HC Deb 11 June 1894 vol 25 cc792-3

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether application has been made to the Local Government Board by the Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation for borrowing powers to enable them to carry out separate sewage works on a plot of land known as Plantation Farm, which is outside their own boundary and within the district of the Dukinfield Local Board of Health; whether he is aware that the whole question of the disposal of the sewage of the towns of Ashton-under-Lyne, Stalybridge, Dukinfield, and Audenshaw, all in the valley of the River Tame, was fully inquired into during six days of last Session by the Police and Sanitary Committee of this House, with the result that the Committee advised an amalgamation of all these authorities for sewage treatment; whether the Local Government Board have always supported such amalgamation of these authorities for sewage treatment; whether he is aware that the Cheshire County Council and the other authorities named have opposed the proposal of Ashton-under-Lyne to treat their sewage on Plantation Farm, and that the inhabitants of Dukinfield have unanimously and repeatedly protested in three public meetings and otherwise against Ashton-under-Lyne sewage being brought in their midst, to the serious detriment to the health of a populous district; and whether, in view of the fact that if such borrowing powers be granted to the Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation the carrying out of the recommendation of the Police and Sanitary Committee for the creation of a joint scheme of sewage disposal for all these towns in the Valley of the Tame will be rendered impossible, he will refuse this application?

MR. ADDISON (Ashton-under-Lyne)

Arising out of that question, may I ask whether all the matters referred to in it were not fully investigated and discussed at a local inquiry under the Local Government Act during five days in March last, whether the Dukinfield Local Board were not heard by counsel and their witnesses fully examined; whether the Police and Sanitary Committee did not, through their Chairman, say that if no agreement could be come to for a joint scheme, they would be in favour of the local scheme; and did it not appear from the evidence that Dukinfield could only be brought into the joint scheme on a basis impossible to the larger authorities concerned?


It is a fact that a local inquiry was held, and all these questions were gone into; but as to the remainder of the question of the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne, I must ask for notice. In reply to the hon. Member for Stalybridge, I have to say that the Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation have applied for borrowing powers in respect of sewage works on the Plantation Farm. I am aware of the course advised by the Police and Sanitary Committee last Session with respect to the disposal of the sewage of Ashton-under-Lyne and the other towns alluded to. The Board have urged on the authorities such a combination as the Committee favoured, and the Board offered the services of an Inspector at a conference for the purpose of assisting the authorities in coming to a mutual arrangement. But the Town Council of Ashton-under-Lyne declined to take part in such a conference on the ground that an agreement between the authorities was impracticable. I am also aware of the objections which Lave been urged to the scheme for Ashton-under-Lyne. A local inquiry on the subject which was held by one of the Board's Inspectors extended over a period of five days, and at that inquiry full opportunity was given to those who objected to the scheme to state their objections. Since the inquiry the Board have pointed out to the Town Council certain matters in respect of which their scheme appeared to require revision, and the reply of the Town Council is now under the consideration of the Board.