HC Deb 09 March 1875 vol 222 c1487

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to introduce a Bill, during the present Session, for better enabling municipal corporations or sanitary authorities to acquire gas or waterworks; and whether the Local Government Board have made any recommendation thereon?


Sir, it is not intended to introduce any Bill specially dealing with the subjects referred to. But it may be convenient to the hon. Member and to the House that I should state shortly what are the existing powers with respect to gas and water, and to what extent they will be varied by the Public Health Bill, which was delivered this morning. Under the existing law, sanitary authorities can purchase waterworks by agreement, and provide waterworks in places where there is no company, or where a company is unable or unwilling to supply sufficient water for all reasonable purposes. The Bill will extend these powers by enabling a local authority to carry water mains outside their district, and to supply water to the authority of an adjoining place. At the present time sanitary authorities have no power under the general law to construct or purchase gasworks. They can only contract for public lighting and provide lamp-posts, &c. The Bill will enable them to purchase gasworks by agreement, and where there is no company they may, by Provisional Order, obtain authority to establish gasworks for their district.