HC Deb 29 May 1902 vol 108 cc903-4
MR. THOMAS DEWAR (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board, in view of the fact that the surveyors of districts through which the Coronation processions will pass will require an augmentation of their present staff in order to satisfactorily inspect the various public stands and other temporary structures from which the processions will be witnessed, will he state what steps will be taken to secure a sufficient staff; will a special staff of Government Inspectors be employed? and if not, will he say in what way it is proposed to secure the public safety.


I have no authority with respect to this matter, but I have made enquiries as to the action which is being taken with regard to it. The licensing of stands such as those referred to is in the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Borough Councils, the power having been transferred to them from the County Council by the London Government Act, 1899. The licence may prescribe conditions as to the structure, and the London Building Act provides means for the enforcement of these conditions. In the event of any structure being in the opinion of the District Surveyor a "dangerous structure," it would be condemned as such, and dealt with by the County Council. The question of the safety of balconies is a matter for the County Council, and I am informed that they have issued warning notices to the occupiers of houses with balconies on the line of route of the processions. I am not aware that there is any complaint of insufficient staff. Indeed, I understand that the necessary extra staff has been employed by the Borough Councils. I am assured that everything is being done by the various authorities to secure the safety of the public.