HC Deb 30 August 1886 vol 308 cc779-80
MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)

asked the President of the Local Go- vernment Board, Whether his attention has been called to the continued pollution of the River Chess by refuse from the Loudwater Paper Mills, resulting in a nuisance highly dangerous to the inhabitants of Rickmansworth and the district; whether he is aware that, after a long inquiry, a Report was made upon it on 14th July 1885 by Mr. J. T. Harrison, C.E., the Special Inspector appointed by the Local Government Board, and proceedings were taken against the owner, Mr. M'Murray, by the Watford Union Rural Sanitary Board; whether penalty and costs were enforced against Mr. M'Murray; and, whether, as many complaints have been made to the Local Sanitary Authority and the Local Government Board of the daily pollution of the river, he will give instructions for the enforcement of further penalties under "The Rivers Pollution Prevention Act, 1875," or for the repression of the nuisance?

THE PRESIDENT (Mr. RITCHIE) (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

I am aware that an inquiry was held into this matter by consent of the Local Government Board in September last. The result of that inquiry was that the Sanitary Authority proceeded against Mr. M'Murray, and an order prohibiting him from polluting the river was obtained. The costs, amounting to £86 13s. 2d., were paid by Mr. M'Murray. Since that time more than one complaint has been received by the Local Government Board to the effect that the nuisance still continues, and the attention of the Rural Sanitary Board has been called to those complaints. They state that, owing partly to proceedings in lunacy which are pending in regard to Mr. M'Murray, no further legal steps have been taken; but that, on the whole, the condition of the river has, undoubtedly, been better since the order of September last. I cannot say that I am satisfied with the position in which the matter stands; but I must point out that the Local Government Board have no power to initiate proceedings. They can only give their consent to proceedings being instituted. I have, however, called upon the Rural Sanitary Authority to cause their Inspector of Nuisances or Medical Officer of Health to report without delay upon the condition of the river, and to furnish a copy of the Report to the Local Government Board