HC Deb 29 April 1895 vol 33 cc31-2

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether the Board has lately sanctioned the proposal of the Corporation of Bradford to purchase Bierley Hall and convert it into a small-pox hospital for cases of small-pox arising within the borough; whether he is aware that Bierley Hall is situated in. a populous neighbourhood outside the borough, and that the people in that neighbourhood and the district council representing them have made the strongest protest against, and are seriously alarmed at the project; will he explain why it was that, although the result of a public official inquiry held on the spot was unfavourable to the proposal, the sanction was subsequently obtained, upon further representations from the Bradford Corporation, without the United Bierley District Council being further heard in the matter; whether the Local Government Board has adopted a minute to the effect that no small-pox hospital should be established within a quarter of a mile of a population of 150 to 200 persons, and whether the Department is satisfied that this condition will not be infringed in the present case; and whether, for the satisfaction of public opinion in the locality, he will consent to lay upon the Table of the House the Report of the medical officer who conducted the public inquiry referred to above, and the Correspondence which has passed between the Department and the Bradford Corporation.


The Local Government Board have lately sanctioned a loan to enable the Corporation of Bradford to purchase the Bierley Hall Estate and some adjoining land as a site for a small-pox hospital. I am aware that the site is outside the borough, and that the proposal of the Corporation was opposed by persons in the neighbourhood, and by the North Bierley Urban District Council. After the local inquiry, which was held by one of the Board's medical inspectors, as to the purchase of the Bierley Hall Estate, the Board pointed out to the Corporation certain objections to the erection of a small-pox hospital on this site. The Corporation thereupon undertook to purchase additional land adjoining the estate and to change the position of the building. The objections of the Board were thus removed. They were in possession of the views urged by the North Bierley District Council at the Inquiry, and they did not deem it necessary that the District Council should be further heard on the subject. The Board's Medical Officer has recommended that no small-pox hospital should be established within a quarter of a mile of a population of 150 to 200 persons. Evidence has been laid before the Board showing that this condition will not be infringed here, and the loan has been sanctioned on the understanding that there will be no such infringement. The Reports of the Board's Inspectors in cases of this kind are intended for the Board's information only, and are treated as confidential documents. Hence I could not undertake to lay a copy of the Report on the Table in the present instance. I desire to add that as this is a matter affecting the constituency which I represent, I have been guided exclusively by the advice of the skilled officers of the Department, though I fully admit my responsibility for the decision.

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