HC Deb 30 July 1891 vol 356 c756
MR. STERN (Suffolk, Stowmarket)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether complaint has been made to his Department in reference to the neglect of the Wood-bridge Rural Sanitary Authority to carry out the Sanitary Act in connection with the supply of pure water to Otley, in Suffolk; how many cases of illness and death from fever have occurred in that district during the last two years, and will the Local Government Board use its powers to compel the Local Authority to proceed at once with the necessary works?


In January of the present year the Local Government Board received a complaint as to the supply of water in the parish of Otley. They communicated with the Rural Sanitary Authority, and were informed that the authority had directed that inquiry should be made by the Medical Officer of Health, and that it appeared from his Report that there was ground for complaint. They resolved that the owners should be required to provide a proper supply for the use of their tenants; and that if they failed to comply the authority would order the necessary works to be carried out, and charge the expenses upon them. This reply was communicated to the complainant, and the Board have received no further complaint in the matter. I have since been informed by the Sanitary Authority that they have called upon the owners of the properties in question to provide a proper supply of water. It is stated, in answer to my inquiries, that no deaths from fever at Otley are shown by the Registrar General's Reports during the two years ended 31st December last, but the authority are unable to furnish information as to the number of non-fatal cases of fever. The Local Government Board have not at present any facts showing that their intervention in the way of directing a local inquiry is necessary, but they will communicate further with the authority, with the view of obtaining more precise information as to the action which has been taken by them, and as to its results.