HC Deb 27 June 1889 vol 337 cc872-3
MR. ADDISON (Ashton-under-Lyne)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been called to the fact that the noisome smoke issuing from a chimney situated at Lett's Wharf, on the south side of the River Thames, is connected with what is known as a "destructor," which is used by the City Authorities for the consumption of condemned meat, fish, and all sorts of rubbish; whether he is aware that numerous complaints have from time to time been made by the poor people inhabiting the surrounding district, which includes the Borough and New Cut, as well as from those dwelling in its proximity on the north side of the river; and, whether he will take such steps, as may seem fit, to have the nuisance complained of abated, and to secure that smoke emanating from such a source in the heart of the Metropolis should be more perfectly consumed?


My attention has not been previously called to the subject of this question, and no complaints have been received by the Local Government Board with respect to the alleged nuisance. I have communicated with the Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London and am informed by them that the destructor in question has been in use for many years for the burning only of old baskets and the ordinary refuse of business premises, and that, so far as the Commissioners are aware, there has never been any authenticated case of complaint against it. There is no noisome smoke issuing from the chimney shaft, and the destructor is not used for the consumption of condemned meat or fish, which are conveyed away from the City by contractors in quite another direction. The destructor, it is stated, is worked with more than ordinary care by the most intelligent men that can be found for that kind of work. It has been undergoing repairs since the 8th of this month, and any vapours that have passed up the chimney since that date have arisen from an open fire on the wharf. I have also communicated with the Vestry of the parish of Lambeth, in whose district the destructor is situate. The reply which I have received confirms the statements of the Commissioners of Sewers. The Vestry Clerk states:— I have made inquiry of the sanitary inspectors, and am assured that neither condemned meat nor fish is burnt in the destructor, but that house and shop refuse is alone burnt. The wharf is visited by the medical officer and inspectors from time to time, but on no occasion has any meat or fish been found in the destructor or in the shed placed for burning. The wharf has been visited on several occasions by the Sanitary Committee, so that they might be satisfied that nothing was carried on likely to be prejudicial to the health of the neighbourhood. The Vestry have not received complaints from the inhabitants living in the immediate vicinity of the wharf, but about two years ago complaints were made by occupiers of property at some little distance, but on the wharf being then examined by the Vestry officers and the Sanitary Committee nothing was found which appeared to cause objection.