HC Deb 26 July 1897 vol 51 cc1074-5
MR. G.C.T. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that the present condition of the River Brent is again most dangerous to the health of the district and of the western suburbs of Landon, and that residents who can are leaving their houses in consequence, and that the children in the large central district school, some 1,200 in number, which is close to the banks of the river Brent, are in great danger from the foul condition of the stream; whether his attention has been drawn to the correspondence between the Hanwell and other local authorities on the subject; whether anything has been done to protect the population since attention was called to the matter in this House; and, whether he will cause immediate steps to be taken to stop the pollution of the river?


I am not aware of the correspondence between the Hanwell and other local authorities, and the only complaint which I have received for many months past as to the condition of the Brent was received on the 20th of the present month from the Wembley Urban District Council alleging pollution of the river by sewage from the Willesden district. Since attention was called to the matter in the House an injunction has been granted to restrain the Willesden Urban District Council from discharging the effluent from their sewerage works into the river until it has been properly purified. An injunction has also been obtained against the Wembley District Council. In the case of Willesden the Local Government Board have sanctioned loans amounting to £23,000 for sewerage and sewage disposal, and £12,000 for the purchase of an additional area of 52 acres of land for the purification of the sewage. They have also sanctioned a loan of £6,000 for the purpose of sewage disposal in the case of the Wembley district. The Middlesex County Council are empowered to enforce the provisions of the Rivers Pollution (Prevention) Act, and any action which may be required as regards other districts can be taken by them. The Local Government Board are not empowered to institute prosecutions.