§ MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the Local Government Board has sanctioned the undertaking by the Brighton Corporation of various public works in that town; what was the date when such sanction was given, and why the works have not been commenced; whether he has any information as to the number of men now out of employment in Brighton; if he can state to what extent the Works Committee of the Corporation is composed of builders; whether he is aware that the the bricklayers of this town struck work last summer; and if he has any reason to believe that the prosecution of the public works during the winter months by the Works Committee has been delayed in consequence of such strike?
THE SECRETARY TO THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Sir W. FOSTER, Derby, Ilkeston)
During the present year, the Local Government Board have sanctioned the raising of the following loans by the Town Council of Brighton:—In February £42,000 for a scheme under the Housing of the Working Classes Act, £1,400 for the purchase of land for the enlargement of a public library, &c, and £2,000 for the erection of public baths; in April £30,000 for purposes of electric lighting, and £1,200 for street improvements; and in July £15,231 for electric lighting. The Town Council state that the housing scheme is well advanced and many new houses built, that the baths and electric lighting works are approaching completion, and that the works of road-making, for which a loan was sanctioned in April, were purposely deferred until the winter, with a view of providing work for the unemployed, and that the work is now being started. The Town Council have no definite information as to the number of the unemployed; but they state that there is reason to believe that they are not so numerous as in the past two or three winters. Out of a population of 145,000, 346 men have applied to the borough surveyor for employment. Of 1365 the 13 members of the Works Committee two are builders. There was a strike of bricklayers in Brighton last summer, but the Town Council state that the prosecution of public works by the Works Committee has not been delayed in consequence of the strike.