HC Deb 20 July 1897 vol 51 cc564-5
SIR HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if he is aware that the Vestry of St. Margaret and St. John resolved on the I4th instant, by a majority of seven, that French workmen should pave Victoria Street with French asphalte, in defiance of the petition of upwards of 300 ratepayers in that street, and of the whole of the omnibus proprietors and drivers plying through it; and, if, having regard to the unanimous opinion of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that such road paving is, by reason of its slippery character, dangerous to the public and cruel to horses during the eight damp and frosty months of the year, there is any moral or administrative influence he can bring to bear to restrain the Vestry?


I have communicated with the Vestry since notice was given of this Question. They have not passed any resolution as to the nationality of workmen to be employed on the work referred to. No tender of the French Asphalte Company has been accepted. A memorial against the use of asphalte, signed by nearly 300 persons, was presented to the Vestry; but there are 1,092 rated occupiers in the street, and the owners of some of the principal blocks of property in the street have expressed themselves strongly in favour of the proposed work. The material to be used in the work has been in use for many years in Cheapside, Queen Victoria Street, Newgate Street, Holborn, and many other thoroughfares where the traffic resembles very closely that of Victoria Street; and I have no authority whatever to interfere in the matter.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that in some places like Leicester Square, where asphalte has been long in use, it had been given up on account of the danger it had involved?


No, Sir, I am not aware of that.