted to the Local Government Board by the Board of Trade, which has heard nothing of the matter since.